Modern businesses need to put as much effort into their digital presence as they do in their physical presence. Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers start their shopping experience online. And nearly all of them will venture into the digital world for reviews and other research. And at the same time that the importance of getting found online is growing exponentially, the difficulty is also increasing.
The stories of small businesses exploding with new leads from a free Facebook page or a couple of five-star Google reviews are becoming increasingly less common. While there is still plenty of success to be found in the digital marketing realm, the fast and free options are drying up fast. So, that begs the question of what will work in 2022 to get your business found online?
2. Encourage Reviews:
Most customers simply need to be asked for their input, and they’re more than willing to share. If you want your customers to leave you a review, all you need to do is ask. Make it a thing and have your employees ask customers to leave reviews at checkout. Throw some colorful, attention-grabbing swag in their bags, reminding them to leave a review and offering a small discount. And follow up every transaction with a thank you email and one more gentle reminder to leave a review.
Leverage the Power of Digital Word-of-Mouth
The single most powerful tactic that you can use to get found online is to get people talking about your brand, product, or service in positive ways. Even in the digital age, people still love to tell others about their experiences–good or bad. And many consumers rely on reviews to make important decisions about where to do business and what to buy.
Three things that you can do to increase your exposure from online reviews:
1. Monitor Your Online Reputation
Having zero negative reviews is unrealistic and honestly will make people think that you’re paying to remove bad reviews. Still, a bad review can hurt your reputation. Use the right tools to monitor what people are saying about your brand online and be visible in solving problems so that people see how you act when you get a bad review.
If you’re offering a good product or service and you’re paying attention to how you treat your customers, you’ll earn plenty of good reviews. Providing the whole picture is important; you want shoppers to see lots of good reviews and some honest, constructive reviews paired with your outstanding service.
The golden rule in customer behavior is that it has to be easy. If you want to encourage more customers to leave reviews on your website or a third-party review site like Google or Yelp!, link it up and make it easy for them to do so. When a customer visits your website, it should be plainly obvious where and how to leave a review. And don’t forget to solicit those reviews with email campaigns, retargeting ads, in-app reminders, and simple social media shoutouts.
Underdogg Marketing knows digital marketing inside and out. We’re here to be the friendly face to help your small business build an online presence. Learn more today.
What you do on social media matters. The concept of curating an audience using Facebook or Instagram isn’t new; we’ve all been doing it for at least a decade. Social media is still where customers spend the largest slice of their time–and therefore, it is still a worthy investment of yours. More than half of consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media channels every day.
The difference is in how you’re using social media in 2022. We’re a little burned out on brands pushing their marketing agendas out through social media blitzes and a little more into making authentic connections by being helpful and informative where it matters. Try to find natural intersections between your customers, their hobbies and interests, and your business.
Then, go build a presence geared towards being helpful. Seriously. No selling. When you provide real value, you’ll begin to establish a presence. The right customers will be attracted to your presence, and they will naturally dig deeper to find ways to interact with you. And when they do, you’ll have a whole brand to showcase to their perfectly primed interests.
We’re consuming more content than ever before. Business blogging and high-quality video content are taking the digital marketing world by storm. But it’s not enough just to churn out content. You need a deep reservoir of high-quality content that aligns with your customer’s needs. And that takes a strategy.
Is there a magic number? No, but our best guess is that you should have at least 200 to 300 high-quality blog posts of evergreen content to start with. And then, your strategy should shift to updating that content and keeping it fresh, only adding new content when it is relevant.
Keep the focus on quality and consistency, and you’ll build an online presence sooner than you might think.
Show Up in Local Search Results
The top search engine, Google, has invested a lot into local search performance, making it the best way yet to get found by the right customers. What this means is that when someone types a relevant search into the search engine, a series of local results based on Maps or Google My Business listings show up first based on the GPS information shared by the user.
Users can also narrow down their search results by using search tags like zip codes and keywords combined with the phrase ‘near me.’ What this means for businesses is that there’s one more place that they need to optimize their business listings. Make sure that your business website is optimized with the appropriate location tags and take time to build out the appropriate keyword phrases on your Google business profiles.
The Bottom Line on Getting Found Online in 2022
Your digital strategy is important. Businesses can no longer afford to make their online presence an afterthought. Many consumers today assume that businesses have closed up shop if they can’t find them online. And in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, that perception is only likely to grow. So, the key to getting found online is to build a strategy and allocate sufficient resources to see it through. It’s a big job; you’ll need to create consistent, high-quality content and be present day-in and day-out on all your customer’s favorite channels.