As more and more brands are evolving into the modern way of working and progressing into the digital sphere, it is more important than ever to implement a digital strategy. We wouldn’t always recommend for you to be a sheep and follow others but this time, we promise it will pay off!
“What is a digital strategy?” we hear you ask! Don’t worry, we are here to help you understand exactly what a digital strategy is and why your business should have one. Let’s get into it.
What is a digital strategy?
A digital strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how an organisation will use digital technologies, platforms, and channels to achieve its business objectives. The primary goal of a digital strategy is to integrate digital elements into the organisation’s overall strategy to drive growth, improve efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and achieve a competitive advantage in the digital world.
What are the key components of a digital strategy?
Digital strategies include a range of different digital components of a company’s business plan. They typically include things such as:
- Target Audience: Identifying the specific demographic, psychographic, and behavioural characteristics of your target audience, which helps in tailoring digital efforts to effectively engage and connect with the right people.
- Digital Channels: Determining which are the more suitable digital platforms and channels to reach your target audience. This could include social media, websites, mobile apps, email marketing, search engines, and more.
- Content Strategy: Planning the creation, distribution, and management of relevant and engaging content that resonates with your target audience across different digital channels.
- Data Analytics and Insights: Establishing ways to analyse data generated by interactions with your audience. This information helps refine the strategy over time and make informed decisions.
- User Experience (UX) and Design: Ensuring that experiences that your audience have with your content is user-friendly, visually appealing, and aligned with your brand identity.
- Social Media Strategy: Developing plans for engaging with your audience on social media platforms, including content posting schedules, engagement strategies, and community management.
- E-commerce and Online Transactions: If applicable, you can define strategies for online sales, payment processing, and customer support through digital channels.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Strategies to improve the organisation’s visibility on search engines through organic search (SEO) and paid advertising (SEM).
A well put together digital strategy should align the organisation’s digital efforts with its overall business goals. This ensures a cohesive approach to using digital resources which will help you to achieve success in today’s increasingly digital world.
Why do businesses need a digital strategy?
Research has shown that only 49% of businesses have a digital strategy in place, which means that over half of the businesses out there don’t have a digital plan! In our opinion, that’s madness! There are several different reasons why digital strategies are imperative for success in today’s business environment. Let’s take a look at a few of them and see if we can convince you.
1. To reach your target audience where they are
Unless your target market is people in their 80s and above who have no access to the internet and don’t know what a computer is, your target market will be online. In order to reach these potential new customers, you need to exist in their space. Enter: digital strategy. Having a digital strategy will allow you to analyse your current and target customers to decide which digital platform(s) will have the biggest return on investment. If your target audience is on Instagram but not TikTok, it would be a waste of resources to start a TikTok account or pay for advertisements on that platform. Your digital strategy should analyse your customer demographics to ensure you have the data required to make informed, strategic decisions.
2. To increase brand awareness
Similarly to reaching your target audience, a digital plan is vital for increasing your brand awareness. Even if these viewers do not convert into paying customers, getting your brand name out there is an important part of the process – especially if your business is just getting started!
3. To improve trust in your business
Trust. The backbone of the digital age. With all the fake news and inauthenticity, it’s so important to create trust between your business and your audience.
We’ve all been there: we’ve heard about a brand, searched for it online, not been able to find any online or social media presence, and wondered whether or not it is real. By having a digital strategy in place, you can ensure that your brand is coming up when it is being searched for on Google or social media platforms.
As well as this, having an online presence encourages reviews, and positive reviews encourage new customers by increasing trust in the company.
4. To track your ROI
A significant advantage of implementing a digital strategy is the ability to monitor the return on investment (ROI) of the tactics you are using. Progress can be conveniently monitored through online analytics which means that you can directly see the results of your digital efforts. Oftentimes this can be free of charge too! Handy, we know.
5. To connect to mobile customers
Since the introduction of smartphones, we are now able to view websites on more screens than one!. This means that individuals can use their smartphones to browse for their desired products and even tailor their search preferences. For businesses, having a digital strategy that includes a focus on mobile experiences can increase targeted customer outreach and make it easier for companies to build strong customer relationships – another large necessity if you want to succeed in the digital world.
6. To be cost-effective
For businesses that are newer or have lower marketing budgets, having a digital strategy will help to ensure that money is spent in effective ways. Digital Marketing is possible with a smaller budget than other forms of marketing, and has the ability to reach a large amount of customers.
For the most part, the use of digital platforms won’t cost you a penny! This means that the playing field is even and you have just as much of a chance to reach your target audience than your competitors do, despite your budget. All you need is a kick-ass digital strategy and you’ll be on your way.
How do you build a digital strategy?
Developing an effective digital strategy takes time and requires a systematic approach. We aren’t saying this is easy, but we ARE saying it’s 100% worth it.
To start off with, you should conduct extensive research into both your own business and your target audience. This will help you to understand how your target audience behave and make sure that everyone (including yourselves) are aware of what you’re trying to achieve. You can do this by setting yourself SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and creating some customer personas. You should be selecting the most suitable digital platforms and balancing both organic methods with paid strategies to maximise your reach and have an all-rounded approach
You also need to be creating compelling and consistent content that aligns with your audience’s interests and needs. Actively engage with your audience through quick responses to comments and messages in order to nurture a sense of community. Your content should also be SEO friendly so that it’s actually being seen by your intended audience!
Staying adaptable is crucial in the digital realm. Make sure to stay up to date with emerging trends and technologies, and be prepared to integrate them into your strategy to stay ahead of the curve. For example, Threads is a new social media platform that has emerged within the last couple of months and brands have had to be quick in implementing a Threads strategy into the mix!
With diligent planning and a commitment to ongoing improvement, your digital strategy can become a potent tool for achieving your business goals in the digital realm!
How Milk & Tweed can help
Now this has been quite the hefty topic. If the thought of building your own digital strategy has you squirming, have no fear – that’s what we do! Our digital marketing dream team have the experience and expertise to work alongside you to build a digital strategy that not only fits your requirements, but will help you meet your goals and create a digital presence that will see results!
Sound like something you’re in need of? Get in touch with us today to discuss your business needs and discover how we can help!