There is a multitude of benefits to doing a brand audit. For one, it allows you to see how your brand is doing in comparison to its competitors. Armed with that information, you can then devise a strategy to help your brand come out on top.

Additionally, brand audits can help you get insight into how consumers feel about your brand, which will help you tailor your products and services to better suit them. This, in turn, builds loyalty and trust — two vital components of any business nowadays.

All said and done, there are many things an audit can do for your brand, but you first need to know how to conduct one.

Here, the team at Focal Points reveals five steps to conducting a brand audit:

Step 1: Outline your objectives

The first thing you need to do is outline your objectives. This is so that you can take a deep look into exactly what it is you want to achieve.

For example, are you looking to increase your brand’s visibility? Where are you looking to increase it? On social media? Via advertising? These are the types of questions you’ll be wanting to ask yourself.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, draw out an outline showing how you’re going to go about accomplishing this goal.

Taking the aforementioned example: Let’s say you’re looking to increase your visibility on social media. You would then evaluate all the different avenues at your disposal, such as:
  • Boosting posts: If your social media efforts are coming to nought, perhaps it’s time to consider paid or boosted posts. Work out your budget and see if your brand is able — and willing — to cash out.
  • Influencers: Have you ever considered hiring an influencer? What would the benefits of this be for your specific brand? Do you know how to go about finding the right one? These are all factors you would need to consider in this part of your plan.
  • Organic reach: There could be a reason why your organic posts are not hitting their targets. Maybe it’s time to revise your social media marketing strategy and see what’s going on.
Once you’ve clearly outlined your objectives, you would then be able to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Get feedback from your consumers and employees

This step will ultimately finalise any decisions you make regarding your brand. What would a brand even be without consumers and the employees that form a part of it? The answer is, well, not much.

And there are various ways that you can get feedback from consumers and employees, and the methods are not that different from one another.

For example, you can send out surveys to both your staff and customers, asking them questions that are relevant to each group. For example:
  • What would you like to see more regarding our products and / or services?
  • What would you like to see less of?
  • Is there anything about our brand / organisation you dislike or would change?
  • What about our brand / organisation appeals to you the most?
  • How would you rate our customer service?
Questions such as these will provide you with valuable insights about your brand that you can use to revamp your strategies. You can even run an online poll at the same time to get even more feedback from various sources.

Step 3: Survey all your data from your website

Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of your brand’s website. A great way to do this is by using a data management tool, such as Google Analytics. These types of tools can help you observe the most important aspects of your brand, such as the bounce rate, unique views as well as the sources of your traffic.

Let’s take a deeper look at these components:

Bounce rate
This analysis will give you a certain percentage to show you how many people have clicked away from your page upon opening it. The lower your bounce rate, the better, as this means that more people stayed on the webpage. However, the percentage will differ for each brand’s website, as it depends on what product or service you provide.

For example, if your solutions, products or services are hyperlinked and are advertised on your main page, you would want the bounce right to be very low (about 41 to 55% is average), as this means that people clicked from your main page to one of your other links.

Unique views
This number will tell you how many new visitors came to your page. This read of this stat is important as it shows you whether different people are actually able to find your page. If you find that you have the same number of people visiting your site each time, it might be time to revisit your SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy.

This feature on Google Analytics allows you to see how people found your page. Did they come from Google? Your Facebook page? Twitter? Some other foreign site? It’s important to check this out as you want to ensure that you’re not only garnering traffic from the same sources over and over again.

There are tons of other useful figures on analytics tools, such as stats that show what types of people are looking at your page (audience demographic) and where your audience is coming from (geographic location), so be sure to include this in your audit.

Step 4: Analyse your social media analytics

Gaining access to social media data on the platforms your brand uses lets you know whether or not your social media marketing efforts are working, and what you might need to adjust. Referring back to the feedback, you could gain some insight by posting social polls on your platforms.

Additionally, you should already be conducting and compiling analytical reports based on the data found on your social media platforms. All the major platforms have the option to view your own brand analytics, so if you haven’t started to already, keep track of your analytics once a week, month or even day (depending on what works best for your brand).

Another way to gain insightful statistics is by utilising a social intelligence service. This service can be used as a tool to help you determine how well your campaigns are doing on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Additionally, you can get profound knowledge about conversations surrounding your brand.

Consumers on social talk and they’ll definitely mention how they feel about your latest campaign. Utilising social media intelligence, these conversations can be extracted and compiled into an easy-to-read report where you can view the favourability and sentiment analysis.

This type of analysis tells you whether the comments from your audience were positive, negative or neutral. You’ll definitely want to make use of this type of service when doing an audit!

Step 5: Evaluate your competitors

Now it’s time to take a look at your opponents to see how you measure up. There are two ways in which you can do this, and doing both will be highly beneficial to your brand. The first is to manually analyse your biggest competitors' websites and social media pages. Have a look through their pages What’s working for them? What’s not? Take note, and find ways to do it better.

The second thing you’re going to want to do is to conduct a media analysis. This will help you compare your media coverage to that of your competitors so that you can benchmark your brand against others.

Being able to compare your organisation to competing brands allows you to learn from their victories and failures. This will also allow you to tailor your marketing strategies accordingly. For example, if your competitor is trying out a new feature on social media (such as posting GIFs) and you see that it is not well received by their audience, you’ll know that it probably won’t do well for yours either.

Post-brand audit: Review and monitor your results

Once you’ve developed a strategic outline of your brand and the direction in which you are looking to go, as well as fine-tuned your goals for each aspect, it’s time to take some action.

Put all these plans into practice, and remember to monitor them so that you can keep track of your results. There’s no use in putting all this data together if you’re not going to track it — and monitoring is the best way to learn from your brand audit!

Doing an audit is not a one-time thing. You’ll want to do this on a routine basis so that you can get the most optimal results for your brand.

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