What is Your Digital Presence and Digital Initiatives?
What is the Digital Presence of Your Small Business?
Your “digital presence” refers to the space that you own and how you and your small business appear to other people online. Think about your digital presence as everything you do online on behalf of your small business. Your digital strategy is simply your plan of action designed to achieve your business goals by implementing digital initiatives.
It is important to note that your digital presence includes the content on the web you control (e.g. social media profiles and websites). Yet, it also includes content online that is outside your control, such as online reviews, which could be harmful to your small business.
What Digital Initiatives are Available to Small Business Owners?
You have several digital initiatives available to you as a small business owner that you can use when designing a strategy to expand your digital presence. Some of the most important digital initiatives/elements available to small business owners include:
- Small Business Website: Your website is the face of your business and builds credibility, provides information, reaches potential consumers, and generates sales.
- Small Business Blog: Your blog keeps your target audience engaged in your business and provides useful information, promotes your business, and increases traffic.
- Social Media: Social media is used to share content, collaborate, and connect with your target audience. Also, it increases brand awareness, generates sales leads, and facilitates immediate customer feedback. Social media sites include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.
- Location Apps: A location-based application, such as Google Maps, is a valuable local marketing tool for new and established small businesses alike. In addition to directing customers to your business location, Google Maps also acts as a search engine to find your business online.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is a small business campaign tool that allows you to send personalized emails to targeted customers (people of interest). It is a very cost-effective tool for building relationships with both potential and existing and customers.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Search Engine Marketing such as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising provides paid listings that appear on the search engine results pages (SERPS) of Google, Bing, etc. PPC helps small business to gain fast brand awareness at a budgeted cost. Read our blog Search Engine Optimization (SEO) versus Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization aims to improve the ranking of your small business website on the on the search engine results pages of the search engines (SERPS). It provides your business visibility can help you get free targeted traffic from a search. Read our blog What is SEO? What is the Difference Between On- and Off-page SEO?
- Directory Listings: A directory listing can be viewed as online phonebook for your small business. There are many general and niche directory listings to choose from such as Google My Business, Bing, Angie’s List, Yellowpages.com, Yelp, SuperPages, CitySearch, Amazon Advertising, Yahoo Local, Facebook, DexKnows, Manta, Merchant Circle, and The Better Business Bureau.
- Online Reviews: Online reviews significantly affect the perceptions of your brand and the ability of your small business to attract new customers. Encourage your clients to review your business on Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc.
- Banner Advertising: Banner advertising campaigns remain popular and generate awareness, attract buyers, and help you build your brand. There are many channels to choose from when launching your ads such as social media, Google Display, Amazon, Bing Ads, Carbon Ads, and BuySell Ads. Display ads also give you the ability to appear on lower traffic websites targeted to your offerings.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is a way for a small business to sell its products/services by signing up individuals or other businesses (referred to as affiliates) that sell your offerings online for a commission. Furthermore, you can be an affiliate and sell the products of others on your website to generate extra income. You also have the option to only be an affiliate using promotions websites, email lists, and other ways to market the products of other merchants. Although affiliate marketing is easier than building your own business with products, many will contest it did not work for them.