As digital strategy increasingly becomes a priority for Canadian business leaders, there are also more questions about what should be included in a digital strategy and if it makes sense for businesses to adopt one.
First lets talk about why digital marketing. Quite simply, digital marketing is being used by brands to increase their sales and foot traffic. Its not really news, its really a giant wake up call for businesses that haven’t yet written a plan to focus on a digital marketing strategy the way they would focus on a traditional strategy.
Does my business need a digital strategy?
Prior to making a purchase, 80% of shoppers start their research online. Whether you like it or not, your customers and potential customers are looking for you online. Its up to you to control what your message to them will be.
Social media and your business: A recent study from the PEW Research Center showed that of the entire adult population in the United States:
- 58% are on Facebook
- 19% are on Twitter
- 23% are on LinkedIn
- 21% are on Instagram
The great thing about the internet, is that it levels the playing field for small businesses. While small business does not have a budget to reach a mass audience through TV, smart digital marketing activities can help reach that targeted audience for much less money, and if done right, better than the big business players!
Over 80% of companies plan to increase their digital budgets within the next 12-18 months. They are headed to where their customers are. Do you think you should be doing the same if you want to reach your potential customers and current customers?
What is a digital strategy?
Lets stop the guesswork and spending money on newspaper and magazine ads that nobody is looking at and use digital marketing to increase your customers and sales. Digital marketing has a clear ROI. Online resources make it easy to track online traffic and conversions. There are more advertising targeting measures where you can reach out and talk to the exact audience who is (or should be) interested in your business.
Many companies tend to approach the web at a tactical level. Making decisions on the fly in response to the latest technology or business demands. By building a digital strategy, your business has the opportunity to establish a targeted firm direction.
The scope of your digital strategy will vary depending on the type of business you have, and what you do. It also encompasses more than just your website. Your digital strategy should focus on the following 5 areas:
- Website: What type of content will you publish? What features should you support? Responsibilities for maintenance, design, content and development.
- Mobile: Is your website responsive? Do you need native apps?
- Email: Will you publish newsletters? How frequently, and who decides on the content and targets? Who is responsible for the email marketing list maintenance and privacy? Will there be a marketing automation plan?
- Digital Marketing: SEO, PPC and banner advertising campaigns.
- Social Media: What platforms will you concentrate on? Where are your customers being “social”? Who Is responsible for publishing, sourcing and customer service on social media? What are your policies around acceptable behaviors? How are negative events handled?
In each of the above areas, your digital strategy should look at the benefits of these technologies have on your business, its current performance, and recommendations on the short and long term of these areas.
How do I build a digital strategy?
The problem with a digital strategy is that nobody seems to see it as their job. Its time to step up and get it going, because if you don’t, nobody will!
Its not uncommon for senior management to ignore the needs for a proper digital strategy. Be proactive and contact me right now to discuss your business and the type of digital strategy you can get started building.