There are, in general, two sides to the coin when it comes to creating an online business presence. Focusing on either one of these too much to the detriment of the other is going to backfire, whether you realise it too much. On one side, if you focus on quality content and great branding, you might lack the visibility that would get people in touch with it in the first place. On the other hand, if you focus too much on visibility without honing the actual meat of the brand, you risk turning off as many people as you distract. Here, we’ll look at how you find that balance.
Have your message ready
This is a tip that goes for the general online presence as well as every piece of content that you create. You should hopefully have a value proposition at the core of the business, as well as a market you want to target with it. That can become the heart of your brand as Salesforce shows. Unless you turn the heart of the business into a message that appeals to customers, you’re not giving the impression you serve their interests. Similarly, before you create a new piece of content, whether it’s an online advertisement or a new blog post, you have to find the value in it. What’s the goal of that piece of content? What’s going to attract the customer to it? Unless it’s attractive, informative, interesting, or entertaining, the audience won’t connect to it.
Keep that professional sheen
Great content with value and a goal is important in creating your online presence, particularly on the website. But content alone does not make a style. It’s not even about creating great visuals to go with that content. It’s about creating an overall experience on the site that allows visitors to happily move from page to page for the content they want without a confusing layout getting in their way. Design teams like CandidSky put the focus on the user experience, and you should, too. Too many new businesses focus on what they want to see on the site, not what the user wants to see on the site. That goes for navigation just as much as it goes for content. Don’t flood them with options just because you feel you have a wealth of content to offer them. Keep it specific.
Mastering online visibility
A great site isn’t going to be all that great if your audience isn’t going to find it, as well. When it comes to visibility, Google is quickly becoming one of the most essential tools in a business’s arsenal. On Google, your two main methods of gaining visibility are search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. SEO, in general, is considered a better method to aim for general visibility. On the other hand, PPC is about targeting customers looking for specific things, with the intention of connecting them to specific parts of your website or online store. SEO is great for improving brand impact, while PPC does better at reaching goals like attracting customers or getting more people to sign up to an email newsletter.
Get the community involved in it
You don’t have to go it alone, either. In fact, it’s widely recommend that you don’t. There are a lot of different ways to use the online community. All of them add a certain sense of validity to the business. People have unconscious blinders to marketing, meaning they have their guard up when a business directly confronts them with their message. However, building a social media community glad to share your content or using influencer marketing who give you a go-between to reach new audiences can reach under that defence. Meaning that audiences that come in contact with the business through these indirect methods are more likely to take the message at face value.
Take them step-by-step
Catching their attention and getting their interest in the message is only the first part, too. One of the online marketing strategies that best embodies the balance you need to find is the marketing funnel strategy shown by Marketing Minefield. Here, it’s all about crafting a journey that follows the different stages of consideration your consumer is going to go through before they purchase your service. Creating a funnel makes sure you’re not likely to lose their interest just after you got it and that you’re going to keep their trust through the whole journey.
This is where a lot of businesses go wrong even after they’ve been doing all of the above. It might feel like you’ve already set up a great online presence, with a well-designed site that’s visible, supported by a community, and has a core brand message. However, unless you keep it relevant and update that presence regularly, you’re going to lose the attention of the customers who might otherwise become brand fans. This is why you need to master PR. Continuous use of influencer marketers are a great way to do it, but producing new content through a blog, and finding opportunities to get in the press, whether in print or online, can keep you fresh in your customers’ minds. The more outside sources your business can appear on, the more prestige gets attached to the brand, as well. Of course, that’s unless it’s negative press.
Stay up to date
The best way to keep that balance is to remember that the tips above are not the end-all and be-all of online marketing. The medium and the platforms on the medium are ever changing with innovative new trends. Not too long ago, search engine optimization was the game changer. Even more recently apps became of vital importance to a lot of businesses. Currently, we’re in an era where the more share-worthy content is, the better it is for the creator. But who knows what will be the most effective methods in future? You have to keep your finger on the pulse to ensure you don’t fall behind online.
A great online presence needs both sizzle and steak. It needs interruptive as well as organic marketing. If you can’t find a balance, then you’re not going to get the best results you can.