Business development · 18 May 2017

The key to getting discovered online boils down to one thing: Know your digital audience

Do you know how to get discovered online?
Do you know how to get discovered online?

You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t appreciate the benefits of digital marketing, but how do you go about it in reality? Knowing who you’re pitching to is a great start.

In the UK, the average person owns about 3.4 devices, and 89 per cent of people go online at least daily – if not more frequently.

It should be no surprise then that the internet economy is worth around £280bn. In addition, approximately 84 per cent of businesses that have engaged in some form of online marketing report an increase in turnover. What perhaps might come as a surprise is that, despite all of this, 70 per cent of businesses do not invest in digital marketing.

These figures come from Yell CEO Richard Hanscott, who gave a talk at the Business Show today to highlight why small businesses need to get the word out there on the ether.

Here are some statistics from Hanscott’s talk about getting discovered online:

· 88 per cent of local searches take place on mobiles
· 97 per cent of people search for keywords and locations, e.g. “hairdressers Clapham”
· 79 per cent of people use social media every day
· 87 per cent of businesses are missing details or have incorrect details online.

In today’s digital world, getting discovered online means being contactable 24/7, with great reviews and excellent content on social media is actually expected by customers – you don’t gain extra brownie points for having everything in place, but they might think less of you if they can’t get hold of you online.

It’s important to know what your company’s target demographic is so you can tailor your communications. For example, if you have a much younger demographic, you need to be more engaged in social media, and might benefit from tailoring your key words.

Hopefully it is becoming clearer why businesses can’t afford to ignore this trend – if your business is incorrectly listed online, you could be missing out on custom.

Tried and tested ways to get discovered online

Reviews are a great way to increase you discoverability online, yet all too often small businesses pay no heed to this. These days, it’s common to check a review site before doing anything – we might automatically check a restaurant’s reviews on our phones before deciding to pop in, and so on.

A staggering 88 per cent of people trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation, and what’s more, 68 per cent believe that a bad review handled well can also build trust in a company. As long as your customer service is top rate and you engage with your reviews, they can be a tremendous force for good in your business.

Overall, when it comes to discoverability and digital marketing, Hanscott’s advice is simple: know your audience, set yourself clear objectives, and invest wisely.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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