People often come to us feeling overwhelmed by the number of different routes in which they can take as part of their digital marketing – social media, online advertising, blogging, the list goes on. A digital strategy helps to decide which platforms are most effective in helping you to achieve your overall business goals.
You’re much better off getting directions rather than trying to figure out what you’re doing as you go along.
A quick note – a digital strategy stems from your business’s overall marketing strategy so make sure you have this sorted before undertaking a digital strategy.
What you need to develop a basic digital strategy:
- Overall business goals and objectives
- Marketing messaging
- Brand style
- An understanding of any existing marketing
- A content library
- Advertising budget
Overall business goals and objectives
These will come from your business plan. If you haven’t got one of these we suggest you get one – there’s no use putting in time and effort into a digital strategy if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve! Basically you want to be able to sculpt a digital strategy that helps you to achieve your goals whether you’re after more sales, increased brand exposure or a higher lead generation. Depending on your goals and objectives your digital strategy will be tailored accordingly.
You will need to think about your business’s marketing messages. Are they comprehensive enough to use across all your channels? Or do you need to tailor your messaging to cater specifically to your online audience? And if you do need online messaging, will you need a different message for each social media platform? For example, messaging tailored to Facebook is often a bit more informal than messaging for LinkedIn. It’s important to get this part right from the get go.
Ideally your business will have a brand style – a set of fonts, colours, imagery and design aspects which are rolled out across your entire business. This makes it easier to develop content, especially your social media accounts. If you have a clear brand style you can easily design social media templates which you can then use over and over again – this of course helps to create a recognisable and therefore memorable brand. Organisation is key and will really help you to save time and money in the long run. If you haven’t got this sorted don’t worry we can help.
An understanding of any existing marketing
What other types of marketing is your business undertaking? Are you running print advertisements? Radio advertisements? If yes, what messaging is being used? Will you extend this to your online channels? Do you have channels which are more effective than others? If yes, which channels? Is there any way you can link your high performing channels with social media? For example you could link online with offline through offering in-store discounts for people who mention your blog post, Facebook post or Instagram post. If it all sounds a bit confusing, you are right, it can be – but a strategy provides clear guidelines around what you are doing and why and how online will be helping your existing marketing efforts.
Do you have an image library that is nicely ordered and labelled so that you, your staff or a designer can easily find what they need to create digital assets such as Facebook posts or Instagram ads? Are all of your images up to par? For fast moving platforms such as Facebook, your images need to pop and give users a reason to pause their news feed scrolling. How about your content library? Have you saved up all those interesting blog posts or online news articles relevant to your industry? It’s all about your content and how you can best cater to your consumers needs. How can you solve your audience’s problems? If you can’t answer that question, you may need to have a bit of a brain storm session with your team.
Do you have an advertising budget? If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
How much time do you have available? Really, how much time do you have? If you’re going to utilise online channels it can be time consuming so you want to ensure you have resources available. Perhaps you will do it yourself and set an hour aside a week or maybe it’s easier to hire someone to do it. At the end of the day, there’s no point in developing a kick-ass digital strategy when no one has the time to complete the required tasks.
Have you been able to tick off everything from this list? Great, you’re in prime position to ride down the digital highway. If not, you better hitch hike back to wherever you came from – or get in touch with us to see how we can get you moving.