What’s Your Digital Worth?

The strategies behind branding efforts and building a real-life relationship are comparable.

Think about it: When you’re starting a relationship you try to prove to the other person that you’re trustworthy and good for them. You don’t do this in one particular way, but you express yourself across multiple platforms – calling, texting, dating, and yes, shockingly enough, you also make things “Facebook official” by becoming one of their social media friends. If you want the relationship to last and you’ve done something wrong, you inevitably have to fix the problem, but more importantly, gain back their trust.

Similarly in branding, marketers not only want to gain awareness, but also want to establish credibility and trust. In order to achieve these things a brand does not just market to their consumer over one platform — it engages in a variety of mediums.

A digital audit can determine metrics to measure against a larger marketing goal.

Keeping this in mind, it would seemingly make sense that, especially when things are not working out, marketing managers would conduct a comprehensive analysis of their efforts, right? Not always, and unfortunately this analysis is especially deficient across the digital platform!

As more and more companies discover the digital marketing universe, it seems less actually utilize the full scope that digital has to offer. This inability to optimize is partially due to the fact that most companies don’t actually know what they’re supposed to be doing or why they’re suppose to be doing it. It seems that many companies either believe that the more users they touch, the more the success, or that having a mere digital presence is enough.

Here is the thing: the digital world is cluttered and noisy. And although correlated, a larger audience does not prove causation for success. Similarly, having digital platforms that are not updated and poorly designed is more likely to create negative brand associations than it is going to build solid relationships. No one wants to be in a relationship with a digital version of a couch-potato.

Bob Knorpp, host of The BeanCast Marketing Podcast, explains that although a large digital audience is great, qualitative tools should measure the success of social media, not a friend and follower count. He admits that companies gauge social media the same way as print advertising, regardless of social media’s totally different value. Knorpp simply states that, “We’re either broadcasting and publishing, as always, or we’re having a conversation. Both are good. But it’s time to stop confusing them with each other.” This confusion needs to be clarified in order to really estimate the worth of digital efforts. We need to focus on the effects of digital presence rather than just its scope and frequency.

So, how do we evaluate digital value and are our efforts really justified? What digital platforms are appropriate to use and how do we utilize them? Conducting a digital audit is akin to sending the digital version of your brand into relationship rehab.

The audit is not particular to “social media” vehicles, as it also reviews e-mail campaigns, websites, online reviews, mobile marketing, and anything else done in the digital space. Essentially, it takes a hard look at what your brand is doing online and analyzes how effective it is with your consumer relationship. The audit highlights weaknesses and makes it easier for a brand to pinpoint the areas that should be revamped.

The evaluation couples qualitative tools such as interviews and feedback, with usability testing, reach and even usage levels. Taking advantage of weaknesses and leveraging them into strengths is what will increase ROI and distinguish a company from the rest.

Especially in the digital universe, a company must distinguish themselves by engaging their consumers. These interactions are what distinguishes digital media and makes it important. Conversations actually happen! It allows the consumer to speak and makes it easier for a brand to listen.

Do you think you’re brand or company needs a digital audit? Hit us back at social@weltbranding.com or leave us a comment!

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One Response to “What’s Your Digital Worth?”

  1. Robert Henderson

    The biggest question for companies dabbling in social media campaigns isn’t how to engage and how to gain followers, but how to measure ROI. It’s all great and good if you’ve managed to engage your target market and convert them into Facebook Likes or Twitter followers, but then the question becomes what tools you want to use to convert these followers to consumers.

    Engagement takes countless hours, Facebook ads cost money, and numerous other tasks play a hand in the time it takes to develop a brand presence in the digital marketplace, but if you’re not measuring the return on this time spent (ROI), you don’t have a strategy on what to do with your investment.

    I think your point to conduct digital audits both at the beginning, and throughout the process are essential to earmarking your progress, and helping make decisions on what to do next. You need to be able to measure whether social engagement is influencing sales, and similarly what isn’t working.

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