A digital strategy is an important tool for a small business regardless of whether your company is a brick-and-mortar establishment or online only. In today’s marketing landscape, you’re missing many opportunities to attract potential customers or garner new sales if you don’t have a solid online presence.
Developing a small business digital strategy isn’t exactly difficult, but it does take time, effort, and resources to ensure a positive return on investment (ROI). You should be prepared to test different methods to determine what works best for your small business.
This article will:
- Delve into how to create a small business strategy
- Look at the main channels and examples of a small business strategy
- How to budget for a small business strategy
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How Do You Create a Digital Strategy for Your Business?
The most important thing to know about creating a digital strategy is that its execution is a lot more active than passive. Fans and potential customers favor businesses that want to interact online with businesses that seem lively, update regularly, and interact with their audience. There was once a time when businesses could create a website or a social media page and update at their leisure, even if that was every few weeks or months.
Those days are gone. However, realizing that a serious online presence is a major benefit to brand recognition for businesses should be all the motivation you need to double down on your strategy.
You should have an idea you will be doing most of the work on your digital strategy. Will you be doing most of the work yourself? Will you hire someone, such as a web developer or social media consultant? Will you have a team dedicated to your digital strategy?
You should have an idea of how many hours per week you or your digital strategy person or team should work, not only creating and posting content but also interacting with your audiences across various platforms.
Your digital strategy might also include methods of how to make a brick-and-mortar store more digital-friendly or updating a website to the latest technologies or preparing it for online customers. You want to have the right balance between the word about your business being properly spread, and you and your employees not being overworked.
Another important aspect of your digital strategy, in terms of marketing, is how many posts you should send out and how often. If you have experts and consultants involved in your strategy, they can give you a more succinct answer to this question.
However, this might all come down to analytics, which we’ll delve into later. Overall, you want to put the most effort into the platforms where your audience spends the most time and branch out from there.
Finally, you should probably temper your expectation of what your digital strategy will do once you begin rolling it out. Of course, you want to succeed but give it time to develop. Be prepared for mistakes and revamping until you get to the methods that work best for you and your small business.
What Are the Key Components of a Digital Strategy
A lot of building a digital strategy has to do with marketing and ensuring that your customers can find you online easily. However, with several different aspects of business going online and becoming cash-free, you should also consider them a part of your digital strategy.
Various things, such as a website, a mobile app, and easy and secure e-commerce, are all features that can be mentioned in marketing campaigns. The more your audience is familiar with you on the internet the more comfortable they’ll be doing business with you on all platforms.
Here are some components of a digital strategy to consider.
- Online presence: This includes social media platforms, your business website, and other pages you’ve created for your business. Can your audience find your business easily if they search for it on Google or other search engines? Does your business come up on any well-known third-party review or information websites for your industry?
- Digital marketing: There are many options for digital marketing, from search engines to social media, to email that can offer your audience consistent, and nonintrusive access to the latest information from your business.
- Selling online:If you don’t already have an e-commerce shop connected to your business or linked to your business website, adding one is a great way to develop or improve your digital strategy. This makes it easier for customers to shop for your product or service and gives you an opportunity to develop a stellar customer service repertoire that can lead to return customers.
- Customer interaction: Having a dialog with your audience is a highlight of a digital strategy as it lets customers know that a brand is alive on various platforms.
- Online security and cloud computing: Having business-grade security platforms to protect all your online information and the proper backup systems for business and customer data. You also want to have in place protocols for your business staff to access and back up important information.
- Supplier interaction: Having an online presence gives a great opportunity to network with suppliers in your industry in a way you might not be able to in person. Again, through having various platforms and profiles, other people and businesses can find you and you can similarly find other businesses that meet your needs.
- Mobile-based solutions: This ranges from mobile apps to websites that are optimized to flow well on mobile devices. This option can also include accepting mobile payment options in brick-and-mortar locations.
Digital Marketing Channels for Small Businesses
- Social media
- Website and blogging
Examples of Digital Strategies
- Search engine marketing: Using SEO on websites to rank higher on search engines so your business can be more easily found by your audience.
- Local search marketing: Optimizing your website to include functions that work with map applications. Your business address and contact information would be included in search results and maps and directions would pop up with users selecting them.
- Content marketing: Giving your audience valuable information about the topic of your business without directly trying to sell them something. Including a call to action about your product or service after sharing your information is more likely to get consumers interested in your business.
- Social media marketing: Using social media to market your business is more about developing a relationship with your audience as social media tends to be more intimate. You can use social media to advertise special deals and new products; however, you must be sure you’re on the right platforms for your business.
- Email marketing: Uses newsletters, updates, promotions, or general messaging to keep existing and prospective customers updated on your products and services. This brand of marketing is invaluable because even if they do it on a whim, your audience must opt into email lists on their own.
- Mobile marketing: Using text messaging, social media, website, email, and apps to target and communicate with your audience about your business via their mobile devices.
- PPC marketing: Using online ads as part of your marketing strategy but you must only pay if the ad is clicked on.
How Do You Budget for a Digital Strategy?
Budgeting for your digital strategy is dependent on what platforms you plan to commit to in terms of marketing, whether you plan to execute your strategy on your own or hire help, and what features you plan to implement or upgrade to be savvier in a digital space.
Luckily, many social media platforms are free. However, costs go up for other services. Doing research before executing any plans, including hiring help is crucial, but consider that a properly delivered digital strategy can help bring in far more money to your business than it costs.
There are many possibilities for a solid digital strategy. The good thing is that you don’t have to implement all of them to be successful. Being on top of the latest in digital marketing and digital strategy tools is an ideal way to future-proof your business and ensure that it’s always recognizable to current and potential customers.