How important are digital, social and mobile to brands? Short answer, very! If you think your brand can survive with just having a webpage, social media account, and a mobile app, than you’re really do not understand how things have changed over the last 5 years.
Having all three – a website, being on social media and having your own mobile app is just covering the basics. If you want to keep up with the digital race you have to be more proactive and take initiatives to jump ahead of your competitors. Let’s take an individual look to be able to understand the bigger picture.
If your website doesn’t communicate who you are as a brand, then it really doesn’t matter if you have one. I’ve come across websites lacking product information, having tabs and pages that are either outdated or lack content altogether – yes, empty! What message does that convey to someone visiting your website? Yeah, “These guys aren’t really serious about it!”
Customers come to your website primarily for information. If they can’t find any, they’ll go to a competitor who has what they want. Boom! Lost one! The importance of a regularly updated website with relevant content can’t be stressed enough.
You can add an e-commerce solution to your website to help customers directly buy your products from your website as an added convenience for them. The reduced cost will also allow you to offer discounts which is an added bonus and a win-win for both.
Human beings are social animals and they will talk about your brand online. Facebook is now one of the first places a person goes if they want to know about a brand. Twitter is where they use hashtags to start a discussion on your product. LinkedIn is vital to create a professional presence with clients and suppliers.
Having presence on social media is vital for your brand but that’s just not enough today. If you just have social media presence but aren’t very engaging then what’s the point? Social media is the ideal tool to get the buzz going about your products. The more people talk about you, the more will notice. On the flip side, no one likes to be ignored. Failing to engage with customers on their comments and tweets is a recipe for disaster.
Social media management is a field in itself and you either need to train people in-house or hire experts to handle your brand socially. Bear in mind that be it internal or someone from the outside, whoever handles your socials, must speak in the tone your brand image has established. This may require training staff or having detailed sessions with an external social media team. Both have their own costs but are essential for a successful social media strategy to work.
Mobile apps are cool. They help you have a presence in people’s pockets, literally. But what do they give your brand in terms of ROI?
You’ll have a better search visibility, for one. You’ll have your brand presence on various application stores for smartphone apps.
A mobile app can be also be your mobile store. Customers can purchase your products directly from their phones using an e-commerce solution embedded in your app.
We all know that this is the age of the customer and that can’t be stressed enough. The data you collect from your smartphone app will enable you to deliver a personalized customer experience which will boost your brand image.
A mobile app can also used for marketing purposes. You can have location based promotional offers using the GPS feature of smartphones. Make special offers and discounts on special occasions and dates important to your customer e.g. birthdays, anniversaries. Loyalty based programs can be used to offer discounts to longstanding customers with a certain number of purchases through your app.
It is very essential that all three i.e. your website, social media, and mobile presence give out the same vibe. If a customer gets one message from your website, another on social media and your mobile app carries a third voice, it’ll only lead to confusion about your brand. Synergy between your digital, social and mobile strategy is as important as being there itself. Ignoring any one is not an option for a brand manager anymore. So how do you plan to shape your digital strategy using your online, social and mobile presence?