As someone in marketing, I spend a lot of time pointing out the obvious. I get it, there’s a lot of us out there, and many of these “experts” are promising the world, claiming to know more than they do and then having the audacity to charge you a lot of money for things you probably don’t need. What are you supposed to believe?
If I ask a business owner what their competitors are doing wrong, I’m bound to get an impassioned and immediate run down. When asked to do the same of their own company, how many do you think answer truthfully, let alone correctly? Some are even too afraid to look! A brand needs to take a long, hard look at their own business to determine if they’re even doing the same things properly.
What is a Digital Audit?
Too often I’m met with someone who says they’re not a fundi and therefore don’t know what a digital audit is or understand its value. The bottom line is, if you don’t at least know how important this process is to your business’ survival, let alone its growth, you’re already in trouble.
Simply put, a digital audit gives you a bird’s eye view of the market, competitors locally and internationally, your target demographic and the general appetite for your service or product. This provides a crucial benchmark to leverage off of.
Map it out
You can’t make educated decisions about your business without the data. That means taking proper stock of everything that’s working and not working. And I mean everything.
One of the biggest missteps I notice in businesses is they don’t stand back and look at all their properties in order to figure out how they relate to each other. The relationship between these properties is imperative and it goes beyond digital. Your north star should be your overall business strategy in the center. Feeding into this should be every strategy you conduct within your business, such as a digital audit. This overview should give insight into how they connect to each other and where they don’t.
Conduct a full health report after mapping out all your digital properties and work systematically through them, specifically looking at things like:
- Website functionality, performance and SEO
- Content and its engagement to assess brand perception
- Organic social content
- Educational and value-add, such as long-form articles, video and webinars
- Paid media, advertising and communication strategies
- Brand positioning and messaging
- Digital branding
Next, implement a full competitor analysis to include the same items. This will help determine:
- how you match up with your competitors, global and local best-practice standards and a view on visibility, relevance and sentiment
- low-hanging fruit that is easy to carry out
- which platforms, technology and digital assets are being used and how
Blind Faith won’t cut it
If your team comes back to report that everything is working well, please don’t just take their word for it. You wouldn’t do the same with the man looking after your finances and you shouldn’t do the same here either. Look at the data with a fine-tooth comb and then establish if they have actually put the correct measures in place to see future return.
A digital audit is a necessary and important tool to drive your business forward and stay ahead of your competitors. Maybe for you that means bringing on the right partners to help achieve your goals. An impartial, fresh set of eyes could make all the difference the success you’ve always dreamed of.
Regardless of who conducts the audit, with a solid grasp on the landscape and a plan in place, you’ll also need to ensure you bring on partners who can intrinsically understand and properly implement what you’ve identified. This also means providing you with a priority list that should start with a few quick wins and hopefully give you the quickest return of investment as well.
Still not sure? See how (and more importantly, why you need) to get started today in part II. If you’re ready, get in touch, I’d be happy to talk you through the next steps.