Before we dig into what is a digital presence, let us first discuss the digital world. I don’t think it is news to anyone that we increasingly live in a digital world. We’ve covered this idea a few times on our blog and considering the events over the last few years, we are now in an accelerated timeline straight into the belly of the internet.
What was inevitable now is our reality. By the time you read this blog, over half of the earth’s population will have access to the internet and in the United States, over 90% of the population now uses the internet for daily life.
Knowing this, we can start to understand that the internet is a destination and with any destination, that requires us to be present, whether physical or digitally. Just as you would show up on the beach with your sunscreen and towel in tow, we have to be equally aware and present of how we show up digitally, on the internet.
So just how do I or more specifically my business “show up” on the internet and what is a digital presence?
What Is A Digital Presence?
To keep it simple, it is the way your brand appears online and where. This could include the following elements/destinations;
- Your website
- Your company social media accounts
- Your listings in business directories (Yelp and Google My Business)
- The searches that your website shows up for
- Any paid media or pay-per-click advertising
- Any organizations, events, and publications that you actively participate in
Now, we’ve simply covered the areas where your business and brand can appear online, but how you present yourself visually is equally as important. The other half of your digital presence are the visually and contextual elements that help to portray your brand and leave a lasting memory. These may include the following;
- Design Elements
- Copy/Text Content (Mission Statements)
The key with digital presence is to have a consistent identity across all of these destinations, both visually and contextually. Let’s talk about why it matters.
Why Your Small Business Needs A Digital Presence
All of the digital destinations above are physically places on the internet where someone, possibly a stranger, has an opportunity to interact with your business online.
Someone could visit your social media and follow the link to your website. A customer can share a wonderful experience they had with your business by leaving a review on Google or Yelp. And adjacent organizations can provide a quick link from their business directory to someone seeking your product/services.
With our society relying more and more on the internet to get things done, we as business owners and operators will inevitably be tasked with using the internet to make our business more accessible and streamlined for online use.
The first step in that process is making sure your business can be found online. At the very basic level, you should at least have a website and make sure it has information on how to contact your small business directly (email, phone, contact form).
From there, you can expand into other areas like social media to maintain top of mind awareness and communicate directly with your customers, or you could go big and place ad’s online to drive more sales for your small business.
No matter which direction you go, you have to think of having a digital presence as a basic necessity in your ability to do business in the 21st century.
The Wrap Up
Having a consistent digital presence helps to show that you are organized and ready to serve the next generation of consumers. It also shows you’ve invested the necessary time and attention towards tools geared to make your life easier as a business owner/operator.
Having a digital presence can help save time and money by making information more available and by also having automated tools in place to handle customer inquiries, meaning less phone calls and emails to respond to and more sales.
If you are curious where you stand with your digital presence, visit our website and use our YouWho Digital Presence Score™ to instantly receive your score and see in which areas you can improve your digital presence.
We know the internet can be a daunting and scary place, but if approached correctly it can become an invaluable tool for your small business! If you need help just getting started with your digital presence or help in keeping it consistent, please reach out to us.