How effectively does your online presence promote your business? When did you last take a critical look at how your company operates online? Why aren’t your social media accounts growing?
Working as a digital marketing consultant, I have seen business owners not taking online branding seriously. Some comments I have heard over the years:
“My stepson manages all that and he’s away travelling right now.”
“Nobody really finds us online anyway.”
“We get all of our work through word of mouth!”
Whilst I can appreciate that some business owners just wanted to get on with their day, their responses illuminated an underlying problem. Many businesses are so caught up in their day-to-day work that their online marketing is neglected.
A solid, consistent online face for your company can help you to reach a brand new audience who have never heard of you before. Here are a few things to bear in mind if you want to give your online profile a serious boost.
Update Your Website
As the internet continues to develop and evolve, your website needs to change with the times. For example, it is now essential that your website is mobile friendly whereas 10 years ago this was a totally alien concept to most businesses. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if it isn’t regularly updated in line with current standards, you will be left behind by your more proactive competitors.
Take the time to critically evaluate the effectiveness of your homepage. Do new visitors immediately understand what you do? Are there clear calls-to-action encouraging people to engage with the website? Try to put yourself in the position of a first-time visitor to the site and get rid of everything that doesn’t improve the end-user experience. You often have fractions of a second to showcase your credibility so the quality of your homepage is incredibly important.
Simplify Your Branding
Never underestimate the power of a good first impression. Your company logo, its colours, and the fonts you use all contribute to the image you want to convey to new viewers. Remember to keep things simple and clean. Take a look at how Google’s logo has changed over time and you will notice that legibility and clarity have been prioritised over visual complexity. You don’t win any prizes for having a logo that is more detailed than your competitors so don’t be afraid to strip things back.
In practical terms, you are going to need variants of your company logo that are designed to fill different roles. Facebook and Twitter profile pictures will need to be clear and legible when compressed into a small circle whereas website assets or social media banners can take up significantly more space and feature more information. A good graphic designer will be able to provide you with correctly proportioned assets to use across social media so it’s worth making sure that these assets are part of any external branding package you are considering.
Respect Social Media
While your ranking on Google is undoubtedly important, it is vital that your business does not neglect its social media accounts. It’s not enough to simply set up a Facebook business page, post your website address, and leave it to gather dust. An active social media presence can attract new business and also encourage repeat traffic from existing customers.
Take the time to establish a degree of consistency with your social media and ensure that details are accurate and up to date. Try to create new posts at least once a week and determine which social media are getting the most engagement from your target audience. Some companies do best on Twitter whereas others will have more luck with Instagram and Facebook. Each individual case is different and you won’t know what works best for you until you experiment with different strategies.
There are plenty of businesses that make more money through their social media accounts than they do through their websites. The key is staying active. Even if you work exclusively on a business-to-business basis, your clients will still have personal social media accounts. Once they’re following you, any updates you post are far more likely to reach the right pair of eyes. Getting your name and brand in front of the right people on a regular basis is a great way to generate repeat business.
Building and maintaining a strong online presence is neither easy nor simple but the results will speak for themselves. If you want to experience growth online and attract a whole new audience to your business, you need to constantly evaluate and develop your online brand. If you don’t keep up with the competition, don’t be surprised if you get left behind.
David Reeson is a University of Leeds graduate currently working as a digital marketing intern at TidyChoice. He has years of experience as an account manager supporting the online growth of small to medium sized businesses. David writes extensively about marketing, technology and the digital home services sector.
TidyChoice is a a platform for domestic cleaning services in London where you can book a cleaner in London through the website, https://www.tidychoice.com/.