3 Easy Ways to Establish Your Digital Footprint
Your digital footprint consists of everything that can be found about your company online. Any company profiles you have created on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.), any images that can be found on the internet either provided by your company or anyone else, and anything that has been written by or about your company (forums, blogs, discussion boards, articles or reviews).
Your company’s digital footprint is more important now than ever and could be what makes or breaks you. The small business owners that are not making any attempt to modernize their business approach with an online presence share a “If it’s not broken why fix it” attitude. What they aren’t realizing is that there is a huge difference between getting by and excelling. Not embracing the digital world is just bad business. Eventually all businesses will need to establish a digital presence to compete in this ever increasingly competitive landscape. Here are 3 easy ways to help establish your company’s digital footprint and they include building a company website, devising a well thought out content marketing plan and actively engaging in social media.
Company Website – The first thing to do is to get your company a website. Whether you build it yourself or have someone else build it for you it is a necessity. This is your company’s online home and where everyone should be directed to learn more about your business, to get updates and information related to your products and industry (through articles, press releases, brochures, blogs), to capture leads through gated material with landing pages to garner the contact information, and to provide testimonials and case studies that show your success in the field. A well-constructed website with good information will compel people to come back to consume more content. The more a visitor returns the more the visitor learns about your company and products. Invite a two-way conversation by enabling comments, feedback, reviews etc. Another reason a website is so important is because it gives you the opportunity to share your company’s personality and voice which helps build rapport and connections with your visitors. If this hasn’t convinced you read Why every business NEEDS a website.
Content Marketing Strategy – Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing plays a crucial role in establishing your company’s digital footprint. Creating relevant and valuable content on your website in a myriad of forms is very important. Do some competitive research and identify how your business is better or different than the top competitors in you space, build buyer personas to understand your niche and target audiences and then plan to develop content that maps to where your lead is in relation to the buyers journey (the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate and purchase a product). It is important to generate the right type content for each stage. Blogs are great way to generate new content that map to each of the buying stages and are great for growing your business. HubSpot has a lot of great materials on Inbound marketing and the steps to take to implement a campaign. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is another great source for everything related to content marketing. CMI provides a ton of resources on their site so rather then recreate the wheel I’ll just point you in their direction - The Content Marketing Institute (CMI)
Social Media – Social media is another great way to develop and expand your digital footprint. Your type of business will often dictate which social media outlet is best for your company. You want to be engaged in the social media spaces your customers and potential customers are engaged. At a minimum it makes sense to explore Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s easy to set up your business’s Facebook page. Once you are up and running you now have a more personal connection with potential or existing customers and can invite them to “like”, “comment” or “share” on the posts on your company page. It’s also a good place to post promotions, sales etc. You can set up a business Twitter profile and send tweets daily to followers about things related to your business and industry. Use hashtags “#” that are related to your topics to expand reach beyond your followers. You can even come up with a unique hashtag just for your brand. Consistently include that hashtag in your messaging and build a community around it. You can learn all about hashtags in this article. LinkedIn is more business oriented than some of the other sites. Set up a LinkedIn company page so members can learn more about your business and brand. This is another platform to engage and educate customers on your products and services. Other sites to check out include Pinterest , Instagram and SnapChat.
We know people are constantly connected and consuming content via social media sites, email, Google searches, advertisements and other applications. If a business is not partaking in digital marketing they are foregoing an enormous piece of the pie. Now that you know all about your digital landscape let's start with designing your website - should you hire someone to build your website, or do it yourself?
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