Is your company’s virtual presence as robust as it is in person? Knowing that your online brand exists through whatever is written and posted about your company online – does it represent how great your business is?
Heading into 2015, there is no excuse for a poor company presence online because you simply cannot afford to ignore it. Midsized companies who have not invested in resources to enhance and improve your online brand are leaving money on the table. Big money.
Company executives tell me they are moving too fast to stop and improve their image online.
Here are three reasons you should work to improve your digital presence right now:
Your Sales Reps Want Meetings with Executives
When your sales people reach out to a prospective buyer who is an executive in a company, one of the first things they do is go look at your website to better understand if they want to give up their valuable time to meet or talk. So you pay your sales reps money to prospect and find buyers – it makes sense that you also invest in having the best representation of your company when they find it online.
Buyers go online to find the products and services you offer – every day. With a web presence optimized to attract “more probable” prospective customers, using a content strategy, keywords and search technology, you can organically bring potential buyers your way. When other people say great things about your company and its products, you will attract even more eyeballs. This gives you MORE sales opportunities than if you did not optimize.
Your Virtual Trade Show
We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in tradeshow strategies – I’ve worked with companies who annually hit dozens of tradeshows to build visibility. Many in-person trade shows have declining attendance with costs rising. Your digital presence is your virtual trade show – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. This needs to be a key place you invest dollars as well as a vision and a direction for your web presence.
Make your website the hub – or the focal point of what a buyer in search of your services will find. Utilize social platforms to bring potential buyers to your hub – where you can control the messaging and you can align buyers needs with solutions.
If you leave your brand up to whatever anyone might find online, you are setting yourself up to potentially miss out on some big deals, opportunities, and partnerships that otherwise would come your way. Remember, people do business with people that they know, trust, and like. With a poor presence, a percentage of buyers will eliminate you before you even have a chance.
These days buyers are going to sites like Glassdoor.com to read what your employees are saying about your company. They are having search engines find insight about you.
What companies have removed you from their short list because of what they found online?
What is your plan to grow and improve your presence in 2015?
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program,which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.