Creating a Digital Strategy from Scratch: Where to Start
Do you know that many people are confused about what digital strategies really are? In its most basic definition a digital strategy is a plan to accomplish business goals with digital tools. While it might sound simple, there are many elements to forming a digital strategy. And despite common belief, your digital strategy is not ROI or profit. Instead those are the outcomes of a successful strategy. If you’re ready to create a digital strategy from scratch, follow these steps.
Know Where You’re Coming From
Before charging forward and trying to achieve your digital goals, the first step is to look at where you are. Do this by examining all aspects of your brand, project, or service and break it down into measurable pieces of information.
This means you need to understand the location and age of your prospective customers as well as the value your brand brings to them. Start by quantifying your brands digital presence. How many people follow your Facebook page, read your blog, or other metrics that are applicable to you?
From here you can measure the influence your brand has over the audience. How many people adopt your ideas or concepts? The next important factor is to understand what the emotional reaction is to your brand and how many people are organically participating with your company.
When you put all of these pieces together, you will be able to have an understanding of your brand’s overall resonance. That is the collection reaction to your brand.
Segment Your Customer Base
Knowing what your brand is and what is has achieved to date goes a long way in building a digital strategy from scratch. This second step plays an important role in the process because it will help you determine the overall direction you’ll decide to go.
If you haven’t already, start by doing research into your customer base. You want to know where they hang out digitally and who they are. Demographics are an important indicator but when it comes to digital strategy they are not the only metric to be concerned with. Besides knowing someone’s age and location, digital also allows you to target people based on specific interests allowing for even more specific results.
Start to segment your customers in order to maximize the total customer touch points you can engage in. You’ll need to identify what motivates your core customer group and what their digital life is like.
Creating Your Digital Message
Now that you have a detailed assessment of your brand or product and know the details of your customer base, you need to craft your digital message. Your message will be the driving force behind your digital strategy that results in the outcomes like increased profit and ROI.
Identify the story you are telling your customer and why the prospect should care about the story. You’ll need to know what kind of emotions your brand’s story evokes and how the story can connect on an emotional level to the needs of your core customer group. And ultimately, your story needs to cause your customer to take action.
With your brand’s story outlined and identified, you will be able to use it as the backdrop of all your digital messages no matter what platform it is on. The story will keep momentum going throughout the strategy and connect with the customer base.
Pick the Best Platforms
Now you need to identify which digital platforms will best convey your message. The platform should be chosen based on your audience’s digital activities. If you need some help identifying what digital platforms your customers are using discover how they would seek information about your brand.
Are they searching on YouTube or Facebook and which platforms do they prefer? Choose your digital platforms with the purpose of engaging your core customer base and how you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors. Each platform will give you different results e.g. online sales, impressions, or brand awareness. Set reasonable expectations about what you can achieve from each platform.
Digitally Engage Your Audience and Measure Your Results
A successful digital strategy is based on consistent effort across chosen platforms. To help manage this engagement step, create a timeline that clearly defines what you’ll do. This will help you stay consistent to your brand’s message across all platforms.
In order for your digital strategy to be successful, you must continually evaluate and measure your results to make sure you’re on track. By examining what is happening, you can adapt your strategy to meet any changes in your customer base. There are many tools to analyze social media and other digital platforms that can help you keep on track and your strategy moving forward.
Creating a digital strategy from scratch might seem like a challenge. But by taking each phase of the process step-by-step, you can craft a strategy that will help your business reach its goals.
Do you have any questions about building your digital strategy? Contact us today!