Why you need a long-term digital strategy right now
If COVID-19 has taught businesses anything, it’s perseverance. The global pandemic has presented unique challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes, causing every major decision to be driven by the need to adapt… until now.
While many countries throughout the world are still in the thick of the crisis, Australia appears to be in recovery. Restrictions are relaxing, people are coming out of their homes and the sun is (mostly) shining.
With brick and mortar stores reopening and JobKeeper payment support kicking in, businesses can now take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s no longer about taking action reactively, it’s about being proactive and planning for a post COVID-19 world.
During this next phase, it’s critical to invest time in formulating a strategic approach for the future of your business. As our recent time spent in isolation has proven, you will need to start relying more on digital solutions and find ways to strengthen your online presence.
It all starts with a digital strategy that’s designed to fulfil your long-term business objectives.
WHAT DOES AN EFFECTIVE DIGITAL STRATEGY LOOK LIKE?
When we create digital strategies at Distl, we go through five major processes – an initial workshop, a discovery phase, insight development, proposition statements and final recommendations.
You can read more about our process in our recent blog, but to get the ball rolling on your own, here are some of the key areas that you should be thinking about.
DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES
A digital strategy will lack direction without a clear set of objectives.
Think about your wider business goals and what you would like to achieve in the next year, 5 years or even 10 years’ time.
Start to identify how digital marketing could support your long-term goals to ensure your strategy is designed to drive meaningful results for your business.
ANALYSE YOUR COMPETITORS
It’s always important to have an in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape in your industry.
By looking at your competitors and the activities they are undertaking, you can gain valuable insight into how they are planning to target their audience and drive results.
Once you know what your competitors are doing, you can determine how to outperform them and find a way to give your business an edge.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
The more you can learn about your audience, the better. Take the time to delve into the demographics of your customers and understand their needs, wants and motivations.
When you know your audience inside and out, you will be able to find the most effective ways to position your brand and your offering, while also identifying the best ways to target and engage your customers.
SELECT DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNELS
After gathering all of your intel, it’s time to review everything you have learned and make informed decisions about the digital marketing channels you will use.
MEASURE & TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Without analysing your activity, there is no way to measure your success. In the initial objective setting phase, it’s important to define how your progress will be measured each month, quarter or year.
By tracking your results, you will also be able to see areas for improvement and tweak your overall strategy according to your learnings.
WHAT YOUR BUSINESS CAN DO RIGHT NOW
While it’s important to think long term when devising a digital strategy, you also need to consider what your business needs in the immediate future.
It will take some time to develop and implement your strategy, which means you will need to maintain a level of activity in the meantime to build and continue momentum.
Here are some opportunities that may be suitable for your business to explore right now.
ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA
The digital world is filled with brands pushing their products and services 24/7. Our newsfeeds are full of specials, promotions and discount codes.
As you will see in our COVID-19 digital marketing trends blog, users are on social media more than ever at the moment, but they aren’t necessarily looking to submit enquiries or perform transactions.
Instead of using social media to promote your offering, use this time to tell your story. Communicate the reasons why your business started, how its grown over time and what you love about your products and services.
Give your audience a chance to connect with your brand and build their trust. In time this will translate into increased engagement and conversions.
HOW TO SHARE YOUR STORY
An example of a brand using their social platforms to tell a story is Perth clothing store Caasi Boutique. Both its stores have now reopened, but while their doors were shut, they shared simple fashion styling videos via Instagram stories.
Featuring the owner of the business, the videos provided various tips and tricks using their products and concluded with a link to their website, offering a gentle nudge to encourage online purchases. The videos were then saved as story highlights for future users to view.
Caasi Boutique are an excellent example of creating easy, low-cost content that provides immense value to customers. As they transition back to business as usual, they will reap the rewards of their efforts.
Blogs allow you to communicate longer form content and provide greater detail around a certain topic. You could use blogging as part of an SEO or social media approach depending on your objectives, either hosting the content on your own site or taking advantage of user generated blogs.
Over the course of lockdown, our client HR consulting company People Solutions tasked their employees with producing blogs while working from home. The team wrote a range of case studies and articles to educate their audience on how to use COVID-19 to plan for recruitment.
Now People Solutions has a wide pool of content to draw from over the coming months and will be using LinkedIn to distribute the information to its audience. Much like Caasi Boutique, People Solutions is building trust with its audience now to help drive conversions in the longer term.
WEBSITE DESIGN & UX
As COVID-19 has brought website functionality and usability to the forefront, it is an area that calls for short term as well as long term attention.
The design and UX of your website reflects heavily on your brand. If a qualified customer has a negative experience on your site – think slow loading pages, navigational issues etc. – it will be highly unlikely for them to engage with your business in any way.
Consistently improving and optimising the design of your site is critical for building brand equity, driving revenue and encouraging growth.
You could undertake the following activities to gain insight into how to enhance your site:
- UX Audit
- Heat Mapping analysis
- Customer journey mapping
- Conversion rate optimisation
NEED SOME DIRECTION OR GUIDANCE?
The current COVID-19 recovery phase is the perfect time to take a deep dive into your business and set your path for the future.
Our digital experts can help you put together a digital strategy that’s tailored to your business needs, while also maintaining a digital marketing presence as you build on your long-term plans.
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pick our brains.
Or call us on 08 9381 4441