Imagine this: you’re driving down the street, let’s say on a motorcycle. You have a helmet on and a phone stuck to the side of your cheek. You pop a wheelie and hold your hand up to the phone to demonstrate your telecommunications company’s campaign: Anytime, anywhere. People are looking at you. It is obvious they are paying attention, but did the campaign work? You sit by the phone, and wait for the calls. Did anyone even see the ad? How can you tell if this is impacting your bottom line?
This story is a fond memory from our CEO, Andrew Westlund. Before online marketing, he would go to extreme measures in an attempt to ensure his campaigns were heard loud and clear. However, in the days of strictly offline advertising, it was hard to track measurable results. These days 8 out of 10 small to medium-sized businesses use social media to drive growth. Whether your business is big or small, an online presence will directly impact the success of your company. Here are 6 of the top reasons why your business should be online.
1. It builds authenticity and trust.
53% of Americans who follow brands on social are more likely to stick with them. Social media allows you to be real with your customers and show them behind the scenes of your company — a side which doesn’t come across in a newspaper ad or sales meeting.
2. It offers support for word-of-mouth referrals.
Let’s say one of your clients refers you to one of their friends. They go to look you up on Google, yet the search comes up blank. Instead, they find a company similar to yours with a cool website and social media presence. More often than not, they’ll end up contacting those who have an online presence. In fact, companies with no website or social media end up losing business to their competitors. Online branding can offer your company solidarity to back up the awesome referrals they hear through word of mouth.
3. It allows control over your brand.
First impressions matter, even online. A solid online identity gives your company a voice. You can portray your vibe across your website, video, and social — whether you want to be professional, confident, or cool. When you set up your own website and social media platforms you can control the messaging, voice, and tone of your online identity. So when that friend of your client finds you on Google, you know exactly what they’re seeing.
4. It encourages engagement with potential and current customers.
Establishing a solid relationship with clients through comments and engagement keeps your business in the back of their mind. With social media, your business can connect with customers in ways that traditional marketing can’t.
5. It enables you to share your expertise.
The online world is a perfect platform for sharing your knowledge with viewers. The people who work at your company are experts in their fields and spend their days learning more about what they do. Whether it’s construction, accounting, or even gardening, the online world enables you to share your knowledge on multiple platforms — your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Offering this expertise to your current and potential customers allows them to understand more about what you do and to see the value in it. It also creates a bond with your brand — customers know that your platforms are the place to go when they have questions about your industry.
6. It’s perfect for specific demographic targeting.
The leading difference between digital and traditional advertising is the ability to control who you’re advertising to. You can run targeted ads on social media platforms and see exactly who is viewing them, clicking on them, and eventually buying your products or services. Through Facebook you can target a user through friend lists, interests, location, and age. You can then see how well the ad is performing and adjust according to the results. Instead of broadcasting your message to a large audience of people who aren’t interested in your product or service, you can target your specific customers. No more sitting at the office waiting for the phone to ring — with digital ads you also know if your campaign is working or not.
As modern society is becoming overwhelmingly digital, it’s important for your company — no matter the size or industry — to have an online presence. Whether you’re flying through the air on a motorcycle, advertising in the newspaper, or pinning up flyers around the neighbourhood, the results aren’t trackable like they are with digital platforms. Give your business the benefit of a strong and engaging online presence. Your customers and your bottom line will thank you.