How to Build an Online Presence for Your Local Business
Building An Online Presence For Your Local Business In 7 Steps
Small businesses are finding unexpected success in the online world lately. But, what is it that makes them successful?
In past one year, the world has turned on its face. Everything we knew about businesses and their projected path has been turned upside-down. Not only that, many new and small businesses have found relative success. Bearing in mind that some experts pegged small businesses in the category of being “most at risk” by June of 2020. But that is a topic for another time.
For now, we are going to look at the ways these businesses thrive in a world affected by a pandemic. Which is the usage of online means to build recognition. Now, there are many methods and tactics in online marketing such as social media, blogging, SEO etc. So, how do you know which one is for you? The answer is not as simple as you would like it to be. So, let us have an in-depth look at 8 ways you can understand how to build an online presence for your local business.
1. Research Your Audience
One of the initial and perhaps the most important step is to understand your audience. Businesses who get to sit in the minds of their audience are the ones that thrive the most in the online world. Not only because they understand the problems that their potential consumers face each day, but they also understand the type of content they wish to see. While we will talk about content creation a bit later, for now, let us understand the importance of understanding the audience.
Experts claim that understanding the audience and creating customer personas helps tailor the marketing model and content accordingly. In other words, it helps not only save the hassle of trying a lot of means, but a targeted approach also tends to yield bigger results. Which is why it is important to understand a few things about your audience:
- Their demographics, age, occupation etc.
- Behaviours such as buyer patterns & preferences
- Feedback on existing & similar products or services
- Untapped areas of their requirements
2. Make A Strategy
The first real step you take towards your online marketing ventures is making a strategy. Not only does this save you from a lot of unnecessary trouble, but a targeted approach also helps you save a lot of means. Including investments in marketing, or trying tactics that are not meant to be for your sort of business. So, since we understand the importance of researching the audience, this time you need to understand the sort of marketing that works best for you. Then, what will this strategy feature?
It will mainly deal with your approach towards your audience and building an outreach. One of the primary benefits of making a strategy is that it helps you understand your progress, your goals and track your growth as you proceed. Which is why you are going to need a strategy that helps you with a few things, such as:
- Market and audience research
- The right platforms to use
- Customer personas
- Content calendar (if needed)
3. Make A Website
Small businesses in the online world thrive based on one thing: their understanding of the tools available at hand. None perform better than a dedicated website with all the proper elements of an enterprise serious about their business. According to Forbes, an enterprise without a website risks losing a lot of business in the online world. In other words, your website is your one-stop-shop for your target audience. You need it not only for them to find you on search engines, but also for a variety of benefits, including:
- Lasting impression on potential customers
- Categorized products & services make for easy findings
- A good website helps with better SEO
- Attractive UI & content increases retention, and subsequently, conversions
- Preferred option to shop in the times of a pandemic
So, to expound a bit on that last point, Covid-19 halted many brick and mortar stores and stopped them in their tracks. While they might be struggling, the online world has seen a significant increase in sales. Which is why you need a website to provide your target audience with viable means to reach you.
4. Making A Wiki Page
While this one might seem a bit out of order, but it works unlike anything else. Wikipedia is one of the largest, and perhaps the most renowned platforms on the internet today. So, making a presence on it comes with its perks. Such as sustainable recognition, brand credibility, high SEO domain and a certain edge over the competition.
5. Establish Yourself On Social Media
Social media networks have become more than just a pastime or an online platform where students once gathered. They are now the primary source of income for many businesses and help countless others with their marketing needs. Moreover, social media networks provide healthy and viable means to stay connected with an audience. So, using social media networks should be one of your priorities. Why is that? Because not only will it help you connect with your audience, it will also help establish your online presence. As many social media networks provide a variety of means to businesses such as:
- Viable platforms for visual content
- Interactive content yields results
- Better feedback and communication
- Direct content with your customers
- The best option for case studies and success stories
6. Employ Content Marketing Elements
While most of the elements we talked about so far belong in content marketing, one certain element separates it from the rest. What exactly is that? Content marketing relies on a certain 80\20 approach. In other words, the eighty deals with communicating, educating and connecting with the audience, whereas the 20 deals with promotion, advertisement etcetera. So, your content does not only need to be attractive, it also needs to educate your audience about your particular niche.
7. Employ Unorthodox Tactics
Traditional elements of online marketing such as a website, email marketing etc. work flawlessly. Yet, there are a plethora of unorthodox methods that lead the way for many businesses today. To keep it short, here are a few of them:
- Meme marketing to add a certain “funny” edge to your content
- Podcasts and streaming for better connectivity
- Success stories and case studies
While many will not hail these methods as “unorthodox,” they are highly unconventional in the light of some of the more traditional online marketing method. The point is, they help new and small businesses take an edge and establish a feasible online presence.
What does it take to build a website?
You need thorough development skills to make a website. However, it usually takes just a good idea, skills in web development, viable design and attractive content.
Does Wikipedia really work for marketing?
Yes, it does. While Wikipedia itself does not endorse it in any way, the usage of Wikipedia for marketing is becoming highly common lately.
Is it important to make customer personas?
You need your content and your online presence to reach your ideal customers, so yes it is important to make customer personas. You need to divide them by demographics, behaviours and preferred sort of content.