All businesses, whether digital or not, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now restrictions are starting to lift, do you need to maintain a digital presence? If so, how do you make sure you have a strong digital presence?
This article focuses on answering those very questions. It’s hard to predict the future, but we’ve seen the impact a good digital presence can have on businesses and how beneficial it will be going forward. As a business, it doesn’t matter whether you’re reopening or if you’re staying digital, we’ll cover some of the reasons why a digital presence is vital for your business and how you can come out of lockdown with a strong digital presence.
Why a digital presence is important after lockdown
Lockdown taught us that we can find businesses online, making a digital presence more important than ever. Now things are reopening, the use of the internet to look for businesses will start to transition into checking opening times, comparing prices, reading reviews, or something else entirely.
Here are some great reasons as to why a digital presence is so important after lockdown:
- People favour businesses that have clear and easy-to-find information online
- You can share information such as new opening times or special offers more easily when using an online approach
- A good digital presence helps establish trust and reputability with your customer base
- People trust online reviews now more than ever
- There are lots of opportunities to feature your business in local publications
- People are keen to support local businesses following the pandemic
And plenty more. This is especially important for e-commerce businesses and other digital-based businesses, who now must keep customers engaged with physical stores opening again. For these businesses, a strong digital presence can help:
- Retain interest with customers and prospects
- Be recognised as a more established business, especially as lockdown ends
- Build brand awareness, especially as physical businesses start to reopen
There are plenty of trends and statistics that point towards the importance of a good digital presence. For further information and some great advice on how to build your digital presence, head over to our ‘Why a Digital Presence is Crucial For Businesses in 2021’ article.
How to come out of lockdown with a strong digital presence
Nobody quite knows what the new normal looks like. However, knowing the importance of a strong digital presence, it’s clear that now is the right time to work on building yours. There are plenty of things that can help improve your online visibility, some of which we have included below.
Invest time into researching the best digital approach
For all businesses, especially e-commerce businesses, there are lots of ways of building your digital presence. However, very few businesses have the time and resources available to pursue all avenues available. That’s why it’s important to take some time and research the best digital approaches for your business.
A few examples of digital approaches you can focus on are:
- Building a website
- Establishing social media channels
- Customer reviews
- Adverts (paid and organic)
However, the research doesn’t end there. Once you have a long list of ways that you can build your digital presence, it’s then important to understand which methods will work for your business structure and how they will work.
For example, an e-commerce business can utilise adverts and videos to show their products and make them look appealing to their audience. These images and videos can then be shared on their website and social media which builds awareness and makes it even easier for customers to learn about the products they sell.
Find your digital central location
Every business should have a central digital location for their customers to go to. This should be where all your online efforts point towards, and then it should be the place for customers to learn and then contact/purchase from.
A very common central digital location is a website. By having a website, you can share all your key information such as your products and/or services, the benefits that they offer, how to get in touch, and lots more, and your additional online efforts can then point back to that central location.
For some businesses, especially e-commerce businesses, sites like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon may be more suitable than a website as there’s less maintenance and greater selling security. It’s important to take the time to weigh up the pros and cons of each option before deciding on your central digital location.
Create a plan and a timeline
Once you have a good idea of what you’d like to focus on, take some time to create a timeline. A strong digital presence doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to set timelines and manage expectations to keep everything moving forward.
An important part of your timeline is setting time to monitor and review your efforts. For example, setting up a website is one thing; however, it shouldn’t be expected that you’re going to be popular on day one (unless you’re extremely lucky or have ways of pointing people towards your new website). By setting a realistic timeline, you can review the impact your efforts have made on your digital presence and then make changes where necessary.
Invest in support from experts
There are many businesses out there that support companies in building their digital presence. Many small business owners are hesitant of spending money before the business is better established, however, the right company can bring a greater return than the cost of their services. For example:
- When you buy into a service, you buy into their experience and expertise too
- Many experts know what works and what doesn’t, often streamlining the process
- Often, even if you’re no longer a paying customer, support is available when you need it.
There are many more benefits, but always make sure you take the time to research and understand the return on investment before committing to anything. Many companies will be happy to talk further with you to make sure they are the right fit to support your business, so make sure to book meetings and talk further with them.
If you’re looking to develop a strong digital presence ready for the new normal, we’re here to help. With years of creative and technical experience, our team at Weave Studios have the experience and expertise to support you and your business venture. For further information, contact our team today!