The game of entrepreneurship has changed over the years. Digital strategy has contributed enormously to this transformation. And this is because more consumers are conducting online research before buying anything. Yes, it is possible to build your business offline and make some profit. However, to reach more people and increase your sales, you need to have a digital strategy. And an online presence requires that you need to be educated on the right digital strategy to adopt. This is exactly what this article will help you achieve.
Digital Strategy On How To Get Started
Not playing by the new rules of business can be very costly. Your potential customers are actively searching online for products or services that address their problems. And the tools they utilize are search engines – the most popular being Google. This makes your business to be visible on the search engine result page (SERP).
The first thing you need to make this happen is to create a website. Just like offline businesses have physical offices, you should consider your business website as your online office. Hence, you want to make it an effective one that can cater to the needs of prospective customers.
Here are some things you should consider while creating a website:
- Your “about page” is important. It should be able to state what your business has to offer without ambiguity.
- You should have accessible contact information. This could include social media pages, office phone number(s), and the address of the physical location.
- There should be feedback from former customers who enjoyed what you offered.
Prospective customers would be more convinced when they read other people’s experiences with your business.
- Your website should be easy to navigate. This is very vital. Finding things on the website should not be a complex task.
- The web pages of your website should be able to load faster. According to a Google report, 53% of users will leave a site that loads for more than three seconds. It is only when prospects can access your site that they can decide to buy from you.
Creating a functioning website does not have to be expensive if you are just starting. You can have a proper website on a low budget. Now that you have a responsive website, there are other digital strategy that you should employ to boost sales and improve brand awareness.
The rest of the article addresses this.
Content marketing is a type of digital strategy that involves the creation and distribution of valuable content with the intent to attract and educate prospective customers. And this has to be consistent to produce a long-term result. There are various kinds of content. Some of which include articles (blog posts), e-books, infographics, videos, and webinars.
Owning a business website was earlier stated as being vital to your online visibility as an entrepreneur. When people search for the kind of products or services you offer, your website is likely to pop up. Therefore, your website must have a blog section that is regularly updated with useful content. This creates awareness of the problem as well as possible solutions. Some prospective customers already know what the problem is, while others don’t even know that. So, your periodic content nurtures them to a stage where they can take action to purchase your products.
Availability of feedback in the form of comments can help you interact with your prospects. This helps build a relationship of trust. This kind of relationship tends to be long-term. When they finally decide to make a purchase, they are very likely to buy from you. Over time, they begin to see your brand as an authority or expert in your field. You have answered their questions judiciously and proffered solutions to their yearnings. They become long-term customers while telling others about you by sharing your content before they are asked to do so. This eventually gets you more leads. Also, according to demand metric, content marketing is cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing. Therefore, you need to create a content marketing strategy. And it is advisable to outsource to a content marketing agency.
Social Media Advertising
It is vital to note that good content is the heartbeat of every kind of marketing. Social media advertising is a type of digital strategy that employs social media platforms to share content, reach, and connect with your audience. According to Statista, 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide. The top five social media platforms with the most population are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. This indicates that you can utilize social media to reach more people and generate leads. Social media content is diverse. You can share blog posts from your websites. Also, you can post videos, infographics, reviews, etc.
You need to take time to create content that engages prospects and drives a discussion with them. You should also reply to comments and let people feel catered for. Before you dive into social media advertising – you need a digital strategy.
Answering the questions below will give you headway.
- What are your objectives for using social media advertising?
- Who do you intend to reach?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- What value do you want to impart?
- How do you hope to track your strategy?
The answer to these questions will determine how successful your plan would be in the long run.
According to Radicati there are about 3.9 billion active email users globally. Email marketing involves the use of email to enlighten prospective customers, promote a business and build a relationship with existing customers. It is a form of direct marketing.
While social media advertising reaches a lot of people in a public way, email marketing is much more personal. The message gets delivered to the prospect’s mailbox where it’s more likely to be engaged. It has also been recorded to yield more ROI. According to a 2015 study, every £1 spent on email marketing yielded a ROI of £38. For you to get started with email marketing, you will need an email list and a marketing service.
If you are just starting, you will need to build your email list from scratch. The most important way to achieve this is to give value. No one would subscribe to anything that is not useful to them. When prospects read valuable content from your website, they are willing to stay connected to what you have to offer. A subscription form will come in handy at this point. It could be pop up form or a static one.
Another way to get people’s email addresses is to offer something in exchange for it. You can offer free e-books, infographics, reports, and any other educational content. If they like the offer, they submit their email address so that what you promised can be sent to them. You can also host free webinars that people register for using their emails. This could serve as a means to follow up on people who attended the webinars. Email marketing services you can use to plan and organize your marketing strategy include MailChimp, Sendiblue, AWeber, etc.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of digital strategy is to be seen and make more sales. And this can be achieved via SEO. The major way people get to know your business is through organic search on search engines. SEO which stands for “search engine optimization” is the process and practice of making your business website more visible on search engines e.g. Google, Binge, Yahoo.
SEO helps entrepreneurs study how these search engines work, consumer behavior, search terms, and keywords people input. You must know how SEO works because SEO enables free organic traffic when done rightly. Research conducted by BrightEdge showed that the organic traffic generated by SEO increased to 53.3%. Just think about the last time you searched something online, their articles on the first page are the ones you consulted. This should be your goal as an entrepreneur.
You have to be on top of your game, constantly studying SEO because the Google algorithm constantly changes. However, some basic tips can get you started. They are:
- An SEO strategy that has clear goals. You should know exactly what you want to achieve via SEO before you start.
- Make keyword inquiry. This would give you a hint at what people are looking for. Use tools like SEMrush for this.
- Write engaging content. Know that you are writing for humans, not machines. Your goal should always be that people understand your content and get value for it.
- Google rates long-form content above short one. So you should write more about that.
- Make your content (and your website) mobile-friendly. According to Statista, mobile devices generated 54.8% of global website traffic in the first quarter of 2021. Therefore, a website with more ease will get more traffic when SEO is done right.
- Track your performance. Use Google Analytics to see how well your strategy is going. If there are mistakes, you would also notice and make necessary adjustments.
SEO is cost-effective. The ROI is also massive when SEO is done well.
After you have utilized the above digital strategy and you have gained new customers, you need something to keep them coming other than your business website. People crave personal connection and they long to see the person behind the business. This is where personal branding comes in.
Personal branding refers to how you present yourself – personality, credibility, uniqueness – to the general public. Your brand is what people perceive you to be. And you should be the one to create this deliberately. As an entrepreneur, building a personal brand will set you apart from your competitors.
This research shows that investors are more willing to partner with entrepreneurs who have a personal brand. Here are few tips to help you build a successful business brand:
- Keep your eyes on the ball. Be focused. Know exactly who you want to reach and what your message is. Then stick to that. Your brand, just like your business brand, is not for everyone.
- Be authentic. Don’t build a false public image. This would catch up on you and it is not worth it. Just do you.
- Be a storyteller. An effective digital strategy for personal branding is to tell a story. People are easily intrigued by stories. Let people be able to relate to the stories you create around your brand.
As your brand grows in influence, you might want to invest more in content and SEO. This could also yield ROI for you and your business.
Digital strategy can no longer be ignored as they have come to stay. One marketing strategy cannot give you your desired result.
As seen earlier, content is central to every digital strategy. Hence, all the digital strategies should work together in fine balance. Also, consistency is key. You have to put in the work and show up. If you need to delegate, do so. Just make sure that your business and personal brand thrive in the online space.