When a customer sees your ad, gets a referral from a friend or is simply looking for your product, will they find you?
Between websites and social, review sites and search … there are multiple platforms on which your customers can – and will! – look for you. These customers are searching for information to inform and validate their purchasing decisions.
More than 78% of Internet users research online prior to purchasing or visiting brick and mortar stores. If you cannot be found easily during this time, you will be eliminated from consideration before you even have a chance to connect with your audience. You must actively manage your digital presence or someone else will, and you lose control of the conversation.
Activating – and actively managing – a digital presence provides the opportunity to engage with your customers at every point of their purchase funnel, from creating awareness of your business and brand through the evangelization of it.
So, what exactly does a digital presence include?
In it’s most fundamental form, the primary components of a digital presence include, at a local level:
Website: despite the rise of social media and the pervasiveness of search, websites remain the most effective marketing method for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Websites provide layers of information, allowing your customer to understand your products and services more thoroughly. Websites are also great vehicles for branding – they set the tone of your brand’s personality and act as a voice for it.
Social: social media is now a table-stake: customers expect the ability to engage in a dialogue with businesses and brands, and, frankly, your competitors are already activating the space. According to LinkedIn, 81% of SMBs use social media – you simply cannot afford to be absent from the space.
Search and Directories: in an endless sea of search results, can you customers access your address, phone number and website within seconds? That’s how quickly they’re scanning search results. Will your website bubble to the top of the results? Or will you be de-seated by a competitor, an out-of-town business or something else entirely?
Reviews and Reputation Management: Online reviews are incredibly influential, touting as much as a 90% recall rate for positive reviews – and 86% recall for negative reviews, influencing buying decisions. Consider if even just a few dissatisfied customers post negative reviews – by not taking control of the conversation, those reviews will influence and deter your prospective customers.
Activating and managing a digital presence is a labor-intensive effort in an ever-evolving space.
We can help. We offer products and services to build, maintain and grow your digital presence, however big or small it may be.
We’d love to talk more with you – contact us by clicking here or calling (888) 573-4773.
Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 2010
Thrive Analytics, “2015 Local Pulse Survey Highlights (Part I),” March 23, 2015
Wagner, Kurt “LinkedIn: 81% of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Use Social Media” Mashable February 13, 2014
Andrews, Emilia “Small Business Marketing: Why Maintaining a Digital Presence is Important” PRWEB May 9, 2014