This is an article “Common Mistakes Companies Make That Hurt Their Online Presence” by Marc Primo Warren
Building your online presence is like constructing a house – you lay one brick at a time until it becomes inhabitable enough to welcome guests and entertain them in the comfort of your abode. With an appreciation for nice furniture and an eye for good interior design, playing the role of ‘host with the most’ to your guests becomes intuitive, which may typically earn you compliments for the work you put in. However, if you don’t maintain your home’s cleanliness and aesthetics, there’s no point in having guests over if your lack of effort in this endeavor makes them uncomfortable and reluctant to accept future invitations.
With today’s brand of digital marketing, being able to handle all the demands of its many facets is crucial to your online presence. Not knowing these demands will only make the whole process a futile initiative, leading you and your target audience to a dead end.
Why should I focus on online presence?
During the early days of the internet, establishing one’s online presence was much easier. All it took back then was a functioning website and some up-to-date social media profiles that keep target audiences coming back for more. These days, companies have to deal with multiple tools, experts, and various digital marketing strategies that you can’t just mix and match to attain desired results.
Knowing which elements would boost your online presence means aligning all your channels and communicating with the right audiences to achieve business growth. 50% of online users who search for a store nearby using their mobile phones visit the physical store the next day, while 18% of local mobile searches end up in conversions.
However, an effective lead generation strategy has its downturns as well. There will be challenges along the way, which may include your system’s inability to handle the volume of users that visit your website. Typically, this could be a result of limited channels or inefficient customer service that turns potential customers away.
Addressing how your brand looks in the vast digital space or vanity metrics is the first thing you should focus on to drive growth. Establishing actionable communication channels is second. Your websites, blogs, mailers, and social media posts, all matters when generating worthy leads. You will have to meticulously plan ahead and aim well to ensure positive user experiences so that your brand eventually benefits with a better online reputation.
The simple fact is that all businesses that create an account online or promote their products and services on the internet will always have a strong presence with netizens. Whether it is a positive or negative one depends on how well you plan and improve those channels.
To avoid the wrong kind of online presence, let’s review what most businesses fail to do when carrying out their digital marketing strategies.
Gone are the days when all you had to do was populate your website with relevant information and articles to spotlight your brand. These days, you’ll have to review your analytics and determine which topics you should tackle to gain online traffic.
What many businesses miss out on with this opportunity is the lack of foresight to optimize their websites so that they do not go offline, lag behind search lists, and turn off visitors with low site speeds or uninteresting content. When these types of unfortunate user experiences occur on your website, a damaged brand reputation will take a much longer time to rebuild that the nanosecond it took to ruin it.
With that thought, focusing your efforts on providing a good user experience via on and off-page SEO, promotional offers, and impeccable customer service can immediately boost your online presence. Using faceted search for voluminous listings can help manage your leads, and offering them engaging content they can enjoy will encourage them to keep your website bookmarked.
Businesses that fail in boosting their online presence should also review all their customer contact points and the formats they post on the various channels. For example, when initiating audience communication via social media, you’d want to develop the correct ad formats that work for your selected platform.
According to Meta’s resource on creative strategy, single videos work well on Facebook and Instagram Stories and the platform’s Audience Network. In contrast, interstitial ads and banners work best if you are going for a better user experience when posted on apps or websites.
Without adequately planning and determining the right communication assets for your online channels, your brand will spontaneously disconnect from its target audience. Worse, it might get labeled as unwanted noise by users.
As mentioned earlier, all of your marketing channels should always be aligned, no matter what. Whether they be your messaging, ad assets, or community management, consistency with your brand statements and reputation is always a must, regardless of channel and audience.
Failure to deal with a brand crisis
Practicing digital marketing today when consumers have become smarter because of disruptions caused by the pandemic means that brands need to establish two-way communication. Most operational crises blow up on social media when businesses fail to explain their side of the story and allow negative feedback to make a dent in their brand reputation and online presence.
The most important thing for businesses to uphold their online reputation is to get audiences more engaged with the brand via better relationships. Again, this entails close monitoring of what is being said on your multiple channels so that you can address every criticism or complaint at the right time.
In public relations, addressing a major crisis via a holding statement should come within an hour of the first signs of trouble. The same thing should apply to your online communication. Of course, haters will always be haters, but being straightforward and transparent with your followers will do more good versus leaving everyone in the dark.
Come up with concise responses that explain your position clearly. Train your community managers and customer service agents thoroughly on how to handle negative responses, and provide an estimated timeframe as to when your system will be up and running again. This way, your audience will appreciate your transparency and feel reassured knowing that you’re on top of the problem.