3 Ways That Your Digital Brand and Your Actual Business are Different Things
Are you a brand new business, or have you been long established? Do your customers appreciate you and trust in the service you provide? I’m guessing that, regardless of the answer to your first question, you have established a clientele that knows you who are, they like you, and they come back for more. But the question you really need to be asking yourself is what your business looks like to potential customers who are searching for you online. Whether they have already heard of you, or are just searching by keyword for your type of business on Google, whatever representation they find (or don’t find) for your business, is exactly the type of business that they think you are. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “Perception is reality”….well, this is a perfect example of the kind of reality that your digital brand sets in the mind of your potential customers.
Here a 3 ways that your digital brand and actual business are seen differently:
1. Real Life Appearance vs. Your Website
In real life, you have a great location. Your shop, your restaurant, your store, or even your service trucks are presentable. Maybe they are even really, really nice. You’ve invested a lot of money in your company’s physical appearance, and the comfort of your customers. But let’s just say you don’t have a great, mobile-friendly website that visually represents your “real life” appearance. A website that was cheaply done is just as bad to someone searching online, if not worse, than having a business location or service vehicle that is plain, boring, or even dirty. Having no website at all just makes you invisible, and to the potential customer who needs your kind of business now, this IS real life.
2. Happy Customers vs. Review Websites
You have customers that would pay more to receive your service, instead of going to a competitor. These customers speak highly of you, and tell you what a great job you do. They may even refer their friends and co-workers. This is great news when word gets around through this small network of people. But for average Joe McGoogle who searches for local businesses on his iPhone, if he doesn’t see any good reviews for your business on Yelp, Google, or Facebook, he is going to pass you right by and go with the business that does. Chances are, you’ve also had some not-so-nice customers, who, despite your best efforts, have some reason in their own mind to complain about you. What if the only review you have online is from that person? That is all Joe McGoogle will know, while the voices of all your real life customers quietly pass by like whispers in a windstorm.
3. Activity and Current Events vs. Social Media Engagement
You just became a vendor for the most cost-efficient, energy saving air-conditioning units. Or, you just remodeled your storefront and put in all new tables and chairs and even added a Wi-Fi hotspot for your customers. Let’s see….maybe you even started a new contest for the members of your gym, or imported the Ferrari of espresso machines at your craft coffee house. Enough examples for you? Okay, the point is that it’s one thing to be a business that is booming, and offering NEW things to customers, and another thing completely to look stale and like yesterday’s news to people who are active on the main social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. If you don’t have a business page on these popular social networks, or if the one you setup 2 years ago has only 5 followers and the most recent update was last April, guess what….people just might think you are slow, unpopular, and not relevant to their needs. Ouch, yes I just said that. But I will also say “If you want the most, you better make sure you post”. Quote me on that!
The truth of the matter is, to make this list stop at 3 is actually kind of premature. I could go on with this list all the way up to at least 20. But hey, who reads that far anymore? Like I was getting at before, you are probably very good at what you offer, and you may be very well respected. That is exactly why you need to focus on your digital brand, because what worked for bringing you new business yesterday, is not necessarily going to keep working to bring in the local Joe McGoogle’s of your community. You have worked way too hard to let him take his business to someone who looks slick online, but a disaster waiting to happen in real life!! Evaluate where you stand with your digital brand, and do what it takes to stand out online. I’ve created a digital marketing report card to help you out with this. Joe would love to do business with you, if he only knew how awesome you really are!