Starting a business can be one of the hardest stages of its life cycle. The first few years are the toughest as you struggle to establish your business and set a solid foundation in the industry you have chosen to pursue. There can be struggles with the marketing, branding, and cash flow balancing side of your business. While these areas are essential for any type of business, there is another area that is of equal importance and should not be overlooked: the digital or online footprint of your business. Yes, in this digital world, a digital footprint can have many implications for your business. Here, we’ll discuss how you can build an effective digital footprint for your business.
Pay Close Attention to Your Business Website
Your business website is operating on both fronts (in the real world and online), and you need to provide equal attention to both fronts if you want your business to establish a solid footprint. This proves even more important if your business is purely online. Pay close attention to the important details and aspects of your business’s web design in order to provide the best possible customer and site visitor experience. Be sure that your business website’s loading and response time can keep up with its aesthetic impact.
Simply speaking, create a website that is both attractive and fast. We know that colorful text and high-definition images and videos can take its toll on the response time of your webpage so learn to manage the content and design of your web page. Thus, your website should enable a content management system (CMS) so that you have the power to do edits and adjustments to your website. Security is another important matter that should be covered by your website, especially if it is handling online purchase transactions and sensitive customer details. Your site should come equipped with advanced encryption technology to ensure that no threats can jeopardize your business operations.
Carefully Study Your Digital Channel Strategy
This simply is not about your digital channel choice, but rather the logic and reason why you arrive at that digital channel selection. You should have a concrete note of what goal you want to accomplish with the channel and why you want to accomplish that goal. We know that social media channels are now very important when it comes to marketing your business, creating a good impression for audiences and customers, and establishing rapport and good relations with your clients and investors, respectively. Thus, before you select your digital channel and create your business profile in the channel, you need to revisit your strategy first to ensure your digital channel profile doesn’t veer off of your strategy.
Capitalize on Your Digital Content Channels
Your digital content channel choice should be pretty much established and aligned with your marketing strategy by now. The next thing to do is to make the most out of your selected content channels and social media channels and networks. Be flexible with the types of content that you publish and not just limit yourself to one type of content. Get out of your comfort zone. You may be comfortable and skilled with making photo content and thus you have a strong affinity for Instagram and Twitter channels and networks. You will also need to work on your content or blog creation skills in order to effectively reach out to audiences on Facebook. Also, try to develop video editing and vlogging skills to create more impact on YouTube audiences. Being able to capitalize on more than one channel can help create a strong and recognizable digital footprint that web users can easily identify.
Monitor Your Digital Footprint Performance
Doing a self-audit on how well you are doing so far in establishing your digital footprint can give you greater insight on how you can improve your brand, company image, and your products or services. Establish resources that you can use for collecting customer and site visitor feedback about the business, its products or services, and even your employees. While there are many feedback- and evaluation-gathering resources available, choose those that are user-friendly and have essential statistical functions such as categorization and percentage determination from collected data. Now that you have additional data aside from your current business performance, you can then use it as a reference if you are able to achieve your objectives or how much of progress you are making.
Learn to Engage Business-Relevant Experts
You must also learn to admit that you can’t effectively handle all aspects of your digital business and marketing, nor are you an expert in all facets of online commerce. Thus, it is still a wise investment to engage and hire agencies and professionals who are experts in a particular fact of your business. This way, you can confidently delegate some of the business operation tasks to your agency and you can focus on more essential matters such as digital footprint building. Some areas you can engage experts include the following:
- Digital Marketing
- Website Management
- POS Systems
- VOIP Communication Maintenance and Solutions
- Antivirus Software
- Cloud Service Maintenance and Deployments
Having experts handle and reinforce areas that are not your strong points can help balance out your business progress. The same can be said of the digital footprint establishment. When you have experts working alongside you in your business operations, you are not only providing high quality and consistent services or products, you are also saving money and resources by avoiding costly operational mistakes.
Always Keep Your Customers in Your Priorities
Remember that your digital footprint doesn’t just leave an impression in the online environment, but more importantly in the minds of the customers and prospects. While the bottom line of any business is to generate profit, customers are an integral part of the profit generation process. It is only right to provide the best possible product, service, and purchase experience to them. Always align your company’s vision, mission, and values with how you are interacting with your customers and audiences. This way, you are making a digital lasting footprint that will stay with them in the long run.
In essence, the digital footprint can only be as good as the effort that you put into making it. The way your business makes an impact on the digital society and how it establishes its presence effectively can determine how firmly you have made the online footprint of your business. Inturn, it can determine how your business will do in the future.