The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to live more of our lives online in new and unprecedented ways. From working from home and homeschooling to socializing and meeting family and friends through the virtual world. So what does that mean for Malaysia’s 907,065 small and medium-sized (SME’s) now and in the long run?
- How the online world is evolving
- Why should your brand care about online presence today?
- Making your business more accessible
- Enables effortless marketing
- Helps you understand your audience better
- 3 ways to build and improve your brand’s online presence
- Increase your credibility – why word of mouth marketing is so important
- Create valuable and authentic content – how brand ambassadors or KOLs can help
- Get social on social media – why every business needs it
How the online world is evolving
Before the pandemic took place, having an online presence was usually an additional tool business implemented to reach out and connect with more customers. However, now more than ever, digital presence is essential for your brand to gain genuine recognition, increase credibility and grow.
These changing times have forced many to adapt and make the most of the opportunities present in the online world. Especially when finances are tight, for instance in Malaysia where 34% of SMEs have experienced a significant decrease in sales of more than 20% since the outbreak took place.
Not only does online marketing enable brands to promote their services and products more cost-effectively, but this form of marketing also lets them reach out and engage with their customers in real-time.
Why should your brand care about online presence today?
How many times have you made a purchase decision based on a Google search? What about a time when you picked a restaurant just because it had a five-star rating and a ton of good reviews by past customers? Or even chosen a product over its competitor just because it had more genuine interactions with its consumers over social media platforms?
The more presentable your brand looks on the internet, the more likely a consumer will begin to trust you. Whether you’re a startup, an SME or even a multinational company, how you portray yourself online will ultimately determine how your consumers perceive your brand.
More than 88% of consumers expect brands to accelerate digital initiatives due to the pandemicthe 360 blog
Besides being present for your consumers, some other reasons why you should emphasize your brand’s online presence include:
1. An online presence enhances accessibility
Ever stumbled across a cute cafe while wandering in the mall with intentions to bring your friends there the next time you guys decided to meet up but when the time finally came for you to google the cafe up, you couldn’t find a single trace of them online?
So eventually, you gave up and chose to go to another cafe that you saw your favourite influencer visiting a couple of days back? A positive (or negative) online presence is better than no presence at all, even if your brand typically doesn’t sell anything on the internet.
Nearly 60% of people have discovered their favourite brands through online presenceThink with Google
2. An online presence enables effortless marketing
When your brand has a strong online presence, selling your products or services becomes an effortless process. The beauty of marketing online is that it can cost as much or as little as you decide it to be.
Gone were the days where you had to distribute and mail out a heap of flyers or posters to advertise a current campaign – today spreading the word out of a newly launched marketing campaign is as easy as a click of a button.
3. An online presence helps you understand your audience better
Having an online presence means you have two-way communication with your audience to gather insightful reviews and feedback or reviews. For instance, asking your followers which product they like the most through an Instagram poll can help you put more marketing efforts towards a bestselling product.
Even monitoring the activities of your consumers online such as which type of content gets them engaged most. That way, you would have a clearer view of which areas you should be improving on.
Here are three ways to build and improve your brand’s online presence right now:
1. Increase your online credibility
91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendationsInc.
Word of mouth has always been one of the best ways to attract consumers and online reviews have taken that to new heights. We’re more likely to purchase if others around us – even total strangers agree that it is a good decision. Today, online reviews are the biggest source of social proof and they have a clear impact on sales.
Pro tip: The more reviews your brand can receive, the better the conversion rates. It’s also recommended to consider having a focus group for your products and services. Check out how our consumer feedback services can help.
2. Create valuable and authentic content
A person like yourself is the most trusted source of information for today’s consumersMavrck
Whether we like it or not, brands aren’t in control of their messages anymore – consumers are. With the diminishing effectiveness of paid advertising, brand ambassadors provide brands with a better alternative to deliver on the genuine relationships that consumers crave.
Their undeniable genuine love for your brand will organically boost reach, awareness and engagement in a way other marketing strategies can’t.
Pro tip: With long-term ambassadors advocating for your brand, you’re guaranteed to run more authentic content. Start finding passionate brand ambassadors to endorse your brand with us.
3. Get social on social media
Internet users spend an average of 114 minutes a day on social mediaSprout Social
Even before COVID-19 started, social media was king. In 2016, it was reported that 62% of Malaysians had social media profiles. And, that number continues to grow as people go virtual during the pandemic.
As of 2021, about 86% of Malaysians were classified as active social media users, an increase of 24% compared to 2016. With social media soaring, now is the time to take your marketing strategies social if you want to nurture your relationship with your consumers.
To sum it up
While the COVID-19 crisis has likely brought you some worries about your business, connect with us today so that you can feel confident and well-positioned for growth post-pandemic!