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2020 will most likely be known to business owners as the year that changed everything.
Gone are the days when a shop front and a few well-placed ads got people through your doors and leads coming in.
With more people sticking closer to home and making their health their number one priority, getting your business online is more important than ever.
During the height of COVID-19, 82% of consumers said they still wanted to be able to hear and connect with their favourite brands (Ad News), even though they were not able to visit their physical locations.
By moving your business online, you are maintaining that customer connection and keeping them up to date, making your offering as accessible as possible.
Your business may have an existing online presence or none at all, either way, growing your digital footprint can help you achieve your overall business goals.
It will allow you to reach new audiences, while adapting your business to be COVID-19 safe for the short and long-term future.
If you’re thinking about transitioning your company into the digital space, there is a lot for you to consider.
Here are some of the main factors you’ll need to take into account before jumping into the online world.
The first and most vital step to transitioning online is having a great website. Your website is a digital window into your brand, giving people an insight into how you can solve their problems and fulfil their needs and wants.
No matter whether you’re building an eCommerce site to sell clothing or a content-based site to promote your IT services, your website needs to engage your visitors.
It’s all about providing a high-quality User Experience (UX) that ensures your site delivers relevant content, with an easy to navigate structure and clear calls to action throughout.
With a well-designed website, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a strong online presence. It will also provide you with a platform to connect with your customers.
Provide Contact Opportunities
Your website is a digital gateway between you and your audience, so it’s important to provide them with ways to get in contact with you.
Ensure your phone number is easy to find, with click to call functionality on mobile. You’ll also want to include your email address and lead capture forms to enable your visitors to touch base with you via electronic means.
Live chat integrations have risen in popularity recently as it allows for instant communication. Depending on your business model, this may be an effective tool for you to use on your website as well.
Lastly, you should also include links to your various social media profiles to encourage visitors to engage with your brand across multiple channels.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The phrase, ‘if you build it, they will come,’ unfortunately does not apply to your website… unless it is optimised for SEO.
By following best practice principles, SEO can improve the searchability and visibility of your website in the online world.
It will enable you to get your website in front of the right people, while helping to increase the number of users visiting your site.
To be effective, SEO should be carefully considered during the website development phase.
As you shift to a more digital focus, you will need to start producing content that you can distribute to your existing and prospective customers.
Your content should deliver some form of value to your audience, whether it’s up to date information, a solution to a common problem, a source of entertainment and more.
From raising brand awareness to building equity and trust, there are many ways you can use content to strengthen your online presence.
By developing a strategy, you’ll be able to identify your key areas of focus to ensure you’re creating content with purpose.
Your strategy should provide a roadmap for your future content, which may include blog posts, eDMs, website pages, videos, social media stories and more.
It all depends on your audience and what you’re looking to achieve in the long term.
Organic Social Media
While your website is essentially the nucleus of your digital presence, to be truly successful it needs to rely on other channels for support, like social media.
Your social channels will give you further opportunity to showcase your business on a deeper, more personal level.
It allows you to foster loyalty with your existing customers, while providing an additional method of communication via instant messaging and comments.
Every brand will have varying requirements, but at a basic level, you should try starting out with a profile on Google My Business and Facebook.
You can always expand your offering to include:
Paid Social & Google Ad Campaigns
Once your website and various social media channels are set up, you can look at driving targeted traffic to your site to raise awareness and boost lead generation.
Social media offers paid advertising formats that can be used to achieve a wide range of outcomes, while Google Ads offer various campaign types that may be suitable for your business.
Both options provide you with the ability to deliver a specific message or set of information to your desired audience to encourage certain actions to be taken on your site.
Need Some Help?
If getting your business online or strengthening your existing presence seems complex, let us make it simple for you. Our experts live and breathe the digital world and can provide you with the support and recommendations you need. Let’s have a chat today.