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The world is intricately connected today and it’s only getting more connected as we progress further into 2021. Companies are releasing exciting technologies that speed up our connections. Apps are being released each week that seek to change the way we connect. And new devices are announced with the goal of being always connected and always accessible.
So what does this mean for you, a brand that’s trying to find its moment in the ever-shifting spotlight? Your digital presence needs to align not only with how people interact but also the potential for interaction. It’s a new year and consumers are ready for the next big thing. Now’s the time to announce that the next big thing is you with a quality digital presence.
What is Digital Presence?
If you’re new to the scene, the term “digital presence” might sound advanced. In the shortest terms possible, your digital presence is how you appear online. Your digital presence includes ads, social media profiles, websites, apps, and anything else you’re involved in that’s digital.
Your digital presence also includes attributes that you haven’t directly created. Online reviews, community posts on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, and other pieces of information that are created in relation to you, but not by you. This is why having a strong and positive digital presence is important because what you do publish can affect what others publish about you, and both are equally important.
Why is Digital Presence Growth Specifically Important for 2021?
We all have suffered consequences in one way or another due to the pandemic. 2020 was a strange year that led many companies straight into the ground if they didn’t have a strong digital presence or identity.
Because 2020 forced us all to refocus on what’s most important, many brands suffered. This can be boiled down to a lack of purpose leading to an inability to navigate in a world of uncertainty.
Purpose is Now a Priority in a Brand’s Digital Presence
When your brand knows its purpose, what it seeks to provide the world, they are more likely to succeed. In a study by Deloitte, 79% of consumers could recall brands that reacted positively in light of the pandemic.
There are a few things to unwrap regarding this statistic. First, a brand will most likely want to adjust its digital presence when reacting to a world event. However, the thing to note is that these brands shifted positively. This means that brands shifted their focus from profit and stakeholder interest to employee safety and community help.
Because of this refocus, brand awareness increased and consumers were more likely to at least follow these brands, if not make a purchase.
When a brand knows their purpose, they are not concerned about what they’re selling today because they can look forward into the future. The brands who adjusted their digital presence last year could see their profitable future beyond the pandemic.
What Are Some Strategies for Creating a Strong Digital Presence?
A digital presence is an identity, like putting a face to your brand. It’s how consumers view and interact with your company. Therefore, a strong digital presence is essential to stand out from the crowd and prove your relevance.
Humanizing Your Brand
As of last year, roughly 40% of data analyses involved customer experience. There are many moving parts to CX, and as of 2020 your digital presence became a factor in analyzing it. How people react when navigating your website or conversing with your FB Messenger chatbot or browsing your Instagram profile. All of this wraps up into CX, and it’s more important than ever.
Humanizing your brand by making it relatable, conversable, and relevant will improve your odds of success.
Understanding Your Audience
It makes no sense to have a product with no audience. Or worse, to have a product and market it to the wrong audience. A strong digital presence revolves around understanding your audience, marketing to them, and connecting with them.
Audience targeting should be done prior to starting your marketing strategy, and competition grows with each passing week. More effective audience targeting is being prioritized by at least 55% of marketers, and that number is rising.
Customer service is increasing in importance (as if it weren’t already a priority). With our always-online world, a strong digital presence is representative of 24/7 customer service. Even if it’s a chatbot. People want human or human-like interactions and are okay with chatting with a bot so long as a person is available when needed.
The point of customer service isn’t to always have someone on the line, it’s to be responsive and understanding of the customer’s needs. Luckily, most customers don’t need anything too complex. Chatbots are more than capable of providing tracking information, account information, and more. They can even direct customers to the appropriate human when necessary.
Prioritizing accessibility is one the best strategies to help you build a strong digital presence.
Search Engine Optimization
Reaching at least the first page of search results should always be a priority for your digital presence. It shows proof of relevance and trust in the information you provide all while increasing traffic to your site. Paid search engine advertising is helpful too, but only temporary.
When your site has great SEO, you can expect a boost in positive brand awareness. This is the key to building trust with consumers, but it takes work. SEO is a competitive area and snagging the top spot on Google won’t be easy. But when you have a great development team and content writers, the results will prove their value.
One of the most important aspects to any digital marketing strategy or strategies to improve your digital presence includes SEO.
Follow and Lead
Every brand wants to be a trendsetter, but few make it far enough to hold that title. The great part about that is trends are fleeting and will always be replaced eventually. Even so, playing the roles of both a follower and a leader when it comes to your digital presence is important.
Follow your consumers, don’t force them to come to you. If your target audience is heavy TikTok users, hop on board. If they are serious Redditors, then be there. Using the platform of your followers is especially true for startups or brands that have little digital presence.
Lead when it comes to content. From Instagram Stories to blog posts, this is your chance to show the community what you have to offer. Deliver quality content, target your audience and reel in the rewards.
A Tip for How to Achieve a Strong Digital Presence
There are many strategies, methods, and teams to help your specific brand achieve its goals. One that is true for all brands seeking to build a strong digital presence, though: the tried-and-true method of answering Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
Growing up, you probably had this hammered into your heads by teachers when reading a story. It’s for a reason. These questions should always have clear answers and help you focus your digital presence on the appropriate areas or platforms.
- Who – know who you’re talking to, who your audience is, and who you are.
- What – know what you’re providing as a brand, not as a product.
- When – the only answer to this is always, 24/7.
- Where – know what platform to use and what part of the world to market in.
- Why – have a purpose and make it relevant.
- How – know how you’re going to market by building and writing a digital presence strategy.
The Benefits of a Strong Digital Presence
There are countless benefits for having a strong digital presence and most depend on your brand. Still, there are several that any brand can expect if marketed properly.
- Increased positive brand awareness
- Better customer service
- Improved customer experience
- Simple (sometimes free) digital marketing
- Increased traffic
All of these have the potential to lead to increased profits, though that’s entirely dependent on your strategy and cost of operation.
The goal of your digital presence is to show the world that you exist, you’re relevant, and you have something that the consumer needs. With the right strategy, some trial and error, and a willingness to be inventive, you’ll reap all of those benefits listed and more.
Hive Art Media is ready to help build up a strategy to give you the best possible digital presence. We take into account trends, competitors, target audiences, online advertising, and more to create a scalable plan that’s right for you.