THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF A DIGITAL STRATEGY
Research from Smart insights found that 49% of organisations do not have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy, yet today, an online presence is vital for almost all businesses.
With a multitude of digital options to choose from, you need a blueprint that is centred on your ideal customer, connects to your business objectives (and budget) and monitors your wins and losses. An effective digital strategy will do just that.
To help build your digital marketing strategy, we’ve prepared the following list of 11 essential components you need to be aware of. They are comprised of your owned, earned and paid media.
6 “owned” components of a Digital Strategy
Firstly, your owned components. These are properties you control and that belong to your brand, these include:
This is one of the most crucial parts of your digital strategy. The 24/7 face of your brand, or salesman who never sleeps. Whichever way you like to look at it, your website defines your message, offerings and navigates how people should interact with your brand. Understanding the ways to make your website work for you, better than your competitors and more enjoyable for your audience, is the key with this component. Remember, your website needs to be user-friendly, responsive, secure and easy to navigate.
If you are looking for a product or service, a first point of call is … to “google it.” With majority of customers searching online for your product or service, if your website isn’t optimised for search engines, you are unlikely to be popping up in the first page or even 3 pages of google results. This is dangerous territory as Marketo found 75% of users do not venture past the first page of search results. And 67% of clicks are from the first 5 listings on a search results page. Bringing a specialist onboard to assist in both on-page and off-page SEO tactics to ensure your website is producing keyword targeted and optimised content is essential in achieving your digital goals.
High quality content gives you something of value to offer your audience. Each piece of content, whether it be blog posts, videos, photos or downloadable assets can help you get noticed on social media and if planned effectively, can be a key pillar of your SEO strategy, bringing in organic traffic. Developing and posting fresh, optimised and relevant content to your audience is a great way to help increase traffic to your website, engage prospects to nurture into leads. Fresh content will also boost your site’s chances to rank highly in the search engine results pages.
- Social Media Profiles
Social Media Profiles can be effective tools in helping build leads and conversions for your brand. Paired with your audience’s content and resource needs you can build relevance and provide helpful inspiration. With 47% of all internet users having a Facebook account there are opportunities to achieve quick growth and develop a presence wider than just your website. The importance here is not over committing to all the platforms that are available, but evaluating the right ones for your brand and your customers.
Still one of the quickest and most direct ways to reach customers with critical information, email is not going anywhere anytime soon. Email is a great tool for lead generation and regularly engaging with your database. You can use email to promote products, build lasting relationships, educate and maintain relevance with your strategically segregated customer database. Automation and workflows also play a powerful part with email marketing and can increase efficiencies and help nurture your prospects without needing more hands-on-deck.
Measuring and tracking the success (or challenges) of your marketing efforts is a vital part of an effective digital strategy. Once your goals are defined, use these to track your investment and what changes need to be made across the duration of the digital strategy. Share the goals, discuss the challenges or celebrate the successes with your team and the business. Use Google analytics, your CRM or gather insights from the channels you are using and analyse how you can perform better.
3 “earned” components of a Digital Strategy
Earned components essentially are “word-of-mouth,” or the vehicles that help people reach your owned components, these include:
Assessing your brand’s reviews, testimonials and real-life feedback from your customers will give you a fantastic insight into how your customers find interacting with your brand. These reviews can be sought through surveys, Google My Business Page, forums or social channels. Identifying where you are collecting reviews, and realising opportunities to use them are important trust factors to include in your digital strategy.
Your brand can be referenced or mentioned across the world wide web in a variety of ways and can add to the effectiveness of your business. There are social mentions, which are exclusively referring to social media channels, but there are also blog mentions, PR mentions and SEO mentions (known as backlinks) all which contribute to your brands overall awareness and popularity. Tracking mentions across these channels will help to indicate how well your brand is performing. Tools like Google Alerts, SEMrush and HubSpot can assist.
- Guest Posts
This relationship building, SEO technique will help secure you with exposure, authority and links. Guest blogging or posting means creating blog content for other brand’s websites, while including a link back to your website, tapping into a new audience for additional exposure. To achieve this, you need to be creating high quality content to feature on relevant websites.
2 “paid” components of a Digital Strategy
Paid components are excellent ways of promoting content in aim of driving more traffic to owned properties and growing earned components, these include:
- Google Ads
Investing money into paid channels to promote your content, brand or offers can be a way to boost your presence and effectiveness in growing your customer base. Google Ads is a platform that can allow you to use search, display and video advertising to achieve your goals. These will provide the right exposure and advertising your business to your considered and targeted audiences. Be careful not to set and forget, but to analyse and rework campaigns to find the optimal results.
- Paid Social
The interest based targeting and retargeting features on Facebook, the occupation and industry-based targeting of LinkedIn and the visually addictive features of Instagram, allow social media channels to be a convincingly relevant place to be targeting your audience. Leverage your content, messages and audience interests using these channels to kick-start your digital strategy and reach your goals at a faster pace.
Understanding the elements that comprise your digital strategy is the first step in creating an effective one. Now that you are armed with the knowledge to succeed in the digital space use our step by step guide to create your very own digital strategy. Once implemented correctly you should see a better return on your investment.Click here or the image below for tips and assistance in making your digital strategy for 2019 download our guide.