An online presence is your appearance on the internet or digital channels, which gives you the opportunity to attract customers from any part of the world.
When anyone stumbles upon your brand on the internet, he can go as far as visiting your website, blog, and social media channels, which you link to your business.
According to Google, 97% of consumers come online to search for local businesses.
Different people can discover you through your online presence.
If your product or service is relevant, anyone surfing the internet will encounter your business and show interest.
A 2017 survey of small business websites shows that 29% of small businesses did’t come online. But by the end of 2018, just only 8% of small business would operate without using the internet.
Once you’re one of the 92% lucky business owners and your online presence reflects your brand identity, you have the edge to attract more customers.
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What You Will Learn in this Guide
- 1 Why Need an Online Presence
- 2 Ways to Leverage Your Online Presence
- 2.1 1. Make Your Business Information Clear
- 2.2 2. Provide an Effective Customer Service
- 2.3 3. Increase Domain Authority
- 2.4 4. Instill Emotions in Your Content
- 2.5 5. Social Proof
- 2.6 6. Credibility or Trust Seals
- 2.7 7. Collect Customer Testimonials
- 2.8 8. Integrate Email Lists
- 2.9 9. Brand or Website Name in Post Titles
- 2.10 Offer Gifts
- 2.11 Conclusion
Why Need an Online Presence
The other time you wanted to rent a store, you told the agent to get you a store that faced the street or which was at the core center.
Your reason was to have a store where people could find you. You can achieve the same advantage with your online presence.
I mean, your online presence is like opening a business where your business can easily be visible to customers. You can use it to increase your visibility and outreach on the internet.
An online presence, however, is the avenue to make your business accessible to customers from any part of the world on the internet.
Since marketing has shifted to social media, most consumers come online to learn about brands and which products to buy.
The information you have on your digital channels, however, strongly influences your customers’ purchasing decisions.
In that case, your business isn’t just to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, but to engage your prospective customers.
So you have to build a very strong relationship with your customers in order to captivate their attention.
This strategy will make your potential customers know why your business is different from others.
In this post, you’ll learn how to harness and leverage your online presence. The aim is to boost your visibility, authority, reputation and conversion rate.
So, let’s start now by looking at:
Ways to Leverage Your Online Presence
One thing is to have a website or social media page. Another thing is to know how to leverage your presence on your digital channels and increase your marketing success.
Your effort to take the following steps can help you leverage your online presence:
1. Make Your Business Information Clear
One of the best ways to make your customers learn about the good things wrapped up in your business is to have it said in your About Page.
Most people explore the About Page when they visit a nice blog or website for the first time. Because it contains necessary information about what makes a website relevant to them, they go there to explore what they can gain from the website.
So, write in first person, not in third person. You can easily engage your readers when you make them feel you’re directly talking to them.
Talk about the priorities or concerns of your target audience, which you intend to solve with your website.
Avoid the temptation of talking about yourself, you don’t need it.
Any other thing you feel like saying can be on another page, such as how your audience can contact you, your autobiography, collected testimonials and events and so on. You can link them to your about page.
Don’t put anything in your about page if it’s not about your audience, because it’s meant to serve as an opportunity to make your audience love you.
So let it focus on your audience not you.
2. Provide an Effective Customer Service
Use your social media channels to reach out to your potential customers and get feedback on your products and services.
Find out about their challenges whether in using your products or other company’s products and guide them. If need be, recommend a solution for them.
According to FreshSparks, this practice can help you achieve three things which include:
- Boosting brand awareness;
- Marketing products or services; and
- Listening to consumers.
The use of social media to implement an effective customer service may not be the intention while inventing social media.
But over a period of time, social media has become an essential marketing tool.
3. Increase Domain Authority
Domain authority (DA) is a search engine ranking effort that gives you the power to be visible on the search engine result page (SERP).
Your ranking effort plays an important role in your marketing success. That’s why your thought leadership will make your audience trust you.
Your effort to boost your DA means your content must be life-changing and consistent.
If your content isn’t specific, your audience will find it difficult to understand you.
To make your content relevant, ensure you do the following while building your content marketing:
- Choose the right niche for your content
- Use a neat theme for your content
- Build outbound links.
- Earn Backlinks from High-Authority Websites in Your Industry.
- Build Internal Links.
- Create Original Content.
- Make Your Content Compelling.
This principle implies that writing content that’s better, outstanding, relevant can fuel your online presence. And before you know it, your brand is viral on all digital channels.
4. Instill Emotions in Your Content
Emotions can be used to catch the attention of your audience. When you add it to your titles, your audience’s affinity with your content increases.
Sonia Simone, in 13 Emotional-Based Headlines that Work, describes this practice as an emotional trigger.
Marketers use the strategy to trigger their customers’ fears and desires to take a certain action. It’s effective use can help boost your marketing success.
5. Social Proof
If you really want your audience to take heed of your online presence, you need to make them see you’re credible.
Don’t be surprised if you make an offer and nobody is taking it despite the fact that the offer is great. This shows there’s something wrong with your credibility which you need to fix.
When it comes to credibility, everything isn’t about you doing the “talking” all the time.
Your work can speak for itself for once.
Your landing page must reflect what Neil Patel calls social proof before your audience can trust you.
Social proof isn’t a new strategy in content marketing. But the problem is that you’re not using it effectively.
As long as your landing page can speak for itself, your audience will trust you.
It only requires your efforts in building a great user experience and avoid sending bad signals.
Insecure landing page will make you look lazy, dumb and dishonest.
A bad signal includes running an eCommerce on an insecure website.
That looks dubious.
Even if you don’t have the intention of stealing your customers’ banking information, that would be too risky for your customers if someone hacks your website.
Similarly, your audience will wonder why you send them to a scanty or irrelevant website if not because you have a bad intention.
This is like inviting a hungry man to an empty restaurant. What do you expect him to eat?
So your online presence isn’t just to have a website or blog, but that which must be safe and relevant for your audience.
6. Credibility or Trust Seals
According to a study conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, not more than 10-20 seconds that visitors land on your website or page, they decide to stay or leave.
In another study, Econsultancy revealed that the only thing that makes customers trust a website is the power of credibility or trust seals.
Your credibility factors in whatever decision your customers take immediately they land on your digital channels. If your landing page is secure, they stay.
Their concerns include the fears of being defrauded, stealing personal information, not receiving what they pay for, money-back and so on.
To guarantee your customers are safe, they like to see these three signs on your website:
- 100 Satisfaction Guarantees
- Return/ Refund Guarantees
- Credibility/ Trust Seals
You can use any of these three strategies, depending on your business, to make your customers feel secure on your website. Clearly state your return and refund policies and add a trust seal where your customers can see.
7. Collect Customer Testimonials
Irrespective of your marketing strategies, you need customer testimonials to make your potential new customers complete a transaction when they land on your page.
Your online presence may not be enough to prove to your potential new customers that your brand is the best if your existing customers can’t give feedback on your product or service.
New customers can’t trust all you say about yourself because you can’t be your judge without favoring yourself.
Before your new customers can trust you, they would rather like to hear from an outsider, most especially a customer who’s well familiar with your brand that you’re really the best.
They believe that whatever they hear from an outsider is genuine since you won’t be paying any customer to praise you.
All you have to do is to directly ask your customers to make feedback on their experience with your brand and present their comments on your website for public consumption.
You can add testimonials to your landing page or emails.
According to WordStream, you can achieve the best result with your customer testimonials by creating a special page for same and link it to your landing page or emails.
8. Integrate Email Lists
Emails still play an important role in your marketing success. You can use it to make your target customers be aware of your online presence.
According to MarketingCharts, you can achieve the best ROI with your email marketing effort. This is not only because email is the least difficult but also because it’s the most popular and effective digital marketing strategy.
If you have an email list of your customers, you can send them emails about your new offers or deals. They will come.
You can use this strategy to make your potential customers return to your website.
9. Brand or Website Name in Post Titles
People see your post titles more often than your website. That’s why it’s a good SEO practice to use a very short domain name for your website.
If your domain name is short, you can add it to your post titles to leverage your online presence without any difficulty.
Take for instance, when you make a search query on Google, Google returns millions of results to you. You look through the list and open the ones suitable to your query.
Out of the first ten (10) results you find on the first SERP page, you might not open more than two or three results. While you’re doing that, you’re aware of titles that have brand names.
Even if you don’t click through them, most of those brand names won’t be new to you next time you come across them.
If your post titles can attract searchers, adding your brand name to your post titles will increase your brand exposure.
The more people come in contact with your brand name, the more popular it becomes.
That’s why impression rate of any post is usually higher than engagement – the rate of actions visitors take on it.
The last but not the least is your effort to offer gifts, discounts or waivers on service charge to your customers. You can leverage your online presence by being a giver.
BrainWaves uses this strategy to encourage visitors joining its instruction club and it works fine for them to generate leads.
Consumers like to know what discounts, freebies or other promotional values they stand to get if they buy from you compared to other businesses.
So make it a habit to appreciate your customers.
Your product may be good – people like it and buy from you. No big deal if you don’t have a measure to resist your competitors.
Since you’re not the only one in the industry, there’ll always be someone to compete with you.
Your customers may not buy from you again if they can get the product you sell for them at $5 in another store at $4 per unit.
How do you intend to retain your customers when your competitors double cross you, only for them to hijack your customers and share your sales among themselves?
If you have a very strong relationship with your customers and you’re able to make them trust your business, no competitors will succeed in stealing their loyalty away from you.
The best way to leverage your online presence is to engage your potential customers in a very strong relationship.
And none of all said above will fail you.
Since consumers rely on the information they find on your digital channels, your online presence should serve your customers’ interest.
The relationship will make them learn more about your relevance and to trust you won’t be a problem.
When they have the knowledge your business has the potential to solve their problems, your ROI will increase.
Make them feel you care about them and you have more to offer them than to get from them.
Even if they must buy a product, make them feel it’s for their own good not for the profit you’re going to make.