Business is actively using digital strategies. And it has been proven many times that this is not a waste of money, as many might immediately think. If your strategy is in your head, then you are working blindly. The strategy is the way from point A to point B, the question is the route, and we advise you to read it till the end!
IT development is driving innovation in technology. The company's strategy that aimed its development on the Internet is a great way to maintain and grow your business. The main advantages of the Internet is its accessibility to everyone, regardless of age and social status. Everyone uses it for their purposes. In this article, we will talk about digital strategies used by private medium-sized non-resource businesses.
If we turn to the etymology of the word "strategy", then it comes from one of the words of the ancient Greek language, which means "the art of a commander." This word was used when it came to achieving a goal.
A digital strategy is an action aimed at making a company successful on the Internet. The main thing is to understand correctly what success is for each specific company.
Several main goals that companies set themselves when it comes to successful promotion on the Internet
• Increase in sales through the online channel by 50%.
• An increase in the traffic of the online channel up to 50 thousand people per day in six months and the beginning of earnings through the affiliate program.
• Creation of a positive image of the employer to attract young professionals.
Many businessmen initially have a question, do they need the Internet space for development? Only an outside expert can give an exact answer to the question of whether a particular company needs a digital strategy!
Why can't the managers of the company who work there determine the importance of digital promotion?
• Employees of the company are faced with a huge flow of information every day. In this mode, it is difficult to keep track of the changing trends in Internet marketing.
• Often, ordinary top managers, trying to decide whether their company needs digital or not and start looking at their competitors. When they learn that they do not use such a development strategy, they also decide to postpone this issue on the back burner.
• Digital experts are specialists with extensive industry experience. They lead various projects, therefore, they can communicate the benefits that a competent internet marketing strategy can bring.
Let’s look at 7 essential elements that should be included in a well-crafted digital strategy
1. The industry specifics of the client's business must be taken into account
It is important to take into account not only the macro-sector but also the micro-sector, i.e. specialization of the company. For example, for a company that trades in food products, the macro industry would be trade, and the micro-industry would be the specific food products that the company sells. You need to take into account these two industries to be aware of all development trends, not to repeat yourself in your developments, and to know your real competitors.
2. Composition of the digital strategy
2.1. Diagnostics of the site, the incoming flow of leads, and costs/benefits
Many companies that have their website often do not make full use out of it, seeing no reason to use the information channel. However, the one who understands all the benefits of online development will become the leader in their market. Without neglecting the digital strategy, the company will be able to maintain its leading position for a long time.
What functions does the company's website perform?
• Sells goods and services
• Engages employees
• Contains detailed information about the company
• Attracts partners and contractors
• Advertises the company on the Internet
• Automates business processes
Any company other than a website can also have one-paged landing pages. Landing pages are used only for sales, they allow the visitor to perform only the targeted action (purchase, download, call). But the corporate site performs many functions and has a corporate identity.
To achieve a temporary ideal for a website, taking into account the specifics of the business and IT technologies, you need to go through the following checklist:
• The site must be adaptive
• The site must have quality traffic
• The site should be a significant element in the company's business
The last point is the most basic in using a digital strategy.
2.2. Company positioning on the Internet
This point means the following: visitors who go to the company's website must clearly understand what exactly this company is doing and what activities it conducts.
2.3. Tasks that can be actively solved online
The task is the same as the goal, only on a smaller scale. For example, if the main goal of a company is to enter a new market, then the digital strategy for it is:
• Help in understanding geotagging in a specific region.
• Development of an article plan: placement of articles in publications popular among the participants.
• Calculation of the number of interested people in the services or goods of the company in the new market.
• Building an online sales system for the regional market, etc.
There can be many tasks, the ways of their solution depend on it.
2.4. Digital tools have a justification for the need for their use
Let's take a quick look at the pros and cons of each of the internet marketing tools.
1. Tool: Corporate Website
by spending on your site, you are investing in your asset; the site can be a center for sales, webinars, communications, announcements, etc., i.e. the center of any activity; the site significantly reduces the load on the call-center due to the placement of basic information on it, which is available daily and around the clock.
it is necessary to constantly engage in promotion, site security, and its improvements.
2. Tool: Search Engine Optimization
it is not perceived as an advertising channel, and therefore consumers trust from their side; getting the highest quality traffic; an annual budget plan can be drawn up; high conversion of visitors and customers.
Not easy to predict the result; for SEO, it is necessary to forcefully change some elements of the site; sustainable results are achieved over a long period; a high degree of dependence on search engines and webmasters.
3. Tool: Contextual Advertising
The ability to track targeting of temporary, behavioral, socio-demographic, thematic, geo-targeting; the ability to quickly launch; the ability to manage budget, keywords, and ads.
It takes effort to get your ad clickable; the ad is marked "advertisement"; if the indicators are low, then the search engine can forcefully disable the ad; large cash costs are required, especially if the niche is competitive.
4. Tool: Media Advertising
coverage of a large audience; emotional and motivational message; good memorability due to multiple repetitions; good integration with retargeting.
high costs; bad to apply to classic banner design; may cause negative reactions from users.
5. Tool: Social Media
The ability to reach the target audience in an informal environment; good analytics of advertising moves; the audience is growing rapidly and constantly.
it is difficult to predict the result, since users, first of all, expect from social networks recreation and entertainment, and not training, shopping, etc.
6. Tool: Video Ads
large audience coverage; a good option if you need a viral campaign; the ability to see and hear the message at the same time.
poor targeting; large costs for a high-quality video; high costs for the advertising promotion to be large-scale and successful.
7. Tool: Email Marketing
increased partners loyalty; free (except for content and delivery costs); good opportunity to build up a client base; you can independently think over the design of letters and segmentation of the base.
due to spam mailings, normal messages can also be blocked; more likely to become obsessive; the presence of the button "Unsubscribe from the mailing" is required.
Budgeting and planning, KPI
When developing an effective strategy, it is important to understand how much money is saved from the company's budget and how much money is brought in. It is very important to determine the projected ROI.
1. Tool: Company Website
refusals (visitors leave the site; is indicators of disinterest in the content of the site); time on the site (the amount of time the user spent on the site); viewing depth (number of pages viewed by the user).
2. Tool: SEO
site positions (positions in search queries), traffic to the site from branded queries/traffic to the site from non-branded queries.
3. Tool: Contextual Advertising
impressions (number of ad impressions), CPC (cost per click), CTR (shows how clickable the ad is), CPL (cost per lead acquisition), CPO (cost per sale acquisition).
4. Tool: Media Advertising
similarly with contextual advertising + CPM (cost of 1000 impressions).
5. Tool: Video Ads
Likewise with display ads + video duration.
6. Tool: SMM
number of members (subscribers, community members), reach (number of those who see publications), likes, and reposts, comments (indicators of activity, and “quality” of community members.
7. Tool: E-mail Marketing
% of emails read, number of refusals per subscription, number of clicks through the link in the letter to the site, duration of video viewing on the landing page + indicators, similar to the site and contextual advertising.
Taking into account the recommendations of counterparties in strategy implementation
When developing a digital strategy, it should be remembered that someone is good at promoting in social networks, and someone is a leader in SEO promotion. Therefore, the strategy developer should not confine the implementation of all points only to himself but should suggest who exactly can implement this or that idea.
The conceptual approach to the analytics system
A digital strategy is not only a description of the main business actions on the Internet but also a prepared basis for reporting on monitored indicators, on analytical systems, on set goals.
The need to analyze competitors
This point should include any development strategy. It is necessary to take 4 competitive sites and analyze them according to the following indicators:
• How much traffic goes to the company's website, and how much to competitors' websites?
• See what kind of traffic it is: traffic received through direct visits, through mailings, referrals, through social networks, organic or paid search, through media advertising.
• Assess the quality of traffic: look at the duration of visits, the number of bounces, and the indicators of the pages that were viewed.
Control by the creator of the strategy for two months
The creator of a digital strategy must fully control its implementation during the first months. This is necessary to avoid misunderstandings since the customer does not always understand this unique strategic document.
For the strategy to lead to effective results, all 7 of the above elements are required. But there are also options for strategies based on the primary interests of the company:
• Website Development (deep audit, development strategy):
getting specific recommendations, screenshots, action plans, budgeting, and ROI forecasts.
• SEO Strategy (search engine promotion): getting internal and external optimization, semantic core, report, and specific recommendations,
screenshots and action plan, budgeting, and ROI forecasts.
• Online Sales System (strategy, tools, and tactics):
obtaining a set of online sales tools, budgeting, and ROI forecasts, methods for tracking the effectiveness of online sales, specific recommendations.
• Internet PR (articles, banners, social networks, and blogs):
getting a media plan with budgeting, strategies for working in social networks and blogs, foundations for the development of corporate online TV, as well as methods for writing articles.
• E-mail Marketing (strategy, segmentation, and plan):
getting a strategy for the development of the company's email newsletters.
Any digital strategy should be based on website development. But the development of the site itself should be combined with other elements of promotion.