When I work with clients, the very first thing I do is ask them about their business. It's a long, exhaustive list of questions, actually. But each is very important - because digital marketing and branding go hand-in-hand.
How long have you been in business is as important as whether they have a logo. What your top three goals are is as important as "Why are you in business?". And what your current online efforts are is as important as the five words that describe your business.
Because online digital marketing should show WHO you are, what your company is really about, why you're different than your competitors...in order to help you GROW and meet your business goals.
It's part of your brand, your company and who you are. It's a fact that people do business with people they know. Digital marketing is about getting potential customers to really know you, even if they haven't had a chance to meet you....yet. They're looking for a reason to meet you. Let's give them one.
Consistency is your best friend.
Consider this...what if all you had online was a description of your company, an "about us" of sort. What would happen if this description was found on your website, but it didn't match the description found on Facebook. Or maybe there's a third description on LinkedIn.
It might be pretty close, in which case, you're going to be ok. But if you've changed your mission statement, or added services, or changed focus -- it might seem like you're not the same company. In real life, giving two very different impressions of who you are on two different ocassions could make for confusion. The same happens online.
Believe it or not, I have met clients who updated their logo - but only changed it in one place. And others who have multiple webpages with different URLs and completely different information about the company. And yet another who was still using a tag line that no longer described what they did.
In all these cases, the mulitple company "personalities" were unintentional, either a lack of 'time' to update things, or not knowing their faux-pas was hurting business.
First thing to do: check your branding consistency
Check all your online company descriptions and logos and make sure they match. Facebook should match your website should match your pinterest profile should match your LinkedIn, etc.
Make a list of your online presence, social networks, site listings, websites and blogs. Keep it handy. Check for consistency:
logo, profile picture
about us description
date you started the business
Second, stay updated
Easier said than done, I know! But if you have everyone on board with the brand image, and who you are as a company, keeping updated shouldn't be a major task. Check out your online profiles twice a year and make sure they are up-to-date.
If you do make changes, pull out the list you made in the last step, and go to each one and update. Consistency is key.
Third, it's time to grow your digital marketing
Now that you are clear on who you are and what platforms you're using online, it's time to make a digital marketing plan to grow your marketing efforts and track towards your business goals.
This is an entirely different conversation, and one I hope you'll stay tuned in to as we discuss it regularly on this blog.
See you in the social sphere!