A DIGITAL WORLD: Getting Your Business ONline.

We need to adapt to the online world in order for our businesses to survive during the COVID-19 Outbreak.

We can still connect with our customers in a variety of ways during our forced self-isolation. Now, more than ever, is the time to support local business and each other as our face-to-face and brick and mortar operations grind to a halt. This might feel like we are choking as we run for the hills but we could also choose to stand and fight for everything we have built. Adapting is what we do as humans, and in order to protect our livelihood we need to innovate for a more streamlined method of communicating our services.

If the online world is new to you, for whatever reason that may be, it may seem like a confusing and daunting task to learn its ins and outs. But there is a plethora or information out there, as well as professionals that are dedicated to helping you out and get you up and running. From there it’s all about familiarising yourself to your tools and network of communities.

We have listed a few channels to think about to start yourself and your business on the right foot in the digital space. Combining the below channels in a holistic approach across the web will help you reach specific markets – but you need to make sure you’re giving each the right amount of attention it needs for their user base.

Google My Business

This is probably the first and most effective online presence you can start off with to secure a foothold in Google’s search rankings. It’s a free business service listing for Google’s directory that ties in with the Google Maps platform so you can literally put yourself on the map and show your customers how local you are to their community. It is usually the first impression new customers and leads see when they search for your business or service in Google.

The main areas you’ll want to complete in your business profile are your:

  • Business Name
  • Business Category, Description and Services
  • Location (Either Local or simply your service areas)
  • Trading Hours
  • Contact Details such as phone number, email or a link to an enquiry form
  • Your website
  • Any social channels

SOCIAL MEDIA

Another free source of advertising for your business is of course the social media giants that all the kids have been talking about and are consumed by. Each form of social media presence you create will further legitimise your business and let you connect on a personal level to your customers, as long as you manage it effectively. There are a range of social media channels that you can jump on, however not all are perfect for every business, and sometimes all you may need is the one or two such as Facebook and/or Instagram. Creating a channel across every platform and struggling to regularly update them can potentially make your business look stale or inactive to certain audiences. Regular and legitimate activity and traffic from these channels that lead to your website, an enquiry or another form of engagement will work in your favour to increase your online authenticity in the eyes of the Search Engine giants Google and Bing. It will also increase your authority over your competitors and this is why creating content is KING. It pays to be connected.

Facebook:

Facebook has evolved over the years as a massive global community of users, groups, pages, and businesses. Businesses use Facebook as a way to reach their audience on a daily / weekly / monthly basis sharing updates of important information, events, services and products.

Instagram:

Instagram is a giant in the social media space at the moment for the younger generations and fresh business space. It is predominately an image sharing platform and is probably checked by it’s user-base more frequently than the more robust and heavy Facebook. Because it’s so simple in both concept and design, it makes it a super easy to consume the content, and it’s also more personal to the user as it uses either images or video, giving a snapshot into your businesses brand on a daily and weekly basis. The main feed of your Instagram profile displays your content to your followers – so building an audience through your own engagement and community will help you raise the awareness of your brand.

One of it’s strongest features is the 24 hour “stories” feature which allows you to display images and video on your channel for a period of 24 hours before it disappears. This means your content is never expected to be professionally designed, presented or curated, meaning you can personally snap something live that’s happening in your business directly to your audience, such as a cheeky product leak of something in the works, or a new product you’ve just installed for a customer that’s working beautifully. This stuff is REAL TIME EVIDENCE of your business that will humanise your brand and build trust and energy. You’re able to stack these stories to create longer posts, or a variety, or just show a general day in the life if you feel the need to! The world is your oyster in that domain.

Instagram also

Twitter:

Facebook has evolved over the years as a massive global community of users, groups, pages, and businesses. Businesses use Facebook as a way to reach their audience on a daily / weekly / monthly basis sharing updates of important information, events, services and products.

LinkedIn:

Facebook has evolved over the years as a massive global community of users, groups, pages, and businesses. Businesses use Facebook as a way to reach their audience on a daily / weekly / monthly basis sharing updates of important information, events, services and products.

Youtube:

SEARCH & BUSINESS DIRECTORIES

These are simple listings and descriptions of your business and services (like Google My Business) on directory websites such as the YellowPages.com.au for trade and services, HiPages for the construction industry and TripAdvisor for hospitality and tourism businesses just to name a few. It is worthwhile researching the directories in your industry to know who the most effective channels are to get your listing online with. Just like Social Media, linking these pages to your other online avenues will increase the awareness of your brand and help your organic Google ranking as well. These usually don’t need to updated regulary like on your socials but they may need to be monitored over a period of time to ensure that they are still active and providing some sort of value.

website

A website is your online shopfront. It is your completely branded and own presence where you can control everything about what your business is with ultimate flexibility, limtited only by your investment, to really show what your business is about. A well built website that functions as a powerful hub for your brand is what gives you the edge over the rest. It’s where you can show that your audience will be in good hands if they decide to contact you.

This is the space that needs the most consideration, as a poorly built website that isn’t looked after can drive away potential business and taint your presence. A website that is designed specifically for your industry and audience, that is well looked after in terms of its software, design and content will perform at its peak and continue to bring you business as you grow. It should be the central hub that your social media channels and directory listings link back to, so your customers can engage on your home turf.

While the importance of your website is considerable, it doesn’t have to be a big and scary task. There are multiple approaches you can take, depending on your outcomes and budget, that can bring in a good deal of value to your business. Even a basic, clean, well designed one page website can offer a customised and 100% branded insight to your business. This is why we obviously recommend hiring a professional such as us at SIMPLE MEDIA to help you plan for your website and get you online with a completely branded online presence. However if you have the time, and your budget is not there, considering a DIY approach with the American corporate giants of WIX and Squarespace is not a bad choice, just make sure to set aside the time to plan your attack, your content and brush of on some design skills.

If you’d rather spend your time focusing on the business you’re running, then we can tailor a package for you, starting from a simple basic design, to larger multi-page website’s with an online store:

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A DIGITAL WORLD: Getting Your Business ONline.

We can still connect with our customers in a variety of ways during our forced self-isolation. Now, more than ever, is the time to support local business and each other as our face-to-face and brick and mortar operations grind to a halt. This might feel like we are choking as we run for the hills but we could also choose to stand and fight for everything we have built. Adapting is what we do as humans, and in order to protect our livelihood we need to innovate for a more streamlined method of communicating our services.

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