What kinds of businesses should have an online presence? We believe that any kind of business should have an online presence, even if one operates at a single location market, such as a restaurant, law firm, and property agency, to name a few.
The Internet isn’t limited to e-commerce businesses. Even if you don’t intend to sell anything online, you should at least try to sell your brand — to encourage people to come visit your business in the real world.
In this article, we will guide you through a five-step checklist on establishing an online presence for the first time. Even if you have completed some of the tasks in this checklist, it is a good exercise to run through the list to see what your business might be missing.
1. Properly Set Up Google My Business
Given that 90% of search engine users use Google, it is worth taking a look at Google My Business. Google My Business is a free tool that allows business owners to register their business profile so that the business can be discoverable on Google Search and Google Maps.
By uploading your businesses’ address, location, business hours, photos and contact details, you are not only providing complete information about your business. You are also giving assurance to them that your business is legitimate.
This is the core foundation of building an online reputation in the digital age. If Google doesn’t recognize your business, people may have a harder time trusting your brand in the first place.
2. Content Creation And Community Building
The goal in this step isn’t to create content in itself, but rather to build communities. Content will not sell anything without communities who will consume them. Therefore, it is not enough to produce valuable content. You will need to find ways to share and distribute them.
The best place on the Internet to share things is, of course, social media. On social media, you can also promote your content so that it can be seen by people who aren’t your followers yet. In this way, you can potentially gain followers quickly.
If your content strategy is incredibly effective, there will be a point where your online reputation precedes your brand, and users will seek out your account to enjoy your content.
Want to know more about a strategic social media management? Talk to us!
3. Community Outreach
Don’t limit yourself to Instagram and Facebook. Specific niches often like to congregate in many other social media platforms. If you are daring in your online presence campaign, you can be involved in Internet conversations to discuss the hottest trends or even controversial topics.
Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit are some of the best platforms to learn about the latest happenings in your industry. Comment, pitch in, and softly promote your business. Do not spam links to your website or advertise. Answer people’s questions or invite new discussions on a topic.
Community outreach just simply means you reach out to real people. It is a great supplement to community building — as you build an audience, you also become an audience for someone else.
Unfortunately, not many businesses use this strategy. Yet it is a powerful tool to humanize your business and to contribute to online communities.
4. Build A Business Website
If you own a local business, your customers are likely located within the same city or neighborhood. So then why would you need a website in the World Wide Web to promote your business?
A well designed website is a powerful signal of trust. It is also currently one of the best ways to set yourself apart from competitors. When competitors in your market may only rely on social media to promote themselves, you could build a simple website that is rich with media, information, news, articles, personalized product display, and more.
A website is especially important for businesses whose market is not confined to one location. When that is the case, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a much bigger role. Blogging is one of the oldest and best ways to increase visitor traffic. It will also let the Google algorithm know that your website deserves the top positions on the Google search results page.
By researching questions or concerns that your customers are likely to type in Google’s search query, and then consistently providing helpful answers to those questions, you will enjoy increased website credibility, authority, and reputation.
5. Email Marketing
Establishing an online presence isn’t always about reaching out to as many people as possible. Businesses should also try to deepen their relationship with their customers. A customer who is treated as an individual by a business is likely to become loyal to the brand.
Email marketing is one way to consolidate this relationship. Now, email marketing does not always mean sending out advertisements of new products, discounts, and vouchers to your mailing list.
Ideally, your email should be used to generate interest or curiosity to your old customers or subscribers, so that they are motivated to find out more about any new updates of your business.
To summarize, to successfully establish your online presence, you need to at least set up Google My Business properly, and build communities using social media. In addition to gathering new followers, become an active contributor of online communities. If you have the resources, build a professional business website and deepen relationships with email marketing.
Do you need help with various daily marketing tasks? You can leave them to us. Island Media Management is a professional digital marketing agency that can help your brand become