Creating an Online Presence for Small Businesses

In Marketing by Marc

At XXIIBrands, we help emerging growth companies get clarity about their brand identity and build an online presence so that they can get found, communicate and grow. Thanks to website design, social media, and online marketing, businesses of all sizes can spread their message to a broader audience with just the click of a mouse. It’s important to understand what it means to create an online presence for a small business and why it’s so important.

START WITH A STRATEGY

When building and growing your brand, take a baseline assessment of your digital presence:

  1. How visible is your company?
  2. When they find you, what are you saying, what impression does that make?
  3. Can you measure what happens as a result?

Know what your company stands for and why it matters. Decide how you want your brand to come across and what type of message you want to share. For example, do you want a polished and professional appearance or would you rather come across as more casual and relatable?

Next, decide who your ideal client is. If you could have 100 more of this client, what would they look like? Once you have a good idea of which type of clients will be the happiest and most successful working with you, it’ll be easier to sift through your messaging to find the content that connects with the things your clients care about most.

BE CONSISTENT

Once you have a strategy in place for creating an online presence for your small business, keep it consistent across all platforms – online and offline. Brand consistency doesn’t mean that everything you produce always has to look, feel or sound exactly the same. However, it does mean that your customers should recognize your website, logo, or Facebook page on sight. Consistent logos, color themes, and attitudes are important, even in print.

BUILD A STRONG IDENTITY

Before you can build a strong brand, it helps to know what a strong brand identity actually consists of. Your identity of your brand is all of the things your customers think of when they think of you. Being able to influence what comes to mind when a customer hears your business’s name is at the heart of what it takes to build a strong brand.

Next, define your vision and mission statement and connect it to your ideal customers’ core values. Then, share them with your team and provide the resources and tools they need to come on board and help you build your brand. By ensuring your company embodies your vision and mission and taking steps to ensure that you and your employees stay focused on what your company stands for and who it serves, you can build a strong brand that will only grow stronger over time.

CREATE AN ONLINE PRESENCE

Creating a website is a crucial step in developing an online presence for small businesses. Your site will become the home base where your audience can find everything they need to know about who you are and what you do.

Anyone who visits your webpage will be doing so for a specific reason. Whether it’s to purchase an item, request a service, or simply to find out more, they will have a set goal in mind. As such, it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for. Do something great! If you do this successfully, you are guaranteed to leave them satisfied.

Providing valuable content on your website will demonstrate that you’re a legitimate business and will give visitors an effective way to communicate with you.

Three key website tips to remember are:

  • Simplicity: Don’t overdo it. Keep your website simple and easy to navigate.
  • Guidance: Design your website with your visitors’ needs mind. Guiding your customer through a process makes it more likely to be effective.
  • Familiarity:  People tend to migrate towards what they know, so keep your layout and design familiar to them. If you get too complex, you may scare potential customers away.

INCORPORATE SEO

Optimizing your website for the search engines is a valuable marketing investment for your business. It is nearly impossible to have a business without a web presence. But in order to make your online presence valuable, you have to make it visible. That’s where search engine optimization comes in. Search Engine Optimization means using keywords and search-engine-friendly strategies to make your information easy to find online. By making strategic changes like using keywords in page headers, adding meta tags, and making your site easy to navigate, you’ll move up the search engine ranking. The farther up you are on the list, the more traffic you’ll see and the more your business will grow.

GET ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

With so much of the population on social media, it’s one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. Building an online presence for small businesses should involve making personal connections. Use social media to update customers about what your business is doing, solicit reviews from people who are happy with your services, and offer support or resolutions for those who have a complaint. You can use your company’s smaller size to your advantage by focusing on making each interaction personal and meaningful.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

In a world of interacting and purchasing things online, business relationships can often seem a little impersonal. Experienced business leaders know that two pillars of a successful business are finding and retaining customers, and growing the business sustainably. The two go hand in hand. No matter what size your business is, you can’t afford to ignore the importance of having a customer relationship strategy.

When possible, a business should have a goal of building repeat customers, and social media and CRM can help you do that. Make that extra effort to humanize the relationship through interaction and remind your customers that there are real people in your organization who care about their needs. When you communicate regularly with your customers, you’ll build relationships that will lead to customer loyalty.

CONTENT

Consistently creating authentic and valuable content encourages your customers to keep coming back to find out what new services you’re providing and what deals you’re offering. Your customers are an integral part of who YOU are. Your ideal customer, how they view themselves and how your company meets their needs are the most important pieces to consider with your overall online presence, brand identity, and company culture.

Developing an online presence for small businesses can help any business grow, increase sales, and hit milestones that would otherwise be impossible. Let’s get started and find out how we can help you reach your goals.

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