How to build an online presence

28th, Oct 2016

Are you concerned about your online presence? Earlier this month I spoke on a panel about Building an Online Presence, hosted by the Organizational Development Network of Long Island.

Online presence message on stickers

Surprisingly many businesses still don’t invest in digital marketing. At a minimum, a good website is necessary for businesses to be perceived as credible. However, a website alone isn’t enough; you need to promote it effectively. The panelists and audience shared their insights on how businesses can make the most of their efforts.

Here are some of the key points and best practices that came out of the discussion:

1. Have a plan. You shouldn’t just create/update a site, engage in social media or do any kind of digital marketing without developing a plan. Understand who you want to reach and what information they want to have. Identify your short, medium and long-term goals. Are you focusing on getting new traffic from people searching? Are you looking to bring in or nurture leads? Do you want to build followers? There are different tactics that will help with each of these and varying benchmarks to measure progress. You want to think through these issues and then prepare a written plan.

2. Establish social media profiles and be active. Not every platform will make sense for your business. Pick the one(s) where your audience is active and looking for relevant information. Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website, build your visibility, attract new business and stay top of mind. But like all marketing, you have to do it consistently to be successful. Posting once in a while won’t get you very far. It’s like joining a networking group and then rarely showing up and when you do, you barely talk to people. That’s not going to get you business.

3. Optimize your website for search engines. Good basic SEO is essential for every website to improve organic rankings. For some businesses, it may make sense to consider using pay-per-click advertising as well. In any event, the most important thing to remember is content is king so follow the next tip.

4. Have great content. Relevant educational information targeted to your audience will help build/reinforce your credibility, engage your readers, and improve your SEO. Google looks for relevant quality content that is updated frequently in determining your search ranking. So the first thing you should be doing is blogging regularly. However, you should also consider creating other content (whitepapers, eBooks, video, podcasts, webinars, etc.)

5. B2B and B2C are different. B2B companies tend to have a long sales cycle so it’s important to consider how to nurture your leads. Although you want to grab attention, you also need to keep contacts engaged and stay top of mind with them without blatantly pitching your services.

6. Get professional help. A professional can guide you in your digital marketing so that it meets your needs and helps achieve your goals. If you have internal resources, determine what they can handle based on their expertise and time. If you need to fill gaps, it can be more cost effective to bring in an outsider. Ultimately, the goal is for everyone to be handling tasks that are the highest and best use of their time. Delegate the rest.

Thanks to ODNLI and my fellow panelists – Ritima Sood, Artiems Software Solutions and Tai Vicari, Networking Marketing Specialists – and moderator, Jerry Siegel, JASB Management Inc.

If you need help with your digital marketing, contact us for a consultation.

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