Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Practices for Building a Digital CPG Brand

In a highly competitive Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) vertical, it’s important to understand the value of your digital brand. After all, the development and marketing dollars you spend building your brand online should be accruing value, shouldn’t they? There are six measurable areas where your online brand should be accruing value: domain & page authority,inbound link qualitysocial media engagement,product or brand searches and website traffic. I’ll write more about the specifics of each area in future blog posts but the key concept to understand is that both your consumers and search engines play a big role in determining the value of your digital brand. Here are some things you can do to influence both.
  1. Anchor your brand with a separate domain. A domain is the foundation of digital brand equity. Many CPG companies make the mistake of burying their brand within the corporate site in a sub-directory. This makes it more difficult for consumers to find and misses an opportunity to build separate domain authority for the brand.
  2. Avoid vanity domains with no relationship to consumer searches. If the actual name of your brand is not available as a .com domain, make sure the domain you choose either contains the brand name or contains a top search term or phrase consumers use when searching for your brand.
  3. Avoid dynamic web pages that use parameters rather than page names for your brand website. Avoid at all costs brand page URLs that look like this: Many older web technologies (and even some not-so-old content management systems) deploy this paradigm for calling web pages from a database. This format is nearly impossible for search engines to index and assign page authority. Ideally, every page in your brand site would have a descriptive name that contained a related consumer search term. For example:
  4. Make every page within your brand website sharable on top consumer social networks. One of the key drivers of digital brand equity is Social Media Impact. This includes the volume of social media mentions and the amount of consumer engagement with your brand and web content. If you make it easy, consumers will engage with and share your content.
  5. Know where your digital brand ranks against those of your closest competitors. This is the most important practice of all. There is no better way to understand the impact and effectiveness of digital marketing strategies than to observe your competitors and the impact their specific efforts are having on their brand
One of the things we do for our clients is assess the value of all the digital brands in their category, identify their competitors’ digital strategies and tactics, and show how those tactics impact their digital brand value over time.
With this competitive intelligence, we help our clients develop the most effective digital strategies to reach, attract, and engage more of the customers they want, more efficiently. In other words, we help them build their own Big Voice.

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