“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.” – Anonymous
Does your brand have an online presence? Chances are most of your rivals have a digital presence and are working hard to get more online exposure. Online presence for all businesses has become a necessity with the evolution of internet which has turned from a technical wonder into an essential marketing and communication tool for businesses and individuals alike.
With most Kenyans online, digital presence can bring a breakthrough for your business in terms of customer reach and lead generation. High visibility online makes your brand more noticeable and is likely to attract potential customers to your business. As such, building a digital footprint should be your priority in 2019 if you want to generate more leads and achieve sustainable growth.
Here are 3 ways you can leverage to bring your brand online and make it visible to your target audience:
1. Use Local Business Listings
Online business directories are still relevant today despite the emergence of new and more convenient marketing technologies. Many people use them to find local businesses. They find them to be convenient as they provide detailed information about a business such as contacts, address, etc. Not only do these directories make your brand visible locally, but can also move up your rankings on search engines. When potential customers search your brand name on Google, they are more likely to see your listings which is key in enhancing trust.
So if you want more potential customers to see your business, you should consider listing it in local directories. However, it’s important to note that not all directories are worth listing your business. Some are industry-specific and could be irrelevant to your business. As such, you should focus on putting your business in directories relevant to your business niche.
Best Practices for Online Listing
When listing your business, you should use your real business name, put in your physical address, and add the correct phone number. Don’t forget to add your business logo to get your brand noticed. Remember, most customers recognize brands by logos. Some directories also provide additional information fields such as business description, services/products offered, mission/vision, etc. Consider filling as much information as possible about your brand to make your listing trustworthy.
Some of the local directories you can list your business to get more exposure include:
Valuable Tip: Your Business name, Address, and Phone number should be consistent in all online directories. Inconsistent or incorrect data can confuse potential customers and affect your search rankings.
2. Build Social Media Presence
Most conversations online take place in social media. With most people communicating via social media channels, it’s time to give your brand a voice and join in on these conversations. This means building a strong presence on various social platforms. However, it’s essential to research your target audience to determine which social channels they use. Some channels may not be relevant to your business and you may end up wasting your time marketing to the wrong audience.
Some of the social media sites in Kenya that you should consider are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The three are used by millions of Kenyans which make them a viable channel for reaching customers. Other notable social media platforms are LinkedIn and Pinterest. While these are not popular, they are used by niche audiences which could be relevant to your business.
Plan your Social Media Marketing Efforts
The first step to building a social presence for your brand should be identifying where your audience is. You can do this by conducting a survey. This can give you an insight into the platforms commonly used by your ideal customers. With this information, you can go ahead and create a profile for your business. Consider giving detailed information about your business including address, description, website URL, etc.
The second step should be creating a social media marketing plan. You can’t market without a plan. You must have a strategy to guide you on how to market your brand on social media. An effective plan should describe the tasks to be executed, metrics for performance assessment, and people responsible for the marketing process.
Next, you should create content for your social channels. This is one of the most challenging tasks for business owners. Posting the right content is essential to building engagement and achieving your social media goals. As such, it’s absolutely imperative to have the right content that resonates with your audience and engage them. You can consider posting videos and images which are some of the most popular content types on social media. But you should mix them up to avoid monotony. Also, you should avoid posting only about your business. Customers are turned off by ‘salesy’ posts and are likely to unfollow you if you only post about your services. Instead, you should post valuable content that answers your audience’s questions. This is key to boosting engagement and brand trust.
Paid Advertising on Social Media
Lastly, you should consider using Paid Adverts in your marketing strategy. Social advertising, especially on Facebook, is cheap and effective in reaching a broad audience. Not only can you target your audience using particular attributes, but also re-engage people who have interacted with your brand before. This makes Facebook useful in generating leads and driving sales. If you are looking to market your business using Facebook Ads, you should check our Social Media Advertising Services.
Valuable Tip: Don’t forget to follow experts and your competitors to get an insight into how you can improve your social marketing strategy to get more engagement. Also, consider using call-to-action in your posts to encourage users to take action such as visit website, sign up for an email newsletter, etc.
3. Create a Website
Do you know more potential customers visit a website before making a purchase? Studies report that savvy shoppers make several visits to a brand’s website before deciding to buy.
Does your business have a website? If not, you are losing business to your competitors with websites.
A website serves as a virtual storefront for your brand. Potential customers visit to ‘window-shop’ and learn more about your business. With a well-designed website, you have the perfect channel to tell your brand story, showcase your products or services, and generate sales.
With many businesses using websites to broaden their reach, it’s time you consider getting one too. Having a website gives you an edge in competition as you can boost your brand visibility without spending a lot. And if you optimize it well, you can get high search rankings and generate more traffic and leads. Another key advantage of websites is that you can monitor traffic and get insights into customer behavior. This can help you tweak your website to improve customer engagement and increase your conversions.
Features of an Effective Website
To achieve optimal brand visibility online, you should have a user-centric website. This means the web design should provide optimal user experience and help you achieve your business goals. In such a design, the website should:
- Be mobile-friendly: The site should be responsive in all devices including tablets and smartphones.
- Appealing Visuals: The site should have stunning graphics to capture more attention and engage visitors.
- Have a unique domain: Your domain name should be similar to your brand name to ensure the consistency of your online brand identity.
- Be fast: The website should have an average loading time of 3 seconds. Anything above that can increase bounce rates and affect your site rankings.
- Have well-optimized images: Your site images should include alt tags and description to make it more accessible to the visually impaired.
- Have a blog: Authoritative sites have a blog for sharing valuable content to their audience.
- Well-optimized content: Your site content should clearly convey your message and include relevant keywords.
- Include compelling CTAs: You should add captivating CTAs across your website to compel visitors to take action.
Need a website to capture leads? Check our Web Design Services.
Valuable Tip: Your web copy should be well-written to precisely communicate with your audience and engage them.
Digital presence is the key to business growth. With a strong online presence, a brand can amplify visibility, broaden customer reach, engage the audience, and generate more leads. This means more growth in terms of brand awareness and sales generation. With the tips in this article, you can bring your brand online and build a strong brand identity appealing to your ideal customers.