Why it’s no longer optional whether or not your business requires an online presence

Technology has changed the way we do business

Whether you and your business are just starting out or already well established, it’s essential for you to understand the benefits of having an online presence, accompanied by a concise digital strategy.

We live in a world where your online presence defines public perception of your business, and trust us, it isn’t going anywhere. An online presence is now much more than simply having a website or being able to find some general information about your business online, it describes a system that facilitates communication between you and your consumers at the click of a button or a sinlge stroke on the keyboard.

For most businesses, growth transpires from an increase in customers which is now most commonly driven by an increase in traffic online, particularly through websites... but how do you increase this traffic? Google AdWords? Responsive Websites? Blogs? Social Media? SEO?... All these tools contribute to your online presence and catchment of traffic, but ultimately are useless without one another. A well structured mixture of these tools will facilitate and increase dialogue both between you and your consumers and your consumers ability to communicate with each other (assuming your product or service meets customer satisfaction... if not... your digital strategy might be to stay offline and watch your customers go elsewhere). To survive in the modern market, your online strategy is what drives sales through your website (or now Facebook!) and if implemented properly, it is no longer a decision of whether to have a digital strategy or not, it is a decision of who is going to develop and implement it for you.

Below, we have created a simple outlining some of the benefits of having an online presence and strategy for your business regardless of its size.

Increase Your Brand Awareness
One of the most powerful ways of utilising Social Media marketing is using it as a brand-building tool. You can specifically target people and demographics that are more likely than others to be interested in your products or services and therefore more likely to become customers. With a consistent approach and a well planned content-structure, you’ll be able to build your brand’s reputation around its core values, benefits, and advantages.

Brand Loyalty
One of the biggest challenges online is returning customers, with so many options for consumers it has never been so easy for them to become a customer at your competitor. Having regular two-way dialogue with your consumers assists in developing a community surrounding your brand. Social media provides the tools for building a virtually limitless relationship with your consumers and solidifies their loyalty to the brand more effectively than ever before. From a marketing perspective, it gives you the best chance of developing a significant community of loyal and active customers.

More Opportunity To Convert
While it’s important to identify what Social Media platforms are best for your business based on the platforms your current consumers most often use, being active on all platforms will place your business in the best position to attract new traffic. New traffic presents the opportunity to your online presence to convince them that the service or product you provide is perfect for them. The more active you are on these Social Channels, with content that is designed with your consumers in mind, the bigger your reach and the more traffic you have the potential to covert.

Cost Effective & Measurable
Traditional advertising and marketing campaigns can be costly, taking out a huge chunk of your business’ revenue, a luxury many small and even medium business’ simply cannot afford. Social Media has presented a cost-effective method of promoting your business, while tools like Google Analytics and AdWords allows businesses to track and measure exactly how people are using their advertisement. Gone are the days where businesses guess and estimate the return of their investment in advertising.

Rank Higher On Google Than Your Competitors - Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The more active your business is online, producing relevant and engaging content, the better your SEO will become and the higher you will rank on Google organically (without paying). If you can give people a reason to visit your website regulalry by using Blogs, Social Media and other online tools to direct them, you can increase the time they spend on your website while also increasing the likelihood that they will "click through" (CTR) to other pages of your website. Both of these elements lead to increasing your organic ranking and the likelihood that when someone searches for your product or service, they will find you.

Improve Your Understanding Of Your Consumers
With the assistance of online tools (particularly Social Media), businesses have been able to gauge an understanding of the ever-evolving 'wants' and 'needs' of their current and potential consumers. This information has now become fundamental if you want to compete in the modern market, giving you the ability to act and adapt to these changes in real time.

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