Why do companies require a digital marketing strategy? The simple answer is to market themselves online? But the more difficult question to answer is how will you market yourself more efficiently?
Most companies do not know how to chalk a good digital marketing strategy. Moreover, they do not make use of the digital media as effectively as they should. Most companies are under the impression that developing a digital marketing strategy is of no use. Because digital technologies are evolving at a fast pace and having one in place will create problems while integrating it in their marketing mix.
Why do you really need a digital strategy? Here are the ten reasons that will give a clear picture of having a digital strategy in place.
Gives direction to reach your goals
While most companies have a sense of where they want to go, or what they want to achieve, very few companies manage to articulate this into specific goals. Of course, you want to sell more, or gain more customers, or get your message out to more people, but how? When? Where?
A well-written digital strategy allows you to set a direction, by converting vague goals into specific, measurable, time-bound goals. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that your results can be tracked over time.
Additionally, your digital strategy gives you focus, by helping you to decide both what to pay attention to, but also what to ignore as you move forward.
It is clear and helps measuring results
For many companies, digital marketing is ‘something that we are trying out’. If you ask 10 different people around the company “what is our digital strategy?” you will likely get 10 different answers back. This causes problems, as everyone in your company has different criteria for measuring your success, and you will never make them all happy.
A written digital strategy gives clarity. It means that everyone in the company understands your goals and is measuring your success with the same criteria.
Helps in optimizing your brand online
Almost everyone with a website also has analytics running on it – but do they take the time to study analytics to learn what is working and what isn’t? Even more importantly, are they deciding what to change?
Your website and digital marketing should be constantly improved and optimised. From the home page to product pages and to contact us pages, there is always something that can be tested and improved. Your digital strategy will also allow you to optimize other parts of your marketing. You can test out different headlines for your company newsletter, or even test different versions of your office Diwali messages to see which version gets you more responses.
This type of optimization has to be planned, however, and that is where your digital strategy comes in.
You can avoid making mistakes
There are two ways that companies fail in digital marketing all the time. Either they make a website and digital ads and then use the same images and messages forever, or they use the same messages online as offline – treating the internet like a ‘megaphone’ and trying to broadcast, rather than conversion.
Your digital strategy will ensure that you don’t make these mistakes. Firstly, you will create content calendars that ensure that you always have fresh messaging. Secondly, you will be creating unique content for each platform, be it a blog, or social media, so that you deliver your messages to your consumer in the best format possible.
Gives you a well-aligned structure
Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to know your customers in a way that traditional media doesn’t. You can engage with customers on social media, track what they click on in emails, easily send them surveys, and measure which sections of your website they find the most interesting (and most challenging).
Your digital strategy gives you a structure to understand your customers better, by measuring their behaviour, organizing them into persona groups and then creating unique communications for each customer.
A tool to manage resources
Digital marketing helps in managing your resources well. It can help in maintaining budgets for your company and use it as an effective tool in marketing your brand, which can result in higher profits. If you have a good digital marketing strategy in place, then you can use it to predict future expenses and also try to control them. A well-planned strategy can ensure that the quality of work is delivered, saves a great deal of time and also pushes the revenue of the company.
Can be used as a navigation tool
A digital marketing strategy is the best way to make your company look more professional. Most of the companies, who have their own websites follow analytics. Most of the people in the senior management try to overlook on the distribution of the resources, which may hamper the smooth functioning of the team. Having a digital marketing strategy will help you establish your goals. It becomes a navigation tool to drive your resources towards meeting your financial and organisational targets. It is a cost effective way of increasing your presence and making your company look more professional in the online arena.
Better engagement with prospects
Most of the companies do not have a strong online presence. Being unaware of the demand for your products/services and not knowing which digital channels to use to market them, you can probably mess up your brand in the digital platform. It is very important that you send out the right message to your audience. You are required to engage with your audience in a right manner. If you are not doing this, then you need to rework on your digital marketing strategy and try to rehash those customers in a different way.
Not knowing how to take the strategy to the next level
Many companies do not know, how to take their digital marketing strategy to the next level. Designing a good digital strategy involves a metric-based approach, which helps in identifying the changing needs of your prospective customers. By following this approach, you can think ahead and steer your company where your customers’ needs are are moving, instead of being stuck to your company’s philosophy.
Not having the right tools
It is true that most of the companies are not equipped enough to stay ahead of times. If you look at your competition, especially the ones who have incorporated a digital strategy into their marketing mix, they are making use of a different approach to keep abreast with the changing needs of their audiences.
You do not need to start with a complicated digital plan. Start with a page or two by describing your goals, strategies and key performance indicators. By only doing this, you can make a big difference to your online performance, and then maybe build a more comprehensive plan later.
If you haven’t already planned your digital strategy, then do it now!