Like everything else in this era, running a business is more complicated than it used to be. Not only do you need to create your product or service and figure out how to get it to people but you’re interfacing with these people in a ton of relatively new ways. The following will explore one vital modality for connecting with your customer base: developing a digital presence for your business. In particular, it will focus on why a digital presence is so essential for a thriving business.
What Is Digital Presence?
Your digital presence is the aspects of you and your work (and your employees’ work) that potential customers can access digitally; it’s the part of your business that you have online or on social media platforms and applications.
Given how quickly most people can access the internet, it’s become a simple, easy check for pretty much any problem a person has. Broke your toaster? Look up how to fix it. Does your dog keep making a particular motion? Look up whether that’s normal or something to be worried about. You can bet that whoever your ideal customers are, they will be scouring the internet for ways to solve their problems. Since your product or service can solve at least one of these problems, if you’re online and relatively easy to find, new customers will stumble across you.
You might be thinking: yeah, but how is digital exposure any different from in-person exposure or traditional marketing exposure? The internet, while a wild and often crazy place, is a place where pretty much everyone can access the same things. This means digital exposure includes people from all over the world, people in income brackets you’re not used to, and people who you’d never otherwise interact with. The internet doesn’t just double the number of people your work is exposed to; it can multiply it several times over.
Not only are people quick to look things up online when they encounter an issue or question, but they’re also quick to turn to the internet for verification. A professional-looking website and a social account or two with a decent number of followers have become the standard for: Is this a real business or it is a scam? searchers. Your online presence is a legitimizing force, providing those researching your business with the evidence they need to begin building a trusting relationship with you and your work. 56% of shoppers who are in the store—at a physical location—will use their smartphones to research a product or service before making a purchase. People have come to rely on the quick checks the internet allows them to have.
Digital Marketing Opportunities
Above, we discussed how a digital presence allows people to find your business. It’s also important to talk about how it helps your business find its people. A digital presence is a key component of digital marketing; it allows you to create online advertisements and lead people who, having seen the advertisement, are interested in making a purchase directly to your work. Digital ads don’t work as well when there’s no link people can click to see your work.
This point is particularly poignant for those who run a business that allows them to take on only so many clients; businesses that involve collaborative, artistic projects are a prime example. If you run, let’s say, a graphic design company, you can only take on so many clients before you discover you don’t have the time to complete all the projects you agreed to within the time frame you decided on originally. Digital marketing allows you to target your dream clients; the ones who will pay you well over a long period of time and find them.
A digital presence can also work wonders when it comes to internal aspects of business growth. If you’re looking to expand, you’re going to need help, and an online presence can dramatically improve your experience of hiring new staff. Not only is it possible to attract stellar employees organically, but those flipping through job postings will often take the time to research the companies they’re considering applying to before submitting their application. A digital presence can encourage highly skilled people to apply to work with you as, again, it verifies your legitimacy. It makes your business seem stable and worth working at.
With the above information in mind, it should be clear that a digital presence can be a major boon to your business. Of course, not all platforms and digital presence approaches to suit all forms of work. Be sure to figure out where your target demographic hangs out online before you begin building your online presence.