It’s 2017, and the digital world is chaotic. Google receives 3.5 billion searches each day. Vine is dead, and Snapchat is now just SNAP. We are living in a multi-device world where a growing number of web searches are occurring on mobile devices, pushing the need for purpose build mobile websites among other needs. Digital FOMO is uncontrolled, and so tactics supersede strategy. And the latest US presidential elections demonstrated that utilising data (AKA polling) as a blunt tool is insecure.
Literature concerning the significance of a digital strategy is beginning to reach fever pitch as entrepreneurs prepare to devote over $100 billion on the digital industry by 2019, according to Forrester.
But, in the chaotic world of electronic marketing, it is tough to know the way to make and use a digital strategy so that it meets business needs and is manageable.
Though every organization will have to customise its approach to its own conditions, the following will be the foundations for building a lasting digital marketing strategy that is effective.
Digital Basics: Your Belief System
Brands need electronic principles as much as they want brand attributes. Begin by taking a look at the open source Digital Principles website in order to understand a few of the fundamentals, and then produce statements that align your brand to the way it ought to live and breathe on your electronic experiences. Doing so can help you explain to a larger organisation what job digital plays in building your brand and delivering on your business objectives.
Those principles become a lens through which you can make all electronic choices. For one client, we put forward an electronic principle which has been simply this: Make user-first digital choices rather than organisation-first decisions. That announcement transformed the way they thought about their content strategy, and it functioned perfectly with their customer-first mission.
Digital Ecosystem Map: Your Atlas
Create a visual map that shows which electronic channels you’re active in, who the primary and secondary customers are for each, what those users want from this station, what your objectives are, how you are going to measure success, and what the pathways are between stations. Tools like Lucid chart are amazing for making these records come to life.
Create your map by conducting research with customers, looking at opponents, reviewing any analytics data you have, and compiling all that together with your overall business plan. The ideal ecosystem maps are developed using a cross-functional team which includes information architects, digital strategists, content strategists, and analytics specialists.
Look at that map every day as you make decisions about how to invest money and deploy your group.
Data and Insights: Your Pathway to Action
You can gather all the data on the planet, but should you not have a mechanism for turning that information into insights, you may too collect no data in any way.
At a minimum, you should use Google Analytics for sites, but bear in mind that it’s raw data steps traffic and lacks the contextual information you will need to understand what is really going on. Qualitative data inputs are a crucial additional input. Savvy marketers will quantify social opinion using a tool like Sprout or Sysomos–combined with all the analytics tools that include company reports on social platforms. And remember email; it remains a strong weapon in your arsenal if you get it right and measure it well.
To turn data into insights, however, you will need a single customer view that joins data to user behaviour–best achieved by having a strong customer relationship management (CRM) tool or a reporting dashboard, such as Insightly or Salesforce, and a framework for understanding that information.
There isn’t a perfect means to aggregate social opinion, Google Analytics data, and customer information in an automated manner at this time, but devoting some time to consolidating these data streams on a regular basis will be time well spent. For to an insight after aligning your information, you need to…
- Discard data which is not tied to company goals
- Collect additional data needed
- Prioritise data by company value
- Search for meaningful patterns
- Socialise the information with your team to create insights
Then you should execute, measure, and reassess–since digital is never finished
Content: Your Value
There is no doubt that users expect great content from brands. Now, more than ever, content is king, but articles strategy is emperor.
If you want to deliver on your business goals you will need a strong content plan function focused on two basic questions: what actions do I need users to take, and what’s my content version? Being informed isn’t an action. An action requires effort: a purchase, an email, a call, a dialogue, etc.
Keep in mind; writing content for websites isn’t the exact same thing as content strategy. You need both, and it is unlikely that the individual writing your articles is also guiding its own strategy. Your articles strategist is multilingual: he or she can speak to technologists, creatives, user experience professionals, and business users.
Governance and Socialisation: Your Rules of Engagement
Governance (how you make decisions) and socialisation (describing what you do) are crucial to making sure your digital strategy is perfect for your organization and crucial for your website solutions.
Governance has been written about widely already; check out among the many great resources out there to assist kick-start your procedure and determine what version is perfect for your organisation.
Once you have your governance model in place, the last step on your digital strategy is to interact it with your organisation and conduct training. Keep it high level for executives, and more in-depth for people who must deliver on the ground.