Invest In Virtual Assets For Your Company
In the past, retail was all about bricks and mortar street fronts. Investing in the location was a habit that has been with us for centuries. Buy or rent a shop and invest big in space, paint, walls, partitions, design and fittings. The budgets often go shooting beyond what you started off with. But it’s still the honeypot for the shopper to spend.
In traditional print media, it was all about magazines, newsprint and mainly local distribution. It required hard physical assets and expensive printing presses. Now, bloggers, online magazines and new-breed news sites are producing online content without a printing press to be seen or a delivery van or a corner store.
But we are moving from an industrial age where the assets that were valued were physical but with the rise of global knowledge economy, the importance of virtual digital assets and technology is becoming paramount.
Why are these important?
Your brand can now be everywhere in a digital world. Google, Facebook and Twitter make that possible. Search engines can locate you from an iPad in a coffee shop in Paris but your physical presence might be in Helsinki.
You are defined online: Online, your content now defines you. That’s it. If your website has a little content, then it will position you as lightweight and maybe not be all that serious.
You are discovered online: Building online assets means you turn up in search engine results, can be found on Facebook and other social networks as people share your content.
Global scale: A small brand can be global online. It means that you have worldwide reach without leaving your office or shop.
People buy online: This trend isn’t going away.
Content is consumed online: Entertainment, education and inspiration is expanding on the web.
So what are the 11 digital assets that you should be building and investing in today to remain relevant, continue to grow and scale your business. Here is how to grow your business online.
Owned Media Assets
This includes the following:
Websites are your digital platform and the customer’s gateway to your brand. It maybe a corporate site or an online store or both. It needs to be well branded, easy to use, intuitive and designed for a social web.
Blogs are your content hubs and attract loyal readers. Its role cannot be underestimated in positioning your brand as a thought leader in this industry, especially in the B2B space. In B2C, the role of the blog is more about engagement, entertainment and improving search engine rankings.
3. Social Media Networks
Social networks aren’t strictly an owned asset but rented (you don’t own Facebook or Twitter as you are there on their terms and conditions) but they are seen by the consumer as part and also as an extension of your owned brand platform. Placing a stake in the ground with the major networks with your brand name is now an essential digital asset to start and keep investing in.
Content is now a multimedia asset that needs constant investment. It includes articles on blogs, infographics, podcasts, images, videos and more. The challenge is to create the best content possible that will beg to be shared and spread your brand online. This is a constant marketing continuum that needs consistent and persistent feeding. It’s a hungry beast.
5. Email list
Email is not a shiny new technology toy like the social media platforms, but it is still the primary business communication tool. Your email list needs time and patience to build. It also provides the means to reach your customers and prospects when you want.
The rise of high-speed wireless and the mobile phones and tablets has made information accessible from anywhere. It can be a mobile app or a mobile responsive website that adapts to any screen size for easy media consumption. Ignoring this can reduce sales for online stores, engagement on blogs and the viewing on corporate websites.
Earned Media Assets
Earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned’. This applies to “word of mouth” offline and online, building followers, connections and fans on social networks, building an email list and ranking high in Google organic search for the key words and phrases in your business niche.
This includes the following:
1. Conversations About You
One of your key objectives should be to create conversation on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You need to earn this by building your following and creating epic content that starts the conversation.
2. Content That Is Created About You
Brands that provide great user experiences create raving fans and advocates. These include Apple, Lego and Red Bull. They will create content for free that mentions your brand. An Octoly research revealed that 99% of all the content is created on YouTube about some brands. That’s free marketing!!!
3. Search Engine Rankings
You don’t own search engine rankings but earn them. It’s built on the original premise that Google created in 1998. It’s called pagerank. If your content is so good that the New York Times mentions and links to you, then Google sees that as search engine authority. Keep building those with other websites and you have earned the right to rank high in search.
Online partnerships are earned. People and other brands will want to work with you in online joint ventures because you have built and earned online authority. This includes reach, trust and social proof.
As you earn online attention, influencers with large global online networks will also want to partner up. This is where it starts to get exciting.
It’s a long-term game!!!
The relentless pursuit of building your online assets and earning digital authority will be the work of decades. It needs that mindset, understanding and vision of how the digital economy is panning out for the next century.
It’s not going away.
What about you?
Are you investing in building your digital assets? Could you do better? What do you need to work on today?
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