A digital strategy I say. You might ask, what is that? Why does it matter? Where do I even begin? All great questions! In this article, I want to answer those 3 questions in an overview way that allows for a basic understanding to get you started on (or to improve) your digital strategy.
What is that?
Honestly, it depends who you ask. A digital strategy is an endless process because after all, it is digital and tools for the digital world are being created daily. But for simplicities sake, it’s a plan on how you are going to market on the internet (website, search engines, social media, etc.).
Why does it matter?
Let’s be honest. The internet is not going away. Therefore digital marketing efforts aren’t going away. According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 40,000 Google Searches per MINUTE!! That’s over 3.5 BILLION searches per day. People (ie. your consumers) are educating themselves and finding products that meet their needs online. That’s why having a digital strategy matters. You want a solid digital strategy and plan in order to come up as a result in their search to be educated.
Where do I even begin?
A good place to begin is understanding the three main channels (social media, owned properties, and other properties) to a digital strategy and how to use them. Again, this is an overview. There are a plethora of ways to use the channels as part of your strategy.
Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
Social media is a large part of the digital world and definitely should be a part of your overall strategy.
Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users (pewinternet.org), so you should spend some time figuring out how you can use Facebook. Here are some things to ask yourself:
- how often am I going to post? (1,2,3 etc. times a week)
- what type of content am I going to post? (images, texts, videos)
- who is my audience? (use the analytics tools on the platform)
To use Twitter as part of your strategy, you should ask yourself the same questions as above. You will likely get different answers for each platform. Also, Twitter has hashtags (#marketingrocks) and you should spend some time brainstorming what your main hashtags will be. Here is a great article from Convince and Convert on how to identify relevant hashtags for your business.
Owned properties are those that the business owns and has control over, such as your website, your blog and your email. While content creation is important for social media, it’s vital for your owned properties. When creating content and optimizing it to be SEO friendly think about these things when creating a strategy:
- what keywords will I use on my blogs and on my website? (you want to ensure that your keywords show throughout the website so that it can rank on search engines)
- is the user experience good? (you can track the user experience through looking at CTR and time on the site. If it’s low, there is likely room for improvement).
- how can I go about developing the backlinks on my site? (find out more about backlinks on Moz.com)
Other Properties (pretty much anything that isn’t owned properties)
Using other properties (websites) as part of your strategy is usually in the form of paid advertising. Some of the most popular forms of advertising are paid search, display and remarketing. I discuss display and remarketing below.
Display advertising is the placement of advertisements on websites in the form of banners and buttons. The following image is an example of display advertising.
The ads shown are not ads from the website owner (Tech Crunch) but are paying to be shown on the website. It’s a good way to get in front of a larger audience if your website isn’t getting the traffic you need it to. By having display advertising as a part of your digital strategy you can drive traffic directly to your website from other websites (who have high volumes of traffic).
Do you think display advertising would be best for your digital strategy?
Remarketing is the use of placing ads in front of a consumer who already has an interest in your product. It’s pretty clever. For example, I was looking for a desk that was adjustable (could be used for standing or sitting positions) about a week ago. In my Google search, I came across VariDesk and browsed through their website. I then went onto Fox News and an advertisement from VariDesk popped up. This is remarketing. They already know I’m interested in their product because I visited their site and now they are remarketing to me. I’m much more likely to purchase than someone who is seeing an advertisement or company for the first time.
As a reminder, this isn’t a full proof plan to create your digital strategy, but it’s certainly a good start. The digital world is vast and everchanging. I suggest spending some time doing research and answering the questions that I posted above. You can get together a basic digital strategy by answering them.
Rebekah A. Dull
Consulting | Marketing | Web