It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first move your business online. There is Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which one should you be on or should you try them all? Should you make videos? How can you make your business show up on Google?
It is important to approach your move with strategic perspective. Focusing on many different digital tactics can lead to a lot of activity and few results. Creating a digital strategy helps you decide where is best to spend your time and money and importantly where you shouldn’t. This ensures the activities you undertake lead to success.
Step 1: Set clear business objectives for your digital strategy
The first step in your digital strategy is to determine why you’re creating it. What do you want to achieve by implementing digital tools and online platforms into your business?
Some common motivations include:
- Finding more customers
- Saving on traditional marketing costs
- Improving customer communications
- Attracting quality staff to your team
Once you distinguish your goals, you can research the technology options that will best help you to achieve them.
Step 2: Optimise your website for mobile
If you are not yet online, now is the time to build your website with around 85% of small businesses having an online presence.
If you already have a website, ensuring that it’s optimised for mobile devices is imperative. Statistics show that 86% of all Australians between 18 and 29 and 66% aged from 50 to 64 are using their mobile phones to access the internet. It is essential that your website is user-friendly and simple to navigate. It must keep your customers coming back.
Step 3: Building your audience with social media
After your website has been set up, the next step is reaching your target customers. The best place to find those customers is usually where they spend their time already. This is usually social media. Your digital strategy needs to be a clever one. Don’t waste time, energy and money on the wrong platforms. You won’t get a return on your investment if your posts, images and videos aren’t being seen by your target market. If you can find out which networks your customers are using you can specifically develop content for those channels.
Step 4: Extend your reach with paid advertising
You can fast-track your digital strategy by using paid advertising or social media. Doing this gets your business in front of more people then you could have reached by yourself. Using tools such as Facebook ads allows you to specify your audience based on certain criteria like location, age, gender, interest etc. which helps to ensure that your business, products and/or services are being shared with people who are most likely to purchase them.
Other useful online advertising tools include Google AdWords, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Step 5: Use PR to engage more customers
Coverage in traditional media such as TV programs, magazines and newspapers help to create credibility as a professional in your field and can also assist in reaching more potential customers while increasing your engagement with your existing customers.
PR companies can help you feature in the media. Some of their initial questions may include:
- What makes you stand out from your competitors?
- What can you contribute?
- How can we make your message interesting?
Knowing the answers to these few questions will assist the agency you’re working with to find more media opportunities for you.
Step 6: Measure and tweak
One great thing about digital marketing is that almost everything you do is measurable. You are able to measure the traffic to your website, the number of people engaging with your posts on social media, the costs when someone clicks on one of your ads, also the number of people who are subscribed to your newsletter or even those who fill out your contact form. This information allows you to experiment. You can test which different subject lines were opened the most when you send an email to subscribers. You can see which images people most respond to when you run ad campaigns. You can also test which buttons and in what position people are most likely to see and click. Then, of course, you can use whichever option gets the best results.
To kickstart your digital strategy we recommend our Ultimate Website Management Plan which includes consistent social media setup & styling for Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and also provides you with fresh monthly SEO website content which can be fed across your social media channels for maximum exposure. For more information about this affordable and effective fixed-cost option, please get in touch.