Guest contributor Carissa Melvin from Craftive Studio gives some practical ideas about using digital platforms to drive your business forward.
Whether you are building your business, your blog or a personal brand, you need to create a strong online presence to get success.
It is not easy as it sounds.
Having a strong online presence is a crucial constituent for your marketing strategy regardless of your business size and the industry you belong.
A business creates a broad reach with the audience with an online presence if built successfully. Giving you brand a broad exposure to the online world creates brand awareness with successful leads and followers which you want for your business growth. So, here the question arises that which channel is the most important channel for an online presence of your business? Initially a website, of course. A website is the most primary tool required for a digital world which then must be accompanied by mobile channels and social media optimization.
Conferring to a study by Google which states that Mobile devices are one of the widely used devices as shown up at the top of organic search and online sales. When it comes to marketing your business or your product or service, an online presence is one the most valuable source that you must create to make your business stand in the online world.
According to the Hosting Facts report, there are 3.26 billion Internet users as at December 2015; that is over 40% of the world’s population, which shows that a significant number of the people are using the internet for most of their work. So, this creates an importance of building an online presence for your business.
The study further shows that:
*The retail sales were to the tune of $2.2 trillion in 2015 by the influence of Digital Interactions.
*2017 is going to bring in more internet traffic than the combined traffic of prior years.
*In 2017, 68% of all the internet traffic will be generated by Wi-Fi and mobile devices.
Before getting on the mobile devices, you need to have a website for your business which is the most initial step of online presence.
Building A Strong Website
To make a prominent online presence, you must have a strong internet site. An unattractive or weak site will adversely affect the brand reputation.
A website will turn out to be good if it has a good user experience which the designers have termed as “UX Design”. A website with good UX Designs understands and fulfills the need of the users as well as the business.
It is designed with an awareness of every touch point that makes up the overall experience with your product or service- Joshua Porter
Learn how to improve your website’s user experience
A Clear Roadmap
The study by the Nielsen Norman Group states that poorly organized pages can make it difficult for visitors and users to find what they are looking for on the site. A website with a clear road map and navigational elements are the main building blocks of the design. A clear web layout will let the visitors stay and have a good experience.
Make Search Engine Your Friends
You are done creating a website, but it is of no use if it does not appear in the search engines. After all, 60% of consumers start their research with a search engine before heading to a website. To build up our brand prominence, you must incorporate keywords throughout your website.
The White Hat SEO Case Study is a detailed and a refined technique of how to make your website appear on the top of the search engines. Be sure of not stuffing your content with keywords; you will likely get blocked off if you use black hat SEO tactics. Being friends with Google and Bing is to have adequate keywords in your web content.
The next step to achieve online success is through mobile devices. 80% of the internet users use a smartphone for searching and online buying. A brand with an online presence is going to interact the most with the customers. Here are few ways of how you could use mobile channels effectively for your brand:
Create A Mobile App
Creating your brand’s app would do a handful of things. Your brand app is one of the best ways to interact with your customers by knowing what they are searching.A handy app would do it all for your customers; they can easily find products they are looking for, add them to the cart and checkout in just a few steps.
A Responsive Design
A responsive and an adaptive web design is a must. With the increase in the number of mobile devices, customers are making more purchases from their mobile devices. It means that your brand’s website must be responsive to fit any screen size especially for the mobile devices and then for the large screen devices.
The total retail survey of 2016 has researched that 34% of the people have agreed that mobile phones are going to become their primary purchase tool onwards. Therefore, to give your brand an online success, you must have a mobile responsive site with large images, a logo design, good quality content. clear button & icons and a design that uses the full width of the screen without the need to zoom in or out.
The third way for getting success is creating a social media presence of your brand.
Nowadays, social networks are just on every person’s fingertip; it is like more of their living these days. In fact, a reason to live for. An online presence of your brand on social media is going to boost up your revenue by creating more awareness of your brand to the customers.
All social networks would not go well with your brand. For example, Facebook and Twitter can work for all type of businesses, though a good start for online presence. These social networks allow you to post news, tweet and an easy way to communicate where your customer can address the queries directly. The total survey of 2016 researched that 67% of the people get influenced by the reviews and post they see of a particular brand on social media channels.
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Social Media Channels
Social Media channels have now been controlling the human behavior and their buying patterns dynamically. The increase in the use of mobile devices has made social media channels as one of the most convenient ways to search for products or services. We usually look for brand pages on Facebook and check their reviews before making a purchase decision, and a brand with good reviews is connected to points for the customer.
Once you have decided which social media channels to use for promoting your brand, decide what type of content you can share on the social media channels. The content that appeals more and engages the audience with your brand will increase your page likes and your followers. This what every brand is looking for on the social networks.
Engagement is the key to promoting your brand. A brand with positive social activities, posts, photographs will affect the users positively, and since it is a social network, so it acts more on word of mouth. The positive words are likely to be carried further to friends, colleagues and on social forums. So, your brand gets a higher chance to be followed and liked, and this would strengthen your online presence and fortify brand loyalty that will bring a profound success to your brand with more revenues.
Keep Enhancing And Add Value To Your Brand
Building up a website and social media channels are not the end of the story. Create consistent, valuable content, images and posts to gain credibility and loyalty, which is important for your business’s online growth. It will build a consistent and a long-term relationship with your fans and followers, and they will acknowledge to all your activities positively.
Use Appealing Photos
Photos are clear, attractive, concise and easily taken in by the social media users. Pictures are essential for an online presence as it creates more engagement than the written status. Social media channels are full of images, videos, animation and less with texts especially Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram so the more you bring in creative and beautiful imagery the more you get followed. It is like satisfying the sight of your audiences.
Start Paid Advertising
To increase your social media network, paid advertising is an effective way to make sure that you reach the maximum number of your prospects. Relying on organic search is right at the beginning, but with the increasing number of engaged followers across your social media pages, you need to start with paid advertising.
You are going to appear quickly in front of the new audiences that increases the chances of more engagement and following. Paid Advertising allows advertising options in all marketing budgets while creating a greater brand awareness than an organic way. It strengthens the ability to reach to your audience and lookalike audiences thus improving your reach level and boosting your brand awareness.
Get marketing tips for starting out on a budget
Track Your Success
So, now you have created your website, your mobile app, and a prominent social media presence, what’s next? Track your performance. No matter if your site is new or an old one, you should keep it checking timely. A couple of tests can test the technical performance that is the responsiveness test, loading speed and layout.
Another step to it is the web metrics that are numbers indicating about your website’s performance, and the return you get against the invested dollars on marketing your brand. On the other hand, we have Google Analytics, a software that measures those numbers. Though measuring web metrics is a critical process, but finding out a positive value of ROMD (Return on Marketing Dollars) is a positive sign for your brand.
Empower Your Audience
Keep empowering your audience by allowing them to share their concerns and acknowledging them timely. A place where the people feel connected and empowered are the best places, and they tend to stay loyal with it. Make strategic moves to strengthen your relationship with your audience.
Work Without Haste
Establishing your online presence does not happen at an instant or an overnight. It requires time, patience, strategic moves, and consistency. If you are heading in the right direction with a mobile responsive website, a mobile app and a social media presence, you would soon see the results. The most powerful warriors are patience and time. Know that with due diligence, patience and time, you would see your brand flourishing in the online world.
About Carissa Melvin:
Carissa works at Craftive Studio as a Digital Marketing Executive, where she reviews and implements the digital marketing strategies of how to make the brand successful. She is interested in social networks, softwares, IT services, and mobile apps. Being a marketing specialist, her approach to the areas to promote a brand is marvelous which makes her a valuable and a long-term asset for her company.