Small Business Online Presence Startup Guide
If you are among the startups of 2016 you must belong to those batch of entrepreneurs who really need to look into establishing a strong online presence. This year offered many different options for entrepreneurs to start with the right foot forward.
Social media has become stronger today as a marketing platform and obviously going to get stronger in the years to come. Websites are easier to manage now than ever before.
Nonetheless, as an entrepreneur, you might not have the luxury of time to really dig into the benefits of a strong online presence. Maybe you are considering it after the business has picked up momentum offline.
Wrong, you actually you should have worked on your website the moment you thought of starting a business.
Building a strong online presence should not be as difficult as you picture it. Start with the right foot forward, consider the things written below.
First, let us have a strong definition of “online presence”
Your online presence surmises your overall digital brand in the internet. It will set the foundation for future interactions with clients, investors and peers.
If successfully built your online presence can take your brand to limitless possibilities in terms of online business logistics, marketing, promotion and conversion.
How do you build a good online presence?
A lot of small businesses, especially startups are lost at this initial stage. I have learned from experience that some entrepreneurs think that building an online presence may start from just a Facebook Page, and ends there.
While, that proposes a little bit of success, an online presence is actually broader than that.
To help you begin on the right direction consider the points proposed in this article.
1. Write down your goals in detail
Writing down your goals in great details will allow you to formulate a strategy that will work. Whether long-term or short-term goals you need them written down and identify their priority.
Your online presence must reflect how these goals are being accomplished.
You shouldn’t be building an online presence because this blog says you should, or you heard of it from a friend. You have to build it because it will align your business strategies with success.
2. Lay down the foundations
You need a base, a place where all the magic begins. Online that will be your website. Your website is where all your content assets are. The very same assets that you will deploy in social media.
Starting with social media alone is probably a stupid idea because you don’t own the servers there. Besides, you cannot tailor your social media page to exactly reflect your brand. In the greater sense you will only be a similar business among many others.
On the other hand, owning a website will give you opportunity to publish and curate content that you have full control of and then deployed to social media. Best solution for content management and marketing actually.
Your website design does not need to be perfect at the beginning, but it needs to display exactly what your brand is all about. It enhances customer engagement.
3. SEO and marketing
Search engine optimization is very important. Don’t ever think for one second that you can survive with social media traffic alone. While social media can definitely divert traffic, search engine traffic is much more reliable if all of your pages are optimized.
Remember though that SEO is among the long-term investments that does not show any result at the onset of your online presence. There are so many things that needs to be factored in. Nonetheless, it does not mean it is not achievable.
In fact, once it starts to perform, there is no stopping it. Well there is stopping it, but you get what I mean right?
4. Social media
Social media is a powerful tool. But also understand that not all social media channels can be powerful for your kind of business. Being in every social media channel is a waste of time too.
Unless you will be working 23 hours out of 24. Do not be silly, you know you cannot do that. So stick with one channel that drives results.
- Identify your target audience demographics
- Identify which channel they are in
- Spend most of your time in these channels
Your time is better consumed by creating content for your website and generating leads than in every social media network.
5. Provide valuable timeless content
Whatever content you decide to create, it must be valuable to your target audience. Consistently provide valuable information.
I weigh timeless content heavier than timely content and would always consider it for a blog. Timeless content provides resources that can really be useful for you visitors today and the months or even years to come.
6. Measure progress
You need to always measure your progress through your analytics reports. This will make it clearer whether you are wasting your time or moving forward and getting closer to your goals.
Patience, a great deal of it
Patience is the key to success in establishing a strong online presence. Things don’t happen overnight, and is unlikely to happen over a course of a month. Depending on your type of business, it may take years before you establish a really profitable and strong online presence. This should not discourage you as an entrepreneur, in fact this is the reason why I mentioned at the beginning that you should’ve thought of your online presence prior to starting an actual business.
Even though the markets are now saturated, that shouldn’t stop you creating a dependable and strong online presence today. Invest in it and reap the rewards later on. If you think I can help in establishing your small business’s online presence today, please let me know.