Building An Effective Digital Strategy In 8 Simple Steps!
Digital is becoming a major issue for all companies. Chance has no place here, a real digital communication strategy must be put in place to make the most of this new trend.
Follow the key steps to avoid mistakes and succeed in your digital transformation.
There are many possibilities available to you:
- Rethink the marketing model of your products and services,
- Set up an omnichannel CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution,
- Work on your online presence via social networks…
Regardless of the solution (s)you are going to put in place, here we are talking about establishing a good digital strategy: it must therefore be considered upstream to be as effective as possible and its results must be able to be measured.
More importantly, it must be consistent with your business strategy.
1. Analyze Your Market Situation
Before even building your digital strategy, start with a little soul-searching about your business and thinking about the state of the current market.
Define your strengths and weaknesses, but also market opportunities and external threats to take into account.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How is your business doing in terms of sales?
- How does it compare to competitors (market share, positioning, etc.)?
- What is your image with the public? Good, bad, non-existent?
- Does your offer meet a public need? Does it meet his expectations?
The better you understand the overall situation, the more easily you will be able to establish a relevant and effective digital strategy.
If you don’t have the time, you can also hire a digital marketing agency.
THE SWOT ANALYSIS METHOD
To support you during this crucial step which consists of analyzing the market situation as a whole, you can use SWOT-type analysis methods.
It is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This will allow you to clearly define your strategic options.
DEFINE THE OBJECTIVES OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY
Your digital strategy must focus on SMART objectives and indicators.
DEFINITION OF THE SMART METHOD
The SMART method is made up of five indicators:
A specific objective must be directly linked to the work to be carried out: it must be personalized. This goal should be exclusive to your business. It must be clear, precise, and understandable by all.
A measurable goal must be quantified or qualified.
An achievable goal is a goal that represents a challenge to be achieved and is large and ambitious enough to be motivating.
A realistic goal is being able to anticipate the obstacles you will encounter and avoid giving up.
A temporally defined objective is delimited in time, on a specific date.
These indicators are all variables allowing the achievement of your objectives for your digital strategy.
Your objectives directly influence your action plans to be put in place.
Of course, a digital transformation may seem essential to adapt to new technologies and the consumption habits that result from them. So it’s a good idea to think that you don’t have a choice.
But this is a real opportunity for your business: new ways of communicating that will allow you to reach a larger audience and increase your turnover.
You cannot, therefore, embark on the adventure without clearly defining your expectations.
Many objectives are possible, among which:
- Traffic: traffic generation, both online on your e-commerce or m-commerce website and in a drive-to-store strategy to generate point-of-sale traffic …
- Lead: lead generation (prospects), lead nurturing, conversion …
- Visibility: development of its notoriety through brand image, your online presence, and improvement of your e-reputation;
Also ask yourself what do you want from your strategy: is it a single product, a product catalog, or even your entire business?
ANALYZE THE DIGITAL STRATEGY OF YOUR COMPETITORS
Your competitors have the same goals as you. It is therefore interesting and instructive to see what methods they use to succeed in building their digital strategy.
It can help you spot what works and what doesn’t, for inspiration, and more to differentiate yourself and do better.
For example, in a market like that of B2B SaaS solutions which are very competitive, being able to distinguish oneself from what the competitors offer becomes vital to exist and not to blend in with the crowd.
- Who are these competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How do they communicate with your target?
- On what media?
The answers to these questions are all avenues to follow in developing your e-marketing strategy.
DEFINE THE TARGET OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY
Before defining a digital strategy, it is important to create a buyer persona
Setting up a digital marketing strategy without clearly defining the target to be reached is irrelevant.
It could lead you straight to a resounding failure.
To help you, you can create a buyer persona, i.e. a typical profile of the consumer you want to target:
- Who is he? Age, place of residence, job, hobbies, income …
- What are their needs?
- What are his motives?
- How does he use the internet? How many times a day and at what times? Rather on mobile or desktop?
- What social networks does he use? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn …
- Make a precise profile. You will thus know how to communicate with him, on any medium and at what times.
DEFINE YOUR WEB MARKETING BUDGET
Implementing a digital strategy represents a cost for companies. You must therefore establish a budget because it will at least partly determine the means you will use to achieve your goals.
Digital is a real gold mine in terms of possibilities, each with its advantages and disadvantages, and above all with a distinct price.
Some means represent a significant financial investment when other solutions require above all patience and subtlety, as is the case with an Inbound Marketing strategy.
DEFINE YOUR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
You have identified your strengths, your weaknesses, your objectives, the target to be reached, and your budget to achieve it. You can now think about the means of communication you will use to retain your prospects.
Depending on your needs, you can:
- Invest in social media (social networks);
- Upload videos to Youtube;
- Launch a newsletter by emailing;
- Develop a website or blog that will serve as a showcase for your brand or support for e-commerce or m-commerce;
- Create a mobile application …
Or why not all of this at the same time if it is relevant!
SET UP A CONTENT CREATION STRATEGY
This point directly relates to the choice of the different digital communication channels used. Indeed, you do not broadcast the same content depending on the chosen channel. And you don’t choose the same channel depending on the content to be broadcast. These two points are therefore inseparable.
Are you going to bet on an Outbound Marketing or Inbound Marketing strategy?
If you opt for an Inbound Marketing strategy, you will have to ensure the web writing of brand content:
- blog articles (blogging),
- white papers,
Outbound Marketing ensures quick results, but it is costly.
Inbound Marketing is inexpensive, but results take longer to arrive.
This is a basic strategy that focuses on the medium and long term: producing content with high added value for visitors, which in turn will allow you to promote your products, your brand strategy, and your values through the employer brand.
The patience asks for is very well rewarded, to such an extent that this strategy becomes essential.
To make things easier for you, consider Marketing Automation which will allow you to optimize your productivity and your results.
Marketing automation is an emailing strategy allowing the automated sending of emails according to the actions carried out by your leads.
MEASURE YOUR WEB PERFORMANCE
Analyze the data using performance indicators!
You have established a strategy on the net and it is now deployed. You now need to analyze the data using performance indicators.
Define the KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) that will allow you to effectively measure your performance. There are a lot of them, so you need to choose them wisely.
We can cite :
- The traffic generated on your website;
- The conversion rate;
- SEO ranking (natural referencing);
- The click-through rate;
- The time spent on the site;
- The ROI (Return on Investment).
Don’t wait to analyze the data, as it provides you with essential insights into what works and what doesn’t.
It is therefore an opportunity to adjust your web strategy as you go.
You now know how to build a digital strategy. It is at the same time a work of introspection on your company, and observation of the market, the opportunities, the targets, and the competitors.
A job that will bear fruit if it is done well!
- Analyze your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats.
- Define your goals and targets to decide what actions to take.
- Monitor your performance to adjust your overall strategy if necessary.
To learn more about digital strategy, do not hesitate to sign up for our free training on how to “Easily Attract & Convert A Flood of Highly Qualified Customers For Your Business“ which will allow you to attract more traffic to your website and generate as many inbound leads and sales as possible!