If you are old enough to remember the explosive growth of the internet, you will probably have heard about ‘surfing the web’ or how ‘the internet is like a series of tubes’. When was the last time you heard the web described in this way?
When Ted Stevens made his comment about a ‘series of tubes’ in his speech about net neutrality he had no idea how quickly it would spread and how much debate it would spark. To someone like Stevens, the internet was a novelty, even as recently as nine years ago.
The internet is now ubiquitous
Today, however, the internet is used by the vast majority of the population in the UK and the US; in fact, in 2014 around 84% of British households had internet access. Internet access is now an expectation, not a rarity.
This means that brand owners need to have a web presence, as consumers now expect that they will be able to deal with their favourite brands any time, any where. If you don’t have a website, you are not just losing out on online purchases but also on real-world footfall because shoppers want to check your prices, get directions to your store, confirm your opening hours, and generally learn more about your brand.
Consumers also want to be able to talk to their favourite brands online. Twitter is now an important part of customer service, while Facebook and Instagram offer numerous marketing opportunities for even the most niche brands.
Building a local presence on a global web
It is easy to forget that while the web is global, the main search engines do a great job of building local online ecosystems. If you use a company such as Belfast web design agency Ryco Marketing that offers hosting and web design In Belfast, you have a good chance of being able to rank well for queries made by users in that county; meanwhile, someone in Glasgow using a company local to them, and with content tailored to that market, will seem all but invisible to a searcher in Ireland.
With a good website, a regularly-updated social media presence and a strong offline brand, you can become a household name to the people who matter. Whatever niche you operate in, you cannot afford to ignore public relations.