Learn to optimize your digital footprint and build a positive brand identity.
They say whatever we write, comment, post or circulate online doesn’t stay forever. It can be changed, altered or even deleted. Anything and everything that you do online is not carved on stone. Well, if you think this is the case, then You Must Be Living Under a Rock. Be one hundred percent sure that whatever you do online is PERMANENT. Trust me. I am not exaggerating.
The advancement of technology and powerful algorithms has ensured that storing data is easier and cheaper than deleting. This means whatever your online actions are – deliberate or unintentional – is permanently recorded. This online presence of yours is your Digital Footprint, or rather your digital tattoo – this nomenclature is self-explanatory. Your digital footprint tells your story, your BRAND STORY and thus, establishes your company’s reputation online.
Now that you know what a digital footprint is, it is highly imperative for you to optimize your web presence since your online reputation is your most valuable asset.
If you’ve opted to read this blog then I’m sure you are either a) a business owner or b) a digital marketer working for a business.
This brings me to the obvious question – how effectively are you promoting your business on digital platforms?
It wouldn’t be unwise to say that many companies opt to have a Facebook page by default. Some try to look more professional by opening a LinkedIn account in addition to their company website. Then one fine day your boss suddenly asks, “Why aren’t we on Instagram? I just saw our competitor’s ad.” And Voila! You’ve become an ace photographer the very next day.
So if you or your company has taken this approach then it is evident that your promotional approach on different digital mediums isn’t thought-provoked. Opening a company account on different digital channels without understanding the medium and starting promotions without a unified, branded messaging will not help you achieve your marketing goals. Many times it might create an irreversible negative brand image.
Well, don’t panic. Follow these steps diligently to see where you currently stand and what approach needs to be taken.
- First, create an Audit Report: Thoroughly check your social media handles. I am 99.9% sure most of the small businesses have at least a Facebook or an Instagram page if not a website. Well, it’s time to review all those posts, tweets, pins, etc. See what your audience is talking about you. Check what your competitors are doing. How quick your brand replies to a customer inquiry? What is your page rating or is there any negative review? See if the social platform adds to your brand’s core values and whether your target audience is present on it and actively talking about you or similar products. For instance, if you are a fashion apparel start-up, having an account on Twitter won’t help you achieve your marketing or sales objectives as Instagram does. It is wise to close unnecessary accounts than wasting time, effort and money on it. If you are a B2B company, having a complete profile on LinkedIn will help you. You can also use its manifold features that enable you to run lead generation or brand awareness campaigns.
- Google yourself: This is the best way to know what results, the search engine throws up in the first and second pages. Imagine yourself in your customers’ shoes and try putting in the keywords that you think your audience could use to search for you or similar kinds of products or services your company offers. You might also see ratings and Google or Glassdoor reviews left by your customers, audience or employees. Check whether those reflect positively or negatively on your brand. Determine whether some need replies. Remember that if you handle all the reviews on time, it will help you build trust with your customers. Put those positive reviews on your website or promote it on your social handles. This will not only help you build a positive brand image but also improve your Google rankings.
- Create a blog or a website: Tell your brand story. A website is your online shop, your online identity. If you don’t want to put money on creating a website, then start a blog, a free one. Make use of sites like WordPress to build attractive and customizable blogs which you can later integrate with your website when the need arises. Show your knowledge and your industry expertise by creating and curating relevant content. If you already own a website, then evaluate the content on your Homepage, About Us page, Product or service pages, etc. Information should be regularly updated and clearly tell your story. This will keep things fresh for your audience and win a quality SEO score.
Now that I have jotted down the steps you need to take to create a positive Digital Footprint, maintaining your brand’s online reputation will not seem like a daunting task anymore. You might be using various digital tricks and online marketing tools to manage your digital presence and promotions. But digital space is a universe in itself and many times, different situations arise that may not be triggered by you, but leaves your brand perception more to chance than by design. Today, many companies that keep track of digital marketing can come to your brand’s rescue. They thoroughly check and audit your brand’s digital footprint, build strategies and curate content that helps build positive online reputation your brand deserves.