How to Create a Digital Footprint for Your Small Business
When was the last time you picked up your phone to research something about a business? For me, it was five minutes ago. I wanted to double check the hours of The Pines, my favorite local joint, to ensure I could make it over to the restaurant with ample time to order and enjoy my dinner before they closed up shop.
It’s probably one in a hundred such internet searches I’ll do in a given day, from looking up the price of a pair of boots I have my eye on to the pricing and services of a nearby spa where I’d like to get a gift certificate for my friend’s birthday.
With so much information online, the average customer journey from discovery to purchase looks a lot like mine—primarily on the internet.
When it comes to running your small business, constructing a robust digital footprint is an absolute must. From creating your website to building your social media channels and engaging with your customers online, here are five ways you can make sure the digital version of your business is ready to serve the needs of your customers right when they need you.
Create a Website
Your website is the foundation of your digital footprint. It’s the spot the majority of your potential customers will turn to first when they’re trying to decide whether or not to engage with your business, like purchasing a product or service or visiting your store.
A good website doesn’t stop at basic details, like your address, hours, and available inventory, however. A sparsely populated website can actually send a signal to customers that your business might not be well-run or attentive to their needs. Today’s customers want to know more about the businesses they buy from in an effort to make sure their values align with their own.
An about page (with photos!) is the perfect place to explain your business’s history and mission. If your business has a small team, create a page where people learn more about them. No matter what you do, it’s important to make room to explain all your services, programming, and offerings. And many people like to follow businesses on social media before committing to becoming a customer, so be sure to add links to those accounts as well.
Claim Your Business on Google
You know that little box with a business’s address, hours, and phone number that pops up on Google when you search its name? It’s part of your Google My Business profile, and it’s an integral part of your digital footprint.
Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, verifying your business with Google and filling out your profile will make you more searchable by potential customers. It’s particularly useful for attracting local customers, since Google can highlight your business details in its search results based on users’ locations.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media has changed the way businesses do business. A customer’s discovery of your business is just as likely to happen (if not more so) on social media as it is in-person. And with Facebook and Instagram’s e-commerce functions, you can even go from customer discovery to first sale in minutes.
Establishing a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram is particularly important for businesses in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires, where tourism is a vital part of the economy. Visitors do a great deal of online research about where they will spend their time on a trip, and an up-to-date social media page is a vital part of building the impression that you’re worth a stop.
Start Brand Awareness Advertising
Now that you have the building blocks of a solid digital footprint, you can start advertising your business to potential customers.
Potential customers don’t always start their journey by looking for your service. Many times, they don’t even know they need you yet. Brand awareness advertising is the top of the sales funnel, and where most businesses should start. The goal of brand awareness is to place your business—branding, mission, location, and services—in front of potential customers so they remember your business when the time comes.
At Chronogram Media, we specialize in brand awareness campaigns specifically geared toward jump starting new small businesses—from digital banner presence on our websites to sponsorships in our email newsletters, social media posts, and more.
Interact with Your Digital Audience
Now that you have your communication channels established, it’s time to find ways to break through the noise.
If you’ve invested the time to create your social media pages, don’t let them go quiet! Aim to post at least once a week or more to encourage engagement. Let your customers know what’s new at your business, and interact with them and other local businesses to establish yourself as part of the community.
Looking to get more leads right away? You can do a giveaway or run a sweepstakes! Offering potential customers an awesome prize—like the chance to win $500 of merch from you or a partner business—is a positive, fun way to introduce customers to your brand in a way they’ll definitely remember.
From website creation to sweepstakes, multi-channel advertising,marketing campaigns, and more, the team at Chronogram Media can help your small business create a rockin’ digital footprint that sets you apart from your competitors. Want to learn more about how we do it? Reach out to our Business Development Director Lisa Montanaro at [email protected] to start the conversation!
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