How should you define your online presence?
Your online presence, which includes your website, blog, social media presence and any other website or online platform that hosts your content marketing, is a series of individual components, but is it a smart idea to treat each component as a separate entity? When your website goes down, you immediately focus on restoring service, and if you receive a complaint or a poor review on social media, you immediately focus on addressing it – in fact, many small businesses don’t even consider these components of their online presence as interconnected. Instead they consider each component as a separate property requiring attention at random intervals. However, failing to define, design and manage your online presence in a holistic manner can make your online presence considerably less effective.
“Wait, Did You Just Refer To My Online Presence As ‘Holistic?’”
That’s correct! Holism refers to the theory that the various parts of a whole are all interconnected, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is a concept that’s normally applied in medicine to describe the concept of treating the entire body to cure a particular ailment or disease; in philosophy, holism is also ascribed to mental states, language and ecology.
We’re not the first individual or company to describe an online presence as holistic, although in the past it has been primarily used to describe the importance of building and maintaining an online reputation as a subject-matter expert or thought leader within a particular industry; however, in this specific context, we are using the term to describe how the online presence of your business must be interconnected in order to maximize the effectiveness of each individual component.
Your Website Is More Than Just A Series Of Pages
When viewed as an individual entity, your website may not seem that impressive. While newer, modern websites have aesthetically-pleasing design elements, interactive components and powerful ecommerce features, webpages are still mostly a collection of interconnected web pages. That’s not to say that having a website in order to showcase your brand and your business, provide crucial news and information to your customers and facilitate ecommerce transactions isn’t important, but where are your website visitors coming from? Are you passively waiting for prospective customers to discover your website? Sadly, you may be in for a long wait.
With an online ocean of websites, web content and competing companies fighting to attract prospective customers, no small business can afford to sit by passively and wait for prospective customers to find them. Instead, your business needs a marketing funnel, and you need a holistic web presence, with your social media and blog showcasing your content marketing and acting as a funnel to deliver prospective customers back to your website, with calls to action and other tools in place to actively convert them into clients. This process relies on each individual component working in harmony, acting as a unified whole that propels your business to greater heights of success.
What If Content Marketing Isn’t Enough?
As we previously mentioned, the World Wide Web in 2017 isn’t a place where passive companies with limited web presences succeed – instead, your business has to be working overtime to attract prospective customers to your marketing funnel and, ultimately, your website. And, while content marketing can be an effective tool to organically grow your online presence, your business may need to utilize other marketing tools as well. Marketing contests and promotions through social media, which can include giveaways and digital coupon codes for followers that interact with and like your social media accounts, can boost your brand awareness and drive more followers to your website. Finally, by utilizing a comprehensive CRM system to track existing customers and to systematically follow-up after the sale, you can ensure that your business isn’t losing repeat customers to your competitors.
I love the idea of a brand being “holistic” because it elevates the level of connection you can make. Your brand isn’t just a website, an Instagram account, etc. It consists of multiple dimensions, layers, and platforms. Combined together, your brand is a representation of yourself. So it’s equally important to represent your brand well in multiple environments as you would yourself.
I’ve never heard of it explained this way. And I really like it!
Thanks for your comment, Melaine! Very well put. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!