Regardless of your companies focus: B2B or B2C, your company image, brand, and service are displayed primarily through your online presence while ‘real world’ attributes such as a nice office and convenient location many times are secondary. That’s not to say you should ignore location and a proper business environment, but how your company exists on the internet is at least as important as all other aspects.
Your Online Presence
Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, online forums, Google Ratings, Yelp, and FourSquare: these are just the ‘major’ places your brand exists. A successful business in 2014 can’t afford to ignore most of these communities if they are interested in maintaining or growing their brand.
Here’s the ‘gotcha’: most of the communities listed above won’t add much to your bottom line. When you post on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, only a select few of your followers will act on that post, and fewer still will convert to customer status. Yet it’s vitally important that you DO stay active on these services, failure to do so will ensure your brand becomes stale and ultimately: forgotten.
An Ever Changing Mix
Do you remember MySpace? It used to be THE place to be, now it barely survives. Right now Facebook is the #1 player, yet it doesn’t actually deliver tangible results in terms of ROI. The fact is this: the Internet is, and always has been, an ever changing mix of sites and services. What is most popular and profitable today won’t necessarily be hip tomorrow.
With that being said, you still have to go where the people are. The missing link is that you should be using the services that fit your business, and use them in a way that provides the most value to you and your business. Simply posting what you had for breakfast on Twitter doesn’t do much for your brand, on the other hand, if you ONLY post about your latest sale you’re ensuring people will turn off your messages. The line between interaction and over-selling is very fine, and it’s always changing.
THE Successful Formula
So what is the best way to manage all of this madness? Should you just ignore everything and continue as you have heretofore? Maybe, but not taking the entire current internet culture into account guarantee a negative return on investment, regardless of how much time and energy you put into various platforms.
Here are the not-so-secret ways to keep your company relevant:
ONE) An accessible & responsive HOME.
Your Home on the web is your website. Regardless of whether you operate an online store or not, your site must be accessible and responsive.
Accessible means it should be up 100% of the time, riding on servers that go down periodically won’t cut it. Invest in a good provider with good software that will ensure your site is available
Responsive means your site should work on all screen sizes. Most sites I manage get 40% (or more) of their traffic from mobile phones. A site that doesn’t automatically take screen size into account is losing 40% of its effectiveness.
Zaxyn can help =)
TWO) Reach out to your community and empower advocates.
No, we’re not playing buzzword bingo. You know your community, or at least you should. Is your community online forums? Social networks? Groups & Clubs? Wherever your ‘core’ community interacts, you should be there. It can be expensive to sponsor forums, and many times the ROI doesn’t come through directly, but it’s still worth the investment.
Advocates represent your brand! If you haven’t explored advocates yet, read up on it. Having one or more advocates in each niche community helps ensure your company and/or brand is well represented, these influencers are the tip of the proverbial ‘word of mouth’ spear, and should be valued assets to your company. Empower your advocates with coupon codes, branded give-aways, and special previews of your new products or services
THREE) Organic Content.
Five years ago “Blog” was the big catchphrase. You’ve probably even started a blog, but when was the last time you posted? A Blog for ‘what’s new’ in your company is worthwhile, but doesn’t always provide much value, and it’s hard. Those are the reasons most companies start a blog and never do anything with it. So how do you get value out of your blog? Get serious about it.
A good latest news section of your site should be more than just photos of your cool new forklift. Articles that are valuable to your potential (and current) customers are essential in making your site work at 100% effectiveness.
Organic content just means great articles that will be read, linked, shared, and visited by a wider audience of Internet users. It’s not a trick to get better Search Engine Optimization (SEO), nor is it a ploy to get visitors to give you more money. Organic content on your website provides useful, relevant content to your visitors, which helps keep your website ROI on the higher end of the spectrum.
Guess what? When you produce great organic content, your SEO is enhanced. Your sales are enhanced, and your website is more effective. Are you ready to produce great content on your website?
Zaxyn can help =)
FOUR) Strategic Partnerships.
Just as you don’t ignore your competition, you should not ignore potential partners. If your business includes a dealer network, they are an amazing source of very beneficial partnerships. Take a little time to find other companies and organizations that you can partner with. Don’t join non-profits just to get your name on a sponsor list, engage with them so you can help promote their ideals while getting more exposure for your business. Partnerships with online and offline organizations are the business networking advantage for the 21st Century.
With over 20 years in the technolody and internet marketing business, Zaxyn Media is poised to help with any (or all) of these ideas for increasing the effectiveness of your online presence. Our client list is very exclusive as only very few companies have what it takes to excel in this space. See our Success Stories to learn how Zaxyn has helped other companies, then get in touch when you’re ready to talk about an amazing future.