In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, social media and the gig economy, you often hear about a business’s ‘online presence’ and ‘brand’ in the same sentence. Why?
- Great branding is arguably one of the most important considerations when it comes to ensuring the continued success of your business, and:
- there are no great brands without a strong online presence!
Online presence is simply defined as how easy it is to find a particular business online. For example – type in pizza in Google search and press return. When I did it, the number one return is Domino’s pizza. Domino’s is so easy to find because it has a fantastic online presence.
Indeed, almost all of us – for better or worse – have an online presence. Not convinced? Enter your name in Google images now and hit search, good luck!
Employers Google potential employees, Tinder dates ‘Facebook search’ you, and if I am ordering takeaway, I will check out their reviews sometimes before I have even checked out the menu!
A Strong Online Presence = Trust
Having a strong online presence and brand develops trust, and customers buy from businesses that they like and trust.
What is the difference between a brand and a product? A product is what you deliver – but branding is your reputation – or as Jeff Bezos says – ‘branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
Not another branding excercise..
Mention branding to a busy business and often it conjures up images of hiring designers, endless meetings and mind mapping resulting in expensive websites and flashy logos. Don’t get us wrong, if your brand is looking tired – a review is worth the effort. In this short blog, we’re going to skip this and look at 3 simple steps that you can take to boost your online presence today.
Step 1: Cover the Basics
Everybody knows that consumers (us) are primarily searching for businesses and services online.
Even if your business is found offline, people will often search for you to find out more about you, (and to see what other people say about you!). So you must get yourself listed.
Google My Business, LinkedIn, and Facebook, provide no-cost (with no barrier to entry) platforms to lay the foundations of your online presence.
These sites immediately show the world that you are open for business, and of course, provide the means to contact you. These are free and invaluable!*
*When I google Pizza, Domino’s took position one on Google and Pizza Hut took position two. Above them was the ‘Google My Business’ section which placed Marie’s Pizza Mudgeeraba, and two other local pizza shops, above the big boys.
Why is this?
Because Marie took the time to fill out the details of her business, she ranks alongside the largest pizza companies in the world (in my local area anyhow). Google wants to present consumers with the most relevant information to their query. Google can only do that if you take the time to register with them.
Step 2: Start Sharing
All businesses evolve over time. Now that you have covered your basics, it is time to begin by creating and sharing quality and engaging content with your audience.
What to write? Many people agonise over this, but it can be as simple as putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Ask yourself – what are they looking for? How can you help them? What would they like to see?
Step 3: Keep Sharing! (Commitment)
Begin by committing to posting something of value twice a week, and keep to this schedule. A regular online presence allows you to listen to the needs of your customers, and to adapt your offering whilst engaging with your audience.
Your brand is the culmination of your relationships with customers, your reputation in the marketplace, and has a huge impact on the future success of your business!
Now let’s see if Marie’s delivers.