The Importance of an Online Presence is Critical Today
Our global marketplace continues to navigate through uncharted territory in 2021. We’re all a little more hopeful and grateful, while learning how flexibility and patience are the keys to endurance. But businesses are learning one other vital lesson during all of this – they can no longer turn their back on the importance of an online presence.
With businesses continuing to work remotely to ensure the safety of their staff, the internet has become critical to operations. Virtual engagement for sales calls, trade shows, product introductions and more shows the importance of an online presence for businesses both large and small regardless of industry.
In the year 1999, a business could easily side-step the need for an online presence as the internet was still in its infancy and the brick-and-mortar ways of conducting business were still the dominant sales driver.
Blogger and digital marketing expert Sarah Vaughan writes, “Pre-COVID, people were already engaging with digital media and marketing all day every day. COVID-19 has only amplified our need/desire to engage online with other people and brands.”
The importance of an online presence stretches beyond just sales and brand building. Many consumers are heading online to find out a company’s operating hours, COVID policies, if they’re still in operation and even if products can be purchased online.
But perhaps most importantly is how an online presence allows consistent communication with your customers – which was especially challenging in 2020.
“If anything, the presence of COVID-19 has taught us just how important a digital marketing presence can be,” says Katy Sloan, Content Specialist. “It allows you to communicate with your audience when other factors may be preventing you from interfacing with them in person. It’s like a lifeline. Brands have learned that they should care about their virtual space just as much as a physical storefront. We’ve seen some pretty amazing adaptations take place.”
Here are a few suggestions:
- Optimize your Google My Business page (or create one if you don’t have it)
- Engage on social channels relevant to your customers
- Make sure your website it mobile responsive
- Create a user-friendly experience on your website that’s quick to load and easy to navigate
- Build valuable content customers are looking for – and often!
- Be intentional and genuine with your online presence and digital communications
The internet was already a driving force for brands prior to COVID, and its growth is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. The importance of an online presence could very well be the difference between staying relevant or becoming obsolete.
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