A digital strategy isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential. And here’s why.
Are you spending time or money on your digital presence? Facebook boosting, your website, your email marketing? Without a digital strategy, you’re burning your money: to be worthwhile, a digital presence needs a strong purpose and clear goals. Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of goals that your digital strategy needs to help you achieve:
On the surface, they sound like meaningless buzzwords. So let’s dig a little deeper.
Visibility: What could it look like?
Social Media: Likes, Follows, Subscribes
Web: Website traffic
In the analogue world, visibility is having a bright, well-signed shopfront on a bustling street. In the digital world, visibility is the base of the pyramid. For people to eventually reward you with their business, they need to know who you are and be able to find you. It’s basic stuff, but when people do social media, they often put the cart before the horse, trying to run campaigns off a Facebook page that has a minuscule number of likes, and thus no real profile, authority, or trust. Another complaint that we frequently hear is that nobody is reading their web content. A digital strategy at this level must draw people to your web presence, whether it be through a Likes campaign, or by publishing search optimised content. Without a strategy, you’re going to be yelling into the void for a while yet.
Engagement: What could it look like?
Social media: Likes, Comments, Click-throughs, Shares
Web: Contact forms filled out, Linking to your site, phone calls
Pretend you’re in the analogue world again, and you’ve managed to polish up your storefront to the extent that it’s eye-catching and inviting. Engagement means that people are walking in, and interacting with your products and services. To get an engagement at both an analogue and digital levels, the approach is the same. The user-interfacing element must be inviting, and it must compel the potential customer to take action. A digital strategy profiles your target audience and markets directly to them by generating targeted content. It asks the important questions, uncovering what is relevant or useful to this audience. Engagement must be measured carefully, following the interests of your target audience: it would be naive to assume that these interests are static. A good digital strategy is never complete and is always in a state of revision.
Conversion: The Ultimate Goal
Conversion in the analogue world means someone leaving your store with a bag of your product. But in the digital world, it is not so easy to define. Ask yourself this: what would the best outcome of your digital marketing strategy be? Would it bring customers to your actual storefront? Would it be subscriptions to your software service? Or would it be the email addresses of potential customers? It could be something as straightforward as a sale from your online store. Conversions are, of course, different for everyone, and change as your business does. The only thing that all conversions have in common is that they require a digital strategy to effectively fill your sales funnel. Regardless of the length of that funnel.
A digital strategy makes real use of your digital presence building up an effective environment for sales. It is not static: it continues building skyward, as well as doing effective maintenance at every level. It’s less a work-in-process than a site of continuous development. And that development directly feeds the development of your business.