Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy
As business people, we all pay attention to what we present to our customers. Is our store tidy and are the right products features? Does our appearance strike the right impression at meetings? Do we listen to customers and potential customers to really understand their needs. All good, but what about your business online?
Today’s businesses need to pay particular attention to their online reputation. Your customers are online and they are forming an impression of you based on what they find. They go there to both get and share information.
You need a strategy to make sure that the impression you create online is a positive and accurate reflection of your business.
The right digital strategy enables you to be in the right places with the right message. it also allows you to monitor and analyze where you are online. It can help you to decide where to spend your limited time to get the best result with your target audience.
Here are five steps to consider when developing a digital strategy.
Step 1: Assess your current presence
What is the online reputation of your business? Don’t just look at your website and your social media channels. Do a Google search and look at all of the results in the first page of search results.
- Is your information correct?
- Is your branding consistent?
- What are people saying about you?
Now do the same for a few key competitors. Assess how you measure up against their results.
Step 2: List needed fixes
Develop a punch list of items you need to change. Some may be easy, like correcting an address or business hours. Others may take more time, like cultivating more online reviews or getting more followers. Write out a list so you can systematically address issues and opportunities.
Step 3: Decide where to invest
Nothing you do online is free. Your time is valuable. You need to determine which places are a worthy investment of your time and, perhaps, your marketing dollars. Which platforms work best for an improved online reputation for your business?
Completing the first two steps should start to give you a sense of where your target audience wants to engage online. You also get a sense of gaps – more content? more images? – and opportunities for you to connect online.
Step 4: Document your digital strategy
This information leads to your digital strategy. Your plan should define where you will be and what you will do. It should define the content, the platforms, and opportunities for expanded reach. It outlines all the steps you will take to build your reputation and engage with your target audience.
Your strategy should address:
- Core places where you are online
- Content you will create and share
- Management of directory listings
- Audience involvement – testimonials, comments, etc.
Step 5: Make it happen!
Plan in hand, it is time to start implementing. The plan will help you keep on track and focused on what is important to your online reputation. It will help you to break down larger goals into the smaller tasks that move you in the right direction.
There should be constant activity in the management of your online reputation. This will also keep you aware of what is happening regarding your brand, your customers, and your industry.