For many businesses, establishing an online presence may seem like a tall task and some may find it unnecessary depending on their product or offering. However, once businesses realize how impactful a solid online presence can be to their marketing, they are usually quick to implement some of these practices into their overall strategy.
An online presence can be defined by how easy it is to find a brand or company online. It’s important for building your brand’s reputation, increasing brand awareness, creating credibility as an industry leader, and providing visibility to your products or services when users are online searching for solutions.
Creating quality content that appeals to your target market is the key to success. Using resources like websites, social media platforms, blogs, and SEO best practices, can help make building an online presence a bit easier. With that said, here are five tips along with some insight on how to get started with improving the online presence for your company or business.
- Create a Website – this may seem like an obvious place to start for many, but there are some small businesses that rely solely on social media pages in place of a website. Creating a website for your business lends credibility and gives a central hub to the customer to be able to see you 24/7. Having your own site also allows for online growth opportunity and it sets you apart from your competition. Another advantage is SEO and online advertising, which are a great way to help build awareness and increase traffic to your website. Free website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are available to help you get started.
- SEO Best Practices – by following the best practices for search engine optimization you can increase the organic discovery and traffic for your website. An effective SEO strategy can help you deliver the content on your site to your audience as they search online. SEO provides 24/7 promotion and visibility for your business. Results can take time as SEO is more of a long-term strategy. However, it’s the quality of the results that can really make an impact. For example, if your page ranks on page one of a particular search, that user is more likely to take an action with your site receiving increased traffic.
- Create a Blog – if creating content for your audience is the key, then having a relevant blog is a must. A blog can establish your business as an industry leader by providing something of value to the consumer. How-to guides, lists, interviews, product reviews, case studies, and videos are just a few of the more common blog formats that can be used. Adding a blog into your strategy can offer benefits like an increase in organic web traffic and content that can be shared easily on social media. Companies that maintain a blog produce an average of 68% more leads per month than companies who don’t blog. Enough said!
- Be Active on Social Media Platforms – having a number of social media pages across the different platforms will certainly be to your benefit, but it is also important to go where your customers are. These days, just about every business has a Facebook page and that’s great but working that in with some of the other platforms can really set you apart. Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are great places to display new product images, post video content, and stay engaged with your audience. YouTube can be the perfect place for a video blog or more in-depth videos about your business. Let’s not forget Twitter, which is a real-time platform perfect for trending stories and the latest news and updates related to your business. Again, it is important to determine where your customers are and be active on those platforms. Your social media pages may be the first place a user goes to learn more about your company. So, being on social media is an absolute necessity in today’s world.
- Create Valuable Content – creating good relevant content can provide your business with more organic traffic and increased customer conversions. It will set your company apart as an authority in your particular field which creates trust and ultimately leads to expanded brand awareness. The goal is to attract customers and keep them interested in your brand or business. It’s all about providing users with original content that is informative and useful. Remember to clearly define who you’re trying to reach, how you will reach them, what types of content you will create, and how you will measure the results.
These days most companies have a social media manager on staff or someone who handles their digital marketing strategy. The important thing for them to remember is to stay up to date on the best practices across this ever-changing medium. Here at A3 Media we believe it’s a multi-layered media approach that is always going to service your business best. Improving your online presence is just one piece of the puzzle.
It’s all about reaching your audience and letting them know you have what they are looking for and you may even convince them you have what they didn’t know they were looking for.
Social Media Specialist
When we first signed Flying Fish Brewing as a client, we were tasked to help build brand awareness in the markets that sold their beer. As a media agency, our brains instantly started turning, thinking of ways to incorporate traditional, digital, and other forms of media to reach their current audience about the exciting new products they would be releasing, but most importantly reach a new audience that might not be as familiar with their portfolio of beer. A South Jersey staple, Flying Fish has been in business for over 20 years, but much like any company, they wanted to continue to grow their sales while staying true to themselves.
One of the fastest growing and most exciting forms of media is influencer marketing. A simple definition from Sprout Social:
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts.
My idea was to utilize influencer marketing in the local markets that sold Flying Fish’s beer to help grow the brand. My plan was to identify local influencers throughout the Philadelphia DMA and New Jersey, send them some Flying Fish “swag” and the variety pack of beer that was in new packaging. The influencers would then create their own content to post on Instagram & post reviews of their favorite beer to their Instagram stories.
There are two options when building out an influencer campaign, use a managed service (pay to have the campaign set up for you, you only supply the parameters) or a self-serve campaign (you are in control start to finish). We went with the self-serve approach and used a platform to identify the influencers in the markets we wanted to hit. The hardest part with the campaign was combing through all the influencers to find the right ones to represent the brand. Some things to keep in mind are where in the US are most of the followers, do they have a large % of fake/bot followers, and what type of content do they regularly post. An influencer may have 10k followers, but if 9k of them are not in your target market or 50% of those followers are fake, it may be best to look elsewhere. We were able to find 30+ influencers throughout our markets that had a following that ranged between 2k – 10k followers, with previous content that we felt would best pair with ours and made a deal for 2 IG posts 3-4 weeks apart, with 3-4 corresponding IG stories when they posted on their pages.
Since this was strictly a brand awareness campaign, our main focus was to just grow the name Flying Fish Brewing in these markets. A3 media incorporated other forms of media for Flying Fish’s overall campaign, that included: Out-of-Home (billboards), radio ads, and other various digital elements. By combining these elements, giving Flying Fish a layered approach, they were able to see an increase not only in sales, (28% overall) but as well as on their social media platforms with engagements and follower counts.
As the media landscape continues to change throughout the years, I believe that influencer marketing is going to continue to grow and take a larger stake in brands/agencies media budgets in the future. The key is how you approach the campaign, and what the key objectives and goals are for the campaign. With our first Flying Fish campaign, we were strictly focusing on brand awareness, to grow the name. In the future, they may run a special sale/a contest/or want the campaign to drive a specific objective, which would change the approach of the campaign. Then, we would utilize specific links in the post, creative that ties to that theme, or need to see foot traffic in a specific location. Whatever the goals may be, the key takeaways I took from our campaign was be open and transparent with the influencers and adjust to different personalities and creative styles. Ultimately, you want this to be more of a partnership than them working for you, which I think can only help the creative process and any future products. With different personalities and creative styles, not one influencer is the same as the next, while they may post about similar products their style of content/picture/wording may be different and having a wide variety will only help your campaign. Influencer marketing works – you just need the right approach.