The internet is where the world comes together, and where brands, from small local businesses to digital titans like Google and Facebook, fight for the attention of users. The opportunity to build brand awareness is huge, but so too is the challenge of doing so.
In this article we’ll take a look at the basics of building your online presence: the strategies that have been proven to increase your visibility, and how you might implement them in your business.
Are you ready to get your brand in front of more eyes than ever before? The following eight techniques are a great place to start.
Build a website
In order to increase brand visibility you first need to give potential customers something to look at. That ‘something’ could be a social media account, a Youtube channel or a Google Business Profile, but the most important asset, and the one that all others should link back to, is a website.
A website is a necessity for every modern business, no matter the size, shape or industry. If your organisation is serious about visibility, it’s the bare minimum that you should aim to attain – a priority over everything else, including social media, business directories and more.
A quality website capable of driving visibility will be:
- Quick to load
- Simple to navigate (both for users and search engines)
- Mobile friendly
While DIY website building tools mean that almost anyone can create their own website, that doesn’t mean that anyone should. There’s far more to website construction than meets the eye, so if you want make your business as visible as possible, it’s wise to get help from website building professionals like Traction.
Optimise your website (SEO)
To simply have a website is not enough. In order to get your brand, product or service in front of your target audience, you need to get on Google’s good side.
When was the last time you typed a complete URL into the address bar of your browser? For most of us it will have been quite some time, because it’s easier to quickly type a few characters into Google, press enter, and have the correct website served up in an instant. Search engines can therefore be thought of as the gatekeepers of the internet – the overwhelming majority of web traffic runs through them.
This is particularly the case for Google, which commands a search engine market share of well over 90% and facilitates almost 10 billion searches per day. What’s more, up to 95% of web traffic goes to sites on the first page of Google, and most of those clicks go to the first and second results listed on that first page. It’s not enough to show up on Google – if you want to be visible, you need to rank highly for relevant search terms.
This is what the field of search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about. A cornerstone of digital marketing, this is where an expert employs a wealth of strategies, from content to website architecture, that make your website more Google-friendly, and push you up the rankings.
Create a blog
Some people find writing a joy. Others find it a chore. But no matter which side of the fence you might sit, there’s no denying the importance of running a blog on your website. A blog is an effective way to increase your online visibility for two main reasons:
When Google is deciding where you should rank for a particular query, it looks closely as the text on your site. The more that text aligns with the query the user has entered, the higher your website will rank.
A blog is a great way to ensure your site has plenty of relevant ‘keywords’. If you’re a plumber in Auckland, for example, you might consider writing a blog about how to deal with plumbing emergencies. Google will see that you’ve placed the keyword ’emergency plumber’ throughout the post, and will therefore be more likely to serve your website up whenever a user types in ’emergency plumber’ themselves.
2. Online reputation
A good blog is one that offers readers relevant, interesting, helpful and actionable information. If you consistently deliver high quality, high value information to your audience, you’ll begin to build the trust and authority needed to turn website visitors into customers.
The general consensus is that the average sale is secured after eight touchpoints. A blog is a fantastic way to build up these touchpoints – each visit further establishes you as a trustworthy and authoritative brand worthy of a visitor’s business.
Create profiles on relevant social media platforms
The value of social media cannot be understated. It allows customers to get to know your business more intimately, and the resultant relationships can be particularly rewarding.
Success on social media is all about consistency. When social media is treated as an afterthought it will go nowhere. This is a long-term effort, and rewards will only come if you put in the work. So rather than spreading yourself thin, you should look to capitalise on the handful of platforms that are likely to have the greatest effect.
The platforms you choose will be those that your customers are most likely to use. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are the most common, but depending on your business, the importance of TikTok, Youtube, Twitter and Pinterest should not be underestimated.
Create valuable, interesting content
Once you’ve got your website and social media profiles set up, it’s time to create content. If you are to increase the visibility of your brand this content needs to be entertaining, informative, trustworthy, compelling and diverse. It should come in a wealth of different forms, including blog posts, behind-the-scenes videos, instructionals, white papers and infographics, and sales-driven content should be the exception rather than the rule.
The purpose of content is to build your online reputation. By offering free information that your target audience will find valuable, a customer’s opinion of your brand will be enhanced, and you’ll become a preferred supplier when they next need a product or service that you offer.
A great place to start the content creation process is with a list of the most common questions your customers ask, and building content that answers those questions. Alternatively you could hand your content creation over to a team of experts like Traction, who can take care of everything from social media management to video production for you!
Solicit customer reviews with email marketing
Customers are becoming increasingly marketing-savvy – you can no longer dress an actor up as a doctor and tell people to smoke cigarettes, as effective as that might have once been. Many modern customers no longer trust brands to talk about themselves; but they do trust the opinions of fellow customers.
88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family. This makes customer reviews a super valuable tool in your efforts to increase online brand visibility: by encouraging reviews you drive more interest in your products, services and brand, which sends more people to your website.
Generating more reviews is surprisingly simple with email marketing. Ensure you capture the customer’s email whenever you make a sale. In the days or weeks after the purchase, send the customer a message asking them to post a review on Google, Facebook or whatever your preferred review platform might be. You could even encourage customer reviews through incentives like discounts and freebies!
Use paid ads
Perhaps the most obvious of marketing strategies on this list, businesses have been using paid advertising to increase visibility for centuries. While modern efforts are decidedly more digital than those of years gone by, the basic concept remains the same: you pay to put your name up in lights in a prime location, whether at the top of the Google search results, in a TV commercial break or on a roadside billboard.
For most business the preeminent form of paid advertising is a Google Ad campaign. Where SEO aims to get your website to the top of the search engine results page organically, and therefore demands long-term effort and investment, a Google Ads strategy gets you to the top instantly, in the form of the handful of results marked [Ad].
The best way to build a strong online presence is by using SEO and Google Ads in concert – you can gradually build your SEO strategy to earn your place at the top, and Google Ads can increase your brand visibility by placing you there in the meantime.
Cross-promote and collaborate with influencers
Cross-promotion is the practice of elevating brand awareness by keeping your audience within your digital ecosystem. All of your social media profiles, for example, should link back to your website, and every now and then you should put up a post that directs your followers to your other accounts:
“Hey Facebook followers! Do you know we’re on Youtube too? We post everything from news to how-tos there – check it out the video below that we uploaded today!”
Collaboration is another effective way to make your audience more aware of your brand, as it introduces your business to a new and highly targeted group of people. This is the idea upon which influencer marketing is built: you pay a popular and relevant social media star to post about your brand or product, which grants you access to their audience. And collaboration doesn’t have to be limited to influencers – you can even collaborate with complementary businesses!
At Traction Marketing we’ve built a reputation for helping Kiwi businesses build their reputations. It’s our interest, our passion, and something we work on all day, every day. With deep knowledge of all the strategies listed above and many more, we know exactly how to put your business up in lights and how to get it growing faster than ever before.
Ready to elevate your brand? We’re ready to help. Get in touch with our friendly team today!