Content Management: How to Increase your Online Presence
Most people believe that in order to have a strong online presence you only need to have a website and, thanks to the social media revolution, a few accounts on the major social medias then you will receive thousands of visitors from the first day of your website. But they are 100% wrong though.
Having a website for your company is the very first step of your online presence but of course it isn’t the only one. Surprised? I guess you are, but having a website without your own content is just like a shop without anything to sell! In the streets people would just pass by in front of your shop without coming inside and that is exactly what would happen to your website.
The solution to this problem? DCC. DCC stands for Digital Content Creation and is basically what you have to do to fill up your virtual place with fresh content to attract visitors that may become clients or partners.
1. Digital Content Creation
According to Wikipedia, the Digital Content Creation or DCC is:
"a modern term denoting the creation and modification of digital content, such as animation, audio, graphics, images and video, as part of the production process before presentation in its final medium."
The principle behind this very academic definition is very simple: you create your own content relevant to your industry; you publish it on as many sharing platforms, social media websites, and professional networks as possible on a very regular basis.
Even if your business isn't related at all with the internet industry or you are not selling any of your products trough an e-commerce platform you still need to establish this strategy. In the past few years, you didn't need do this to increase your brand and company exposure but times have changed.
Nowadays if you are not visible by your clients, if you are not seen as a specialist in your industry and whatever your products are, then you have less chances to be recognized as producing quality products. Even worse, your prospects may never have heard about you because your competitors are much more visible on the same field.
2. PR Agency: Bad Idea
Communication has evolved so much during the past years that it seems so useless to only rely on the traditional PR agencies that deliver uninteresting factual information about the launch of your new product. Publishing one press release every 6 months is not what we can call an effective communication campaign.
Not only should you keep your classical communication, especially about your financial statement but you also have to share your knowledge to your audience and this is even more important if you are directly involved in B2C deal.
Nowadays, people and among them your customers want to know exactly how the product they are buying is made, feel connected with the brand they are following on social media, know who are your in-house specialists, how efficient and professional you are in your given field! In other words they want to have a true interaction and know everything about your company!
Most importantly, your customers can become your best ambassadors and this is a key target to achieve. They will promote your brand to their families, friends and everyone they know...and they will do it freely !
3. Open Communication means Open Doors
In an era where everyone can share, distribute, publish any content at any time, you need to have a clear communication strategy if you want to succeed on this field.
3.1 Digital Content Creation
First you need to develop and create your own quality and remarkable content! You don’t know how to start? So here is a list of few possibilities:
- Set up a blog, it must be directly integrated into your website
- Write article about your products: new functionalities, interesting way to use them,..
- Create a mailing list which contains direct links to your latest articles
- Get industry experts interviewed
- Cover news about your industry: new regulations, new analysis,…
- Publish video interviews from your in-house specialists
- Publish your commercial presentations, leaflet,…
- Write analysis reports
- Invite guest bloggers
- Write responses to other leaders industry’s blog, it’s a very nice way to engage conversations
- Upload your pictures on flickr or any other photo sharing networks
- Write tutorials and e-books and upload them to sharing websites
- Audio Podcasts
- If you are working in a high technical industry, start a wiki
- Publish your job offers
- Write humorous posts on Friday or celebrate festivals: Christmas, New Year Eve,..
You need to show your visitors that you know your market and that you have the accurate knowledge and information to provide them the best solutions available.
3.2 Connected Communities
Second, you need to register a corporate account on the most relevant social media platforms. Keep in mind that the biggest one is not necessary the most efficient one and that many highly specialized professional social networks with a lower audience can be more relevant for your industry. Below is a non exhaustive list of community based platforms with a broad audience:
3.3 Publishing House
Final step, you need to publish all your relevant and remarkable content on each of the communities websites that you have chosen. The pictures must be uploaded to flickr and other photos sharing platforms, the videos to youtube, dailymotion and youku, commercial presentations to slideshare and so on.
Be sure to publish frequently, the best timing is about 20 times a month, which means that you need to publish at least one piece of content every working days. Of course, you can still decrease the posting rate but keep it consistent across time. Do not publish 3 articles one day and nothing for the next 2 weeks, it's way better to have a regular posting rate.
4. Key Advantages
By starting a digital content strategy, you will have a huge asset in your hands, not only will your reputation increase as you will be recognized as an expert in your field but at the same time as not all your competitors will establish this strategy you will decrease their reputation and force them to be a follower.
After several weeks, you may also receive some application from people looking for a job or partnership since your website would attract your prospects, clients but also people working in this industry.
Don't forget about the cost, it's way cheaper to launch this strategy compare to the traditional PR campaign made by a classical agency.
As this strategy will enable your prospects and clients to discover the "inner life" of your company, you will also receive some comments/feedbacks about your products, process and market analysis which can be invaluable as they are directly given by the people who are using your services/products.