August 15, 2021
5 minutes to read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
The first thing you need to do when starting a new business venture is to create your business digital identity. Basically, think about all the places you want your future marketing campaigns to take customers: your website, your Google Business listing, and your social networks. You will need to create all of these platforms before you start considering a marketing campaign.
So, to get started, here is a short list of the essentials to put in place before hiring a marketing team. Look at it as a digital set that you have to complete. Here is the gist.
First create your website
Before you spread out on the Internet, first establish your home base. Build your website and make sure it’s bug-free and fully operational before you start sending people there.
Your website is going to be the point of conversion for your products or services. Everything we’ll cover after this point will be a path back to it, so your site is really the most critical aspect of your brand identity.
Here are some important considerations for a good website:
- Make sure you have a clear, easy-to-spell domain name
- Make sure your domain name is your business name if that real estate isn’t already claimed.
- Make sure your website hosting is secure and scalable when it’s time to scale things up – for that I would recommend a dedicated server hosting plan. This is the more expensive option but you get what you pay for.
Finally, make sure you have a good handle on SEO and incorporate all the relevant keywords into your site to maximize traffic opportunities. Do a thorough keyword research to anticipate the type of phrases your customers might be looking for to find the products or services you provide, and include as many as possible.
Related: The 6 Best Advertising Strategies For Small Businesses
Claim your territory on all social media channels
Even if you think your brand won’t be of any use to a Facebook account, claim one anyway. Consistency is the key to branding – you need to have consistent management across all social media if you can.
Having @mybrand claimed across all social media channels only protects you for the future. First of all, it’s just more user-friendly than having @mybrand on Twitter, @mybrandUS on Instagram, and @therealmybrand on TikTok. Second, taking control of your pseudonyms on social media will prevent potential interference from competitors who might otherwise claim the pseudonym.
Pay attention to how social media evolves. If a new platform appears, take five minutes to create a profile and stake out your territory.
List your business on Google and everywhere else
Type the name of a business you frequent into Google or type the name of a competitor. What should appear first is their Google My Business listing which will tell you what the business does, where to find them, their contact details, and a set of reviews.
Due to Google’s supremacy over other search engines, this will be the first and last stop for most people trying to search for your business. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t list your business wherever you can. Just like with social media, the main goal is to claim that place before a malicious competitor or a company of the same name does.
Related: 5 Digital Advertising Tips You Need To Know
Test some messaging platforms
Email marketing builds credibility, a customer base and content. In short, you need to look at email marketing technology as part of your digital offering.
All email marketing platforms have different pros and cons, so the one you choose should be able to tick the most boxes for your audience. Consider this: 43% of people now check their emails on their smartphones every day, but does that overlap with your demographics? If your target audience is 50+, it might not be, so you don’t have to place as much emphasis on mobile optimization as if you were targeting millennials.
Also consider the automation capabilities of these platforms. You don’t want to reply to every email manually. Instead, most platforms have automation software, so schedule the type of conversations you and your audience will have.
Ignore the ad – for now
Advertising seems like the way to put your business on the front of consumers’ minds, but it isn’t. Initially, it will just be a waste of your money, because if you don’t have your digital pack together, you don’t have anything substantial to advertise. Let’s break it down element by element.
Without claimed social media channels and your fully functioning website, where will your ads take your customers? Without all the right ads in place, how will customers know if the business that is appearing on Google is yours or not? At best, they’ll be confused when they can’t find any trace of your digital presence. At worst, they’ll end up giving clicks to a brand with a similar name.
Without your digital identity being fully formed, spending money on advertising takes a serious leap.
See your brand and digital presence as one and the same – you need to force your identity into all available spaces in order to gain the greatest momentum. By following these steps in your digital package, you will position yourself to be fully responsive and able to handle an influx of business that will result from your well-planned marketing campaign.
Related: The Cookie Really Crashes In Advertising: Here’s What You Need To Know In B2B Vs B2C