In today’s culture of “Let Me Check This Out” the first place everyone goes to validate if a business exists is the internet. If your business does not come up looking good on a Google Search potential clients will just move on to one of your competitors who has a more robust digital footprint.
We spend a lot of time talking to business leaders about their digital footprint and the importance of their brand’s image online. A solid digital footprint is the foundation of a sound digital strategy.
What is a Digital Footprint?
A digital footprint is the information about a brand or person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity. This activity generally consist of:
- and social media interactions.
The more activity and social media produced on a wide range of social platforms the broader the digital footprint. Higher quality content like well written blogs and professionally produced videos produces a solid digital footprint and brand image.
Unfortunately, there are a large number of businesses who are not aware how consumers go to great lengths to check their businesses out before they make any contact. Many potential clients will even hire digital marketing agencies to run a digital footprint analysis of a business before they reach out to them about their products or services.
Stumping Your Digital Toe
It’s been said a million times: Once you put something on the internet, it’s on the internet forever. This is good…but also could be very bad. Many business leaders do not clearly understand the eternalness of the content posted to the internet.
Inappropriate content will eventually damage your brand’s reputation.
- Risqué photos
- Poorly produced videos posted to social media;
- Radical opinions posted to Facebook or published to blogs under your brand’s name;
- Damaging remarks or comments made by employees of a company.
How to Develop a Sound Digital Footprint
Every business needs to take their brand’s digital footprint serious. This is why it is very important businesses take as the first step of their digital marketing strategy the development of their digital footprint. This should be done before the business launches it’s marketing efforts.
At the very minimum a business should have in their Digital Footprint:
- Well Designed Web-site with quality informational videos strategically embedded throughout the site
- A LinkedIn Profile showcasing the company’s mission and leadership team.
- Google Account with a well thought out Google+ and YouTube presences
- A Facebook and Twitter Account that validates the brand’s existence.
Showcasing a brand’s digital footprint is operationally appropriate, especially if all of the content posted in all parts of the footprint is exemplary. A business can showcase their digital footprint by places well designed ‘social badges‘ on their website.
The most important thing to remember is…think about what you post to the internet before you post it and keep focused on the direction your digital footprint is taking. If your image online turns in the wrong direction or for some unfortunate reason a business stumps it’s toe, a ReBranding process is sometimes the only way to stop the bleeding.
Consumers are looking for businesses who appear to take themselves seriously. Have a well thought out digital footprint shows consumers the business is there to service them. Start today in developing your digital footprint…and of course…let me know how I can help.
Also published on Medium.