The future of marketing is digital. Naturally it makes sense for your business to utilize digital platforms to their fullest potential. While the same online strategy won’t work for everyone, there are a few key pieces that every business needs.
Have a Website
Hopefully this is obvious. However, paying for a domain name doesn’t guarantee that your web page is helping generate revenue. Your URL should be as simple as possible and relate directly to the name of your business, if possible. Even a great URL won’t save a website with a terrible user interface. Keep your design clean and simple, with navigation that makes sense to end users. Have friends or family members test your website after any updates. If they can’t find information about your business quickly, your menus may not be intuitive enough. Think of the details you look for most often when researching a business: hours, location, services offered, and contact information.
Optimize For Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most talked-about topics in digital marketing. Simply put, it is the process of designing and updating your webpages so that they appear higher up in search engine results. SEO helps drive traffic to your page ‘organically,’ meaning no payment was given to the search engine. This traffic could include existing customers as well as potential customers. While SEO can become somewhat complex, the basics are pretty straightforward. Search engines such as Google and Bing display results based on relevance and popularity. Provide users with relevant content and update it frequently and make sure your information is accurate across the web to keep yourself on top.
Utilize Social Media
Social media platforms aren’t just for selfies. Your business can use platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with customers and potential customers. Creating a profile for your business is free and can help increase exposure. Social media posts are a great way to relay new information to customers and drive traffic to your website. In addition to using social media platforms as an opportunity to speak, they can also be used to listen. You can see what’s trending and what people are talking about. Given that the functionality and user base of each platform is different, it’s best to have a specific goal for each one. Also remember that quality is much more important that quantity in terms of platforms. It’s best to have one or two frequently updated profiles than several profiles with scant content.
Know Your Platforms
Facebook has utility for businesses to create an official page, making an excellent resource for all businesses. LinkedIn is useful for connecting with business to business customers. Creating a company LinkedIn profile can also help you find new talent should the need arise. Twitter is useful if your business is creating new content frequently and updates information often. Tweeting out promotional information about sales and discounts can help bring in more people as well. Use Instagram if your business has a lot of high-quality photo content and a younger customer base. Many Saab owners are very active on Instagram and often comment looking for parts and service centers. If your business is active across multiple platforms, you may want to use a social media management application such as Hootsuite. Applications like Hootsuite help businesses maintain a consistent online presence on each social media platform.
Keep Content Up to Date
The absolute best way to keep your business on top of customers’ minds and search engines’ results is to have frequently updated content. Even a seemingly unimportant post about a new item coming into stock reminds followers about your business. Look at what competitors are doing and see what could work for your business. Think about the brands and businesses that you may personally follow. What about their websites and profiles appeals to you? At the bare minimum, it is imperative that you keep the contact information up to date on any and all web-based profiles your business has. Nothing alienates a customer faster than showing up at the wrong address or calling the wrong number.
A strong digital presence can bring customers to you at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods. A lack of information about your business can drive customers to a competitor. Keep your business relevant and visible to keep you at the forefront of the market.