Picture your business’s online presence as a digital storefront on a busy street.
Now, ask yourself: Do you want to have one of those dim, desolate windows that no one stops by? Or do you want your storefront to be a vibrant, rich corner that everyone can’t help but stare at?
Well, if you’re looking to accomplish the latter, I’ll teach you how to be welcoming and appealing to your customers, earn their trust, and expand your reach.
Giving your businesses a distinct voice is crucial to differentiate yourself and launch your brand into long-term growth and success. A strong online presence is one that:
- stands out
- ensures people can find information about your brand easily
- communicates your values clearly
- makes people buy into it emotionally
- generates trust in your brand.
Let’s explore eight smart tactics to help you strengthen your online presence.
Way #1: Work on your website
Your website is the hub of your online presence. It’s a crucial element in establishing credibility: it is the central platform for your customers to learn everything about your business, products, and services. It’s an essential tool for building your brand identity.
Let’s discuss a few tactics that you can use to jumpstart your online presence by leveraging your website.
Create a user experience that’s aligned with your audience’s priorities
Your customers are always primarily guided by their needs. Whenever they need anything from a business, they’ll usually acknowledge those that cater to their feelings the most before they understand their real value.
That’s why it’s super important to craft your website’s user experience to be in line with your audience’s preferences. When doing so, you need to pay careful attention to:
- Who your target audience is: Study their demographics, interests, behavior, and values to learn how to approach them.
- The language they use: Integrate how they communicate throughout your content while avoiding jargon or sales talk.
- The tone of your communication: Be friendly and conversational if your audience is casual. Use a more polished, authoritative tone if they’re more formal and professional.
- The visuals you use: Ensure that your images and videos tell your brand story and reflect your audience’s preferences and style.
- The state of your user interface: Design your website elements with your customers’ needs and capacities in mind.
For example, many may find the MarketBeat website overcrowded and overwhelming. However, this stock market research and news outlet has an audience that’s used to quickly processing a lot of information. So, the amount of information in the UX makes sense as it makes their target audience feel comfortable and adds value to their enjoyment of the site.
Another example is WeTransfer — a file transfer services company. They use a more minimalist UX because that’s what their target audience is looking for. Users want to quickly upload and share files, and WeTransfer presents them with an interface that says “This is where you’ll find a fast, hassle-free solution.”.
Let your existing customers strengthen your online presence
Utilizing social proof to gain some more online traction is an old tactic that yields great results. In other words, curating what people say in reviews, testimonials, and UGC (user-generated content) can be a great way to reinforce a specific value.
A genuinely strong online presence is one that takes social proof to the next level. Sharing content that your customers produce while they use your products/services is superior to other types of social proof.
We stumbled upon a company that operates in the solar power systems industry, and takes great advantage of this tactic. ShopSolarKits knows that the brand’s success depends on a very strong sense of trust. That is why they employ a lot of customer feedback on their site.
They include a star rating and the number of happy customers in their header, a floating button that takes you to their reviews section, and a section featuring products — along with star ratings and the number of reviews — in the middle of their homepage.
But the real magic happens in the UGC section at the bottom of their homepage. This is where they show the projects that their happy customers are working on.
Having a strong value proposition equals a strong online presence
Your online presence is only as strong as the people’s understanding of what you do and what value there is in choosing your brand. That’s why you need a strong value proposition.
A value proposition is a statement that details the unique benefits that your product or service provides for your customers. Communicating what you are, what you do, and the value you give your customers is incredibly important if you want to pick up a good amount of online steam.
Vivion, an ingredients and chemicals supplier, is a great example of a brand with a powerful value proposition. The second slide in their header (“We Provide Safe, Ethically Sourced, and Contaminate Free Ingredients”) spells out what they do in a very clear, almost sterile way.
Using zero fuss and no cute, clever wordplay, they make it plainly evident that they’re all business.
Propositioning your brand’s value this way is perfect if you want to communicate safety, cleanliness, and professionalism.
Way #2: Create awesome blog content
Your blog can be a robust tool for building a strong online presence. It can drive traffic, establish authority, and educate and engage your audience.
Let’s explore a few tactics bound to increase the reach and effectiveness of your content.
Choose topics that resonate with your target audience
Considering your audience’s interests is vital when brainstorming blog content ideas. Some brands only choose topics that focus on the visibility of their own products for the sake of conversions.
If you never think about what your audience actually wants to read, you’re not creating a strong online presence.
Your content marketing is only effective if it speaks to the real-world pain points of your target audience. Solving their problems should be a pivotal point in your content strategy, giving product placement secondary importance.
Take a look at Medical Alert Buyers’ Guide post on the best walking canes for seniors. They know that their audience cares deeply about elder care and safety, so they publish a ton of articles that discuss these topics without mentioning their product.
Speak in a voice and tone that aligns with your brand values
The way you present your content conveys how you want your audience to feel about your brand.
- Do you use memes?
- Do you use technical terms?
- Do you write academically or conversationally?
Think about your niche and how authoritative your brand is. Sometimes even the most serious topics can use a little lighthearted, innocent humor, while some brands can use a friendly tone to reach their audience.
For instance, browsing the McKinsey blog, we can notice that they use a highly professional and serious tone. This global management consulting firm frames its attitude towards its readers in line with the brand’s image, using a lot of technical terminology.
On the other hand, a grooming brand for men like the Dollar Shave Club uses humor and irreverence in its blog to promote its products. They often feature tongue-in-cheek product descriptions and funny videos to connect with their target audience better.
Establish your brand as an authority
People are naturally drawn to put their trust in brands that back their claims with proven data and research. Those who go the extra mile and conduct research on their own get to establish a name for themselves as pioneers and industry leaders.
By highlighting your expertise, you’re creating a brand voice that generates trust. This is critical for strengthening your online presence. Nowhere is this more appropriate than in content.
A great example of this tactic is shown on Eachnight’s Best Mattresses of 2023 post. They implement fact-checking and highlight their review process to create a voice that indicates that their content is established on reliable sources and created by knowledgeable and competent experts.
However, there is more than one way to insert trust and credibility into your brand voice using your blog. Menlo Coaching — an educational consultancy firm — takes the “quantity and quality” route with its incredibly detailed long-form content.
Their post on getting into the top MBA schools comes in at a whopping 5,700 words. It even includes a lengthy educational video on the topic. None of this time and effort is wasted, as readers find out once they start reading or watching.
Every part of the post reflects the brand’s remarkable insight into a complex topic in a way that only long-form content can.
A third way to infuse your business’ voice with authority is to generate new, referenceable knowledge. Wyzowl is outstanding in this regard — they conduct independent research. They’re often cited by other brands as a reliable source of information. This does wonders for the online presence of this animated video production company.
Way #3: Be active on social media
Like it or not, everyone’s on social media today. Brands need to leverage that reality to enhance their online presence.
Here are a few tips and examples of brands that go above and beyond with their social media game.
Provide visible social support
The act of opening your social media channels for support queries is a great way to communicate a specific brand voice. It’s a chance to create personal relationships with your customers and boost their loyalty.
The way you actually provide this support (visibly, humorously, efficiently, etc.) can do more than just establish your brand image as an attentive business. We’ve witnessed countless examples of how social media support conversations turned into memorable, quotable stories that launched the brands’ online presence to the next level.
Being helpful and answering customer questions takes very little effort but returns lots of loyalty. Gymshark — a workout apparel retailer — often does this right.
Here’s another example of how to engage with a customer on Twitter. BarkBox — a product subscription service for dog owners — not only deals with customers who express complaints but also shows gratitude whenever they praise their service.
There are many reasons why you should consider using humor on your social media pages. Let’s mention a few:
- Making your brand more relatable: Showing a human side can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
- Increasing engagement: Creating funny posts can increase your social media engagement rates and create a more active online community.
- Helping differentiate your brand from the competition: Using humor can help you create a unique identity that sets your brand apart.
The top reason why humor is such a powerful asset is its shareability. Funny posts are likely to be shared, increasing your brand’s visibility and reach.
In any case, always know your place and practice caution so you can avoid any backlash from social media crowds. Just imagine a brand in the medical niche sharing a post about cancer treatments with a funny caption.
We’ll use Career Sidekick as an example of great use of humor on social media. This free resume builder and career advice website shares an important post from their blog, and they could have easily just written a boring, plain intro. However, they decided to use a meme to establish their brand voice as human and relatable.
Videos are far more effective in attracting your audience’s attention than any other media type. That makes video the ideal format for strengthening your brand equity and voice on social media.
In fact, 66% of customers claim that short-form videos are the most engaging type of social media content. As a brand, that’s a statistic you shouldn’t overlook, especially if your aim is to establish a strong online presence.
Here are some tips on how to create videos that will revolutionize your social media presence:
- Have a clear goal and know exactly what you want to accomplish with your video
- Keep it short and sweet
- Use attention-grabbing elements such as graphics and animations that complement your brand
- Tell a story that your audience can connect with
- Optimize it for social media by ensuring it’s the proper size and format
- Encourage your audience to share it by including a CTA (call-to-action).
Gili Sports offers some excellent examples of how to achieve these goals on its Instagram feed. The popular inflatable paddle board company has worked very hard to associate their brand voice with exploration and environmentalism.
Using video, Gili Sports has been able to reinforce these values while also offering its audience an enticing view of its products. Combining these goals in a highly-engaging way is only possible with video as a medium — a fact the company exploits to great effect on all its social media profiles.
Gili Sports highlights its products via video (Source)
Solicit interactions and get involved in conversations
Having a direct conversation with your customers is great for boosting your online presence. Giving people a reason to say something is a way to solicit some interaction, build engagement, and create a thriving online community.
To create more opportunities for conversations with your audience:
- Ask open-ended questions on relevant topics
- Tempt them to comment by posting interesting captions
- Actively respond to comments and replies
- Search for relevant hashtags and join those conversations.
Below is an example of a lighthearted reply by MADE, a furniture e-commerce store. It’s a simple gesture to a customer expressing a remark. And it’s enough to leave a positive impression on everyone who stumbles upon their Instagram post.
Way #4: Apply SEO best practices
The more visible your website is to search engines, the higher your website will rank in search results, leading to more traffic and potential customers.
Take SEO (very) seriously
Investing in SEO, alongside other digital marketing strategies, will help you improve your website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you feature prominently on the first Google search results page, your online presence is very strong.
You can get there by following a proven formula that includes the key SEO components:
- Keyword research: Identify keywords and phrases people use to search for solutions related to your website or business. Consider their interests, pain points, and shopping behavior, so you can identify the keywords that they’re most likely to use. Also, don’t forget about long-tail keywords — phrases that often have lower search volume but higher intent.
- On-page optimization: Hone your web content to make it more search-engine-friendly. This includes optimizing the titles, meta descriptions, headings, and the content itself, to ensure that search engines can understand what your website is all about.
- Link building: Grow your online presence by acquiring links from other websites that lead to your own. Backlinks are like “votes” for your website. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more authoritative your website will be in the eyes of search engines.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO practices: Sites like Moz and Ahrefs offer some of the best resources to remain in the loop with the best SEO practices.
Point Visible has a dozen case studies showcasing how increasing the rankings is achievable in a fairly short timeframe even for smaller businesses. All you need is a smart SEO strategy and a pinch of patience.
Get featured in the Google Snippets section
A Google Snippet is a summary of a website’s content that gets featured in Google’s search results. If you want to get featured in the Google Snippets section, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Target “position zero” keywords: Aim to climb the top spot in Google’s search results.
- Creating high-quality content: Ensure your content is top-notch by using concise language and providing information and tools that your audience will find useful.
- Optimize your content for featured snippets: Structure your content in a way that makes it easy for search engines to pull a concise summary for the featured snippet.
If Google trusts you enough to feature your content in their environment, you are on the right track!
We tested the long-tail keyword “best digital marketing tools 2023” and discovered that Great Learning did the best job at optimizing their content for getting featured as a snippet for that keyword.
Way #5: Invest in paid advertising
You watched your brand grow from a seedling to a plant, and now you want to display it in the most prominent garden in the digital world. There is nothing is quicker and more persuasive to do that than paid advertising.
Be prepared to pay for more visibility
Paid advertising or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is undoubtedly an effective tool for increasing visibility and driving more traffic to your website. However, be prepared to open up your pockets.
PPC involves bidding on keywords and paying for every click or impression, so it can get quite pricey. Nevertheless, with a solid plan, paid advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience and strengthen your online presence.
You can target specific demographics, geographic locations, and interests, which ensures that your ads get seen by the right people at the right time.
While organic traffic sources are important, relying solely on them can limit your brand’s visibility and growth potential. Google places ads at the top of their search results, and social media platforms always find innovative ways to ensure exposure.
Some of the best practices for running PPC campaigns include:
- Conducting thorough keyword research
- Creating compelling ad copy
- Utilizing multiple targeting parameters
- Constantly monitoring campaign performance
- Making regular adjustments as needed to improve your ROI.
Creating successful advertising campaigns is an art in its own regard. Some good places to start brushing up your knowledge on this topic are the Google Ads Help Center and the Facebook Ads section.
Way #6: Explore other media
Let’s explore some other areas that can be a complementary part of building your brand’s visibility.
Launch a podcast
You’re probably already aware of how popular podcasting is. Podcasting can be a great addition to your marketing strategy, so you might want to give it a chance.
Podcasts are a fun way to engage and entertain people while presenting an opportunity for you to spread your brand’s message uniquely.
There are a few things to take into account if you want to launch a podcast:
- Decide who you’ll be talking to
- Find a theme or develop a concept that will set you apart from others in your niche
- Invest in high-quality equipment and production so that you don’t end up sounding unprofessional
- Release top-level content regularly
- Promote your podcast across your other digital channels, like social media, your website, and even email.
We suggest checking out The Goal Digger Podcast. It’s an excellent example of how HubSpot — a well-known CRM platform — successfully strengthens its online presence with podcasting.
Like podcasts, webinars can also be an effective tool for toughening your presence in the digital world.
Hosting webinars can position you and your business as thought leaders in your industry. They allow you to educate your audience on topics related to your products or services. As a result, they’ll help you generate leads and build your email list.
When it comes to hosting a successful webinar, make sure you pay attention to the following:
- Choose a relevant and valuable topic that will relate to your target audience
- Promote your webinar across all your digital channels
- Encourage participation and interaction through polls and Q&A sessions
- Follow up with attendees after the webinar with a thank-you email.
As an example, we’re going to take another look at Semrush, which frequently hosts webinars on digital marketing topics. They’ve built a large following through their engaging and informative presentations.
Way #7: Empower your online presence with third-party review platforms
Nearly every customer looks at online reviews before buying, usually browsing sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, G2, or Trustpilot. People perceive the reviews on those sites as a more reliable source of information than the reviews provided by the brand itself.
Let’s see how you can use these third-party review platforms in your favor.
Embrace review aggregation
Positive reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, G2, etc., can provide social proof that can influence potential customers to choose your business over competitors. Additionally, they can impact your brand’s visibility on search engines and help you position your business as reputable and trustworthy.
That’s why you need to take ownership of your profiles on these platforms — they stand as established sources of objective social proof. You should actively seek and respond to customer feedback to improve your online presence and reputation. If you choose to ignore or neglect these, you’d only be damaging your business’s online presence.
Point Visible employs this tactic and scores an excellent rating on their Trustpilot profile page.
Take your Google Business profile seriously
Oftentimes, the first impression a potential customer will have of your brand will be based on your Google Business profile.
An optimized Google Business profile can help your business appear higher in local search results and Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to get information about your business.
Getting your site reviewed is an opportunity to engage with your customers through reviews, posts, or messages. Always encourage clients to leave reviews. Moreover, respond promptly and professionally to all of them — both positive and negative — to show commitment to customer satisfaction.
Way #8: Harness the power of email marketing
Nothing nurtures relationships with current or potential customers like email marketing. It strengthens your brand’s online presence, increases brand awareness, and ultimately drives sales.
Always work on growing your subscriber list
You can always encourage people to join your email list by running contests or giveaways where the participants need to provide an email address to enter.
Using gated content is a tried and tested lead-generation tactic. You can offer free ebooks, guides, or checklists while asking for an email address in return.
Which leads us to the next point.
Put serious energy into your newsletters
You can always make an extra effort and stay in touch with your audience through newsletters. They’re an effective way to build relationships and increase customer loyalty.
Personalization is the key for making your newsletter feel relevant and engaging. Try including content that resonates with your audience’s interests, and avoid using too much promotional language or sales pitches.
Don’t forget to make your newsletter optimized for mobile viewing, as most people check their emails on their mobile devices.
For more tips on creating successful newsletters, you can check out resources like Mailchimp’s best newsletter examples.
Building a strong online presence takes time
Following these eight smart ways to strengthen your online presence can give your business a unique voice and launch you into stardom.
For starters, take two to three of the tactics above and dive really deep into them. You can gradually broaden your strategy in due time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Remember, just like a fine wine, building a strong online presence takes time. Practice patience, stay consistent, and before you know it, you’ll see the results you’re after.
Travis Jamison is an entrepreneur turned investor. After selling a couple of businesses, he shifted his focus toward investing. He was disappointed by the lack of options for entrepreneurial-type investments – like buying websites & investing in small, bootstrapped businesses, so he started Investing.io to provide a home for other entrepreneurs turned investors.