When you first move your business online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options available. Should you be on Twitter? What about Facebook and Instagram? Do you need to make videos? How can you get your business to show up in Google?
Before long you’re doing 5,000 things at once, and aren’t getting anywhere.
Instead, it’s important to consider your online approach from a strategic perspective. While focusing on a range of different digital tactics leads to a lot of activity and few results, creating a strategy helps you decide where you should spend your time and money (and where you shouldn’t), and ensures the activities you undergo lead to success.
But where do you start?
Here are six steps to nail your digital strategy.
Step 1. Set clear business objectives
The first step in your digital strategy is to determine why you’re creating the strategy. What do you want to achieve by integrating digital tools and platforms into your business?
Some common objectives include:
- To find more customers
- To save on traditional marketing costs
- To improve customer communications
- To attract high-quality staff to your team
Once you know your big-picture goals, you can research the technology options that will best help you achieve them.
Step 2. Optimise your website for mobile
If you aren’t online yet, now’s the time to build your website with 84% of small businesses now having an online presence.
If you do have a website, the next step is ensuring it’s optimised for mobile devices. The majority of Australians use their phones to get online, with 86% of Australians between 18 and 29 and 66% of Australians aged from 50 to 64 using phones to access the internet.
It’s essential your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate and keeps your visitors coming back for more.
Step 3. Build your audience with social media
Once your website is set up, the next step is to help your target customers find it. And the best place to find those customers is where they are already spending their time. In most cases, this is on social media.
Which social networks do your ideal customers like to use? Do they spend time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat or somewhere else?
There’s no point in investing your time, energy and money into the wrong platform – if your posts, images and videos aren’t getting in front of your target market, then you aren’t going to get a return on that investment.
So find out which networks your customers are using, and start developing content for that platform.
Step 4. Extend your reach with paid advertising
Paid advertising on social media can fast track your digital strategy by getting your business in front of more people than you could have reached on your own.
Tools like Facebook ads allows you to define your target audience based on criteria like their age, gender, location and interests, which helps ensure your business, products and services are being shared with the people who are most likely to buy.
Step 5. Use PR to engage more customers
While not always a digital tool, coverage in traditional media like newspapers, magazines and TV programmes helps build your credibility as a leader in your field, helps you reach more potential customers, and helps you increase your engagement with your existing customers.
How can you get featured in the media? PR companies can help with this, but some of their initial questions will include:
- What makes you different to other people in your field?
- What can you contribute to issues that are currently in the media?
- What’s your ‘angle’? How can you turn your message into an interesting story?
Knowing the answers to these questions up front will help any agency you work with find more media opportunities for you.
Step 6. Measure and tweak
One of the best features of digital marketing is that everything you do is measurable. You can measure your website traffic, the number of people engaging with your posts on social media, the cost every time someone clicks on one of your ads, the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter or fill out your contact form and more.
This means you can experiment. When you send an email to your subscribers, you can test different subject lines to see which one is opened the most. When you run an ad campaign, you can include different images to see which one people respond to. On your website, you can use different buttons to see which one people are most likely to click.
Then, once you know which option gets the best response, you can keep using it (or testing it) for better results in future!