Today the digital world has reached an unimaginable size. An ever growing number of people are connected to internet making our everyday lives more and more digital. We communicate and we work with the web : mail, chat, telephone calls, social networks, apps, all tools necessary today for our everyday lives at home and at work.
For this reason, it has become essential to have a presence on the web, along with an active web-marketing plan for any business that needs to communicate with its target markets. The number of internet users today is rapidly increasing, just some quick numbers: in 2013, in Italy 60% of all families had access to internet and 70% of the adult population used it. (Istat 2013). If we look at the over 14 age group Internet population, 31.5% have bought items on internet or used internet services.
A research carried out by PayPal a few years ago showed that in Italy only slightly more than 20% of all businesses have an internet site. However, 80% of those who had a presence on internet revealed that they had had very good results not only in an increase in sales but also in having a much better market image and public relations.
It goes without question that before going online with a website it is important to weigh up how to present oneself. A good brand image and a well-defined idea of what services to offer can go a long way, especially as the web gives us the opportunity to reach such a large number of the population.
Most people today look for what they need directly online: the most important search engine is Google, which provides a good search engine for all types of content including images and videos. Less widespread but however still with an important presence are Yahoo, Virgilio (in Italy) and Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.
You also need to be present on the social networks of which Facebook is the number one: news, images and videos are shared every day by millions of users; Twitter is also popular due to its peculiarity of having short messages used to convey chat and news items. Instagram is an app used to share images, especially photos, which can also be instantly modified after having been taken by smartphone and finally Pinterest, which allows teh user to organize images into thematic folders.
Therefore, a presence on the web today is essential: we can no longer rely on word of mouth or advertising only in magazines and papers. A good website has become an essential part of any business in order to be found easily by anyone who is interested in your products or services. The website must of course be attractive, clear and easily accessible so that potential customers do not leave the website unable to find what they are looking for!
The world of internet is continually growing: it is not enough to just be there with your website but you also have to be found. Have you ever asked yourselves the criteria Google uses in order to present certain websites before others? In order to satisfy customer’s searches Google uses complicated algorithms. If you want your site to come out top on the headings get a programmer to modify a little of the content so that your site is always number one in the Google search engine results. An expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) continually monitors a website in order to maintain its classification in the search results.
Being on the web today means not only being found by clients when they search for something but also being able to maintain an immediate presence with clients online. One of the advantages of the new social networks is the 24 hour presence of clients continually online. Today the web is 2.0*, that means based on sharing: everybody can take part in creating web content and commenting on it. Brand communication must take into consideration new ways of communicating and interacting with the public. Businesses must take on board these changes when deciding their marketing objectives.
Finally, the social networks allows businesses to reach thousands of their target customers who also spread the word with a simple like. In order to get the all important likes you need to plan out a marketing strategy so that you continually acquire new fans and keep your existing ones. In other words you can’t afford to be boring.
(*The term Web 2.0 became popular in 2004 and is associated with Tim O'Reilly and the Web 2.0 conference organized by his firm O'Reilly Media. The term indicates the interaction between web sites and the web users through blogs, forum and social networks)