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5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Brand's Online Presence

Gone are the days when a business could succeed on foot traffic alone. Now 63% of consumers look up product information online before purchasing. If your company isn’t online, how will people know about your product or service?

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), having an online presence is essential. What a potential client finds (or doesn’t find) on your company online, will ultimately affect whether they decide to do business with you.

Here are a few ways to effectively grow your brand’s online presence.

1. Establish Yourself as a Thought-Leader With Blogging: Blogging is a great tool for SMBs to demonstrate expertise in their given field. Focus on establishing yourself as a thought-leader with relevant content people can’t find anywhere else, much like The Sales Lion did. By sharing your experiences and insight, you’re connecting with your target audience and building trust.

Remember, to create trust, steer clear of blogging about your company and products. The key is not to sell your business, but instead sell your knowledge. People don’t care about your products, but they do care about themselves.

And don’t be shy when it comes to guest posts. Providing relevant content for publishers will help you gain additional exposure for your brand, too.
5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Brand's Online Presence
2. Boost Your Search Ranking With SEO: The higher up you are on a search engine result page (SERP), the more eyes that will see your business.To boost your search ranking, be sure to:

a. Conduct Keyword Research. Determine which keywords will help your brand rank higher on SERPs. There are lots of tools that can help you find the best keywords for your site.

b. Use Link Building. Achieve a higher ranking in search engines by getting legitimate and authoritative sites to build backlinks to yours.

c. Integrate Social Media. Share your blog articles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. As people like and share your posts, you’ll increase brand awareness.

d. Optimize for Multiple Channels/Platforms. Make sure you’re optimizing for mobile, tablet, and desktop users. And keep your keyword strategy consistent across social, email, and other forms of advertising.

e. Create Great Content. Produce relevant content people have a need for. Content should include keywords and links to help rank higher.

f. Analyze Your Performance. Track analytics for views, user engagement, leads and conversions, and keyword rankings and positions. By paying attention to your analytics, you can see what is and isn’t working, and eliminate or fix problem areas.

3. Have an Active Presence on Social Media: Social media is a great tool for building your online presence. With just one tweet, you have the potential to reach millions of consumers.

One of the many benefits of social media is the ability to create a community of followers who’ll vouch for your brand. Let’s say you’re a boutique. Ask your customers to post their #OOTD (outfit of the day) on Instagram and tag your boutique like Nicole J Boutique does.

Having your followers share photos and stories related to your brand, will show others how great your brand is, without you having to say anything. And should a customer have a question about a particular item, social is a great platform to communicate on, too.

4. Monitor (and Respond) to Others’ Feedback:
Customer reviews have the ability to both positively grow your brand’s online presence, and to negatively hinder it. What a customer says -- good or bad -- always has the potential to go viral.

Here, a customer shared her opinion about a cafe’s lack of electrical outlets. Clearly, she is peeved

Instead of responding to the customer’s concern in a professional manner, Dark Horse Espresso’s tweet was filled to the brim with sarcasm. Uh oh.

88% of customers read the reviews posted for a business in order to determine quality, and 72% are influenced enough by what they read to determine their actions. So, when responding to both positive and negative comments, always remain professional.

When you interact with a customer, you want them to know you care about their opinions - both good and bad. While you might not be able to rectify the situation, at least you can show you’ve acknowledged their issue in a compassionate way.

It’s also best to respond to comments within a 24-hour window. Keep tabs on what’s being said about your company in real-time, by using tools like Google Alerts and Mention.
5. Build Brand Awareness With Mobile Video: 52% of all mobile traffic is video. Using mobile videos to help boost your brand awareness is a no brainer. Plus, video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. Create a video that resonates with your audience, and you’ll compel them to share your video.

A couple of months ago Burger King shared an Instagram video asking their American Sign Language followers to create a sign for the Whopper. Individuals used #whoppersign to submit their suggestions via Twitter.

Here, Burger King tapped into two hot social sharing platforms, and got more than 26,000 views and almost 300 comments.

Take a cue from Burger King and consider incorporating mobile video to increase your brand recognition.

Conclusion: Your online presence influences potential customers, possible business partners, other bloggers, and future employees. By employing these tips (blogging, monitoring, interacting), you’ll be setting the foundation for healthy online growth.

Jamie Chaffin is a junior Media Communication student at Wilmington University. She is eZanga’s summer Content Marketing Intern. In her spare time, you can find her scrolling through Instagram and Twitter, transfixed in new movies (trying to pick the next Oscar winners), playing with her new puppy, reading a good book, or taking acting classes when she can.
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