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What is a Digital Strategy and Why your business might need one?

business teamwork concept. Marketing strategy brainstorming. Paperwork and digital in open space.

What is a Digital Strategy and

Why your business might need one?

Digital strategies are actions that a company’s management team takes to acquire new customers or retain existing ones, build revenues and increase market share. The business owner, when creating the company’s strategic plan, can use a variety of methods to generate these strategies. Strategy development requires a deep understanding of the business environment in which the company operates.

Expand your Channels

Selling through additional distribution channels creates the opportunity to increase revenues because the target customer will see your products and services in more than one place, for example, social media, TV, Ads.

Sell Internationally

On a population basis, the global market is 20 times the size of the U.S. market. Although marketing outside the U.S. requires careful planning, through the use of the Internet even very small businesses can tap into foreign markets. Choose one country to test market your international sales strategy and engage a marketing consultant familiar with that market and its culture to help you craft a marketing message that will motivate customers in that country to try your product or service.

Seek Out New Target Markets

Determine how your product or service could benefit other target markets than the ones you have traditionally sold to. You may have to modify your product offering somewhat so it will appeal to these new markets.

Stronger Relationships with Existing Customers

The best way to build revenues is to sell more to the customers you already have. One advantage to this strategy is that you don’t have to spend money to find these customers.

A Digital strategy has become an expansive term, and it is getting to be more and more of a priority in the minds of executives. It has also become an increasingly popular topic in the news. It is a plan of action designed to achieve business goals via the implementation of digital initiatives.

Businesses are moving their focus towards digital, but many do not have a comprehensive digital strategy in place. A digital strategy is crucial for all businesses who wish to succeed in this competitive space because it ensures that your business goals are in-line with your digital goals.

The digital strategy establishes the overall direction that a business will follow digitally. It is the North Star for the business to follow, it provides a digital purpose, aligns the organization, and is fundamental to the digital ambition of the business. Outlines the channels, assets, platforms, and tools required to achieve these objectives and deliver the results.

Why Your Business Needs One

A digital marketing strategy helps to lay the foundation for your ongoing digital marketing activities. If you don’t outline a specific digital marketing plan as part of your strategy, your digital marketing activity may fall short of your expectations, and fail to achieve your business goals.

It’s important to outline your objectives, how you are going to go about achieving them, and how you will analyze and optimize your marketing in the future.

How to use the benefits of a digital strategy?

1. Give your digital marketing direction

Once you decide to create a strategy, you can outline clear strategic goals you want to achieve.

Whatever these goals may be, whenever you are marketing online you or your team can keep these in mind. Whether you are gaining customers, building relationships, and so on, your goals should be identified and be part of any digital marketing activity that goes on. You can also find out any weaknesses you may have.

2. Outline value proposition

When it comes to marketing your product or service online, you’re tied to be competing with other competitors. So how exactly are you going to differentiate your product or service?

This is where your strategy can help you dig deep into what makes you different, and how you can appeal to your target audience. What can you do to encourage customers to engage with your brand over competitors, and boost your sales?

3. Know your target audience

Finding your target audience can be difficult for business owners when it comes to digital marketing. And knowing how to target and market to your target audience is essential.

But thankfully, digital marketing is very, very measurable, which is why many business owners find it effective and useful in honing who they market to.

4. Integrate your digital marketing

A clear strategy helps to integrate your digital marketing activities with other areas of your business. Ensure campaigns are aligned with other media, marketing campaigns, or other response channels you may have.

5. Give digital marketing the right budget

It is easy to dismiss digital marketing as unimportant, a marketing plan proposal, or an unnecessary part of the business when you are doing fine. But most business owners are fine with doing “fine”. It can always be better.

Think about how often a website is the first impression a customer may have of a brand. How often have you heard of a business, brand, or product, Googled it, landed on a website, and judged it there and then? No doubt potential customers are doing the same with your brand.

6. Improve ROI and don’t waste your money

Getting ROI from your marketing campaigns is essential, to avoid wasted resources. Assign the right budgets to the right areas of marketing, whether its channels or campaigns, those align with your goals.

7. Ongoing optimization

When are you going to set aside time to review and act on your analysis? Your strategy should include when you will do this.

A digital marketing strategy helps you to continually improve key aspects of your digital marketing, and see exactly where you are getting results.

Many businesses still do digital marketing activities without a strategy. There’s no doubt that digital marketing can still be used effectively, but a strategy is always a good idea.

Strategies are especially important when your marketing will involve multiple people. Each individual may have a different idea of the end goal, or the messaging, or any other variations that can arise. A digital marketing plan can outline opportunities and problems, and how to handle them. People may act differently.

Businesses are spending money on digital assets (website, database, etc.) and channels (social media, Google Ads, etc.) but they don’t have a digital strategy in place. Below, we have highlighted the critical steps that must be included in your business's digital strategy:

1. Research and information gathering

Review and compare your digital assets against your competitors. Research your target audience; review your keywords, and also research trends and potential disruptors.

2. Analyze the research

Evaluate your research and check for any gaps or niches that have been identified. Outline the good, bad, and neutral performance of your digital presence.

3. Set your vision

Firmly decide the direction that you want your digital strategy to take you and ensure that it is in line with your business goals.

4. Create a website strategy

Your company’s website is a key foundation to your digital strategy, so you must ensure your website strategy includes UX (user experience), interface designs and visual guidelines, as well as web analytics and optimization. Your website strategy should be aligned with your digital strategy's vision, goals, and objectives.

5. Other tools and assets

Once you have successfully created your website strategy, outline your keyword and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy, as well as your content strategy. You should also consider and choose tools and assets, which will help execute your digital strategy.

6. Data

Data is critically important to any business and it is an element that is often missed in a digital strategy. It is a foundation that brings all the other elements together so that your objectives and goals can be achieved.

By effectively executing the six steps within your digital strategy, you provide your business with a greater opportunity to succeed in the digital space as all aspects are considered. A successful digital strategy can increase your business, and if executed correctly, it will move your company to be a leader within your designated space.

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