“My business provides a physical service, so is building a strong online presence even worth it?” YES. Fortifying an online presence is advantageous for all types of businesses – especially those who provide services. Here are just some of the benefits.
Produce Better Lead Flow
A robust customer pipeline can mean a lot for a business – increased cash flow, exponential growth, penetration into new markets, and more! Having a solid online presence will enable your business to attract, engage, and convert more leads effectively and efficiently.
This is because each piece of the online presence is sculpted with the purpose of increasing your business’s visibility and seamlessly moving consumers along the buying journey.
For example: A roof installation business with good online presence might run several Facebook ads offering various types of appealing resources (e.g. 5 stages of roof wear and tear, signs your roof needs replacing, financing options for roof replacements) that attracts consumers to its website.
In those resources it will offer coupons for a free, no-obligation roof inspection with the option to call, email, or submit a form to get in touch. If people aren’t interested in the coupons right away, it’s alright because the business will have stored the data necessary for targeting those who requested the free resources with additional ads that help build credibility and trust over time.
Increase Authority and Credibility
Content is the currency of online presence. You give it to web users in exchange for their attention and buy-in.
As a service-based business, your content (whether blogs, photos, videos, graphics, etc.) should:
Educate your audience about your services and about topics that are related to them.
Demonstrate that you're capable of performing the services you offer.
Engage your audience enough to keep their attention.
If your content can successfully check each box, then your business will automatically gain authority and credibility among your audience.
By educating them with information relevant to the services you offer and about your services, you’re establishing your expertise or authority in your industry. By demonstrating through testimonials, portfolios, case studies, etc. that you’re capable of performing your services, you’re earning credibility.
Why is engagement necessary for increasing authority and credibility you ask? Well, you’ve got to keep your audience engaged long enough to consume the content that will get them to consider you a credible business and an authority in your industry.
Attract More Talent
Employees do just as much due diligence when reviewing potential job opportunities as businesses do when reviewing potential hires. The first thing an applicant will do is search your business’s website and social media pages.
With an excellent online presence, your business will seem more of an attractive place to work than your competitors especially if your online presence:
Portrays the value your business provides for customers.
Demonstrates the value employees receive from working with your business.
Answers common or fundamental questions applicants might have.
Shares comments and testimonials from current or recently-hired employees.
Remember, your website and social media pages will often be the first impression your business has with applicants, so you’ll want to make sure it’s a great one!
Control Your Narrative
Strong online presence means a business is in constant contact with its target audience(s) across various marketing channels and platforms. When your business is consistently sharing communications with your target audience, then you’ve got the unique advantage of placing a favorable narrative of your brand and your value proposition into the minds of your audience.
For example: If you’re a landscape design/build business that “focuses on delivering functional beauty,” then you can share pro landscaping tips, landscaping inspiration/portfolio photos, client testimonials, and employee stories that all tie back to your focus on delivering functional beauty.
That way, your audience that you’ve cultivated over time clearly understands that your business focuses on delivering functional beauty. So when they consider working with you, they know exactly what to expect – which will improve your close ratio and increase the level of value they perceive as your business completes their project.
Better Brand Awareness
In our What is Online Presence blog post, we define online presence as the extent, quality, and effectiveness to which a business GAINS VISIBILITY and interacts with its audience on the internet to achieve its objectives.
Based on our definition, when you are strengthening your online presence, you are gaining visibility and awareness for your brand. This is because building an online presence involves refining brand messaging, creating content around the messaging, and distributing it to your target audience consistently.
As your business frequently pushes branded content and communications to your target audience, they are going to recognize who you are and what you do. And as we mentioned in the previous section, your audience will then begin to adopt the narrative you share with them.
Lengthen the Shelf-Life of Your Campaigns
There are several “pay-to-play” online advertising options – be it Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. – that do a fantastic job at getting your brand in front of large quantities of targeted audiences. The problem with these options is that once you stop paying and end the campaigns, there’s no public-facing record that they even existed.
Though this can be favorable for seasonal campaigns or periodic sales promotions, it can be kind of limiting if your team only has enough resources to roll out a handful of campaigns each year.
As you strengthen your business’s online presence, many of the updates, content, and campaigns that are made will remain available to the public unless you opt to remove them. This works in your favor because what you build has the chance to compound over time, making future efforts more effective and more efficient.
This enduring quality of the components of online presence is what also makes organic traffic and audience building through SEO, YouTube channels, and social media worth the time and money.
Because content and campaigns that aren’t pay-to-play last after you’ve quit publishing new content, search engines and algorithms will still serve it to audiences as long as they find it engaging.
Get Started on Building Your Online Presence
If you’ve scrolled down this far, then you must be pretty serious about establishing a strong online presence for your business. If that’s the case, then it’s time you take a look at some resources that can help you get started: