The cost of not investing in your online presence

I've heard a lot lately that some business owners aren't interested in investing in their online presence. Online dollars can seem like a lot when you "aren't getting any website leads anyway."

Your online presence consists of any messages you put out online and can include (but isn't limited to) your website, social media channels, Google My Business, news articles, videos, and anything else an individual might find when searching for your business.

However, what does it cost you when you don't spend the money?

1. Your brand presence

A brand without an online presence, or without a presence that resonates with its target audience, isn't helping you attract new customers. It's not helping you connect on an emotional level and not doing the thing it's meant to do - let people know that your business exists.

This sometimes looks like:

- People who exclude their website from their business card

- Being too nervous or ashamed to tell people they have a website

- Going out of their way to hide that they have a website from prospects

2. Online leads

If people can't find, navigate, or connect with your online presence then you are losing potential customers. People want to know more about a business before they show up to a storefront or reach out. At this point in the 21st century, not having an online presence is downright suspicious since it makes people question if you're a real company.

This sometimes looks like:

- A lack of any online materials for people to find and search

- A website or social media channels that don't rank well enough for people to find you

- A site that is confusing about what you want people to do

3. Credibility

One of the things that a website gives your business is credibility. It shows that you've invested in your business enough to care about potential customer's impressions when they actively are looking for people that offer your types of services.

This sometimes looks like:

- People not picking up the phone because a brand or website looks like outdated

- People feeling skeptical about a business's expertise

- People looking for additional ways to validate your business's expertise (i.e. maybe I'll check the reviews feelings)

4. Trust and Interest

Despite what you may have heard, customers are paying attention - especially to video and content. Investing in these types of methods to boost your brand presence can be very effective when increasing customer interest and engagement.

81% of video viewing sessions capture people’s attention.
— Google/Ipsos, “Video Mobile Diary,” U.S., 2017

This sometimes looks like:

- Loss of interest in a category or business

- Deciding not to return to a website or social media platform

- Choosing a competitor to give their business

So, at what point does it become worth it to you?

And if you're not going to invest in your business, than how can you ask customers to?