Two decades into the 21st century, it feels like everyone has gotten onto the online marketing bandwagon. While big businesses can afford to dump money into expensive campaigns and build pricey websites, though, small- and medium-sized businesses can often struggle with the decision to take their brand onto the cloud.
The hesitation is completely understandable. Nevertheless, we’ve found that an online presence is absolutely essential for anyone that is looking to take things to the next level.
The Importance of an Online Presence
Several years ago GE Capital Retail Bank conducted their annual Major Purchase Shopper Study. The statistical analysis was laced with juicy facts and information about shopping behavior, but there was one item that really stuck out to us: how much of the buying process takes place online.
The study found that a staggering 81% of consumers go online before heading to the store. And, just for a little perspective, this was years before tech trends and a self-isolating pandemic made online shopping an even more critical lifeline for the average customer.
The point of all of this is that you absolutely need an online presence at this point if you want to succeed in business. This doesn’t just apply to larger businesses or particular industries or niches, either. It’s a near-universal principle at this point.
The Various Elements of an Online Presence
An online presence can take many different forms. For instance, you can use:
- A website: This gives you a place to provide resources, communicate with customers, and close sales.
- Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest provide opportunities to showcase products, provide customer service, and build a community around your brand.
- Press releases: Press releases help to alert the larger news-driven online world about the various selling points of your products, services, and brand as a whole.
- Search engines: Search engines provide an opportunity to reach potential customers organically through search engine optimization (SEO) as well as with pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.
There are many ways to reach your audience and conduct business online. This allows each brand to cobble together an online marketing solution for their own unique needs. This isn’t just effective. In most cases, it’s also an extremely affordable alternative to traditional marketing options.
The Universal Appeal of an Online Presence for All Businesses
Another major selling point of being online is the fact that it provides benefits for any kind of business.
For instance, if you’re a tiny shop catering to the neighborhood, an online presence can boost your local SEO. This helps geographically close customers find your store when searching for a local business option.
It’s been found that one out of every two individuals who search for a local shop visits a physical store within a day. On top of that, 78% of mobile searches for local amenities and stores result in an offline purchase. In other words, if you’re a small local store, it’s very much so worth investing in an online presence as a way to generate foot traffic in your establishment.
When it comes to larger or even medium-sized retailers that cater to regional, national, and international customer bases, the need to be online is even more imperative. An online presence allows you to overcome the physical distance that separates you from your customers. Things like a good website and a well-cultivated social media account enable you to influence purchasing decisions half a world away.
The TruLife Effect
This desire to utilize the internet to its maximum business capacity is an area where TruLife really makes a difference for our clients. Our marketing model includes utilizing both online and brick-and-mortar opportunities to help establish a brand.
We aim to use a synergistic blend of online activities, like press releases and social media content, to help launch a brand into the spotlight. Additionally, our trial-and-error approach lends itself perfectly to the typically flexible activity of marketing online. The affordability and scalability of online marketing make it easy to tinker with each company’s strategy until we’ve found the ideal marketing mix for that client.
At the end of the day, building an online presence has become an integral part of any successful modern marketing strategy. It creates a multi-dimensional, omnichannel approach to business activity. This enables our clients to build a united online and brick-and-mortar presence that can quickly take them from a regional brand with moderate success to a legitimate competitor on the national stage.