by Alyx Holder
When it comes to promoting any business in the 21st century, digital marketing is king. Over 247 million people in the United States have a social media profile, accounting for almost 80% of the population. An online presence allows you to target your audience directly—online, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or watching YouTube videos.
Having a strong virtual presence is vital for getting the most out of your digital marketing efforts. Simply running ads isn’t effective if you don’t have some form of online branding. Optimizing your website for greater visibility through search engines like Google and Bing is helpful, but simply stuffing it full of keywords with a high search volume without concern for quality is counterproductive. Keeping your site updated with relevant content helps to improve your organic traffic, build authority and trust, and overall boost your ROI.
But what are the best ways to boost your online presence without incurring the wrath of Google for cheating the system? Here are two ways you can start now!
1. Consistency is Key to Building An Online Presence
The internet is a never-ending stream of information, all easily accessed through phones, tablets, or computers. These days, there’s very little you can’t learn through a simple Google search or YouTube video. For the average person, this is great— the internet puts a wealth of human knowledge in the palm of your hand. Businesses and social media managers have to view it a bit differently. This constant changeability means a continuous need to stay on top of the latest news, trends, and guidelines to keep your website optimized and in compliance.
For those new to digital marketing, such a task sounds daunting. Ultimately, it boils down to one important rule: BE CONSISTENT.
You don’t have to spend hours frantically trying to be the first to report the Next Big Thing. In fact, you shouldn’t. A sporadic posting schedule could work against you. Instead, pay attention to the analytics on your website and social media accounts. When is your audience most engaged? What days and times get you the most likes, comments, and shares? Pay attention to these trends and schedule your posts around them— especially for big announcements.
New to digital marketing or working with new profiles? That’s okay. You can build your traction by following general guidelines, especially those specific to your industry. As time goes on, be sure to update your posting schedule to reflect your audience. Avoid flooding your followers with too many posts per day or getting lost in the fray by posting too infrequently.
Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? An editorial calendar allows you to plan out your posts for the day, week, month, or (if you’re feeling truly ambitious) year. This helpful tool makes it easy to avoid duplicate content, covering the same topic too often, and other common mistakes. Be careful, though— your calendar should be flexible enough to allow for changes as things arise.
Check out our free content calendar template here to help you get started!
Social media management platforms like Hootsuite are invaluable for managing your online presence. Not only can you see which of your posts are getting the most engagement, Hootsuite and similar systems can also schedule posts across multiple social media platforms, streamlining the process and making your life easier. This way, you can focus on more important matters than if you remembered to post to Instagram for #MotivationMonday or #SmallBusinessSaturday.
2. Consider the Type of Content You Should Post To Build Online Presence
So now that you know how to optimize your online presence through a consistent schedule, what exactly should you post? That answer varies greatly from company to company depending on several factors.
Industry, target demographics, social media platform, and other components unique to your business play a role in what content performs the best, when, and where.
In general, the best social media posts include some kind of visual. Most commonly, this means a video, gif, graph, or still image to draw the viewer’s attention. Some studies show audiences respond most to video content as it is the easiest means of absorbing information, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank with videographers and editors. Taking the time to film short, quick updates on your phone can be a great way to make your company more personable. However, choosing more professional production can help boost your standing as an authority in the field.
Shorter videos tend to perform better across all social media platforms. Keeping Instagram videos under one minute is a good rule of thumb, while Facebook may allow for slightly longer videos. Host longer videos on YouTube and embed the content into relevant web pages or blog posts. Sharing the link to the video across your social media is a great way to drive traffic.
Videos aren’t the only way to make your content stand out online. Posts with still images also perform better than text-only ones. Photos, infographics, and illustrations help catch the reader’s eye, making them more likely to stop scrolling and pay attention, and even share! Keep the caption relatively short when including images, using links to drive traffic back to your website.
This isn’t to say text-only posts aren’t useful. On platforms like Facebook, taking advantage of the larger character count can be helpful. Specifically, longer-form content is great for answering questions, responding to industry news, and making company announcements. Use these posts sparingly, as too many long-form texts can bog down your followers’ timelines.
Come back next week for Part II on how to boost your business's online presence!