It’s 2023 and, for businesses of all sizes, a strong digital presence is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Without an online presence that’s firing on all cylinders, a business becomes essentially invisible to potential customers. According to a survey from BrightLocal, 97% of consumers use the internet to find a local business, which shows the sheer volume of potential customers that your business could be missing out on if you don’t have a strong and multi-modal online presence.
You may be thinking, ‘my business is covered, we’ve got a website’… but is that all? These days, even a top-rate website is unfortunately not nearly enough. With 76% of consumers scrutinising the online presence before deciding to visit a business, you’ve got to consider a well-maintained Google Business account, active social media channels, and more! Don’t let the hard work and resources that you’ve put into one area of your online presence be let down by a lack of an active presence elsewhere.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you need to be taking a holistic approach to your digital profile…
Firstly, how can different digital channels work together to provide a more comprehensive customer experience? Each platform – website, social media, email, Google Business, etc. – has its unique strengths, and you should look to take advantage of each for what they do best, instead of relying on the performance of one or two areas.
Often the core of your digital presence, your website is where you provide detailed info on who you are, what you offer, and why the customer should choose you. Depending on what’s relevant to your business, your website can also host blogs, media galleries, and other valuable content to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). As the cornerstone of your online presence, it provides a hub to all other arms of your digital profile, and you should be constantly reviewing it; what’s working? What’s not working? How can we improve?
There are approximately 3.96 billion people actively using social media in the world – around 50% of the global population – so, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (to name a few) are brilliant for sharing quick updates, engaging content, customer testimonials & reviews, and promotions. They’re also crucial for real-time interaction with your customers, helping you to adopt a more personal relationship with them.
It’s important to consider the fact that maintaining an active social media presence requires consistent effort. Regularly posting relevant and engaging content, responding to comments and messages, and staying on top of the latest trends is key to maximising the potential of these platforms. On some occasions, an under active and outdated social media presence can actually be worse than no presence at all. This is why, if you don’t have the time or resources to manage this area of your digital marketing, you should look into outsourcing with us.
This continued engagement helps to keep your brand top-of-mind for your followers and shows that your business values its online community.
One of the most – if not, the most – important aspects of your business’s online presence is maintaining an active Google Business profile. It’s often the first point of contact your audience will have with your business because, when they search for your business or related services, your Google Business profile is likely to be among the top results they’ll come across.
An active, well-maintained Google Business profile not only offers credibility but also makes information about your business easily accessible. Info like operating hours, location, and contact information are vital for customers wanting to interact with your business. You can also showcase customer reviews here, allowing new customers to see first-hand experiences of others, lending your online presence even more authenticity and reliability.
Customer reviews serve as powerful social proof, showcasing real experiences from past clients. Make sure that you’re promptly replying to reviews – both positive and negative – to show prospective customers that you’re engaged and attentive, further boosting your online reputation. Regularly updating your response to reviews can also positively influence your Google search ranking, increasing visibility and driving more traffic to your site!
Another hugely important component is your imagery! According to a report from Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.
Emails can nurture leads with personalised content. You can use them for regular news updates, special offers, and event promotion. Integration with website and social media encourages further exploration and interaction. But first, you need to make sure that links to your website and social media channels are actually worth following!
With 72% of customers preferring to learn about a product or service through email, your other channels need to be adding valuable content that complements what you’re communicating in your emails. This means that when the audience clicks through to your social media channels or website, they should be finding recent and relevant activity/posts, active engagement with followers, and a way to connect with your business.
Now, this bit is less about maintaining a strong, multi-modal digital presence but, in 2023, it’s very relevant and hugely important. Ensuring that your online presence is optimised for mobile device users should be at the forefront of your strategy, with more than half of global internet users accessing the web via mobile devices instead of desktop. So, have a think – does all the components of your online presence look good on mobile, or were they designed only with desktop in mind?
With consumers increasingly expecting seamless mobile experiences, having a mobile-optimised digital presence can give you an edge over competitors who haven’t yet adapted to this trend.
Also, because of the nature of it, mobile optimised sites encourage greater engagement with users, who can quickly share your content on social media platforms, further increasing your brand’s visibility and reach.
Everything we’ve mentioned here is massively important to your online presence, and your online is massively important to your business. With the significant shift to an online-first approach of many businesses, it’s never been more important to give this part of your brand the attention and care it needs!
Not an expert in this area? Not sure if you have the resources or time? Don’t even know where to begin? Well, don’t worry because we are, and we do. Get in touch today and see how Crunchy Carrots can get your businesses digital marketing flying!