Whether you are building a new business, or your business has been open for generations, these days your online presence is one of the most important factors to your success.
Where do you start? How much should you spend? What needs attention first? Let me tell you, there is no secret formula to making the internet work for your business. My opinion, every business is different, and every business needs to remember that. What works for your neighbor, probably will not work for you. The most common factor is that your business needs to have an online presence, and it needs YOU to manage it. No-one knows your business as you do, and no-one knows your customers as you do.
What is your online presence? I would answer a combination of your company website, your social media presence, your digital ads, and your email. Email is statistically still the best converting digital marketing medium for companies. You would think it is Facebook, or Instagram, but statistically, email is still king. I get asked many times by companies entering our Incubator at ySuite, “What do we need to do to increase our awareness of our brand and convert that to sales?” The answer, be where your customers are. If your customers are on Facebook, be there. Instagram, be there. Where is your website traffic coming from? Be at the source. You should be working with your web host to help you identify your traffic sources, and that’s where you need to be. Success online isn’t just about buying Google Ads (however these are important). Success online is all about being where your customers are, interacting with them via their medium choice, and using all of the data you can to invest your time efficiently. Time is a more important investment than dollars when it comes to growing your brand online, but sometimes time is in shorter supply than dollars. This is why it is so important to plan your strategy from the data you gather.
Our model at Bastrop News is a pretty simple one. Our largest traffic source is posting our news on Facebook and allowing organic interaction between our readers. We advertise digitally across websites targeting the surrounding 60 mile radius of Bastrop, as well as traffic sources of readers who have moved from the area, but still want to know what’s going on. Here is an example of our traffic source report for last week, and it shows us that our site was loaded 18,050 times in the last seven days. The majority of our traffic last week came from Facebook and Google.
The Facebook traffic we have to credit our Editor Terry Hagerty with. His writing gives us an amazing product to market, and the best place to connect to our readers is through Facebook.
When deciding to build your online presence up, I recommend following these simple guidelines:
- Find your traffic source and embrace them.
- Ensure your website is functional and flows well. Has it been updated recently, or does it still look like a website from the y2k era?
- Take an hour a day and socialize with your customers through social media. You don’t have to sell them all of the time (sell them some though), but you are the authority on your product, and most likely an authority in your industry. Talk to your customers about your industry, your region, and your products.
- Give your customers a discount and invite them to join your email list. Use Mailchimp or Constant Contact and talk with them through email. This is a personal medium, and allows you to have a more intimate relationship with your customers. This will turn them into repeat customers, trust me.
When taking this online journey, please remember, there are customers to reach outside of Bastrop County as well. Your website and social media presence can help you reach customers all around the world, if you choose this for your business.
We are committed and proud to be Bastrop’s locally owned and operated news source. Everyone involved in Bastropnews.com lives in Bastrop, and we couldn’t be more proud of that. We invite everyone to help us share Bastrop’s news and stories through our unique Submit Your Story system. We want to report on everything Bastrop, and we believe news is more than a tight local election, or a fire somewhere. We want to tell the story of your child scoring the winning touchdown, or getting straight A’s on their report card. We want to tell the story of something good you’ve seen throughout the County. Please visit http://188.8.131.52/index.php/submit-your-story/ to report anything you would like. We’ll make it front page news.
Thank you for reading and please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for anything you need from us.
Wishing everyone the best,