It doesn’t matter if you’re a school, a nonprofit, a small business, or a huge corporation; it’s always worth taking the time to develop an online strategy in the modern day and age. And we’re not just talking about a few posts showing off bland pictures of your team awkwardly posing for the camera. You can save that for the company Christmas card. We’re talking about a plan that utilizes different online tools available in order to drive people — including potential customers — to your website. From blogs to social media, SEO, and more, here are some crucial tips to help increase your visibility and dominate the web with your brand’s message.
Keep It Consistent
At this point, we’ve had over a decade of social media metrics that have made it abundantly clear that it is an effective element in the online business world. While it is effective, marketers can’t simply rely on easy plug-and-play options for implementing it. If you want to stand out from your online competition, you have to be consistent with your game plan.
Consistency is a make-it-or-break-it kind of scenario when it comes to online marketing. You want to make sure that the messages your team is communicating are reliably clear and relatable to your target audience. If a social media profile has a variety of mixed messages, it can quickly do more harm than good. For example, if a celebrity steps into the limelight, says all the right things, and espouses all of the right causes, their popularity can skyrocket. If, on the other hand, they slip up or convey a confusing or even unpopular message, they could find their reputation in tatters. The point: Make sure your brand’s message is consistent and resonates with your audience.
Consistency is about more than just a message; however, the quality of your media relies not only on the words in your public statements but also the editing of your videos, the lighting of your snapshots, the resolution of your graphics, and so on. If you haven’t already, investing in video-editing software, photo-editing software, and more, will make your life much easier from the get-go.
Another important way to help create consistency is by scheduling your posts ahead of time. Using tools like HootSuite or HubSpot can help provide a steady flow of content that posts on your terms regardless of how busy your schedule is.
Some Tips for Perfecting Your Online Game
At the end of the day, there isn’t a big red button you can push in order to suddenly get the perfect online game plan. It’s an ever-evolving process that involves a balance of measuring what’s worked in the past and what’s trending now. It also involves that endless tug-of-war between satisfying your audience with high-quality content and satisfying search engines with the best SEO-formatted content possible. With that in mind, let’s look at a few of the best current online strategies out there.
1. Spread Your Social Media Eggs Into More Than One Basket
It’s always smart to diversify. It’s a truth that is as real online as anywhere else. When Facebook announced in early 2018 that they were going to divert business traffic in favor of more personal posts, it hurt a lot of company’s sites, as they were heavily dependent on the traffic they were getting from that one, single media platform. It’s a perfect example of why it’s never wise to rely on one social media outlet entirely just because it’s working for you at the moment.
Try to establish a presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. You’ll also want to consider your options regarding video, image, or plain text content. Does your business tend to work with one better than the others or can you implement a combination of the three? The latter is preferable, as each social media platform tends to have a different strength. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are image heavy; Facebook loves videos these days; Twitter is still a text lover’s paradise.
From one end to the other, though, the important thing to remember here is that diversification is the name of the game.
If you’re still new to the corporate social media world, you can find some additional helpful information regarding connecting your social media profiles right into your website here, as well as some extra tips we’ve pulled together on how to convert that social media buzz into website traffic.
2. Create a Community: Listen, Respond and Engage
Keep in mind that one of the goals of a company’s social media efforts is to create a community of followers that feel valued. This is largely done by using that age-old maxim to spend more time listening than talking. Use your social accounts not just as a spot to post your own content but also as a place to listen to and respond to questions and generally engage with your community. Nothing sends a positive message like a timely response to a post.
3. Build That Blog
Whether you’re a fledgling startup, a small business struggling through growing pains, or a well-established company, it’s never too late to start a company blog. Curating a collection of articles on your site can be the perfect way to proactively answer customers’ questions and provide them with meaningful content. It is also an invaluable way to populate your website with keywords pertaining to your particular business.
4. Become the Authority
More and more people are turning online for answers. And we’re not just talking about amateur things like asking Alexa how many cups are in a gallon. The world is increasingly looking online for important information. Science, math, and politics have all become significantly influenced by their internet-driven content. Even healthcare has quickly become a largely online affair. That’s why establishing your brand as an authority on the internet is a perfect way to get online traction. If you can find a way to stand out from the noise as a source of genuine, valuable information, it can be a huge boon to your online efforts that can generate a boatload of organic traffic.
5. Use Influencers
It’s important to realize that you don’t need to shy away from another’s popularity in the online world. Not everyone who succeeds in your niche is a competitor. In fact, particularly if their success is complementary to the products or services you offer, a well-known online personality that has the ability to encourage and influence potential buyers (known as an influencer) can often be the perfect candidate to become an ambassador for your brand. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out with a friendly hello, and from there the relationship is off to the races. And we’re not just talking about influencers with millions of followers, either. Micro-influencers are also becoming more and more integral in many company’s strategic online blueprints.
Don’t Rest on Your Laurels
Finally, if you think you’ve got your whole online presence figured out, think again. The online world is always evolving. Not just the tools we use, either, but the expectations of the audience. Millennials have different expectations than Gen Xers who in their turn have varying tastes and interests from the baby boomers that came before them. Be sensitive to everyone as much as possible. Remember, this isn’t your personal Facebook feed we’re talking about here. Maintaining an ability to adapt is key. Always be on the lookout for any improvement you might make to your brand’s online message, diversify your efforts, and make sure to always prioritize listening and engaging with your audience. If you can do those things consistently, it shouldn’t be long before the traffic starts rolling in.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.