Brand Audit: 5 Experts Share Strategy Advice
When customers are searching for products or services online they will almost always choose to buy from the brand with the best online presence. While most brands have a social listening strategy, many do not have a system in place for auditing their online presence like a customer would. Going through the process of finding and engaging with your brand like a customer is one of the most valuable resources for improving your customer pipeline. Researching your brand, finding reviews, scouring search results, and checking out the competition can all help increase your conversions.
So, how can brands assess their online presence in order to connect with more customers? We asked 5 experts to share their best tips.
1. Use Google Alerts to audit your brand in real-time
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers
One of the best ways to audit your digital footprint is to simply Google your brand. You'll be sure to glean some insight from reviews and customer comments and mentions. To dig even deeper, wrap your search in quotation marks to deliver more specific results. You could also utilize Google Alerts for brand mentions - as a more real-time way to audit your footprint. In addition, you may also want to use an external company to audit your brand's SEO results, website performance, funnel activation, as well as a social touch-point analysis.
2. Develop a plan to support the establishment of your digital footprint
Kylie Chown, Kylie Chown Consulting, @KylieEChown
Know what your online footprint looks like, and stay informed of when it changes. Set-up a Google Alert for your name. A Google Alert will notify you of any postings online of your name (or whichever term you use). Be critical. Measure your online ID. Assess whether what comes up in the Google search results is consistent with what you want to be known for. Develop a plan to support the establishment of your digital footprint. This might include a personally-branded website, LinkedIn profile, and an About.me page.
3. Focus on social media branding
Bradley Shaw, SEO Consulting Inc., @ExpertBrad
Your digital branding starts the same place most consumers begin, with Google. I suggest going to Google and searching for your brand name and any common variations. If you do not appear at the top of the results, that is a red flag.
Next, I suggest focusing on social media branding and visibility. Make a list of all of your brand's social media profiles, then analyze each profile for messaging consistency including design and appearance. It is also essential to identify your top performing social media posts to ensure you are connecting with your audience.
A simple tool such as Buzz Sumo will quickly determine which of your posts were most shared/interacted with. Are you connecting with your audience? Use this information for future social media campaign development.
4. Audit your competition
Michelle Kubot, Ambrosia Treatment Center, @Kubot12
The good news is, if you're having trouble finding a bad review, potential customers probably are too. Focus on the obvious. Every business needs to worry about - Google, Yelp and Facebook. Then, Google yourself and your competitors and see what else comes up. For most businesses, it doesn't have to be more complicated than that.
In terms of managing the bad reviews, sometimes the best defense is a good offence. Be proactive in gathering reviews on sites that matter. That way, when bad reviews come (because they will), you'll already have the good reviews to combat it with credibility.
5. Poll your customers
Blake Aylott, RideYellow
Something all businesses can do easily to audit their brand's online presence is to get an idea of what customers think about you. By using a platform like Facebook, email, Instagram or anything else, ask customers “On a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to your friends and colleagues?” The answer to this questions will tell you who your biggest fans and haters are. Anyone who answers with a 10 or a 9 are your promoters, anyone who said 8 or 7 are passives and anyone who said 6 through 0 are detractors. You can market more to the Promoters, engage the Passives with better content, and resolve issues with the Detractors.