Steffen Schebesta, an Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) member in Toronto, is the CEO and VP of Corporate Development at Sendinblue, an intuitive, all-in-one marketing solution for small businesses. We asked Steffen how companies can build a stronger digital presence to take their business to the next level. Here's what he shared:

A strong digital presence is not only a best practice; it's essential when it comes to growing your online business. When businesses first migrated online, establishing a landing page and online store were top priorities. Now in 2022, as the number of consumers shopping online hits its all-time high, small businesses must focus on their customers' online experience.

Creating meaningful touchpoints with your customers can significantly improve their experience with your brand. You can accomplish that through emails, text messages, social media content, or even video calls. Remaining visible during the customer journey keeps your business top-of-mind and easily accessible.

Below we highlight five easily implemented practices to enhance your digital presence and drive higher customer engagement:

Share The Right Content at the Right Time through Email Automation

Email automation is the process of sending an automated email or email series in response to a predefined trigger condition--and it's one of the most effective strategies any business can implement. It improves customer experience through the delivery of timely, personalized content. Abandoned carts, birthday mailings, or welcome mailings are all ideal scenarios for utilizing email automation with the right workflow in place. Through email automation, you gain the ability to create one-to-one email correspondence based on customer interactions that can build deeper relationships, improve engagement, and increase sales. Not only is it time efficient for your team, but it's also effective since you are sending the right message at the right time during the customer's buying journey.

Engage Customers on Social Media

Social media is a key customer touchpoint that enables you to build an engaging community and monitor interactions with your brand. It's important to maintain an active social presence to keep your brand top-of-mind and accessible to new and existing customers. For example, through active social media community management, your brand will be able to reply to feedback or complaints in a timely manner. Choose the key social platforms where your target audience and customers are active and focus your efforts there versus trying to be on every platform that might not be relevant to your brand.

Connect with Prospects in Real Time with Live Chat

Once you've got customers on your website, take customer interactions to the next level by creating a seamless experience via live chat. A reported 73 percent of customers find live chat the most satisfactory form of communication with a brand. Businesses big or small can easily incorporate live chat features to provide faster customer support and establish direct communication with website visitors. Live chat connects with website visitors in real-time to improve customer experience and engagement as well as increase your sales.

Target Customers with WhatsApp Marketing Campaigns

WhatsApp marketing campaigns are on track to become the new "It" tool for customer communication. Send precisely targeted campaigns with text, web links, images, and video content to large segments of your contacts. With over 2 billion active WhatsApp users worldwide, this channel alone gives you access to a large, untapped audience. More and more consumers are looking for one-to-one interactions and personalized marketing content. With open rates up to 98 percent, talking on WhatsApp makes the customer experience feel more like chatting with a friend.

Create Better Connections with Scheduled Online Meetings

When you're focused on converting website visitors into new customers, inquiries can sometimes be answered best on a call. A lengthy, back-and-forth email exchange can cause friction if questions are not answered in a timely manner. So, just when customers are at their peak interest in your product, provide them the opportunity to connect directly through a scheduled meeting. Service-based businesses can use tools like MeetFox to connect with new clients online from any device, share screens, and record sessions for future improvements and learning. Adding a scheduling button to communications is simple and not limited to websites--you can add a button to your social media and email signature as well.

Building your online presence takes time and trials. With customer centricity and easy-to-use tools like email automation, live chat, WhatsApp campaigns, and meeting scheduling, you are on your way to building deeper customer relationships and an increased digital presence for your business.