Do most or all of your business leads come from non-digital channels? It’s great if your brick and mortar store has foot traffic, or your service-based business gets plenty of word-of-mouth referrals. However, if you’re not getting any business from digital channels, you could be missing out on a vast wealth of untapped potential.
A digital footprint helps consumers find your brand even if they never knew you existed before seeing you in an internet search or on Facebook. A strong social following and reviews help potential buyers learn more about you, your offerings, and your reputation before they buy.
Even if you haven’t bothered to set up social profiles or build an email list for your company yet, your brand is still being discussed. By joining in, you can control the conversations and guide people to your virtual door. Where do you begin to build your digital presence?
To show up online, you need a live website. Your website will often be the first thing potential customers see when they look for you in the digital world. A website doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, it can be just five sections:
- Home – Tell people HOW you can solve their problem
- About Us – Tell people WHO you are
- Services / Store – Tell people WHAT services or products you offer
- Contact – Tell people WHERE you are and how to reach you
- Blog – Tell People WHY they should choose you over your competitors
Gathering your customers’ emails helps you build a network of people who are already excited about your brand. Collecting emails is easy if you make it part of your checkout process.
You can also get emails from people who are interested but who haven’t purchased yet by providing an incentive for them. Creating a discount code or other gift to send to their email can help them choose to give you their information freely.
Segment your email list and create email flows, or series that target your previous customers for upsell and cross sell opportunities. Create a different set of targeted messages for those who are still on the fence.
An email newsletter can allow you to stay in close contact with your previous and potential customers over time. The ability to create promotions and split test copy will help you gain a deeper understanding of the people who are most likely to become customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, helps you reach more people by making your website show up online when people search the internet for your product or service.
Search engines use a complex algorithm to determine:
- What your website is about
- How high-quality your information is
- What kind of experience your web visitors will have
Create content that contains the primary keywords people are likely to use when looking for a product or service you deliver. Host it on a website that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Build links to and from your site to add authority. SEO can convince search engines that you are the best options for people seeking solutions to their problems online.
You can boost the power of your SEO efforts by getting other high-authority sites to link back to you, and by creating business pages for your company on Google. If you add a blog to your website, you can provide educational content. You can also link from it to internal pages, giving customers exactly what they are looking for.
If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, you’re going to be almost invisible. People will have a hard time believing your company even exists if they search for you on social and don’t find you.
A strong social media presence shows you are present and interactive with your audience. You can get reviews published, disseminate news about a sale or a new launch, and build up a following of warm leads you can advertise to.
Without great content, your brand voice will be lost in the crowd. Do customer research to find out what digital platforms your target demographic likes to frequent, and create tailored content that can be repurposed in many different ways.
A blog post can be
- Snipped apart and used as social media posts on Facebook or Twitter
- Rewritten as a video script for YouTube
- Turned into a branded infographic for Pinterest
- Redeveloped into a whitepaper as a giveaway for lead generation or email list building
Metrics & Analysis
Decide what makes each digital media venture a success or a failure. Set benchmarks and identify key performance indicators, or KPIs. Is a lot of site traffic coming from a specific social media post? Create a landing page tailored to leverage their interest into purchases.
By tracking results of your efforts on every channel and for every type of content, you can find out what works and what doesn’t. This will help you estimate the ROI of any social or advertising campaigns.
Beyond all of these steps are dozens of additional ways to develop your digital footprint and attract new business. Feel like a lot of work, and you’re still not sure where to start? Alloire is a full-service marketing agency that can handle getting your company online, building a following, developing your brand voice, identifying your target audience, and more. Contact us today to learn more.