When a business is looking to expand its digital presence, they call guys like us to fulfil this need. This is usually after they have been tossed all around and up and down by ad agencies, marketing consultants and all the different kinds of shiny proverbial SEO ‘sultans’. This – about 99% of the time – means our job is made harder due to the gaping hole that has been left behind by our predecessors. The companies who have left this –for lack of a better word – hole in the hearts and budgets of our clients, have typically started their pitches with the usual ‘I love your current website’ or ‘We are the best SEO and social media experts around’ and carry on with empty promises of retweets, followers and ‘much more’.
In business, it’s vital that we get our clients to trust us by showing them that we’re confident in what we’re able to do, but then again, don’t over-promise and under deliver. In my short space of time here at Digital Grind, I have learnt that we don’t do any of the above. Sure, this sounds bias because I work here, but on the real, we mean business. I sat in on a meeting with a potential client and learnt about a whole different world that exists in digital marketing. It’s essentially what comes before we start doing anything on your website and for your social media. It’s a phenomenon called digital auditing. When I saw what a digital audit is, I was blown away.
A digital audit is the first and most imperative step that has to be taken by any digital agency before they can promise you the moon –in this case the Internet basically. In essence, a digital audit is what KPMG does, except we don’t send a creepy dude to look at who’s spending their day at the water cooler or Facebooking at 9am. We do a social media overview, where we look at all you have and have not done online, for instance, what social media accounts you currently have, and how you interact with clients and potential clients on social media through posts. We then do a website overview to see how attractive your website is, and how much effort has been put into the website to translate clicks into sales. We look for ‘calls to action’ and whether your website and such do much for your business at all.
We then put your company’s website against two or three of your competitors who exist in the same industry. Once these competitors have been identified, we then look at what they have digitally that your company doesn’t. After this we see what is working for them, that your company could possibly use for instance, a LinkedIn profile, Google AdWords and the like.
There is so much that goes into this phase that by the time we are done, you’re left with –sorry to say – egg on your face, and not because you didn’t care or you were negligent, but because you were taken for a ride. Nine times out of ten, a client is saying that they know their website is the best because they have spent so much money on it, and the company who did it for them knows what they are doing and they refuse to believe that anything better can be done, but the truth is, there is always something that should improve and a better way to get your sales up. Think about it, the world is evolving and companies are jumping onto the social media train with their attractive websites and really awesome social media pages. In this kind of situation, you can’t afford to be left behind. If there are 1.65 billion people and businesses on Facebook and 1.3 million new users a day, and your social media page is looking like the eerie-looking loner in the corner of the nightclub watching you dance all night, imagine how much potential business you’re losing.
It’s safe to say that it’s about time you stop getting promises from the guys who don’t have a clue, and you make your way over to the land of the ‘digitally enlightened’. The point of this all is that, if their first pitch is not a digital audit, you’re heading towards the dark tunnel about to sign your soul over to the ‘digi-devil’.
Author: Sanele Ntuli