The secrets to a successful digital strategy to drive new sales and leads for your business

Digital is the great equaliser. I believe this whole heartedly.

Digital can be used by any business, of any size to grow – beyond expectations and to carve out a niche in your market for success. 

To do this, you need to be strategic and holistic, then take action and follow through.

Strategy and execution is where just about every business falls over when it comes to creating your own successful online story. 

Core elements of a digital strategy – your secret sauce. 

When I create a digital strategy for a business I determine the strategy based on the customer journey that takes your client from discovery to courtship to conversion and finally bragging about you as a great business to deal with. These are the fundamentals and the secret sauce to a digital strategy that will convert your website traffic, giving you a persistent and consistent stream of online leads and sales for your business.  

Discovery

Discovery is all about understanding how you will drive people to visit your website. Website’s don’t get discovered unless you take action to get them out there. Honest.

It’s a major failing when a business puts all of this faith, money and hard work into a website and then they sit back and just expect traffic to arrive at the website magically. 

Let’s look at the main ways that people will ‘find’ your website: 

  1. A search engine
  2. An email link 
  3. A link from social media 
  4. A conversation or recommendation 
  5. Directories 
  6. Podcasts
  7. Advertising – both online and offline (tv, radio, printed publications, signage etc).

All of these are different channels that can be used to ‘raise awareness’ of your business and then encourage people to visit and find out more. 

You want those people coming to your website that are your ideal target audience or, in other words, those most likely to buy from you.

But you don’t want to take a scatter gun approach. You need to be strategic and select those channels that are going to bring you the best ‘qualified’ traffic to your website. This means you want those people coming to your website that are your ideal target audience or in other words, those most likely to buy from you.  

This is where a digital strategy starts to come into it’s own. Being able to properly identify which channel is going to work best for you to gain your potential customer’s attention is all important

First up, decide whether your target customers are actively looking for your product or service. 

As a general rule of thumb when someone is actively looking for you, they will use a search engine like Google. 

If they aren’t actively looking for you, then you will need to consider how to be present in the online conversations/ activities that they are currently having. This means you need to work out where they already hang out online, and how you can be part of this experience. So this means you might have to be present on one or more social media platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest providing content that they are interested in that also relates to you, or it might be a completely different channel like podcasting.  

Once you’ve decided on the right channel, you’ll need to consider the tactics that will be most effective in your channel. The types of things you’ll need to consider are whether you use a paid strategy versus relying organic, do you need to use video over text or photos or do you need to venture into other activities like webinars? Understanding how to best use a channel is key to success. 

Courtship

Fact: Most people will not purchase on a first visit to your website. Instead, depending on the type of a produce or service you sell, the complexity and price point, there will likely be several visits before they are ready to take action with you. Therefore, understanding how much your potential customer needs in terms of touch points and information or experiences to help convince them to buy from you is important. 

A useful exercise I like to do is mapping out all of the touch points that a customer potentially has with you and making sure that there are no gaps missing in the experience. This is what we mean by creating a funnel ie. mapping out all of the potential touchpoints required to help close a deal. This means you do need to get specific, to understand each of the digital assets – whether it’s a page of content with FAQ's, a post, some functionality like a form that they need to complete and submit. 

A funnel might be as simple as: 

  1. A blog article with a post on Facebook to promote
  2. Website visit that includes a visit to the blog and another page with information about your product or service
  3. Registration for a download or email newsletter. 

Or it might be quite complex such as the following: 

  1. A blog article on Facebook 
  2. Website visit that includes a visit to the blog and another page with information about your product or service
  3. Facebook pixel is deposited 
  4. Remarketing on Facebook that continues over 30 days 
  5. Revisit to website to sales page and FAQs 
  6. Registration for a webinar 
  7. Email follow up sequences and reminders 
  8. Checkout. 

Understanding what is required across the entire customer decision making process is important. It gives you a set of actions and most importantly the content that you need to provide to your customer. Another handy tool is to do a big dump of all of the questions that a potential customer is likely to ask you before they buy. This will help you also determine what needs to be in the sales funnel.

I would also encourage you to think about the offline experience and include these touch points to get a holistic take on your customer’s experience with your company.

This process of mapping out the customer touch points or the funnel will also help you identify any gaps that you have in the current experience. 

Conversion

Converting is where people will finally take action. This is generally a transaction of some type. It might be a check out on your website or form completed and submitted, a phone call made or a download of some useful content and capture of their email. It may also be a page visit where they read valuable information that helps them understand the solution to their problem  or options to solve it (and of course, you sell the solution).

The key point here is that there is no point in driving a heap to of traffic to your website if you are not able to convert them into leads, prospects or sales. While you might have a website already, chances are you need to do a little bit of work to make sure you’ve covered all of the important points around usability and making sure it will convert your visitors. Things to consider on a website are: 

  • Clear call to actions. What is a successful visit to your website? Is it someone that calls you, makes an appointment, downloads a white paper and provides an email address to you, signs up for a newsletter, purchases, gets your address to come into your store or makes an appointment to see you. There are a variety of different call to actions for a website. Being clear on what you want to achieve is the first step to making sure that you’ve optimised your website to this purpose. 
  • Make sure that your website is mobile ready. There are now more people browsing the internet on mobile phones then there are on desktop. That means that every time someone arrives at your website and it’s not mobile ready, it’s a reason for them to leave – no matter how compelling your content is.
    • Being mobile ready means that your site loads quickly. Statistics from kissmetrics indicate that a 3 second delay in loading will see 40% people bounce off your website.
    • You want your site to be responsive so that it’s easy to view. That means that the fonts and heading and images all display at a reasonable size – tiny fonts are not good.
    • Make sure that whatever your call to action is – it’s super easy on your mobile eg. If you want a phone call, make sure people can click to call on your responsive site, if you want a form completed, make sure it is easy and all the fields actually display in full on the site and the submit button is easy to find, and if you want to sell, then make sure the checkout process is easy and possible on your mobile phone. The best thing to do is test on your own phone. Don’t assume all is good. 
  • Content that answers all of their questions. Don’t leave them hanging, frustrated at not being able to get the answer. If you’re not sure of the questions that are losing them then use a click to chat service to capture a heap of research direct from your potential customers. Also think about where this information is being displayed. Shipping costs at the checkout point is not where you should be revealing this information. It will likely lead to people leaving after they realise that shipping is not free or as cheap as they expected. 

Bragging

When a customer or client has an amazing experience with a business that exceeds their expectations, they are more inclined to share that experience. 

Sometimes people will not think to do something like leaving a review or testimonial unless you nudge them to do it. The old adage ‘if you don’t ask, you won’t receive’ really does apply online today. You must ask people for their opinions and review.

Making it easy for them to review or easily refer you can also be influenced by you in the tools or way that you make it easy for them to share. A lot of the social platforms allow easy reviews as does Google Business when you’ve set yourself up properly. 

By regularly asking, particularly if you make it part of the customer experience journey, then you’ll capture over time valuable reviews and testimonials that will then help with future sales.

A digital strategy is all about empowering you to take action based on the best logical next steps, rather than a scatter-gun approach, where you’re crossing your fingers hoping to see what will happen. Digital is scalable, and allows you to be highly targeted and honed in how you go about growing your business. 

All it takes is the right knowledge, some strategic planning and the will to put your action plan into play. 

Why not take steps to develop your digital strategy for an persistent and consistent digital sales funnel? If you need help more help: 

Why not take steps to develop your digital strategy for an persistent and consistent digital sales funnel?  

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