For the past several weeks on the blog, we’ve covered all the various elements that contribute to a company’s digital footprint. As we conclude our series, we want to emphasize a few key takeaways and give you some ideas on how to effectively manage all these moving parts.
1. Control The Things You Can
In our work managing digital footprints, we always address the low-hanging fruit first. For example, when we peek behind the curtain on a website we often find broken code or disorganized indexes that can easily be straightened out to yield quick results. Another easy fix is a sweep of references to your company across the web to find any old information that can be updated. Creating professional profiles in places like Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business and ensuring that they’re consistently branded with high quality images and fresh content are also easy wins to improve your digital footprint.
Creativity can really come into play here. The more content you are producing and posting, the more control you can have over your digital footprint. Since the implications of COVID-19, one of our partners started a weekly live broadcast on YouTube and Facebook that they also post-produce as a podcast. This “bonus content” is expanding their digital footprint in new ways and giving this company more control over what appears about their brand online.
2. Connect With Your Customers Online
As we pointed out in a previous post, customers want to know that you’re listening. Social media has made it easier than ever for brands to listen to and build relationships with their audience. So easy in fact, consumers now expect to hear back from brands they mention online. This is why it’s imperative to do a regular internet search to catch any mentions of your brand name online and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Work now to have a plan in place for responding to both positive and negative comments you may find about your brand online. The public relations value to this cannot be underestimated, especially if you can turn an unhappy customer—who didn’t realize you were paying attention—into a loyal follower, just by reaching out to make a personal, albeit virtual, connection.
Another important element of online customer engagement is search engine optimization (SEO). You want to make sure that your content is actually being found by the people who are looking to connect with the products and services you offer. We would love to help you discover more ways to improve your digital footprint using a strategic approach to SEO so please reach out if this is an area of concern in your business.
3. Don’t Overlook Your Personal Brand
When it comes to your digital footprint, you essentially have two opportunities to create content that ranks high and expands your overall online impression:
- Content associated with your company’s brand name
- Content associated with your personal brand
Posting coordinated content under both your personal and business/organizational brand name will give you more opportunities to control what people see when they search for you or your business online. Depending on what kind of business you run, prospects may actually search for your name before they search for your company name, so it’s smart to proactively share relevant content under both headings. We have a few blog posts that explain how to leverage your personal brand online that can help you get started.
It’s worth mentioning here that your company needs a social media policy in place for all of your employees. Just as your personal brand can positively expand your company’s digital footprint, anyone employed by your organization could also positively (or negatively) impact your company’s digital footprint. If you don’t have a social media policy, contact us and we can help you create one.
Need Help Managing It All?
At the end of the day, what this really boils down to is online reputation management. And while you cannot control everything others say about you online, there are specific actions you can take to ensure that the content you create is accurate, relevant, and outranks any rogue mentions that don’t accurately represent your brand. A proactive approach to taking charge of your digital footprint includes:
- Regularly monitoring and reviewing listings in online directories
- Updating and—if necessary—cleaning up outdated information and low-quality images that weaken the relationship between your brand and your customers
- Following and responding to customer reviews
- Engaging your audience on social media
- Optimizing content for local search and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa
- Establishing a strategy to manage it all
If it seems daunting to think of managing both your business and brand content simultaneously, or if you need help monitoring a specific area of your digital footprint, you may benefit from partnering with a team (like ours!) to manage some aspect (or all) of your digital marketing content. When done right, managing your company’s digital footprint is not complicated and can yield big benefits as you expand your brand awareness and influence online. Please let us know how we can be of service to you!
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