Use these four key indicators to determine your brand’s health.
Brand health overview
How do you feel about your cable provider? What one word comes to mind when you think about them?
Is it a word like reliable? High-tech? Affordable? Or maybe it’s over-priced, complicated or annoying. If your reaction to that question isn’t positive, chances are your provider has a problem with their brand health.
Brand health is the way customers think about your company, and even more importantly, the way they talk about it. Just like poor physical health, poor brand health can lead to all kinds of problems, like failed marketing campaigns and reduced profits, and regular health checkups help stop problems before they develop.
Four important signs of brand health
Digital marketing and SEO tools have made it easier for you to check on brand health. The same metrics that show you whether leads are up and how well pages rank can help you figure out how consumers are thinking and talking about your brand.
Use a tool like Google Analytics to figure out how many people are visiting your website.
If potential customers aren’t visiting your site, you have fewer chances to win their business, and they’ll never see any on-site digital marketing efforts you’ve made, like content marketing resources. When people do come to your site, do they find you with a search engine, or do they come directly to your site by typing in the URL?
Determining how much traffic you get and where it comes from tells you if you need to work on brand awareness through Facebook ads, PPC campaigns or other online marketing efforts.
You can also use Google Analytics to see how long people stay on your pages. A high bounce rate means content on that page is turning people off, and you might need to think about the brand messaging that appears on pages with a high bounce rate or a high exit rate.
Social media activity
Use social media activity to gauge both brand awareness and brand reputation.
Research shows that consumers who interact with a brand on social media will spend 20 to 40 percent more with that company. They’re also much more likely to promote your brand to others. [a]
Do your company’s social media accounts have many followers? If not, you may be facing a brand awareness problem. If they do, but those users aren’t very active--they don’t share content or make comments about it--then you could have a problem with the type of content you’re posting.
If customers are leaving negative reviews and feedback on your social media accounts, then you have (or soon will have) a reputation problem. If you can’t address the cause of the complaints, you’ll need to find a way to respond to those complaints.
You Google your child’s teacher, your new neighbors, your dog walker. Google your company and all the services and products it offers. What do you see?
The SERPs show you what your customer sees when they’re considering your product or company. If you see a lot of results about your competitors, you may need to work on brand awareness or developing links through content marketing efforts.
If you see negative press or negative reviews, your brand health is in trouble because of a bad reputation. You’ll need a comprehensive approach for responding to reviews and getting more reviews from customers with neutral and positive experiences.
Check out your rating and consumers reviews on sites like ConsumerAffairs, the Better Business Bureau or Yelp.
Most people don’t write three-star reviews. Customers only take the time to write a review when something went very well or terribly wrong. Sometimes, this leads to an inaccurate picture of your products and customer service.
More than 90 percent of consumers read online reviews, and less than 15 percent of people would consider a business with a one- or two-star average. [b]These stats mean an unbalanced picture of your brands on review sites can cost you a significant amount of business. You’ll need to respond to existing critical reviews and figure out how to encourage customers with better experiences to write reviews.
Checklist for brand health checkup
Once you’re familiar with the key indicators of brand health, completing a brand health check-up can be relatively simple. This process may take some time, because you might need to complete each of the following steps multiple times over an extended period to get accurate data.
- Use Google analytics to determine how many unique visitors are coming to your site each month.
- Check bounce rates, time on page and exit rates to see which web pages are doing well and what content needs to be rewritten or updated.
- Review social media engagement to determine if you have a problem with brand awareness or brand reputation.
- Do keyword research to see how well your company ranks for key products.
- Research your average star rating on popular review sites.
Improving brand health
Doing a brand health check-up can provide you all the information you need to convince decision makers at your organization to take steps to improve it. Make an action plan to address the problems you found during your checkup so you can make a long-term, positive impact on your company.
- Use marketing efforts to increase awareness of your company’s online presence.
- Create a plan for responding to complaints via social media and for using the platforms for customer service help.
- Develop content that helps consumers to create inbound leads.
- Create a strategy for building backlinks to increase your visibility in SERPs and improve organic search results.
- Make a plan for responding to negative online reviews.
- Use third-party review collection to get reviews from a larger number of customers, creating a more accurate picture of your brand.
Brand health is essential for business success. Regular checkups and data-driven action plans can ensure that your brand is fit as a fiddle.