Online Business Presence: The Marketing Tool You’re Not Using
A website you haven’t updated in years, a partially filled-out social media profile, and no one knows who managed your Google Business listing: sound familiar? If you’ve got a well-established business but a poorly established online business presence, you’re leaving money on the barrelhead for easy inbound marketing. From locating your business online to finding your audiences, learn how managing your brand online can transform the way you do business.
What Does an Online Business Presence Mean?
As we’ve reviewed in our blog, Your Business’s Online Presence (and How to Improve It), your online presence is all the information available about your business across the internet. Although that sounds simple enough, this digital footprint—much like a carbon footprint—covers far more than you can imagine. While it might start at your website, it’s certainly not where it ends. Your online brand has an unknown number of loose ends: bot-crawled entries, listings from the BBB and Yelp (and those specific to your industry), and shoutouts and comments on your brand on social media. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re just starting now.
The Uphill Battle as an Established Business
If you’ve been in business for years or decades but haven’t been managing your online business presence, you’ve got a daunting task ahead. The payoff can be huge (see below), but getting there is a lot of work.
Just Having a Website Is Not Enough
A website is the most critical part of your online presence because it’s the place you have the most control over. You control every aspect of your user experience (known as UX), and it’s your SEO castle when it comes to search engines like Google. Many businesses treat their (outdated) website as a parking lot for info—but you need to treat it as a hub: a place you can point to all online platforms and capture leads. So, while it’s important, it’s not the only part.
Owning Your Listings & Social Media
As we talked about in our recent blog, How Having No Marketing Department is Costing You, people are talking about your business regardless of if you’re there to hear it. Be it bot-driven or user-generated, this information (or disinformation) is out there. It’s critical to go in and claim, own, and manage your presence on these platforms to effectively control your brand reputation:
- Listing and Reputation Sites: If you have a well-established business, chances are there are online listings and reviews about you. Does anyone at your company review the reviews? With Yelp and industry-specific listings, be sure to find, manage, and respond to reviews.
- Google Search & Business: What comes up when someone Googles your business? Every part of Google’s search results, from Google Maps to your Business Listing, can be claimed and managed.
- Social Media Platforms: People talk—and they talk a lot online on social media. From Facebook to what everyone still calls Twitter and many other sites in between, people will talk about your brand, company, and staff. Being on (or better yet, active on) those platforms allows you to control the narrative and the clicks.
Controlling Your Online Presence Is the First Step to Modern Marketing
So, we’ve outlined a lot of hard work above to get your online house in order: what’s the payoff? Why do you want to do it? The more you can monitor and control your online presence, the more you can use it to your advantage in marketing and sales. You can gather information and build ideal client profiles, use social media to reach your clients, run ads, optimize your SEO, and so much more. This inbound marketing helps customers and sales come to you instead of vice versa.
Finding, maintaining, and exploiting your online presence is a ton of work, but you don’t have to do it alone. From managing your reputation to performing regular website maintenance and updates, a marketing agency like Vision Advertising can help you get a running start, freeing up your resources for day-to-day and business strategy. Contact us today for a consultation on your business’ marketing and how we can help build and maintain your online presence.