This is a guest post by Cole Watts, a SEO Coordinator and Digital Strategist at Waste Industries.
Waste Management may not be a glamorous industry, but everybody needs to deal with trash. When I joined Waste Industries in 2016, I was transitioning from a small-agency lifestyle to a big corporate entity. As a Digital Strategist, I was responsible for enhancing our brand image while ushering the company into the modern era of internet marketing and communications. Thankfully, my previous agency experienced prepared me well and I was able to learn quickly as I juggled many different hats.
Start cleaning up your brand image
The waste industry might not be what comes to mind when you think of an industry that’s booming with technology and marketing talent, however, in a time where technology is doubling faster than ever, you’d be surprised at how advanced we are.
As a newcomer to the industry, I knew I had to learn how to manage the brand image quickly if I was going to be able to survive in my new position. While I was a digital marketer by trade, I was used to helping small businesses and technology brands—not big service related businesses.
5 cleanup strategies
Here are five effective steps for assessing and enhancing brand image—especially in an unfamiliar or unpopular industry.
Become a sponge about your brand
Before you do anything else, ask everyone in your company about your brand. Often times, working at a bigger business can silo you, but the goal should be to make friends within every department of the business; talk to them about their experiences, their pain points, and what they’re proud of. This includes the graphic designer, the seasoned sales vet, and the leader of your customer service team. Each of them will have valuable insights that will help you evaluate and improve your brand image.
Search for your brand
One day, Wil Reynolds will go down as a member of the SEO Hall of Fame. He packs his presentations full of energy and reminds us not to forget about the information that’s available to us in Google search. So, if you’re taking on a new role, begin by going to Google and simply searching for your brand. Find out what people are saying about you. Extend your investigation to Google Images and YouTube. These two highly-trafficked websites will tell you a lot about your brand image online.
Radian 6 and Mention are two great tools for listening online if your brand can afford them. However, you can simply create Google alerts for free to accomplish the same goal. Be the first to know when someone says something new about your brand online and take advantage of relevant, emerging news stories.
Review Google and the way back machine
Digital marketers and brand managers often forget to dig deep into Google’s Search Console (formerly Web Master Tools) to look for crawl errors and optimization opportunities. It’s the number one mistake I see over and over again.
I encourage everyone to sign-up immediately; there’s no excuse when Google is the leading search engine on the web (by far). While you’re at it, I encourage everyone to take a look down memory lane and use the Way Back Machine to get insight into actions that have been taken to address your brand image in the past. Patrick Stox also has a nice little link reclamation article that you can use while you’re addressing outstanding site issues.
Make friends within and across your industry
Now that you’ve cleaned up your brand image, you need to keep your brand fresh. Become a thought leader within your industry and become friends with those who write about you. This means not only attending industry events, but becoming friends with writers, bloggers, etc. in your industry.
Following these 5 tips will help you assess and improve brand image within your industry—even if it’s trashy.
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