At some point in every business, Entrepreneurs start to see the need to drive a uniform brand message across all their marketing vehicles and then they start to ponder on how they can create a marketing policy that will ensure some uniformity in their brand message.
Just imagine this; with all the myriad of things being published and seen by the over 97 million internet users in Nigeria and the billions of others across the world, how can I ensure that the content I, My staff and associate publish on behalf of my business doesn’t get me into trouble?
Most entrepreneurs including myself have at some point asked and pondered on this question. It’s a good thing to ask this question considering the litigation’s and copy right infringement stories coming up on the internet.
So you should start asking same if you haven’t yet because I am sure that you don’t want to be drawn into any form of legal tussle on the internet or be seen not to project a uniform brand message to consumers.
The internet of course holds a lot of potentials for businesses to exponentially grow their traffic, boost lead acquisition and convert visitors into actual paying customers for them. But not without its own challenges.
All of your hard work, sleepless nights, investment and financial sacrifice to see your start-up move from a mere dream to reality (If you had to build your business from bottom to the top like me), can just come crashing to the ground if you fail to plan how you will approach digital marketing to grow your business in Nigeria.
In this article, I will highlight the importance of creating a digital marketing policy for your business. Also, I’ll show you how to create and avoid pitfalls associated with not having a digital marketing policy as you join the community of businesses who are making the internet work for them and winning at it.
Avoiding legal issues is a key part of any Marketing Policy
All Entrepreneurs or Chief Executive Officers of organizations that are both big and small are saddled with the responsibility of thought leadership and have to ensure that their organization or business is not brought into disrepute because there is no digital marketing policy to guide employees and associates on what to publish online.
You want to make sure that whatever is posted in the name or on behalf of your business respects privacy, copyright, trademark and other applicable laws.
While businesses operating in Nigeria may get away with some infringements for now, because the National assemble which is the body saddled with responsibility of enacting laws for Nigeria is yet to pass such laws.
However, recent events have shown that the legislators are looking in the direction of enacting laws to regulate the ways which Nigeria’s use the internet. Only recently there was a push to regulate social media, but nothing has being heard of the bill after the uproar by Nigerians.
But I must be quick to alert you to the fact that even though Nigeria is yet to enact some of the laws which should govern internet usage, that isn’t a passport to ignorantly disrespect existing copyright and trademark laws.
I once got a call from an associate who had been called by Getty Images for using an image on a website he built for a client without licensing from Getty Images. Trust me, to avoid issues for his client and his reputation, my dear friend had to pay for the license to use the image.
Project same brand message in all inbound communications
One of the most awesome benefits that a digital marketing policy will have for your business is that it will streamline what your staff and associate say about your brand on the internet.
The digital marketing policy will boost productivity and eliminate guess work when you, your staff and associates are posting content and the beautiful part of it is that you get to speak with one voice, project the same message and make your brand more recognizable to consumers.
Your digital marketing policy will help boost your brand awareness because your brand message and value proposition will be visible in in everything you post either on social media or through your content marketing.
What is the purpose of a digital marketing policy?
I think to a large extent you will agree with me that your business needs a digital marketing policy and you need to start working on one.
But before you roll up your sleeves and get up on running with creating your policy, you want to ask certain questions which are critical success factor for creating an effective digital marketing policy.
I recommend that you start by reviewing your business activities on the internet, you want to ask your team if you have had any issues with regards you brand on the internet, no issue is too small, and then you brainstorm if the issues can be a learning experience to use for you envisioned policy.
As you brainstorm with your team, it’s imperative that you define the purpose that your digital marketing policy is intended to achieve. Highlight why you want to create a policy, state what it will be used to achieve and build from there.
But you should ensure that your policy is not rigid to the point of stemming staff creativity but to guide them on what to post, what not to post and how to project a uniform brand message when posting to social media, blogs and other online media.
Remember that your objective is to respect established laws and project your brand message and value proposition to consumers on the internet.
What to lookout for when crafting a digital marketing policy
Terms and Conditions
Once you have clearly defined the purpose which your envisioned digital marketing policy will be created to achieve, you start structuring the do’s and don’ts of the policy. I recommend that you leave it open for personal input from your team members.
You will be majorly writing guidelines on how your employee and you publish content on the internet and how your business publishes content as well.
No doubt you will notice that social media and content marketing will take up are major part of your policy but you will need to evaluate all digital mediums that employees use to go about their daily activities e.g. email.
It’s important that you treat your digital marketing policy creation process like any other project in your organization.
To mitigate the chances of failure, you will need to clearly define roles and assign responsibilities so that everyone in your organization knows his role when the digital marketing policy comes into effect.
Establish Authorization process
After roles are defined and responsibilities are assigned, your digital marketing policy will be just a step away from being temporarily finished.
I used the word temporarily finished because your digital marketing policy is a live document that you need to keep updating as the rules of the internet change.
OK then, you will need to establish vetting and authorization for all outbound communication of need be. For example, a social media campaign, you will of course define who will vet and approve the campaign before it goes live.
In the case of content marketing, who will vet and approve before content is published on a blog.
No doubt you want your digital marketing policy to ensure streamline the things your company and employees post to respect established international laws and helps project your brands message and value proposition.
Do you currently have a digital marketing policy for your business or you are thinking of creating one. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.
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