Did you ever skip classes when you were young? I used to. It grew worse while I was in Primary 5. So my teacher never mentioned my absence again. However, whenever I went to class, he would scream out, “Jack, where are you?” Then I would say, “I am here.”
Digital presence means that your business is present online. That, it is here on the internet.
Many people are searching the internet for businesses like yours. You will lose if you are not present online. You will lose a lot of customers and money! Therefore, switch your digital on.
Benefits of a Digital Presence
Here are two major reasons why an online presence is important for small businesses. In a word, it allows your (potential) consumers to learn about you and vice versa. It is two-way traffic that you can utilize to develop mutually beneficial relationships with your (potential) clients.
Customers will learn more about you
Where do you go when you’re looking for something online? It’s the same with your customers. They also explore online for businesses that offer the solutions they require. These businesses could include hair salons, fashion stores, plumbers, and so on.
When you have an online presence, your firm will appear when consumers search the internet for businesses like yours. Furthermore, they see you as more reputable if they can locate you online.
And when they discover you, they learn a great deal about you. Your blog entries can display your expertise to them. They can have access to your pricing, customer testimonials, geographical location (through a map), contact information (phone, email), and social media accounts.
They can also fill out forms to express their interest in your products and services. And with such forms, you will also obtain their contact information.
You will learn more about Customers
A digital presence allows you to reach your (potential) clients no matter where they are. Most significantly, services such as Google Console and Insights from social media apps will assist you in learning more about your prospective clients.
These analytics will provide you with information on your consumers’ interests, demographics, and behaviour. This will assist you in determining how to serve them.
Another benefit of knowing them well is that you will be able to target them with display ads, search ads, and/or social media ads.
A digital presence also allows you to provide customer assistance. On the Ghana Yellow Pages Instagram account, I analyze the Instagram strategies of large companies in Ghana on a weekly basis. Customers of several of these large corporations use social media to reach out to customer service. You, too, can do the same.
Furthermore, an internet presence might provide your company with a competitive advantage. Have you ever noticed how people tend to start businesses in places (e.g., new sites) where that type of business is lacking?
I used to go to a barbershop in one of Accra’s neighbourhoods. The barber once told me that if someone should start selling banku in the area, that person would make lots of money. He mentioned this since there were no banku sellers in that vicinity. Imagine the number of sales one would make if he or she stepped in like that!
Breman New Road was one of the Kumasi suburbs where I grew up. There was a period when there weren’t many food vendors in the area. So a man opened a chop bar. To be honest, his food was terrible. The meat was difficult to chew. But, hey, he made a lot of money. Because he was the only chop bar in the neighbourhood.
So when your competitors are offline and you get online, it benefits you. However, if they are online and you are not, you will suffer. I hope you get it.
Furthermore, I will encourage you to consider a digital presence as a way to expand your business outside your physical location. This is more of a thinking attitude. You limit yourself if you plan with the size of your physical store in mind.
However, when you recognize that your business can expand outside its physical location, you open the door to limitless prospects online. I’ve created websites, logos, social media posts, and so on for a variety of clients. But I’ve only met a few of these people in person. That is the power of online visibility.
Strong & Positive Digital presence
Okay, you’re online, but it’s difficult to discover you. If this is the case, you do not have a strong digital presence. How do you feel about looking for something but not finding it? For example, where is your key when you need it? Frustrating. Right? Your business should not be at the bottom of the online list. You should be easily found on the internet.
A positive digital presence, on the other hand, is having a good reputation online. This can be accomplished by establishing yourself as an authority in your niche. Displaying your skills to your audience provides a positive image for your company.
Addressing unfavourable remarks about your company and claiming your identity so that others do not steal or impersonate you are also ways to develop a positive digital presence.
How to get started
But how do you start building an online presence for your business? Here is how you should: Use 1P and 3Cs.
The first step is to develop a digital marketing strategy. Do not start by trying every digital channel. You should first make a plan. Your plan will then direct your actions.
Your strategy can include raising brand awareness, developing customer loyalty, generating leads, increasing revenue, and so on. Your plan should contain your target audience as well as how you intend to measure performance.
You build a digital presence for your company through online business directories (for example, Ghana Yellow Pages), your company’s website, social network accounts, mobile apps, email marketing, and so on. These are the channels you use.
You should focus your efforts on a pillar channel. And use the others to supplement what you’re doing on the pillar channel. You can determine which channel to use by submitting content on the various channels. The one with the most traction becomes your pillar channel.
On the internet, content reigns supreme. Everything is ruled by content. As a result, you must devote time to creating content that is valuable to your audience.
Blogs, white papers, eBooks, Case Studies, newsletters, and videos are examples of what you can create.
The material you provide across channels should be consistent. They should work together to make a unified whole. Furthermore, your digital presence should supplement (rather than replace) your physical presence.
Having a digital presence is costly. As a result, you should budget for it. You can do certain things for yourself. Others may necessitate the hiring of a professional. Furthermore, you can use both free and paid tools. You will also need to pay for advertisements in order to reach your target audience.
In this day and age, don’t let anyone try to persuade you before you move your business online. You have to convince yourself to have a digital presence. Try to get your company on as many channels as possible. Then you designate one of the channels as your pillar channel. Your reputation will improve as you expand your digital presence. This will increase traffic to your site and assist you in meeting your business objectives.