What Does Having A Digital Strategy Mean For Your Business?
The first thing to do here would be give a clear definition about Digital Strategy.
What Is Digital Strategy?
In digital strategy, there is a strategy and digital. These two words together mean much more than each taken separately. Let’s take a look at the root of the concept.
Strategy is a set of actions organized in a precise manner to achieve a clearly defined objective. In marketing, actions are those carried out to achieve the business objectives of the company concerned.
For example: publish a series of articles on a blog to improve the natural referencing of a website.
Or, carry out an advertisement on Facebook to increase the number of people who like the page of the company. So you are able to initiate conversations with them that will lead to increased sales.
For this article, digital is all the digital contact points (non-physical) allowing contact with a given audience.
Without being exhaustive, it can be your website, your pages on social networks, your mobile application, a digital terminal at a point of sale, etc.
Defining Digital Strategy
Our definition of the digital strategy can therefore be formulated as follows:
A digital strategy is the set of actions organized in a precise manner to establish contact via digital contact points with specific audiences.
Taking into account the definition above, we quickly realize that limiting the digital strategy to a silo reserved for a few Geeks would be a serious mistake. Do not be mistaken.
The company is going through a profound transformation. Companies will experience profound changes in the years to come. \It is high time (for those who have not yet done so) to embrace digital and integrate a good dose of digital strategy into the heart of your business.
Not In a silo, nor a compartmentalized department, but by integrating it into each action undertaken. The digital strategy is deeply transversal in organizations.
We are going to look into 8 steps to a successful digital strategy.
8 steps to a successful digital strategy.
Who says strategy says plan and who says plan says in-depth knowledge of the context. Every opportunity to contact a person should be an opportunity to establish a positive relationship with them.
As a result, the right digital mix is even more complex to establish: you would have to be everywhere at all times to reach all your audiences. The task can quickly turn out to be complex.
Establishing a successful digital strategy cannot, therefore, be over-emphasized.
Let’s see how to build it in 8 steps.
Perform the audit of your digital presence
Step 1: Perform the audit of your digital presence
A bit like when you feel tired or even have the flu. You suspect that something is wrong, but only your doctor can put the right words to how you are feeling. Then comes the visit to the doctor. Thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the context, your history, your environment, etc. Based on all this information, he can make his diagnosis and treat his patient.
The audit step of your digital strategy is very similar to that of the doctor’s diagnosis. It is about mastering all the data of the context, collecting all the statistics available on your sector and your audience, and of course using all the knowledge available to your digital agency.
The overall strategy of the company
Step 2: A successful digital strategy is a digital strategy integrated into the overall strategy of the company
Your digital strategy must be integrated into the very heart of your business strategy. It is not a question of making a pretty Facebook page whose only objective would be to gather a maximum of “fans”. Let’s say it straight out: this is not an objective! It would just be throwing money away.
Let’s say that one of your business objectives this year is to better qualify the leads that you pass on to your salespeople. You may have observed that they are reluctant to make cold calls to filter your contact lists. How could digital help you achieve this goal? One solution could be to offer relevant content for your audiences and through an automation, campaign to learn – automatically – to know each potential customer individually. Magic, isn’t it? And this is just one example! You always have to start from a business issue. Digital must be at its service. It is not an end in itself.
Define your digital objectives following your business objectives
Step 3: Define your digital objectives following your business objectives
The objectives of your digital strategy will be aligned and will have to support your business objectives. To learn all about how to set your goals, read our article by following this link.
Identify Your Target Audience
Step 4: Identify your targets (influencers, ambassadors, etc.)
One of the most important parts of your digital strategy equation is precisely identifying your targets. Digital analysis tools allow us to precisely identify the geographic and demographic data of people who are or have been in contact with your brand. And no longer just your existing customers! This gives tremendous power and a lot of information that you will need to be able to sort and analyze to make the right hypothesis.
Digital has brought its share of concepts to the people who make up your audiences. However, two are garnering maximum attention for the moment: ambassadors and influencers.
The ambassador is the person who has been so won over by your brand that they promote it themselves (and for free). What better gift could he give you? The best-known example of a brand with a veritable “army” of ambassadors remains Apple. We have all been confronted with an Apple fan one day ready to write us the article about his latest iPhone and yet no one pays him any commission …
An influencer is a person who has acquired a status and a particular audience on a given subject. His opinions are widely disseminated and listened to. They are therefore often courted by brands seeking to exponentially develop their exposure.
Choose your digital channels
Step 5: Choose your digital channels
Previously, the choice of distribution channels was relatively limited:
Upon his arrival, the Internet was viewed (wrongly) as one more medium than just adding to the list. The communication agencies then hired “webmasters” and asked them to create static websites (in the sense of which the content changes little or not at all). It was the beginning of the web and no one suspected the tidal wave that was coming.
Very quickly it took off and the agencies realized that the Internet should no longer be considered as a medium but as a multitude of media. These media are commonly classified into 3 categories:
Paid | Owned | Earned
The ” Paid ” includes all the media for which you pay your exposure. These are banners, Adwords, or other Facebook Ads and emailing. Regarding traditional media, we can classify them as:
- TV and radio advertising, billboards, etc.
- Sponsorship and patronage,
- the brochures
The ” Owned ” includes the media that you own. This is your website, blog, your pages on social networks but also your physical points of sale, your catalogs, or branded magazines.
The ” Earned ” is the group that is the most complicated to achieve. As the name suggests, you must deserve it! These are the opinions of your customers, their relatives and friends on social networks, blogs, forums,… They are also articles and reports on your brand in the press.
ZMOT video, Google
In digital strategy, there is an important concept to know. This is the ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). This concept was theorized by Google. It introduces the idea that between the awareness of a need by a consumer and his passage to the act of purchase, brands are confronted with a phenomenon that Google has called Zero Moment of Truth. This concept indicates that between these two stages, the consumer will engage (in the majority of cases today) in online research which will be able to greatly influence his choices. During this stage, brands no longer have any control over the customer journey and are therefore obliged to offer relevant information on as many touch points as possible.
Define relevant KPIs
Step 6 : Define relevant KPIs
Digital gives enormous power to marketing actions in measuring the performance of the actions carried out. We have an armada of tools allowing us to measure behaviors, habits, connection speeds, to know the browsers used, … But to make it all work, the choice of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is crucial.
It is only once the 3 components of your digital strategy are defined that you will be able to select the right KPIs. As a reminder, these 3 elements are:
- What audience
- Which channels
- For what purpose (objectives)
Choose resources and budget
Step 7: Choose resources and budget
Your action plan is taking shape. He seems to hold up. Now is the time to plan for its realization. Do you have the resources to do it internally? Will you call an external provider? (If you haven’t already done so when establishing your digital strategy….
Are you thinking about it?
iVEN Digital can help you. Contact us). Either way, it’s up to you to set a budget in order to carry out your plan.
Follow the evolution of its performance and adapt the digital strategy
Step 8: Monitor the evolution of its performance and adapt the digital strategy
Teasing minds will tell me that the secret to digital agency success lies there … Since everything has to be adapted all the time, the source of income never runs dry … for agencies … You are teasing! And besides, it’s not even true (well not quite). Yes, your digital strategy must be constantly adapted. As the actions progress, we will have more information and we will be able to refine our assumptions and improve your performance …
The other side of this coin is why stop while it’s working! Since digital is purely ROI’s, your progress will be constant… or you will fire your agency (not us because with us the progress will be constant).
When I started writing this article, I didn’t think it would take that long. And I have not done the tour…
I thank you for the time you spent reading it and sincerely hope that it will have provided you with as much information as possible on the digital strategy.
If you would like to extend the discussion or our advice in developing your strategy, please contact us. I will be happy to guide you.