In March 2020, the world entered lockdowns forcing many businesses to temporarily shut down and incur losses, but those of who already had an online presence or quickly adapted to the move online using digital marketing, were able to survive and even thrive.
Since consumers are now staying home much of the time, traditional shopping becomes difficult, or even scary, making people inclined to shop online.
In 2021, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.891 trillion. This marks an increase of 14.3 percent from the previous year as the global ecommerce market continues to grow year after year.
Online shopping and its advantages won’t disappear overnight when businesses fully open & this is why it’s the ideal time to start or strengthen your e-commerce efforts with some digital marketing strategies.
What is an online presence and how can we increase it using Digital Marketing?
Having an online presence is essential when it comes to building your brand, reaching your customers, increasing your credibility and managing your reputation.
A business’s online presence can be described by how easy it is to find the business when searching for relevant keywords online, or when a customer wants to find out more about your brand, products and services.
Luckily there are simple tactics that you can use to build your online presence.
1. Brand Story
It is important to connect with your target audience and form a distinct image in the mind of your customers.
Telling your brand story is a brilliant and effective way to achieve that. Who are you? What are you about? Why did you start the business?
These are important questions to answer and then reflect back in your business coherently from the images, fonts, colors used throughout your business; these variables all add up to a feeling/mental image in the mind of your intended customer & make your memorable.
“81% of people search online for a product or service.”
People have short attention spans, so if your website is unattractive, slow or confusing to use, they’re going to leave and check out your competition.
Mobile optimization is also important too. Google will put your website down the search results if it isn’t optimized for mobile.
Keywords are hugely important for SERP rankings (Search Engine Results Pages) so do deep keyword research before creating your website content then Incorporate them into all your website landing pages, titles, meta descriptions, etc.
3. Local Search Marketing
Search marketing is about putting your business on the map in local searches when customers are searching for a business like yours.
This is especially important with the pandemic as people are more likely to shop locally as per the reports from pollinate.co.uk.
This is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of digital marketing that you can invest in & provides a great opportunity to connect with customers new & old.
Here are some social media marketing tips to get you started:
- Select the right platforms where your target customers are active as different platforms have different age/economic demographics.
- Find your brand voice and stick to it coherently on social media just like in your physical and online shop.
- Be consistent in posting social media content at the times of the day with the most engagement.
- Use eye-catching memorable visuals to attract attention.
- Use tactics that drive social media traffic to your website such as giveaways and events.
- Use popular and relevant hashtags to reach more people.
5. Invest in ads
Organic traffic can take some time to build but PPC ads that target buyers with specific intentions are a great investment for small business to increase awareness or drive traffic to their website.
Google Ads are good when you know that your target audience is searching the web for your product already, but If they aren’t, social media ads are probably the best option to start building interest in your business.
It’s been around so long it might feel stale and not worth your time but this isn’t true at all.
Capturing people’s email when they’re on your website by offering discounts, competitions & newsletters of new products can help bring back a lost shopping cart and create great relationships with your customers if you can personalize and make your email marketing campaign memorable.
7. Build your reputation, Be engaging
It’s massively important to be responsive and engaging to your customers when they have a question or complaint that needs answering.
Featuring & encouraging reviews on your website or social media channels builds trust in your brand. A large majority of customers will search for a review on your product before they make a purchase.
The covid-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on businesses both online and in-store. New trends have both emerged and are still emerging but it’s probably safe to say that e-commerce is still going to be a huge and even bigger player in a post-covid world.
As in business and in life it’s best to adapt and evolve with the times to live with the new normal.
I’m an intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™. Originally from Ireland, I recently started creating content for business. When I am away from my desk, you’ll probably find me listening to music, reading, or at the gym. LinkedIn: shane mccarthy