If you’re just starting out with your own business in southwest Florida or western North Carolina, congratulations! You’re already awesome.
And you’re probably facing down a pretty daunting workload right now. Whatever your industry, you’re figuring out logistics and contacts, employees and suppliers, contractors and subcontractors (and contracts in general), physical infrastructure and insurance, and a million other things that have to be done—not to mention just going out there and finding your customers!
So when it comes to that last and, arguably, all-important issue—customers—you’ve gotta be considering your marketing strategies. And no doubt digital marketing is on your mind.
Even if you’re in a somewhat smaller market like Palmetto, Florida or Banner Elk, North Carolina, today’s businesses need websites.
And let’s just say that, like a lot of ambitious and independent up-and-coming entrepreneurs out there, you’re planning on doing a lot of this yourself. After all, you know what you want! And you want it done right.
What Goes into a “Basic” Digital Presence?
Well, not trying to scare you, but here are some of the things you’ll have to consider just to establish your new small business in the digital marketplace:
- Logo design (with alternatives)
- Brand color palette
- Brand fonts
- JPG, PNG or SVG files with transparent background for digital use (and high-res for print if indicated)
- Website design and content
- Hosting, CMS and domain
- Page layout
- Graphics (including photography)
- Copy (with SEO)
- Menus, navigation and structure
- Headers and footers
- Back-end SEO optimization
- Special functionality (online ordering, scheduling, galleries, contact forms, e-newsletter signup, logins [with custom front-end and/or back-end access], blog, etc.)
- Custom coding, including widgets and other tools
- Website management
- Fixing things if they break (due to errors or updates from host, widgets, or other tools, or [rarely] hacking or back-end tampering)
- Monitoring, fixing or upgrading storage to optimize load times, SEO, etc.
- Upgrading or changing hosts or other services as necessary
- Providing regular new content for search-engine viability (and/or allowing access to clients to upload new content and monitoring and fixing resulting errors)
- Upgrading client requests
- Social media
- Creating business accounts on desired platforms
- Writing and creating graphics for regular new content on an ongoing basis that engages and informs current and prospective clients
- Digital advertising—where and how
Yeah, it’s a lot. Trust me: I run a boutique digital marketing agency, and all of this above? This is my small business. This is what we do, for a lot of other successful small businesses (not to mention community organizations and nonprofits). And we stay busy.
Why is a Digital Presence so Complicated?
Well, it is and it isn’t. The truth is, a lot of people don’t think any further past, “I need a website for my small business.” And that’s totally understandable—you’re not a web designer. You can’t be an expert in every industry, and right now, you’re focused on the industry surrounding your own business.
But all of the things in our chart here are necessary elements in having “a website for my business.” I’m not being overdramatic; they are necessary. Without these elements, websites break. And with today’s technological growth, unattended websites break quickly.
Websites stop working. Or they work really slowly. Or they still technically exist, but the copy flow is broken—the words overlap the pictures; the pictures only half-load; visitors can’t really see what’s there and certainly can’t navigate to other pages.
Google will stop recognizing your website, if it ever registers it at all. And if your website doesn’t show up when people in Sarasota-Manatee search for your industry on google, how are they finding you? Are you relying on print or television ads just to get your website address out there?
In how many different directions do you plan on spraying your money before anyone even sees you?
A Digital Marketing Agency is a Good Investment
Yes, you have to spend money on a professional web developer to establish your online brand. But to be honest, if you’re already cutting corners at this stage of your new business, then you don’t have a great chance of making it anyway.
But a boutique Bradenton marketing agency is an especially productive investment. Here’s why:
- We make sure all the aspects of your digital presence work, and keep working.
- We create new designs, rather than relying on templates, to ensure your business’s brand stands out from other local small businesses.
- We are literally here for you. Our office is in Bradenton. Our employees are in Bradenton. I am in Bradenton. When a Deckard & Company client has a problem, they talk to me. Easy as that.