What is digital strategy and marketing?
A digital strategy answers the fundamental questions of who an organization will engage and how. Implementing a digital strategy puts a public face on an organization, thereby increasing outreach capabilities and raising an organization’s public profile.
The term “digital marketing” is defined as the promoting of brands or products and services using multiple forms of digital advertising, like a brand’s website, email, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, mobile devices, blogs, games, apps and other lead generation tools.
In order for any organization to create an effective digital brand presence using these devices, the first step is to create a web strategy.
What is a business without a digital strategy?
It’s like a road trip without a map or GPS. You drive for days on end. Your gas and lodging bills are piling up. Cheap accommodations, bad coffee and lack of sleep are getting to you. All this just to find out that you have been driving in the completely wrong direction and now have to backtrack, costing you double the time and money.
Many business owners make huge investments in their businesses without having business plans (what’s in your head doesn’t count). That’s easy—a business without a clear written strategy will most likely fail. Where things get more complicated is when a business owner has a good business strategy that’s not aligned with the business’s digital presence. When this happens, you need the help of a digital marketing expert.
Let’s take the example of our recent customer Bob (not his real name). Bob has an awesome product. Bob has a strong business model. His customer service is the best in the industry. He ranks well on Google. But somehow this doesn’t convert into sales. Bob is at his wits end and has started to seriously rethink things.
The natural reaction to this type of situation is to put more money into increasing the business’s digital presence. Bob created and re-created his website. He spends countless hours on Facebook and Twitter trying to engage his audiences. He writes a blog post every week. He throws thousands of dollars into paid search engine optimization (SEO) and Google advertising. It seems he does all the right things, and this brings visitors to his digital doors, but somehow they turn around and never come back.
All this expensive traffic never converts into sales
Have you checked your bounce rates lately? Bob’s was above 80%, and that’s an obvious sign of trouble. It means Bob’s visitors did not find Bob’s content usable or relevant. If you run paid online advertising, it could also mean that your ads misrepresent your value proposition.
Obviously, there can be many causes leading up to this dilemma. However, if you believe that your overall product and business model are strong and you have a concise business plan and clear direction, you need to look for an explanation somewhere else.
Most likely, your digital and business objectives are out of alignment – you need a digital strategy
This most likely happens because of the following:
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- You didn’t establish clear, measurable digital objectives and a road map that perfectly aligns with your business model—in other words, your website poorly reflects what you actually do.
- You don’t understand your business and digital competition and have no resources to do this type of marketing research.
- You hope people stumble upon your website. It’s not going to happen. With billions of websites out there, your only visitors will be spammers and bots.
- You don’t have time to stay on top of digital trends. What was popular yesterday, isn’t anymore.
- You spend too much time experimenting, hoping something will eventually stick.
- Your website is focused on your organizational structure instead of your users’ needs.
- Your website is desperately lagging behind because the technology you use requires expensive upgrades and administrative overheads that you cannot afford.
This produces a poor return on investment and results in serious waste and inefficiency. As the first step, you need a business plan, and it must be on paper. You can call it a plan, a strategy, a business charter, or anything you like. It doesn’t have to be a fifty-page document. Most business models can fit on one or two pages. This document should cover such sections as mission, vision, objectives, core values, value proposition, and short- and long-term goals. It can be in bullet form. You should also do a detailed SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). The process of putting this on paper may bring unexpected clarity and help you stay focused. Take a look at our own Business Charter. That’s what we want to see for each new customer as the first step in the process. You should be prepared to share this document with the world because trust and transparency are key motivation drivers in our digital age.
Once we have this information, we can help you work through your problems and develop a digital strategy. For all of our projects, we do the following:
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- Review your business plan and spend time getting to know your business model and objectives. We work closely with you, since you know your business best. We determine if your product or service is actually valuable to your clients, and if not, we will honestly tell you so.
- Conduct detailed marketing research and analyze your business and digital competition. Our goal is to help you understand your markets and refine your unique value proposition and competitive edge. Our business intelligence is difficult for your competition to replicate.
- Analyze your digital presence (website, social media, content, SEO) and identify gaps.
- Write a detailed report identifying and explaining the gaps to you and recommending solutions. At the end of the day, it is up to you which ones you want to adopt.
- Help you rebuild your digital presence based on our recommendations.
Help you develop and implement a digital strategy so you stay on track and make the necessary adjustments in the rapidly changing digital environment.
This work sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be, if done right. You work so closely with your business that you don’t see the big picture. Very often, the most obvious problems and solutions can be more easily spotted by an outsider, even without expensive research. We can scale the work to fit your needs and budget, but we won’t cut corners.
We firmly believe that it’s impossible to build an effective website without getting to know your business and the playing field.
In conclusion, when you have a moment, answer these questions:
Did you take the time to understand your business and competitive environment, and does your website reflect that?
Have you done a 360 SEO analysis to understand your digital competition?
Does your digital presence have a solid relationship with your business objectives? Or, have you ever established succinct, measurable business objectives?