Table of Contents
- Benefits of Online Presence for Businesses
- Digital Presence Strategy
- Optimize Your Website
- Get Insight from Analytics
- Email Marketing
- Digital PR
“Nearly 50% of the world population regularly use the internet”
In a world where many businesses are competing for attention, being visible to customers should be the priority of any business owner. And with the growth of the internet, businesses have an effective platform to reach and engage their target audience.
Is your brand online? No? Many small businesses in Kenya don’t have a digital presence which hampers their visibility. If you want your brand to stand out in the marketplace, you should consider bringing it online. With a strong online presence, your business stands to benefit a lot.
Benefits of Online Presence for Businesses
1. More Customers can Find your Brand
“81% of customers search online before making a purchase.“ – Thornley Fallis
A growing number of people use the internet to search for products/services before buying them. They want to get more information about brands that offer what they want. Can they find your brand? If your business is online, more potential customers are likely to find it. This means enhanced brand visibility which can bring more customers to your shop.
2. Reach more potential customers
A strong online presence can make your brand more visible on different platforms. For example, if you have an active social business page, people using various social platforms are likely to stumble upon your brand. And with a well-optimized website, potential customers searching for products/services you offer are likely to find you. Simply put, being online can broaden your customer reach and bring more business.
3. Strengthen your Brand Identity
Being visible isn’t enough. Your business has to stand out in the crowd to capture attention and convert more leads. The internet offers you an opportunity to build an outstanding brand identity and become a thought leader in your niche. You can achieve this by bringing your business online and positioning it in the marketplace.
4. Reduce Marketing Costs
Marketing is an expensive undertaking for small businesses. Often, they have small marketing budgets which constrain their marketing campaigns. But with digital marketing, you can reduce your marketing costs and get better results than traditional marketing. Why? With an online presence, your brand is consistently visible to your target audience, and you don’t need to spend more to maintain this visibility.
Having learned the importance of online presence for small businesses, don’t you think it’s time you consider marketing your brand on the internet? That’s right. Read on to learn how you can position your brand online to win more customers.
Digital Presence Strategy
Marketing without a plan is akin to making noise in the market hoping to attract customers. It doesn’t work like that online. You must have a strategic plan to guide your marketing efforts. That’s why we recommend you to create a digital presence strategy.
An effective digital marketing strategy should include the following:
- Goals: You should set SMART goals for your marketing campaign, i.e. I want to increase traffic to my site by 75% in the next two months.
- Tactics/Tasks: Your plan should outline that tactics you will use and tasks to perform to achieve the goals you’ve defined. For example, I’ll post 3 times on LinkedIn per week or I’ll write 2 blog posts every monthly.
- Performance Metrics: Also, your plan should define metrics that you’ll use to gauge the performance of your marketing campaign. You can consider various metrics such as clicks, click through rate, bounce rate, dwelling time, etc.
Before you create your digital marketing strategy, it’s essential to identify the right marketing strategies for your campaign. These are the foundation of the success of your campaigns. The following list of marketing tactics can help you build a solid digital presence for your business.
1. Optimize Your Website
Having a website does not mean customers will find you automatically. Your business may not be visible to your audience. Why? Because you have not optimized it. If you want to make your brand more visible on search, you should consider optimizing for both your target users and search engines. How do you go about this?
The first step in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy should be identifying the right keywords for your business. These are the queries used by internet users to find websites on search engines. You have to conduct proper research to identify the ideal keywords for your website.
You can use tools like keywordtool.io, Google Keyword Planner, google autosuggest, or Ubersuggest to collect keywords relevant to your business. Next, put these phrases in your website. You can include them in the title, meta tags, image description, anchor text, and web copy.
Do you know website speed can affect your search rankings? Google considers load time and other on-page factors when ranking websites. As such, it’s essential to optimize your website to improve speed and performance. The ultimate goal should be to improve user experience. For on-page SEO, you can:
- Reduce image size
- Install caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache
- Create user-friendly URLs, i.e. admoran.com/web-design-services
- Build internal links
Are you ready to deal with technical aspects of your website? We can help. Try our SEO services.
Optimize for Local Search
Ranking for local queries is key to reaching more potential customers near your business. To amplify your local search visibility, you should:
- List your business on Google maps and local online directories
- Publish local content on your website
- Include location names in your keywords and content
- Add location names and keywords in the anchor text
Do you know backlinks are still one of the main search ranking factors? When many websites link to your website, search engines consider this as a sign of trust and are likely to move up your rankings. However, you should take caution when building backlinks. Don’t just build links. Ensure you get links from authoritative websites that are relevant to your niche.
You can consider the following tips to build quality backlinks to your website:
- Spy your competitors’ websites to identify backlink opportunities
- List your website in relevant online directories
- Add your website URL on all your social media pages
- Write guest posts on relevant websites
Don’t have a website? Check our Web Design Services.
2. Get Insight from Analytics
Digital analytics is a key asset for marketers looking to track their campaigns’ performance. It gives you a deep insight into how your website is performing in terms of clicks, engagement, visits, traffic, average time spent on site, types of visitors, etc. These metrics can help you gauge the success of your campaign. You can also learn how to improve your campaigns based on the results you’re receiving.
To get started with digital analytics, you should:
a) Link your Website to Google Console and Analytics
Google Search Console and Google Analytics are some of the top digital analytics tools used by experts. They are both free and easy to use for even newbies.
Google console enables website owners to check the indexing status and performance of the website. With this tool, you can identify the keywords your website is ranking for, number of backlinks, click-through rate, number of people who’ve viewed your site, click through rate, etc. This can give you a better understanding of how your website is performing and how to optimize it boost visibility. You can get started with Google Console by clicking here.
Google Analytics is another powerful analytics tool every website owner should have. Its purpose is to help you understand your customers and measure your marketing ROI. With this tool, you can:
- Identify sources of your traffic (where your visitors come from)
- Identify the best and worst performing pages and content
- Learn what people are looking for on your site
- Determine where people leave your site
By leveraging various features in Google Analytics, you can get business insight and take action to improve your website. To get started with this tool, you can link your website by clicking here.
b) Track Performance Metrics
Performance metrics are a key way of measuring the effectiveness of your website in delivering ROI. You don’t want to run a campaign without checking these metrics. Otherwise, you will be advertising blindly without getting the results you expect.
For Google console, you should consider checking:
- Total Clicks: These are the total number of website hits
- Total Impressions: These are the total number of people who have viewed your website on search
- Average CTR: This is the ratio of website clicks to impressions
- Average Position: This is a number that describes how your website ranks against other websites on search.
You can use this tool to identify both your internal and external links and discover crawling issues. Also, don’t forget to check your top queries and pages. These can guide you in improving your website to move up your rankings.
For Google Analytics, there is an array of metrics you can consider to check. I’ll only focus on the most important which are:
- New vs Returning visitors: This is key to determining your website user experience
- Sources for incoming traffic
- Page views: This is the total number of pages viewed
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors that leave your site after loading one page. Be careful with this one, it can affect your search rankings.
- Exit Pages: These are the last pages accessed by your site visitors
- Average session duration: This is the average duration that your visitors spend in a session on your website.
You should consider checking other metrics in Google Analytics to get a full picture of your website’s performance and make proper improvements.
c) Use Insight to Optimize your Website
Checking performance metrics is not the end of the road. You have to leverage business insight from Google Analytics and Search Console to improve your website for better results. To optimize your website, you can:
- Check website for internal linking opportunities
- Add other keywords you are ranking for but have not included them in your pages
- Add appealing visual and relevant Calls To Action (CTA) to exit pages
- Make navigation easy for users to visit different pages
- Make your web copy relevant and engaging. Also, include images
With the above tips, you can improve your site and user experience which is likely to boost your results.
Attracting customers to your business with just adverts may not always work. Why? They may not their problem or are not sure which business to choose. It’s up to you to compel them to buy from you. How do you do that? By creating valuable content that addresses their pain points.
Whether you are a corporate or a small business owner, you need to have customer-centric content on your website. That’s why blogging is important for businesses. It makes your site more valuable and attractive to your audience.
Ready to start a blog? Consider the following tips:
a) Create a Blogging Plan
Before you start blogging, it’s essential to create a plan. You need one to guide your blogging efforts and achieve your goals – attract more traffic and get conversions from your site.
An effective blogging plan should include the following:
- Mission statement: Define the purpose of your blog
- Audience Research: Identify the target audience you are writing for
- Keyword Research: Determine the keywords to target for your content
- Topic Brainstorming: Create a list of the topics you write about
- Blogging Schedule: Define the number of posts to write within a specific duration and when to post them
- Content Marketing Plan: Create a strategy and schedule to distribute and promote your blog posts
With such a plan, you are well-equipped to start a blog for your business.
b) Write Valuable and Engaging Content
Content is NOT King. Valuable content that offers great reader experience is.
Your business blog cannot get the results you want if it does not offer readers something unique. Remember, your target audience is bombarded with information every day. To reduce this ‘noise’, they focus on content that meets their needs. This is content that addresses their pain points and shows them how to solve it.
If you want to attract your audience, you have to be creative and more personal. Instead of writing about trending topics, get to know your potential customers, what they like and hate, etc. This can give you a clear insight into the kind of content you should write.
Also, it’s essential to consider the type of blog content to write. Not all can work for your readers. But you can experiment with four or five to identify the ones that perform the best. Some of the content types you should try include:
- How To articles: Instruct your audience how to something
- Lists posts: Compile a list of tools, features, or anything that can help your readers
- Interviews: Invite thought leaders to share ideas on your blog
- Research articles: Write data-driven posts to establish yourself as an expert
- Success Stories: Write about your success story or someone else’
- Expert round-up posts: Do you know influencers in your niche? Write about them.
Don’t forget to make your articles as engaging as possible. This is the surefire way to maintain your readers’ attention throughout your posts and turn them into subscribers. You can achieve this by:
- Adding appealing images. It is recommended to include an image after 200-300 words
- Include statistics to enhance the value and credibility of your posts
- Create infographics to visually present the key points your articles
- Adopt a storytelling approach
c) Promote your Articles
Having content on your blog is not enough. You have to actively promote it through different channels to get more eyes on your articles. This is the hard part of blogging.
Getting people to view your blog takes more than just hitting the social media sharing button. You have to be strategic about it to get good results. That’s why you need content marketing tactics. As the name suggests, these are techniques for marketing your content. Their ultimate goal is to get you traffic and turn visitors into subscribers or customers.
Some tactics you can apply to promote your blog content are:
- Sharing articles on social media. Make sure you include a short description or a quote from your post
- Post on forums. Join and post your articles on Q&A sites such as Quora as well as relevant forums
- Send your contacts a link to your blog
- Send influencers an email to review the article on their blog
You can apply the tips above as well as many others to push your content out there and get your blog more visible. Also, you can consider using these 100+ content promotion strategies to increase blog traffic.
Don’t have time to write content for your blog? Check our content marketing services.
4. Email Marketing
Do you know Email is the most effective marketing channel in lead generation? With millions of Kenyans having an email as their preferred business communication tool, how can you tap into this to market your business?
Recommended: 35 Email Marketing Statistics You Should Know
You should try email marketing. This is the process of sending promotional messages to a group of subscribers to build brand awareness, enhance loyalty, or increase sales. Despite having been around for more than a decade, email marketing still remains one of the most powerful marketing methods. It has proven to deliver ROI if executed well.
To get started with email marketing, you need to have the right tool for the job – a professional marketing automation platform. There are various great email marketing tools you can use to launch your campaigns. MailChimp is my favorite. It has a free plan with awesome features. You can upgrade your plan to get access to better features as you scale your campaigns. You can also consider other email marketing platforms such as Mad Mini, Constant Contact, etc.
a) Build Email List
For you to start marketing via email, you must have a list of subscribers. These are the people who have opted into your newsletter. If you don’t have a list, you have to consider building one. Otherwise, you’ll have no one to send emails to.
There are several ways you can leverage to build your email list. You can try:
- Adding email opt-in forms on your website. Include forms on your blog articles, footer, or as a popup.
- Offer a freebie. Bribe your visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a freebie such as a cheat sheet
- Use Facebook Lead Ads: Create Lead Ads on Facebook to encourage your audience to sign up for your newsletter
Need help to grow your newsletter? Learn how we can help you here.
b) Create Email Content
Once you start building your email list, the next step should be creating emails to send to your subscribers. But don’t be in a hurry to send promotional emails. This may cost you subscribers who dislike salesy emails. Instead, you should create a series of non-promotional emails to warm up your subscribers. Your series can include the following:
- Welcome email: Send this as soon as a subscriber signs up for your list
- Blog posts email: Send a list of your top articles to drive traffic to your blog
- Social Proof Email: Send a testimonial of someone who has gained from your product/service
- Demo Email: Send a demo video of your product/service
- Last Chance Email: Send an urgency email to compel subscribers to take action
- Offer Email: Send a sales email with a product/service offer
You should send these emails three days apart to avoid clogging your subscribers’ mailbox. But you are guaranteed to get some sales flowing by following this email sequence.
c) Track Results and Re-Optimize Campaigns
Hitting the send button is not the end of your email marketing journey. You have to track results to assess your performance. This is one of the most important phases of email marketing which can determine the success of your future campaigns.
After sending your emails, you should check open rate, click through rate, clicks, and unsubscribes. With these four performance metrics, you can gauge your campaigns’ performance, and identify key issues to resolve. For example, if you have a low open rate, the problem might be your subject line. Next time, you can consider making it more captivating to compel subscribers to open the email.
It’s also important to segment your email subscribers based on the results you get. For example, you can create a segment for people that opened the email, those that clicked links, and the ones that did not open it. In your next campaign, you can create content specific to these segments to boost your results.
5. Digital PR
“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” – Richard Branson
Public Relations (PR) is still a powerful way to build brand awareness. But with traditional PR dying and you should focus on tapping digital PR to grow your brand visibility. It’s a relatively new but it has proved to be an effective way to get amplifying online visibility.
So if you want to enhance your brand awareness, it’s about time you consider adopting digital PR in your marketing strategy. There are many businesses that have built reputation relying only on PR. And if you do it right, you too can get your brand noticed.
You can try the following digital PR tactics to build your brand online.
a) Leverage social influencers
Social influencer marketing is a new marketing method that involves promoting your brand through influencers on social media. These influencers have a large loyal following that brands can tap to spread awareness and drive sales. It’s important to note that not all social influencers can be effective in pushing your brand. The ones you choose have to be relevant to your niche.
When choosing a social influencer to work with, you should check their size of the fanbase and the content they create. The larger the audience, the higher the brand reach. But this might incur more costs if you are looking for paid influencer marketing.
If you don’t have a budget, you can try making friends with social influencers. You can mention them in your social channels or blog articles. This is likely to capture their attention and they might even share your website or social media pages to their followers.
b) Collaborate With Bloggers
There are many bloggers in your niche who might be interested with your brand or content. Such bloggers might want to feature your business on their website or review your services/product. This is an opportunity you should tap to grow your brand presence. But the only way you can succeed is having a plan on how to go about this. That’s why you need a blogger outreach strategy which defines your:
- Target goals, i.e. build backlinks
- Niche, i.e. Digital Marketing
- Target bloggers, i.e. regularly blogs about digital marketing
- Outreach methods, i.e. email, blog comments, etc.
When you connect with bloggers, you can request them to feature you as a guest blogger. This is likely to work as many bloggers are looking to add new quality content to their blogs. To improve your chances of getting a guestposting opportunity, you should include samples of your articles when pitching to them.
Besides guest posts, you can also ask bloggers to review your service or product. The best way to get them to do this if offering them a product sample or a free trial of service. You can then request them to share their experience with their readers.
c) Connect with online journalists
Digital journalism is changing distribution of news making it more accessible to people online. With this trend growing rapidly, you should leverage it to grow your digital presence. One way you can succeed is befriending an online journalist. You can offer them an insight into a developing news item which is likely to blow up when it gets to media. They are more likely to return the favour by featuring you on their channels.
If you don’t have anything to offer, you can pitch your brand and ask journalists to share it. If they like it, they may do it for free or charge you to feature your business. Either way, your business will get the exposure it deserves.
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Having a strong digital presence should be every business owners’ goal. It’s the only way to get more sales and achieve business growth. With the 5 methods I’ve mentioned above, you can build compelling online presence, reach and engage more customers, and convert more leads. You can try all and apply other more methods to make your business a winning brand online.
Has any method above helped your brand gain traction online? Share this article to your friends to help them too grow their brands online.