What’s the big deal about having an ‘online presence’?

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Ever since the first entrepreneur decided to set up shop and start selling their goods and services they have used marketing and branding techniques to familiarise the public with who they were and what they had to offer. The more the public knew about what they had to offer the more sales they made and more success they had.

What most entrepreneurs quickly found was that if they built and nurtured a ‘presence’ in their particular community, town or city, it went a long way to helping drive new customers to their door. This presence could be bolstered by signage and billboards, radio spots and TV commercials as well as community events like fundraisers.

All of these marketing activities (along with providing excellent products and quality service of course) could be used to create a general feeling of good will and a high affinity for a company among the consumers in their marketplace. This was soon called creating a presence in the community and was something that every business owner endeavored to do. Those that did tended to prosper and vice versa.

Today, while a physical, real-world presence like this is still very valuable, online commerce has become so popular and so pervasive that the focus of marketing for many businesses has now switched to their online presence.

The fact is, whether you’re a startup with one employee (you) or a multinational corporation, an online presence is not just important but absolutely necessary in order to communicate, engage and convert potential consumers to buyers, millions of whom are online every single day.

Indeed, today a vast amount of people literally spend their lives online, communicating, searching and shopping. A business that doesn’t have a clear, concise and well planned out online presence is missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with the public, show off their best side and increase sales.

An online presence includes a website first and foremost. This is the online shop where people will visit when they need your help and expertise with whatever your specialty or industry happens to be. Just as Kevin Costner was told in Field Of Dreams, “if you build a fantastic website, they will come.” All kidding aside, if you look at any successful business you will no doubt find that they have an amazing website.

Your online presence will also be bolstered by your social media pages.  Your company can use them to engage with customers, give them valuable and free information, answer their enquiries with valuable facts and do things that make them feel special. If you do, you’ll soon become the ‘experts’ online and find that people seek you out when they have need of your specific product or services.

Then of course there are online directories that give consumers easy access to your vital business information, allowing them to quickly see what you have to offer and contact you if necessary.

At the end of the day your online presence is similar to all of the other marketing and branding efforts that you have made in the past and should be incorporated into the marketing and branding plans that you are already using.

When you consider that the Internet works like a billboard in your town except that everyone on the planet who owns a computer can see it, you start to get an idea of what an online presence can mean for your company.

We’re Markadept and we help business owners find solutions to their online marketing difficulties.  If you have any questions or are looking for some advice about how to bolster your online presence, please give us a call on 0330 321 0445 or drop us an email; [email protected] and we’ll give you a call to discuss your requirements.