Many businesses are being forced to limit services or even temporarily close their doors while we wait for the COVID-19 crisis to subside. While some businesses make a natural shift to the virtual world, others may struggle to understand their company’s place online. For example, a plumber can’t fix faucets over Skype and you can’t build buildings over the internet. But there are some things even these types of businesses can be doing now to ensure that they are ready to hit the ground running when the quarantines are lifted.
We are in the middle of a blog series about what it means for a company to have a digital footprint, why this matters, and how to make sure your digital presence makes a great impression and stands out among your competitors. If you find yourself with a bit more time on your hands, one way to stay sharp is turning your attention to your digital assets and online presence.
Don’t let coronavirus put your marketing on lockdown. Over the next few weeks we will give you actionable ideas to keep your business growing, expand your digital footprint, and help you stay ahead of the competition. Let’s start by bringing your business’s online presence under the microscope and see if your brand is appearing consistently across the web.
How to Evaluate and Establish Your Brand Presence Online
Without a distinct and exciting brand, your business is just a small fish floating through the huge pond that is the internet. Creating a coherent and appealing characterization for your business can make your business stand out from the competitors that are already flooding your potential followers’ feeds. Here are the steps to establishing your brand presence online:
Define Your Audience
If you have a marketing plan in place, you have likely defined your personas and know your target audience. If not, the general idea is decide who you want to appeal to and craft a tone and image based on that target audience. If you haven’t developed customer personas and you need help with this, let us know. We’ve developed many personas and have a few tricks up our sleeve that can make this easier than it may feel at the outset.
Review and Update Your Brand Collaterals
It is imperative—if not urgent—that your brand appears consistently online. Keeping your brand uniform across all platforms increases both awareness and trust in the minds of your customers. Scrub the web for any errors or outdated references to your company and make updates where needed. Examples of collaterals that impact your digital footprint are:
- Color palettes
- Photos and graphics that support your brand
- Social media profile pictures, header images, and any other brand imagery that appears in online directories
- Your company’s address, phone number, and other relevant contact information
Consistency in color, logo, branding of the photos, and especially contact information is essential to a powerful digital footprint.
Encourage and Respond to Online Reviews
We have come to a point in time where no business can afford to stick their head in the sand over online reviews. This is a great time to dig into this and see what people are saying about you online. Don’t just look for the negative comments and respond to those only, take time to craft a personal response to every comment or review you find. You may be surprised—some of the best PR can come from starting a conversation with a happy customer who has written about your business online. (Our next post in this series will dive deeper into the topic of online customer engagement so stay tuned for more on this topic!)
These are some of the primary elements that influence your customer’s experience with your brand online. And since we know that they’re more likely to scope you out online before ever engaging or visiting your business in real life, you want to be absolutely sure that what they see about you online is consistent. Poorly staged photos and outdated logos are likely to prompt your customers and leads to scroll past you and on to the competition, and ignored customer comments are missed opportunities to catch a lead and close a deal. We will keep this conversation going in our next post, but this is a great place to get started.
We want to help your brand appear consistently in every digital space. Let us know if you run into any snags as you evaluate your online presence. We are happy to assist you with improving your business’s digital footprint and answer any questions you may have.
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