Why a strong online presence is more important now than ever before
Different Perspective’s president shares his thoughts on changing customer relationships amid the COVID-19 pandemic
We are currently going through a period of great change. And as with any major disruption to our lives, we’re very quickly learning important lessons and finding new ways to adapt.
When you put things in perspective, the Great Depression taught us not to fully trust financial institutions. The dot-com bubble burst taught us to look into company financials and earnings closely. The Great Recession taught us that experiences are more important than tangibles.
I truly believe that we’re going through another transformative stage right now—one where your online presence will need to be the main focus. Let’s explore why.
Why we’re in a transformative stage
The world we live in today is very different from the one of just three months ago. People have had to fundamentally change how they interact with each other and, as a result, many companies around the world have had to dramatically change how they do business.
Adapting to changing customer relationships
Potential clients may not have the opportunity (or the interest) to physically meet providers—for at least a few months more. This new behavior will become the norm until people are comfortable with “social distance” or a vaccine becomes available.
Businesses now more than ever need to be thinking of ways to connect with their customers virtually. Different Perspective is no exception. Without face-to-face meetings, we’re turning to video conferencing technology and other online tools to help us forge and maintain client relationships.
And we’re not alone: of the 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses recently surveyed by Facebook, 51% reported that they’re increasing online interactions with their clients.
Right now, businesses should be exploring what services they can offer 100% online. It could be virtual consultations, telehealth services, online shopping with contactless delivery, and simply sharing helpful resources and information that your customers are seeking at this time.
How your online presence can help (or hurt) your business
As well as aligning how you provide your services with today’s landscape, businesses need to consider how they communicate all of these big changes to their clients and potential customers.
This is where your online presence really comes in. With all of us spending more time online, potential clients are likely to do more research than ever before prior to contacting you.
A strong online presence—one that reinforces your brand, showcases what you offer, and explains any important changes—can quickly turn those searchers into customers. A weak online presence, on the other hand, may even more quickly drive them away from you and towards your competitors.
The fundamentals of a strong online presence
Your online presence needs to be concise, connected, and part of a collection of elements.
A strong online presence is made of:
- Website: the core of your online presence. Use your website to showcase your services, feature your products, share consistent, quality information, and capture leads.
- Social media: build relationships and gain trust by sharing authentic, relevant content and consistently engaging with your audience.
- Online business listings, including Google My Business: let searchers see what you offer at a glance, accompanied by reviews from real customers.
- Email marketing: as one of the most important parts of your online presence, email marketing is key to reinforcing your brand and services to the people who are already interested in you.
My advice to businesses
Invest time now in your online presence. Why? Because it will pay dividends, both now and in the future.
By acting sooner rather than later, you’ll be ready to welcome customers as their lives return to the “new normal”—and you’ll have a strong online presence with the power to unlock new and exciting opportunities more than ever.
Wishing you every success,
President of Different Perspective
Need help building a strong online presence for your business?
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1: Facebook & Small Business Roundtable, State of Small Business Report May 2020