Awareness around sustainability is increasing, but much remains to be done. You’ve done a great job making sure your business is eco-friendly and sustainable, but you need a powerful online presence to make your message heard loud and clear.
As of 2016, 79% of Americans preferred to shop online. So, not having an active online presence means you’re missing out on 4.8 billion people who search Google for products and services. Whether you’re a therapist, a wellness coach, a green living activist, or an eco-friendly brand, you’re missing out on many customers if you don’t have a substantial online presence.
With so much greenwashing and poor life choices, your message of wellness and sustainability can have a maximum impact only if you appear on your target audience’s radar consistently. Establishing yourself as an authority can produce maximum impact.
You must know how to increase your online presence, and No… having a company page on all social media platforms isn’t enough!
So, first, let’s see what exactly does having an online presence mean?
H2: What Does Having an Online Presence Mean?
Without going into the school book definition of online presence, it essentially means how easy it is to find your brand or company online through search engines, social media, and other relevant places on the internet.
Having a consistent online presence helps you reach your customers quickly and motivate them to do business with you. Back in the day, an online presence meant having a website for branding, but it didn’t do much to achieve your sales goals or meet your bottom line.
However, having a fully optimized website and strategic content across the internet is essential for meeting sales goals and staying relevant in the eyes of the 80% of consumers who search the internet to find a local business.
Creating an online presence isn’t difficult or expensive. Here are 15 sure-shot ways that can help you establish a successful online presence for your sustainable brand.
1. Create a Professional Website
A fully functional website is at the center of all your online visibility. Have you ever texted your friend telling him about a sustainable activewear brand? What was his instant reply?
Send me the link bro!
Having a professional website for your business is crucial; it’s where you hang your hat! Consumers trust an online business with a customer-friendly website, having the following features:
1. Loads fast
2. Optimized for different devices
3. Ranks for the related keywords
4. Exact directions to the next step
The goal isn’t to create a site for the show; you need a website that facilitates the buyers’ journey. It should have an ideal combination of colors, fonts, text, videos, and images to attract and engage buyers. And above all, your web content should be able to answer your visitors’ doubts about your green practices and provide proof. You need great content that provides all the information your visitors need to make the right decision and buy your products or services.
2. Blog To Connect With Audience
As a sustainable brand, your audience is passionate about green living and seek genuinely eco-friendly products and services. Being a sustainable brand, passion for sustainability is at the core of your business as well. Your blog should be able to convey this passion to your customers.
Blogging is fundamental to content marketing. It’s an easy and effective way to drive traffic to your website. When you create a customer-centric, highly informative blog, you’re not only giving your audience valuable information but also the reasons to buy from you. Blogs optimized for keywords and search intent also rank higher in the SERP, ultimately boosting your online presence in search.
Google aims “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” So, if you will create valuable content, you hit two birds with one stone; you appease Google and get your audience’s attention at the same time.
Remember, the goal of blogging isn’t to sell your product only. First and foremost, its goal is to build a healthy relationship with your audience. If you’re consistently providing helpful content for your customers without asking anything in return, they will prefer to buy from you when they’re ready.
3. Set Up Google My Business
The first place where any online business should set up their profile is Google My Business (GMB). It’s a free listing tool for companies and organizations to increase their online presence and appear on google maps. While other online directories may charge you a fee, GMB is free, easy to set up, and highly effective.
Despite this, many small business owners either don’t know about it or don’t prioritize it. It’s a big opportunity you shouldn’t miss. When someone searches for your sustainable business online, if you’ve set up your GMB profile correctly, your business will appear in the right-hand side knowledge panel on SERP.
Your GMB profile also appears in Google Maps, so it’s all the more valuable for your local SEO.
Some of the benefits of a fully optimized GMB profile are:
1. It builds trust among your customers.
2. People can see business reviews.
3. It improves the ranking of your website.
4. It provides an excellent first impression of your business.
Your GMB profile increases your chances of appearing in search results up to 84%. Here’s the basic info you need to create your GMB profile:
3. Contact number
7. Business hours
8. Serving area
Remember, if a consumer cannot find you on search, he will move to your competitor, doubting your authenticity. So try to make your online presence as wide as possible to get more in-depth credits.
4. Update Your Social Profiles
In a world with millions of brands, you choose to highlight yourself as a sustainable brand. You’ve created a fantastic website and have developed an enthusiastic blog section to grab consumer attention, but all this doesn’t reflect in your social media profiles!
You’re missing out on a lot of traction by neglecting your social profiles!
Using social media is one of the most popular online activities all over the world. It increased massively when the COVID pandemic hit in 2020. As per Statista, by 2020, there were 3.6 billion people worldwide using social media. This number is expected to grow to 4.41 billion by 2025.
These numbers show that social media is a competitive space as a touchpoint between brands and consumers. So, you need a solid game plan to position yourself as an authority in your niche on social media. Active social media platforms can boost your credibility and position you as an authentic brand.
It’s common among sustainable consumers to check brands’ social media platforms to see what other buyers say about them. If your social media profiles are not up-to-date, they may move to another active brand. Here’s how you can position your social media for maximum reach.
1. Add a related cover photo.
2. Fill the About section completely.
3. Make sure contact details are up-to-date.
4. Be quick to respond to direct messages.
5. Be courteous in comments.
6. Post meaningful content often.
7. Encourage people to leave a review.
5. Brand Your Online Presence
The sustainable market is pretty competitive, with all the eco-friendly brands trying to get the growing audience interested in the green lifestyle. As a sustainable company, you can leverage green marketing to brand yourself in a way that makes you memorable for the audience.
As an eco-friendly brand, you have uniqueness and a strong conviction. Make sure it shows in your content, both written and visual. To make your brand’s visual identity stand out, remember three things:
– Be unique and appealing.
– Be memorable.
– Be consistent across platforms.
If you can achieve these core elements in your visuals, you can make your branding stand out. For example, We Are We Wear is an eco-friendly swimwear brand that makes swimsuits for all shapes and sizes. In their Facebook cover photo, they have incorporated their motto, making it visually appealing.
Branding doesn’t revolve around visual representation in terms of logo, fonts, color palette, etc., only. It also means that the content is appealing, interesting to read, and attention-grabbing. With your content, you can stand out by developing a unique brand voice.
When your brand voice is recognizable by your audience, they will click on your branded results more, and thus, Google will pull up the rank for your entire content. Make sure the content has the following aspects:
1. A catchy title that grabs the attention
2. Informative yet creative meta description
3. An opening sentence that hooks the reader
4. A quirky copy that aims to engage
5. On-brand imagery that adds information
6. Master SEO
Search engine optimization is key to increasing your online presence. You can achieve long-term exposure only by mastering SEO!
Getting into the SERP is the ultimate goal of all SEO efforts because that’s how you get maximum exposure for your content, and of course, your business.
However, SEO has changed over the years. Google is mature now, and it rewards those who fulfill the search intent of the users. Google knows what a person wants when they search for a term, and it’s your job to provide the right solution or information for that keyword to get ranked.
Sustainability is the hot cake right now, and eco-friendly products and service providers are the future. Being an impact-first company, you have a competitive advantage over other businesses in your niche. You have a dedicated audience interested in your product.
Target the right keywords and make sure you provide the information the audience expects to read. SEO and content marketing are the power combo that can help you woo both the audience and Google.
7. Establish Your Authority
One of the main goals of increasing your online presence is establishing your brand as an authority among your audience. When you become an authority in your niche, your target audience seeks you out when they have a question or confusion. They want to solve their problem, but they trust the solutions you provide whether you appear at the top of the SERP or not.
However, positioning yourself as the authority isn’t going to happen in a day. It takes time, persistence, and patience to become Adidas, MUA, Corpus Ritual, or Konmari. There are two fundamental steps to establish your authority in your niche.
- Create helpful, actionable content consistently without asking anything in return.
- Collaborate with other high authority websites for guest posts, guest podcasts, and guest appearances in different ways.
8. Collaborate With Micro-Influencers
Collaborating with influencers in your niche can help you boost up your online presence. Since they already have dedicated followers who trust them, if they mention your brand, you are sure to get many qualified leads for your business.
For instance, Addie Fisher is a sustainable living enthusiast with a huge following. Imagine if you get her to endorse your eco-friendly products and services! Many businesses join hands with social media influencers on different platforms to reach a large audience whenever they launch a new product or publicize their new service.
Since people trust her endorsements, they will not question her recommendations and buy your brand if she endorses it. You will need to be able to convince these influencers that your products are worth promoting. Influencer marketing is based on trust, and people are sharp enough to know when they’re being sold.
Similarly, if you’re a wellness brand, you can reach out to Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook health influencers to help you reach their followers who need your products and/or services. For example, Bob and Brad are famous Youtube influencers who provide beneficial and actionable chiropractic advice and often recommend helpful products to their followers.
9. Offer Rewards For Reviews
Reviews play a pivotal role in building your brand’s image and swaying the audience’s opinion about your products and services. Reviews can be both negative and positive and everything in between.
As per a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers agree that online reviews influence their buying decision. Almost 86% of customers confessed they did not buy from a brand due to negative reviews.
As a brand, if you are receiving negative reviews, try to communicate with the consumer and understand their concerns. Resolve them until they are satisfied so that they can revise their opinion. As per BigCommerce, if a product or service has 50 reviews or more, there’s a 4.6% chance of increasing its conversion rate.
The good news is that 77% of the customers are willing to leave a review; all you need to do is ask. You can motivate them by discount coupons or cash backs for leaving reviews for the products they bought from you. For example, here’s a screenshot of the G2 Crowd’s popular caffeinated campaign for getting reviews. Instead of just asking for reviews, they have offered a lucrative incentive to their readers by partnering with Starbucks.
10. Be Responsive to Feedback
As you increase your online presence, your customers will leave feedback on your online platforms. It’s essential to respond to all of them, whether positive or negative, quickly and thoughtfully.
Always thank customers for their positive feedback and for doing business with you so. People are often quick to leave negative feedback instead of positive ones. So, you should always cherish those who take the time to mention their good experience online on your company page.
Now for the negative feedback, instead of taking it personally, respond positively. Take it as an opportunity to do the damage control effectively. If a customer isn’t satisfied with your service, it’s an opportunity for you to make amends.
Apologize on behalf of the company and offer practical steps to change the customer’s negative experience into a positive one. If nothing at all, this feedback can help you provide better service in the future and push you to make necessary changes. For example, if you have a completely sustainable product but your packaging service isn’t eco-friendly. The negative feedback may cause you to offer no extra packing or turn to eco-friendly packaging solutions.
11. Improve Social Media Engagement
If you’re putting every effort into increasing your sales and brand recognition, but your social media presence is lacking, you’re crippling your content marketing efforts.
According to the latest insights, half of the world’s population is active through social media. Today, a business cannot retain its audience without continually engaging them with useful and appealing content over social media.
A brand’s reputation also relies on its social media presence, as many consumers use social media to check a business’s credibility.
The audience may note the following aspects of your profile before doing business with you.
– Is your profile up-to-date?
– How active are you on your social media feed?
– Are you actively involved with customers in the comment sections?
– What is your attitude toward negative remarks in the comment section?
Notice how The Curvy Fashionista ended 2020 with month-long giveaways to keep their audience engaged during the holidays. Using creative humor in your social media content can also attract many potential customers on social media, having a good time. Humor improves engagement and increases likes and shares.
12. Use Email Marketing To Increase Reach
Among all the digital marketing tactics, email marketing is the easiest and most feasible way to keep your audience engaged. You can build an email list by creating downloadable resources in exchange for visitors’ emails. If you’ve been putting out useful content consistently, visitors will be more inclined to barter their contact info in exchange for your content.
Emails have an average of 21.33% open rate. So email marketing can be a cost-effective way for small businesses that don’t have a massive budget for paid advertisements.
Creating an email list has many benefits. You can keep your audience engaged by informing them about new content. You can email them exclusive deals to move them along the sales funnel and eventually boost your sales. However, avoid direct sales pitches and don’t overdo with product promotions and advertisements.
Your subscribers trust you with their email, so don’t exploit the opportunity and send only valuable stuff into their inbox. The number of emails you send depends on your audience, so it’s vital to track your email marketing efforts and take decisions accordingly.
13. Create Buyer Personas To Understand Audience
Author Adele Revella writes in her book, Buyers’ Personas, “When you combine the buyer profile with buying insights, you will have clear guidance for the decisions you need to make to win their business.”
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional profile that symbolizes an ideal customer. These customer profiles are based on data and thorough research about your target audience. With a buyer persona in mind, you can customize your marketing efforts according to your customer’s needs. Since you understand them better, you can connect with them meaningfully and resolve their problems satisfactorily.
According to Neil Patel, creating a buyer persona helped NetProspex increase its online presence by adding 900% unique visitors to its site.
By developing a buyer persona, you give a face and a name to a key segment of your target audience. It allows your business to create highly personalized content and lead nurturing emails customized for the unique needs of people in different audience segments.
The Skimm is a perfect example of brand personification. It’s a daily subscription-based newsletter created around a persona, The Skimm Girl, to represent the brand’s target audience, the female millennials. They found out their audience’s likes and dislikes through research and got them the latest global news with a dash of light-hearted humor. Today, the brand appeals to millions while staying authentic to its mission and vision.
You can also create a negative persona to represent customers who you don’t want to pursue. With a negative persona, your business will have the advantage of filtering out the wrong audience, leaving better ones behind. It can help lower lead acquisition cost and cost-per-customer (CPC), resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI).
14. Keep Your Audience in the Loop
Consumers today have many options, and that’s why brands that are open and honest about their policies and practices get the most appreciation. People dedicated to green living are particularly sensitive about honesty and openness.
Be truthful about your policies and terms and conditions, and never promise what you can’t deliver. Introduce transparency and inform your customers about all the significant changes in your company. For example, if your CEO resigns, issue a press release. If you shift your raw material sourcing from America to Bali, share the news with your audience. They’ll know it anyway, but if you tell them yourself, they’ll understand your reasons, and it won’t reflect poorly on your brand.
You can also use Google Alerts to keep yourself updated on the news about your brand. You will get alerts if someone over the internet mentions you. So, if you’re receiving negative publicity, you can easily do the damage control and preserve your brand image if your audience knows you’re always upfront.
15. Focus on Content Marketing
Paid advertisements are losing the potential to drive customers to businesses because most Americans use adblockers to save their sanity. On the other hand, useful and informational content is in demand more than ever today because people use the internet to find solutions, products, services, and almost everything in between.
Did you know that 80% of users know about a business through articles and blogs instead of paid adverts? Your sustainable online brand needs a comprehensive content marketing strategy to capture audience attention at each stage of the buyers’ journey. From blog content to website copy, you need to put valuable content in front of your audience consistently.
That’s why top organizations and businesses hire professionals content creators to convey their green living passion to their audience. Professional writers are adept at understanding the steps you’ve taken to make your business fully sustainable and write them in simple language understandable by an average person.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy of positioning you and your brand as an authority in your niche. As you generate more valuable content, it continually brings more traffic to your business platform. About 90% of B2B and 80% of B2C companies use content creation to engage their consumers. However, to get the best results from content marketing, you must know your goals, devise a long-term strategy, and write epic content to get your message across.