Building a strong digital presence and reputation is important. It can connect your business with a wider target audience and provide you with the foundation for increased business growth.
However, we know that building and maintaining your brand – AKA your reputation – in a digital world can feel overwhelming. Below, we’ve stripped away the fluff to give you three pragmatic ways to grow your digital reputation online.
- Your digital property portfolio
Your website is your most valuable digital property, that is not up for dispute. But there are several other “property assets” which are effective to help maintain and build your digital reputation. The more flags you plant in the ground, the better. Start with your website, but don’t stop there.
Secure your business name across as many digital platforms and channels as possible. This means directory listings, social media, local business listings, community sites, online review forums and email channels. Not only does this ensure your brand is out there circulating, but it also creates a fantastic opportunity for backlinks (a marketing word for ensuring better SEO results for your website).
Here are five properties to consider securing with your business name:
- Google My Business
- LinkedIn (especially important for B2B!)
- The Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
- Keep yourself savvy with social
There’s no doubt about it, social media is a fantastic way to engage with your existing clients as well as your prospective ones. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be all things to all people, so be sure to consider which platform is the best fit for your business. As a rule of thumb, B2C is a great fit for the likes of Facebook and Instagram, while B2B is the perfect match for LinkedIn. It’s okay to start slow and steady; no-one expects SMEs to have an instant following overnight.
The key with social is that you keep your page active, with relevant and timely content that represents your brand messaging. Posting regularly is not that hard, and we challenge you to try posting just once-a-week to your social platform to keep your reputation floating in the newsfeed and the algorithm aware of your brand.
Talking to your target audience on a platform in which they are most likely to be on will help to ensure your business and brand is getting in front of the people most likely to convert into leads.
- Produce content worth reading
It’s a simple equation – the more content you create, the more opportunities you have to appear online. Having an online presence and digital reputation hinges on appearing online where your audience is most likely to be.
By producing engaging content that targets the specific pain points of your clients, you are providing an opportunity for a click. The rule of thumb with content is that it is not a one-time only affair. Content should be produced and shared across a multitude of platforms, and then re-shared strategically throughout your content calendar.
Strategise the platforms and channels you would like to appear in. Post a blog, but don’t leave it on your website alone. Re-share it to your social, add it into your e-newsletter, share snippets of it as top tips and infographics, or turn them into lead magnets. The key point here is to make your content work for you in an ongoing sense. Prioritise the platforms where your clients are most active, and then brainstorm the content that is best suited to meet their pain points.
Our three pragmatic strategies outlined above can help to build your digital presence and reputation online, which will in turn generate brand awareness and prospective leads for your business. Building an online reputation requires effort, as it can be a “slow burn”. By working your way through some of these digital fundamentals, you’ll find over time that the rewards are certainly worth the time and effort you put in up front.