2 November 2023 · 6 min read

The Digital Race:
Are You Ready?

Branding Digital SEM SEO Social Ads web

Digitalization has completely transformed how brands engage with their customers. Nowadays, a small neighborhood shop can be selling in Hong Kong, the United States, or Malaysia, while also serving local customers in person. This may seem like common sense, but it changes the paradigm of behavior, not only for users but also for brands and companies, regardless of their size. Suddenly, we can compete globally with big brands from our small shop or office in the middle of a 300-person town. In this article, we will explore why brands must not only be present in the digital world but also invest strategically in their online presence. From SEO and SEM to social media advertising.

The Web as the Epicenter

The first stop on this digital journey is the website. The web is the epicenter of a brand’s online presence. A functional and attractive website is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s not just a business card; it’s a platform for customer interaction and building strong relationships. From visual identity to engaging content, your website must be your digital ambassador. Without a presence in the digital environment, you don’t exist.

An effective website is an interactive showcase that should reflect the brand’s visual identity and provide an exceptional user experience. From user-friendly navigation to attractive design and informative content, every little detail matters. But what has truly revolutionized the game is e-commerce. E-commerce has evolved from an option to a necessity for many brands, especially if you sell products or services to end customers. With the growing trend of online shopping, not having a solid e-commerce strategy means missing out on opportunities. A small business no longer competes only with the store across the street or in the next town; it suddenly competes with large corporations that do things very well and, in the eyes of a buyer, there is no difference between the shopping experience in a retail giant like Amazon, Ali Express, Zara, or Asos, and that of a small neighborhood store. In fact, the small store starts at a clear disadvantage since, first of all, it must build a digital reputation, offer easy navigation, secure payment options, and efficient customer service, at least at the level of these large companies. Focusing the business on e-commerce can not only increase your revenue but also strengthen customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

In the digital age, your website is not just a tool; it is the heart of your digital presence. Investment in its development, maintenance, and optimization is crucial to compete in an increasingly digital and globalized market. Digital transformation is a reality, and digitalization is not a choice; it’s a necessity.

SEO and SEM: The Keys to Presence and Visibility

Everything mentioned in the previous point makes no sense if no one can find your website. It’s like suddenly opening your store in the best location in the city but it’s located in the most remote and hidden street, and you always have the blinds down. Wouldn’t it be true that no one would come? This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) come into play. SEO optimizes your website to appear in organic search results, increasing visibility. This requires optimizing content and the structure of your website, along with a strong keyword strategy. SEM, on the other hand, uses paid advertising to stand out from the competition. It is the “fast track” where we look for results and immediate conversion. This gives you visibility among interested audiences. Here we must control the types of strategies that Google provides: search, brand shielding, display, remarketing, or performance Max, among others.

Continuing with the examples in the physical world, SEO is your trusted salesperson, the one who keeps your customers for a long time by “chipping away” and always being there for them. It is a long-term effort that ensures loyalty and repeat business. SEM is the “snake charmer” that brings traffic to your store. It seeks volume, quality, but volume and speed.

We must know how to take advantage of what SEO and SEM offer. When someone searches for something like “Buy men’s winter sweater,” their search is very close to the transaction. We call this intention-based advertising. It’s like when someone enters your physical store and asks for a specific sweater and if you have it in their size. All you have to do is be polite, have what they’re looking for, and make sure it fits, of course, but here the sale is practically done, there’s no need to convince them too much.

Both approaches are crucial for digital success, and the intelligent combination of SEO and SEM can increase your visibility, attract quality traffic, and exponentially increase your sales. SEO and SEM are not passing fads; they are essential strategies to be found in a sea of digital information and noise. Ignoring them is to refuse to compete on equal terms.

Investment in Social Ads: Beyond Social Media

Today, it’s almost impossible to talk about digital presence without mentioning advertising on social networks, which has changed how brands connect with their audience, and investing in Meta (Facebook’s corporate brand) ads, especially, is a powerful tool to reach your target audience.

ut it’s not just about the budget; it’s about strategy. Social Ads strategy requires a precise focus to ensure that you’re reaching the right people at the right time. If you don’t, you risk spending valuable resources on minimal impact. Still, it must be understood that the motivation of people browsing social networks does not have direct motivation or immediate purchasing predisposition. This is what we call interruption advertising. As an example, it’s similar to TV commercials or billboards on a busy street in a big city. They are like digital billboards that can be customized to reach specific audiences. Imagine you have a new product and want to promote it. With Meta Ads, you can select criteria such as age, interests, and location of your target audience. Then, your ad will be shown only to people who meet these criteria, as if you were placing your billboard in a location where you know your ideal audience passes by every day. The difference is that in the digital world, you can “track” it instantly, optimize it, change the creative, etc. In short, react in real time based on immediate results, so your financial investment will be much more efficient.

And we haven’t even talked about Tik Tok or other social networks that have made a strong entrance. We’ll save this for another post.

In a nutsell: The Digital World Doesn’t Wait

In a world where digitalization is the name of the game, brands must rise to the occasion. Having a strong digital presence with an optimized website, well-planned SEO and SEM strategies, and smart investment in social media advertising are essential elements for success in the digital world.

Ignoring these realities means giving up the opportunity to connect with a global audience and compete in an increasingly digitized and larger market.

The digital world doesn’t wait; are you ready to be a part of it?”

Ferran Esturgó

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