What is a Digital Brand Audit and Why do You Need One?

The digital marketing world moves fast, and if your brand doesn’t keep up, it can get left behind. You must stay relevant to keep earning the traffic and clicks on your digital assets. That’s why it’s important to maintain your brand’s online presence by periodically conducting a digital audit. 

Similar to a financial audit, a digital audit examines and evaluates your brand’s actions to make sure they fall in line with your mission and goals. You’ll ask yourself questions about your brand to make sure it’s performing at its best, such as:

  • Is your content engaging your audience?
  • Is your brand performing well against your competitors? 
  • Has your brand evolved since you last updated your digital strategy?
  • What can you do better when representing your brand online?

With an audit, you’ll uncover your brand’s opportunities for improvement, get back in touch with its online performance, and update your brand strategy going forward.

Why does my brand need an audit?

Makes sure your brand is up to date

Brands change over time. You may think your mission or value proposition is the same as it was when your brand first launched, but it is inevitably shaped by changes in consumer attitudes and behavior. And if it is, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your marketing efforts or content creation still accurately represent your brand.

Creates consistency

Your brand is more than just your social media presence, your website, or the products you sell. It’s your customer service experience, blog posts, your logo, and so much more. A digital brand audit can ensure that all the moving parts to your brand are consistent and accurate.

Synchronizes vision and execution

It’s easy to imagine your brand looks and acts a certain way, when in reality, it’s different in the eyes of your customers. A digital brand audit can help get your brand back on track and ensures your vision and execution are one and the same.

Pinpoints strengths and weaknesses

One of the best benefits of a brand audit is analysis of your brand’s performance. You’ll discover your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. In turn, this analysis will help you put together a plan to shore up those weaknesses and play to your strengths.

How to conduct a digital brand audit

Outline what to analyze

The first step in your brand audit is to create a list of topics to cover in your audit. Your brand audit may vary, but consider looking at:

  • Your brand’s purpose, mission, values, and goals
  • Your target market and niche
  • The problem you solve or unmet need your brand fulfills for your audience
  • Your ideal client
  • Your competitors
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • What makes you unique from your competitors

Remember to answer honestly and accurately. For example, if your brand’s current values have changed since its inception, write down how. This will help you discover where you’ve been, where you are, and where you would like to go.

Look at your web analytics

You should already be checking your web analytics frequently, but it’s a good idea to look at them again during your digital brand audit.

Web traffic, including site visits, average visit duration, number of new site visitors, etc. These basic data points can give you an idea of where you can improve.

Sources for incoming traffic. Are your visitors finding you through search, through a referral link, or by directly inputting your URL into their browser? You may find that your referral links are a strength, but your ranking in search results needs work.

Bounce rate. A bounce rate indicates how many people left your site after viewing just one page. That may mean you fully answered their questions with a well written blog post, or it could mean they lost interest and went elsewhere. Note which pages have the highest and lowest bounce rates and track these over time.

Pageviews. Which page on your website is visited most and least? You can get an idea of which products are popular by checking this metric.

Conversion rate. This is the proportion of visitors who perform a desired action on your site, like making a purchase or subscribing to your newsletter. Generally, if your conversion rate is high or improving over time, that’s a good sign for your online presence.

As you track all of these metrics over months and years, you will notice seasonal patterns as well as potential areas for improvement.

Evaluate your brand integrity and consistency

What is a Digital Brand Audit and Why do You Need One?

Next, take stock of your brand integrity across your digital channels. Does your brand look, sound, feel, and communicate the same way on every platform? Will a customer recognize you regardless of their point of entry?

Look for the following when comparing your website content, social media channels, and email marketing efforts.

Website

  • Your website has current graphics: logos, banners, headers and footers, and images
  • Every page on your site is up to date
  • All links are working and up to date
  • Your blog, if you have one, is addressing currently relevant topics
  • Messaging on your site and blog match that of your social media and other channels

Social media

What is a Digital Brand Audit and Why do You Need One?
  • Each social media platform has a current logo and accurate profile description or bio
  • Links in descriptions or bios are up to date
  • Your content meets the same high standards as your website content
  • Your graphics are optimized for specific social media platforms; e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • You are posting consistently, with content targeting the right audience in each platform
  • Your analytics (followers, engagements, conversions) are meeting their goals
  • All platform analytics are trending in a positive direction and your social ROI is positive

Email marketing

  • Review your analytics such as open rate, click rate and click-to-open rate
  • Notice if your list has grown or shrunk over time and whether you’re losing subscribers faster than expected
  • Confirm that each email contains correct brand colors, logos and graphics
  • Confirm that the language of your email copy accurately reflects your brand and the way in which you speak to your audience

It is helpful to review all of these at once so you can confirm that you’re delivering a consistent brand message across all channels.

Devise an action plan

The final step of your brand audit is to put your gathered research to good use by devising an action plan. 

Fix specific problems

Highlight any pain points that you uncovered during your digital brand audit. For each one, list factions to take, goals, and a timeline.

Here is an example:

  • Issue: Facebook page is losing followers faster than it is gaining them 
  • Suggested action: Incorporate new kinds of content into your social media calendar and evaluate the results
  • Goal: 1,000 new followers, with fewer than 500 lost
  • Timeline: Next 6-8 weeks

Repeat the process

Digital brand audits should be a regular exercise for your brand, not only to check your progress on solving pain points, but to keep your brand in good health. You might perform a brand audit every quarter, twice a year, or once a year. 

Take action with ThumbStopper

What is a Digital Brand Audit and Why do You Need One?

Sometimes you know where you can improve your brand’s digital presence, but you simply don’t have the time or resources to make those improvements on your own. If you need to boost your brand’s engagement, brand strategy, or brand awareness, ThumbStopper can make it happen by leveraging your local retailers. By tapping into this shared target audience, your brand can enjoy better targeting, more use of your marketing assets, and maximum content ROI.
Learn more about how ThumbStopper can help your brand today.

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