Your brand is a lot more than just your business name, the logo and your website. Brand is really defined by the experience that consumers, customers and other stakeholders have when they come in contact with your business in any format, at any time.
When you couple that with the movement to a “mobile first” business strategy, then you can understand how important your mobile footprint is in building a successful agency.
The experience people have on their phones when encountering your business is quickly becoming their primary contact. You need to make sure it's the best experience it can be.
Four-step mobile footprint review
To get a clear picture of your mobile footprint, here is a four-step review that will help you evaluate whether you’re in the right place or if your website — and your brand — are soon to become irrelevant.
- Open your smartphone's browser and search for terms that a stranger might use to find the types of insurance you write. You want to be as free from bias as you can. See where your business name came up in the search results, and make a note of the number on the list. If you’re No. 1, great. But if your name doesn't come up until the second screen, maybe your number is really 12.
- See what else comes up in your search. Are there articles you’ve appeared in that are found in the search? Does your business Facebook page link come up? What else will people find?
- Visit your social media business sites as if you were a stranger. Log out of your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn or whatever other accounts you have for your agency. What does each site look like? How professional is the profile image? What about the content that's there: Is it valuable, informative, helpful or just memes (images with sayings of the day)? What's the purpose of your account?
- Finally, visit your website on a smartphone, and experience how easy or difficult it is to navigate. Do you have to stretch the screen and scroll sideways? Can you find the agency's phone number, e-mail and address easily? Do the images display properly? Do you have multimedia content such as a YouTube feed or informative podcasts?
Now comes the ranking, and you have to be brutally honest. Rate each step on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 means “I would move on to someplace else immediately” and 10 means “I would spend time here to learn more about this agency and what they have to offer.” Do this for each of the social media platforms you reviewed, plus the website. Add up all the numbers and then divide the total by the number of the position your search results showed up at.
The larger the number, the better your footprint. But with a total number of 10 or below, you need to get serious about improving your mobile presence. It's not a surefire calculation, but it's a good exercise to force you to think like a stranger in the mobile phone landscape.
Mobile-friendly websites and business apps are what Google is looking for, because the company understands where most consumers are spending all their time. Cultivating a positive experience in that world will better position your agency for the future.
Rick Gilman is executive director of the Personal Lines Growth Alliance. Contact him at email@example.com.
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