In an age when everything is digitised, it is vital for businesses to maintain online presence. With 380,000 internet users in Malta alone, it has never been more essential to ensure your business is alive in the digital sphere. Many enterprises struggle to keep up with online channels and find difficulty in determining which online platform best suits their requirements.
According to Hootsuite’s 2019 report We are Social, 98 per cent, approximately 370,000 of Maltese, from the age of 13+, can be reached through Facebook. Therefore, being active on Facebook has become essential for any type of business since it is a great way of reaching a large audience with minimal spend. Of course, there are other social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, which must also be considered.
Instagram, a social media platform focused on communicating a message through imagery and video, is rapidly growing in Malta. With 42 per cent of Maltese on Instagram and a 4.6 per cent user increase quarter on quarter, it is necessary for businesses to start utilising this platform. Since Instagram is relatively new, when compared to Facebook, its users are generally younger and this gives a unique opportunity for businesses to create brand awareness among the younger generation for future purchases.
Other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, with over 190,000 local users, cannot be ignored in the decision-making process of social media marketing. The platform aims to create an online business community and has become an ideal space to communicate business-related content. It is also very useful in the recruitment process, allowing ease of job application and CV submissions. The social media platform you choose to focus your efforts on is dependent on who you are trying to target.
But it is not all just about social media. Did you know that 90 per cent of Maltese enterprises have a website? This means that if your business has no website, chances are your competitors already have one, and this puts you at a disadvantage. With so many online resources, even a simple website can be created at minimal expense through Wordpress. The main advantage of using Wordpress is its user-friendliness and the fact that anyone, even if they’re not particularly tech-savvy, can update content – whether its imagery or text. In this way, your portal is always kept up to date with the latest product offerings and services.
The type of site is dependent on your business goals. If your business offers fast moving goods, creating an e-commerce site might be the way forward for you. With over 53 per cent of Maltese buying online, it is important to tap into this segment. Aside from savings costs of running an outlet, an online shop offers a convenient way of buying and gives your business the opportunity to track visitor behaviour. This in turn will help you stock products that are most relevant to your customers.
According to Alexa, an American web traffic analysis company, Google.com is the most visited website in Malta, followed by www.timesofmalta.com. With these statistics, ensuring your website is highly ranked on Google should one of your top business goals. Being highly ranked is made possible by investing time and energy in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can also allocate budget spend on Google Search Ads which will enable your business site to be highly ranked when your target audience runs a search for specific keywords related to your business. To discover what keywords would work, there are several tools which can be used such as Google Trends and Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
To make full use of the benefits of having a website, it’s vital to ensure Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are activated so that you can monitor all your web traffic. Google Analytics provides extensive data related to your website visitors, such as how many visited, the time spent on specific pages and which countries visitors originate from. This gives you a clear indication of what is of interest to your visitors. This info allows you to optimise your efforts further to ensure that you give your audience content that is relevant and engaging to them.
While the idea of being present online might be daunting to many, the rewards you reap from the effort in becoming digitally active, outweighs any negativity often associated with becoming comfortable with the digital world.
Carina Borg is founder of CB Content Creators, www.cbcreators.com, a digital agency specialising in the field of content and social media marketing across online platforms.