We’ve recently learnt that it is critical for brands to have an online identity in today’s society. The beauty of this is that you have full control over the image and curation of your content. This allows you to determine what, where and how you interact with other people. Although this may sound very exciting, many brands are still unsure about how important digital communication is. It’s also crucial to note that the internet means ‘forever’, so you need to be extremely strategic in what you publish to ensure you are perceived in the best light possible.

So, why is it important for brands to have a digital footprint? In short, if you don’t, this impacts the chance of interacting with your existing and potential audience. If customers are unable to find you, this may impact their perception of your brand and its credibility, and it also nullifies any marketing efforts you’re currently executing. It’s all about first impressions and if a customer has a negative experience or finds the experience with your brand confusing or tedious, it’s no doubt that they will turn to your competition.

So, how do you establish this presence? Firstly, you need to set up your owned marketing channels e.g. website, social media, blogs, EDM’s to your database. These are a great way to deliver personalised and memorable experiences that reflect your brand’s personality. If you continually offer up creative solutions to your customer’s problem on a silver platter, this will no doubt lead to a long term, prosperous relationship. In turn, these satisfied customers will drive brand awareness and encourage customer acquisition, as they refer their family and friends.

Leveraging owned channels is not a revolutionary or new concept per se, but most brands quickly create their online presence, without putting much strategy or thought behind it. Furthermore, it is sometimes created at the very beginning, and then neglected as the business evolves. So, how do you ensure that you consistently create engaging content via your owned channels? Data! Gather, analyse and utilise owned and external data. If you make customised choices based off these insights, in real-time, this will no doubt answer the needs of your customers. This will cultivate a strong connection with your customers, and ultimately lead to a solid community.

A good example of this, is a loyalty program that tracks customer preferences and experiences. If you’re a makeup brand, you can find out a customer’s shade or preference of coverage and then you can recommend personalised products, tips and techniques. Whereas, if you’re a B2B brand and you’ve created a white paper in the form of a downloadable asset, you might promote this via LinkedIn or an EDM. You need to promote your content and expertise at the right time and via the correct platform, to ensure you cover the entire customer lifecycle.

It’s also imperative that you find out where and how your customers are consuming information, so your content is actually read! For example, if you are a tequila brand, do your customers browse Instagram or Pinterest for cocktail recipes or alcohol recommendations? What do they deem as a trusted source? If you’re currently not active on these platforms, enhance your exposure. Although you may ‘think’ you know your target audience, you may be surprised at their consumption habits, so never discount a platform until the data tells you otherwise.

Once you’ve established your owned channels, make sure you don’t forget about earned! If you’re ever looking for a communications agency to help amplify your presence further, please get in touch with info@agent99pr.com.

Agent Amelia