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How comprehensive is your digital presence?

Do you just focus on your marketing portal, emails and SMS or is your digital presence mature?

Regardless of how comprehensive your digital presence, are you sure your efforts are sufficient and contemporary?

In this article, we will be talking about 16 factors that will help you determine whether they are contemporary indeed or if they require transformation.

Now you might already excel at some of the points discussed here and wonder why such obvious things are even listed!

Remember, there are many other users who may have challenges in those areas and I'm trying to keep the list as comprehensive as possible.

Note: This article is the first part of 3-part series. Keep watching this space for the other two parts.

# 1. Insufficient focus on your marketing portal

You know your marketing portal is of paramount importance.

You keep revamping it every two years to make it appear fresh.

You may also be making changes to it every time there is a change in the offers you might make from time to time or any other mandatory information that needs updating.

But is that enough?

Unfortunately, no! When you do this, you will be at the mercy of your audience, hoping they would convert themselves into customers.

You have the opportunity to keep altering communication, try highlighting various benefits on various occasions and do a whole of things every day to better engage with your audience?

It is a good thing to remember that Google ranks only websites with fresh content higher on search results.

Here is what a study on the correlation between content freshness, crawl frequency and rank position shows.

Content freshness and SEO impact

This shows that content freshness has a direct correlation with search engine rankings. Sound important enough?

Here’s another example.

When Ahrefs started to post evergreen content instead of content that was quickly outdated, they saw a massive spike in views and visits.

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We also did a study to find the correlation between the number of daily portal changes and lead generation for a financial services provider in Singapore.

Here's what we found.

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Now that we have seen why it is important to keep updating your portal, here are 3 actionable recommendations that can go a long way in increasing the effectiveness of your website or portal.

  1. Ensure you make anywhere between 11 to 23 changes every day on your portal
  2. Standardize your portal management process
  3. Track the performance of each change and keep optimizing them regularly

# 2. Your focus is primarily on the marketing portal

Here is another scenario – you might focus on your marketing portal, making tons of changes every day. But, do you know that your prospects are researching your products and services outside of your portal?

They may be discussing your products on Reddit forums, checking your social pages, scanning through user comments on app store pages and keeping track of reviews on review portals all over the internet, before they even visit your portal.

So what is it that you can do given this scenario?

Extend your presence beyond your portal, actively look for customer-sentiments and keep addressing them or all your efforts may be futile.

Your customers not only fill these digital spots with negative comments. They may be gushing about what they love about your brand.

Here's an example.

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You can use those insights to craft high-performing marketing communication.

There might be other inbound and outbound channels that you already own, but don’t focus on much.

Here’s a list of channels / places that you should include in your digital presence management priorities.

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Actionable Recommendations

Here are four actionable recommendations that will help expand your digital presence.

  1. Create a strong presence across all channels that are relevant to your business
  2. Determine how you want to engage with your audience on each of those channels
  3. Ensure the new channels are included in your inbound / outbound marketing efforts
  4. Track how each channel fares with respect to your goals and modify and optimize your efforts

# 3. You don’t engage with your audience on social channels

You might have an agency manage your social media channels, adding posts, stories etc. as per a calendar.

All the beautiful pictures and videos uploaded will elicit comments from your audience. But does your social partner respond to each comment on your behalf?

Here's an example of a brand not responding to audience comments on social media.

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Posting beautiful pictures and videos is all very well. But you need to engage with your audience.

On the other hand, see how brands like Nike and Starbucks behave?

They really connect with their audience, wherever they are.

Shouldn’t you also respond to every audience-comment in your social pages?

Isn’t that the whole reason why you even ventured into social media?

On the flip side, if you don’t respond to your audience comments, your potential social followers will see that you aren't interactive enough and will not follow you.

And what happens if you don't get new followers on social media?

All brands work are obsessed with increasing followers on social media.

Here’s the list of actions that your social media followers are likely to do, according to Sprout Social.

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Source: Sprout Social – Social Index

Actionable Recommendations

Here are four actionable recommendations for maximizing your social engagement.

  1. Set up a social media command center.
  2. Implement the right technology to track every user comment.
  3. Deploy processes to respond to user comments with canned as well as real responses
  4. Track brand sentiments on social channels and optimize your engagement with your social audience

# 4. Inconsistent Communication across Channels

You would agree that developing creatives is a key function of marketing.

The message you wish to convey to your audience is communicated through the banner in the website, the emailer, the SMS copy, the push notification creative, a microsite, your social media ad or your PPC ad copy.

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Source: QuickFMS

When you have various vendors managing your different channels (your website, product pages on Amazon, your blog, your social media brand pages, review portals), it is very likely that the line of communication differs across channels.

If you reach out to your audience with highly inconsistent messages, it creates poor customer experiences and has a negative impact on conversion.

This is especially true when you have an Omni channel approach.

If your communication is not consistent across channels, you will not be able to create the intended brand recall and salience.

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On the other hand, being consistent across channels is rewarding.

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Source: QuickFMS

Actionable Recommendations

Here are four actionable recommendations to achieve consistency in your communication.

  1. Stop crafting interventions based on channels and focus on users
  2. Re-define your design process to build micro-communication for each user segment
  3. Develop and distribute micro-communication across all channels for each user segment
  4. Re-use creative and content wherever possible

# 5. No personalized engagement with your audience

Alright, this is not the first time you are hearing this. This will not be the last time either.

Your audience demands communication that is highly relevant and contextual aka personalized.

Whether you do it or not they believe you are tracking their behavior and expect you to provide communication that is highly personalized.

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Source: RedPoint Global/Harris Poll

If you keep sending generic communication to your audience, you are not only making them apathetic to your communication, but you lose the opportunity to persuade them at a time when their attention spans are high and to nudge them towards conversion.

When you provide personalized content, it not only results in good conversions. The benefits are more than that and each of these actions will have a positive domino effect on the brand.

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Actionable Recommendations

Here are three actionable recommendations for you to provide personalized experiences to your audience.

  1. Deploy a personalization platform and find areas on your portal for personalization.
  2. Identify personalization use cases
  3. Develop content, test and send personalized content to your audience.

Summary

Well, we have come to the end of part One – remember there are two more parts on the way.

In this article we have looked at why brands should look beyond their portals and manage their digital presence well, why it is important to keep your portal fresh, why you should engage with your audience on social media, why is it important to have consistency in Omni channel communication and the need for personalization.

Here's a summary of actionable items for your digital presence management transformation based on factors discussed in the article.

  1. Keep making changes to your portal, keeping it fresh for search engines to crawl and rank them high
  2. Expand your digital presence to both your inbound and outbound channels and ensure consistency in communication
  3. Set up a social media command center and always respond to audience comments
  4. Ensure your communication across channels is consistent in terms of branding, messaging, choice of words, mention of products etc.
  5. Deploy a personalization platform, visualize and test personalization scenarios and give highly-personalized experience to every single customer.