It’s time to face facts. If you don’t have an online presence for your company, you’re not going to be successful in today’s fast-paced business world. More and more, online sales are increasing, and brick-and-mortar businesses have to be connected online to bring in customers to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, this is sometimes easier said than done. Creating an online presence is not something achieved overnight.

Here are five key areas you need to achieve this online presence for your business:

  1. Website — First and foremost, your company must have a website to promote your business. This site’s style and set-up will be dictated by your own particular needs. If you’re running an e-commerce store, you’ll need something to showcase your products and promote sales. If you run a restaurant or service-based business, you’ll need a site that can simply act as information to help bring in customers to your physical location. But everything that follows has to start with that first website.
  • Google My Business Listing — Once you have your website, you’ll also need to lay claim to your business identity on Google My Business. If you run a cupcake bakery in New Orleans, for instance, a customer who searches for “cupcake bakeries” will see businesses listed at the top of their Google search. These listings will include information like address, hours of operation, and reviews. It’ll also link up with Google Maps to provide directions to the business. If you want to be featured when searches are done on Google, then you need to set up your Google My Business listing.
  • Content Marketing — Now that you have your webpage and Google My Business listing, you need to help direct people more and more to your website by creating content. Content can be everything like shared blogs or even self-produced videos. These can be shared through a variety of means, including social media (more on that in a minute) and even video hosting sites such as YouTube. The point is that you need to keep generating fresh content with appropriate keywords so you can stay at the top of the search engine results.
  • Influencer Marketing — It’s not enough for your website to be out there. You also have to make connections with other people who can help promote your website. Think of this as old-fashioned business networking. If there’s a blogger who’s getting lots of web traffic in your field, see if you can cross-post material with them or get a share or retweet from them. This will help build your audience and expand into other markets that may not know about you.
  • Social Media Marketing — Social media marketing is a must these days. When you post content, or updates about content on your website, it should run through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To make this a success, you need to know your target demographic and which social channels they are most geared towards. One thing that you need to do, however, is focus on two social media platforms and really master marketing yourself there before you move on to trying others. Don’t take on too much at once.

An online presence is a must-have for anyone in the business world today. In order for you to reach your target audience, you need to have multiple avenues besides just a simple website and opportunities to engage with them regularly.