Technological development has inevitably brought about several changes, both in the social and economic and business fabric of modern society. If until a few years ago the Internet was a novelty, today with the new generations of digital natives it has become an established reality. Anyone doing any kind of business, online or offline, must deal with the web, but doing so requires a digital strategy.
It is no longer enough to have an online presence, to stay on top of the times and adapt to the transformations taking place. There is a need to plan a marketing ecosystem, through the development of monetization-focused strategies that go through communication, advertising, and education processes, coordinated by a digital manager to achieve the same goals.
Setting goals and budget
The first step in creating a digital strategy is to define the goals, that is, the results you want to achieve. This is a fundamental step, essential for planning all subsequent moves. The goals can be different, including increasing online sales, web advertising of offline business activities, selling products and services, obtaining a list of contacts (lead generation) or visibility on social networks.
Any digital strategy has as its central point the goals you want to achieve, based on which you will decide on the methods, tools, and actions to be taken to achieve concrete results. Also, at this stage it is important to establish a budget, the number of economic resources to be allocated to the various activities to be undertaken. This decision makes it possible to analyze each route based on value for money, to discard procedures that are out of one’s reach and focus investments on targeted and specific actions.
Market and user analysis
Once goals and budget are defined, one must begin a lengthy process of analysis, with which to assess in detail the target market and users of that niche. This process is quite complex, so it is advisable to always turn to experts with years of experience, as any decision made at this stage will have tangible consequences on the entire digital strategy.
The market analysis covers certain aspects such as the sector and niches of one’s business, the categories of people potentially interested, the competition, the investments required to achieve the goals, the timing, the tools to be used and much more. During this phase it often happens that several hypotheses are discarded, which after thorough analysis are found not to be fully satisfactory for one or more of the requirements.
However, one should not get discouraged, in fact it may take a long time to carry out a valid and effective market research. At the same time, a thorough analysis will enable one to move on quickly further down the road, avoid wasting financial resources, and greatly reduce the chances of encountering failure.
A proper process involves identifying a market, studying the competition, searching for potentially profitable niches and sectors, analyzing the target audience, choosing how to enter the market, and creating the appropriate products and services. Unfortunately, this order is often not respected, a situation that creates several setbacks. For example, one may end up with good products but no market, or with a quality service, offered, however, at an uncompetitive price.
The importance of the website for digital strategy
Having finished the design and analysis phase, including the creation of products and services to bring to market, you can move on to the next step. This is the content creation phase, based on the channels deemed most appropriate according to one’s digital strategy. Although there are basic marketing tools, such as the blog, Facebook and YouTube, the media vary for each business model.
However, the website remains a staple, representing today what the physical store was until a few years ago. The platform provides authority and professionalism, instills a sense of security in users, especially if it is a search-engine optimized site, with curated graphics and several specific features.
The website is the official storefront for any business, online or offline, the interactive place where people look for news about the brand or individual before they buy. It is unlikely that anyone will buy products or services if the person or brand in question does not have a credible platform. In contrast, a website that instills trust enables sales on channels, whether social pages, physical stores or sponsored on YouTube.
Therefore, regardless of the channels used, it is necessary to have a reference site that is curated down to the smallest detail. The portal must present accurate information about the professional or company, carry company data, brand history, real contact numbers and any certifications such as a VAT number, a toll-free number or company policies. The website will still represent the official showcase of any business for a long time to come, so to operate online, an appropriate platform must necessarily be built.
Choice of channels and content
With an optimized website, it is possible to define the next step, choosing the communication channels and the content to be created, fundamental elements for any digital strategy. The decision must be made from the initial objectives, market analysis, and study of the target user base. It is not certain that a social network, which works well for given entrepreneur will also do so for an appliance store.
Testing is essential at this stage, to establish analytically the results obtained. The market and users help a lot in this step, since people over the age of 30 will be easier to find on Facebook, especially if they are men, while women are particularly numerous on Instagram. Similarly, younger people, guys under 27, are more likely to use YouTube, Telegram, and Snapchat.
The choice of content depends on the medium, so it adapts to the channel. On Facebook, one must necessarily open a brand page, where to post visual content, especially videos and posts. Videos should be uploaded directly to the platform because Facebook does not like external links, especially to YouTube, one of its direct rivals. In addition, targeted campaigns can be created, taking advantage of the massive amount of data collected by the social network.
This allows ads to be displayed only to a target audience, so it is an easily scalable business, although sponsorship costs have risen considerably in recent years. Success on Facebook depends on available financial resources; in fact, it is well established that it is a platform that works with money. In contrast, YouTube works with organic traffic, so it is necessary to produce completely different content.
Videos on YouTube must be explanatory, provide information, solve users’ doubts and problems, be optimized for organic searches, and create interest, to lead people to request more information, to be provided on Facebook or on one’s own website. Similarly, Instagram works, which is a very attractive showcase for some industries to leverage to communicate with users, create engagement and drive traffic to their e-commerce or sales portal.
Of course, one should not forget about tools such as email marketing, which although open rates have declined sharply in recent years, continues to be an excellent sales and communication tool. A great advantage of email marketing is complete tracking, which allows you to monitor any action taken by users to create target-specific lists, dividing people into various groups.
What professionals are needed for digital strategy
An effective digital strategy involves several different professional figures, which together contribute to the success of the web marketing ecosystem. Certainly, a digital manager is essential, a conductor who coordinates the actions to be taken, maintaining contact with the various professional figures, and showing constant reports to the client on the results.
After that, specialists need to be contracted depending on the tasks to be performed, such as a copywriter, a video maker, a storyteller, a programmer, and a social and web advertising expert. However, it is the digital manager who will be the one to interface with the client, with whom he or she will decide on the moves to be made based on the results obtained, changes in the web, and available economic resources.
The digital strategy manager will interface with other staff, managing services, payments, and deadlines. An effective and well-planned digital strategy is essential for any online project, so this should not be underestimated. The risk is the loss of time and especially money, since without a proper business plan resources could be devoted to the wrong operations, which will never lead to the achievement of one’s goals.
Well, Enkronos here for you. We can create your effective digital marketing strategy and execute it for you. Contact us today.