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To help you have simple actionable takeaways, that will actually help you to move forward. There are action items at the end of every article
There was a time when being online as a business was just a luxury. It was optional. The newspapers, television and radio programs were the places where the eyes and ears of a population gathered. Not being found online was a minor inconvenience to customers. Today, however, customers question the legitimacy and trustworthiness of a business if they can't find readily available information about them online.
But what about the other side of this coin? What if you find a business online, via Google, but there is incomplete information, poor photography of their product/service, lack of a core product offering, poorly designed pages and no brand consistency? Wouldn’t you question that company? Do you stay on the websites of companies that look illegit? Imagine the cost of lost opportunities to companies that aren’t on top of their digital game? Now consider this: Is your business on top of its digital game?
Having a strong online presence on digital platforms like Google is crucial for any business in today's digital age. Google, just like social media, can be very effective and useful based on how you use it. If you are not utilizing the power of Google and other online platforms for your benefit, you are most likely losing out to your competitors.
A strong online presence for your business can:
On the other hand…
A weak online presence can have detrimental effects on your business such as:
Build a strong online presence for your business
In this article, we will discuss the importance of having a strong online presence. It is meant to be a guide for establishing an online foundation for your business and is intended to help and aid your business in both inbound and outbound marketing to acquire customers.
In our next article we will explore digital marketing to attract customers but for now we want to focus on helping you prepare a place, whether you're just starting or been in business for a while, for the online customer to get what they are looking for when they find you online.
Think about it as if we are helping you to build the store that your online customers will walk into on digital real estate. After the store is built, the next step is getting the customer to actually walk in. This is where marketing and advertising will come into play. So without further delay.
These are the 3 essential components to create a strong online presence for your business:
Your message is the information that you want to communicate to your target audience. This includes the products/services you offer, their benefits, the unique value proposition of your business and your business’ contact information. Your message should be clear, concise, resonate with your target audience and be consistent across all of your online platforms.
As we will discuss later on in this article, social media, websites and business profiles are all platforms or media you can use to send your message. However, it doesn’t matter what medium of communication you choose, there is some basic information that every business should be communicating online. Here is a list of the basics:
These are the pieces of information potential customers look for when thinking about contacting you or making a decision about purchasing from you. Use the above as a checklist to ensure that all of your online platforms have the basics covered because it doesn’t matter how often you post content or if you have a website. If potential customers can’t find or understand the information they’re looking for you won’t attract any customers online.
How do you communicate your message? Ever met someone you just didn't want to continue a conversation with? Have you considered why? Maybe you didn't like how they spoke to you or the way they presented themselves. In the branding world, the way a business presents itself can be through a logo, color scheme, typography, and other design elements that should be used consistently across all marketing materials.
Your brand identity helps you to present your message to the world. It should be unique and memorable and help to build recognition and trust with customers. It is an important aspect of building a strong online presence. A well-crafted brand identity can help a business to stand out from the competition and establish a strong bond with its target audience.
As you may already know a lot of businesses are attempting to gain a competitive advantage using online platforms today, including your competitors. When done right, brand identity can be the key to success in the online world where first impressions are critical.
Keep in mind the role brand identity plays in creating a strong online presence is two-fold:
For a deeper dive into how to build a strong brand identity that attracts your clients, read this article on ‘Weak or Poor Branding, Hurting Your business?’ and follow our recommended action steps to begin building a solid brand identity for your business.
Medium refers to the platforms or channels you use to deliver your message with a clear brand identity to your target audience. This can include your website, social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing channels. The medium of communication should be chosen based on your target audience (who you want to say it to), the message you want to convey, and the goals of your marketing efforts.
Every platform you use to communicate your message has a purpose. For instance, a billboard communicates to a driving audience and business cards would work best in a networking event or one on one meetings. It would be silly to stand on the side of the highway handing out business cards, or go to a networking event, greet someone and then point them to your billboard.
Similarly choosing the right online platform for your message is essential. There are instances where LinkedIn may be more effective than Facebook, and vice versa. One platform may be right for you while the other, even if it is widely popular, may not.
Which platform is right for your business?
The answer to that question depends on where your target audience is located, what type of marketing works best for your business and how much time, money and human resources you have to invest.
For example if you provide a B2B service or product and your target audience are business owners like yourself or business leaders, then perhaps investing more resources into LinkedIn may be beneficial.
To know which online platform will work best for your business , you must know your target audience, try using platforms that they are using and measure results so that you can make informed decisions.
Selecting the right online platforms for your business will help you to cut unnecessary activities and spending that bring you little to no return in attracting customers. We have created a downloadable guide to help you choose the best media for online communication (Click here to Download)
Your message, brand identity, and medium are essential components of a successful online presence. Your message represents what you want to communicate to your target audience, the brand identity represents how you communicate it, and the medium represents where it is communicated.
A well-crafted message that’s consistent, a memorable brand identity, and a carefully chosen medium can help your business stand out in a crowded online marketplace, build credibility with customers and attract more customers.
Pay attention to these three critical components and your business will have strong and effective online presence that drives results and supports your overall marketing goals.
Final Action items
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Our mission is to help businesses leave a lasting impression on their customers using web and brand design.Also let us know if this article was helpful to you and what would you like us to write about next. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Nicholas has been helping businesses elevate and revolutionize their digital game for the past nine years as the team lead at C7 Caribbean, a web and brand design agency based in Trinidad and Tobago. As team lead, Nicholas gets the party started with clients and keeps the C7 team motivated for the mission. He loves asking questions and finding answers so, you better be ready to have a pretty interesting conversation when you meet him.
Kendon is always focused on one thing: Helping brands influence people. Founder of M 19.26 Productions, a content creation company based in Trinidad and Tobago, Kendon is also a proud member of the C7 team. He works with businesses to plan, write and produce content for digital platforms, traditional media and events, helping them to make their mission possible. Kendon loves ideating, so brainstorming is definitely in the forecast when you meet him.