Cultivating your Online Strategy
When buying a product or booking a service, research indicates that the average consumer will reference up to eight digital resources before making a purchase!
With universal access to an enormous quantity of information at our fingertips, people rely on searching the web to compare value on offerings and figure out which solution will best serve their needs. In order for your business’ offerings to cut through the noise, it’s crucial to implement a well-conceived digital strategy that propels your company’s goals. Below are a few ways that you can improve your business’ online presence and reach.
Clear, concise communication
Mapping out how you intend to reach your market is a key element to any digital strategy. After you’ve ascertained who your audience is and where to find them, you need to figure out how to communicate your offering to these groups. Taking into consideration your target market’s demographics, relevant communication channels and your company’s brand persona, you can craft a campaign on a range of platforms that your customers will connect with. Be careful of overkill, as trying to deliver on every possible digital avenue can bombard and dissuade your consumer (as well as cost your business money). Keep things clear, concise and targeted to get your message through and to avoid your audience losing interest.
Your digital destination
Which direction you take and how many platforms you utilise really depends on what your business is offering and where your customer base shops for solutions. Instagram and Facebook pages are a really great way for new, smaller businesses to generate brand awareness and build a following for virtually zero cost. Email marketing is another tool that can keep existing customers engaged, provide updates on your business and offer rewards to retain loyal customers. But centre to a solid digital presence is undoubtedly a dedicated website. A well-designed website can really help bolster your company’s legitimacy in the consumers eye and can generate more business by appearing in search engine results.
Accessible and relevant
Did you know that 51% of all web visits are now mobile? This trend continues to grow as smartphones continue to dominate the tech market. It should come as no surprise then that optimising your website for mobile and handheld devices is an absolute must. If there are too many barriers to a consumer finding what they’re after on your website, they will navigate to your competitors. Ensuring your website has a clean design and an intuitive feel across all web browsing devices will encourage customers to trust your brand and move towards a sale. Keep all information relevant and up to date, as people are unlikely to sift through pages of dense copy to find their answer. Also consider running regular tests to make sure all links, forms and e-stores are fully functional.
Consumers can view your website on a number of devices, so it’s important to ensure your site is optimised for all screen sizes. Little Rocket designed the Cooee Cafe website to be functional across, desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.
SEO vs SEM
Part of your digital strategy should cover whether you plan to engage in paid or organic strategies (or a combination of both) in order for your website to rank highly in search engine results. Google and other search engines work on algorithms in order to put the most relevant content at the top. There are many different theories on how to achieve this, but to keep it simple, your best bet is to ensure your website is optimised with relevant keywords. Ken Lyons, cofounder of Measured CRM says, “If you don’t choose and use keywords your customers are searching for, you won’t get found. That means no traffic, no sales, no money.” This is not just for your site’s copy, but also consider how you name your page links, title tags and metadata. You can also opt for pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns to appear first, but you’ll need to consider if the benefit outweighs the cost, and more in-demand keywords can come with a hefty price tag.
Digital action plan
Once your online presence has been established, it’s time to map out your digital campaign. This can take many forms, including ads, social posts, video content and blogs. Where, when and how you carry out your digital campaign will depend on what content your audience responds to, which channels they use and of course, budget. According to Smart Insights, 70% of people said they’d rather learn about a business through an article than an ad, so keep this in mind when planning out your digital campaign. Another important factor to consider is frequency. You should make sure your campaign is fully conceived before you roll it out so you can continue to deliver relevant content without running out of steam. The key is consistency – don’t release all of your content in one day because it’ll just get lost in the ether. Take a methodical and strategic approach so you have a continued digital presence without bombarding your audience.
Measure your results
The beauty of digital marketing is that everything you put online leaves a footprint. Businesses are able to track and analyse data across digital platforms to measure their effectiveness. Data and metrics analysis are a crucial part of a digital strategy – not only does this data provide insight into what content your consumer market responds to, but it is also an important part of budgeting to ensure you aren’t pushing money into campaign ideas that don’t get the intended results. Gathering data over multiple campaigns that span years further allows your business to refine its digital strategy based on proven past results.
M. Van Egmond – Digital Team at Little Rocket
Ref: ‘Keyword Optimisation: Why Optimising for the right Keywords is Do or Die, Ken Lyons for Wordstream’, ‘Ten Marketing Trends to Act On, SmartInsights’.