marketing+sales: 5 Keys to Building and Maintaining a Powerful Online Presence
In the past, an online presence was a luxury for businesses. But as society's attention has shifted to the digital arena, it has become a necessity. A carefully crafted website and fully operational social-media profiles can lay the framework for business success, whereas disorder and dysfunction can lead to outright failure.
The continuously evolving nature of the online world may appear daunting at first glance, but the good news is that today's technology makes it easier than ever for a business to create and maintain a stout Internet presence. While getting up-and-running seems simple enough, there's still a lot of work that goes into creating an appealing and engaging personal brand online. Here are five key components to building and maintaining a powerful online presence:
1. Your website should be branded, interactive and engaging. It's not enough for a business website today to simply contain a list of information, a description of goods and services, and contact information. An effective website must be engaging and compelling, and maintain the viewer's attention to the point that they want to pick up the phone and find out more. That means understanding your target market enough to hook them—and it means creating a site that echoes your expertise and the brand you are creating.
When designing a top-flight company website—or consulting with a third-party that will handle the technical design aspects—you should make sure you're keenly in-tune with your desired audience and customer-base. If there is disparity between your business goals and what you're hoping to promote, it will reflect on your website.
2. Demonstrate value. If your website, blogs, articles and social media outlets don't provide tangible value to your audience, they will be ignored. Use these platforms to share breaking news, analyze recent developments, and provide informational and practical tips to your audience. Update on a regular and consistent basis with new and exciting content that proves beneficial to your online readership.
3. Leverage email marketing. Social media is a great way to engage your audience—but it only works when they're online and using social media themselves. Email marketing, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to consistently interact with your customers and your market any time they check their email inbox. Remember to focus on providing value in order to keep your readers engaged—if email marketing is overused, it will be treated as spam. Keep your newsletters and e-updates to a monthly basis to maintain your maximum open-rate and subscriber base.
4. Toss in a freebie to gain subscribers. Email marketing keeps your business top-of-mind with customers and keeps the market aware of what you're offering. But if you don't have any email addresses to send to, what does it matter? One of the most effective ways to build a targeted email list is by offering free content, such as e-books, special reports or video seminars. Simply require that users give you their email address in order to access the content. Promote these freebies on your website and through social media, and you will see your email list start to grow steadily.
5. Use pictures and video to tell your story. You know the saying—a picture is worth a thousand words. A video is even more powerful. The simple truth is that pictures and video are far more engaging than pages and pages of text. Create a video introducing yourself and welcoming people to your site. Share pictures and video of your team at work. Post pictures of your latest products. Take advantage of visual media to keep your audience engaged.
Your online presence is one of the cornerstones of your business, and it should be treated as such. Guarantee that your website, social media platforms and email lists are vibrant, functional and continually updated with the latest information, tailored to your target audience.
By Nick Nanton
Nick Nanton Esq. is an Emmy Award-winning director and producer, and CEO of The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency. As America's No. 1 business agent and international speaker and consultant, he has refined the area of personal branding, direct media, marketing and PR for business growth. His new book, "StorySelling," details the persuasive value of story in business and entrepreneurism, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve success in marketing through storytelling and media. For more information, or to book Nanton for a speaking engagement, visit www.DNAgency.com, email info@DNAgency.com or call (888) 364-8101.