For most startups, the process for establishing your digital presence seems relatively intuitive. After all, how hard can it be to set up some social media accounts and a Medium page? However, while those tools are great (and necessary), they only scratch the surface of establishing a digital presence and learning how to expand. Although this might sound complicated, with the right foundation, you’ll be rolling in no time. Here’s how:
Start With Social
One of the cheapest and easiest approaches to developing a digital presence is first with social media, which can not only be one of the most effective ways to grow your audience but receive feedback on what they think of your startup as well. Furthermore, social is also the primary medium for establishing your brand voice, which is important in starting a dialogue of who your company is and what they’re about. Granted, while most companies know that having a social media presence is expected, effectively utilizing a strategy to gain followers in an engaging way is a whole different ball game.
The biggest component of developing a strong social presence is to ask yourself what type of audience you’re after and what you want to gain from them. For example, as noted by TechCrunch, Instagram has over 1 billion users, making it a great place for visual storytelling and direct sales. To maximize the platform, you’ll have to know how to grow Instagram followers and get followers to engage, which will take trial and error. Additionally, some mediums are also going to be more effective than others regarding the message you’re trying to deliver, such as using LinkedIn for thought leadership, or YouTube for long-form commentary (such as vlogs or podcasts). Create a strategy based upon consistency, aiming to gain the most value out of your input long-term.
Build Upon SEO
Another important strategy of developing your web presence is building up your SEO ASAP. If you’re not familiar, SEO is search engine optimization, or how highly you rank on Google. According to Junto Digital, with 93 percent of online experiences beginning with search, this is an important audience to capture, but sometimes that can be a broad objective. Sure, owning the name of your company or being one of the only ones in your space can be great, but it’s when search terms start to gain specificity that the process becomes one you need to build towards.
Depending on the nature of your startup, the search terms you should start implementing on your website’s copy and blog will vary on what people will most likely look up to find you. For example, if I’m an AI data science company, then starting to implement terms like “AI data science” or “data science solutions” would be smart, with specifics to add per the industries you’re aiming to enter coming in blog posts or on the “about” page. We’ll note you don’t want to overdo it with search terms, but rather aim to establish a balance that gets the items you need on your website while still having a natural pace.
Implement Call-To-Actions On Your Website
Although underrated, a significant strategy in having more signups for your startup is implementing more call-to-actions on your page. Essentially, these are items like having people sign up for your email blasts or join your Discord. Even though we often overlook these aspects on a website, they have a proven track record of being an efficient means of developing a customer group, because as noted by Protocol 80, nearly 90 percent of visitors to your website will read your CTA copy. That’s a pretty significant figure, and one you should consider taking the time to implement throughout your page.
Don’t Forget About Mobile
Finally, no matter the type of startup you are, mobile will always reign supreme when people are discovering your website. As noted by Statista, nearly 51.2 percent of internet traffic is mobile, which goes to show how massive this audience is. And while your website might be responsive, it’s not necessarily just about having a site that fits for mobile, but delivers a welcoming experience that encourages them to engage more.
A smart way to think about engagement is by envisioning it as a pipeline. For example, if someone starts out from your Instagram account, what would be a link they click to get to your website, as well as on what page? From there, what interaction do you want them to have, as well as how do you want the flow to feel? Remember, most the actions on your site are going to follow a particular end goal, which is why it’s important to design this experience from top to bottom, as doing so will save you quite a bit long-term.
What are some ways your startup has gotten a good start on establishing its digital presence? Comment with your answers below!