Where to get started online for your business

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You know you should be using digital for your business

But you just don’t know where to start. 
You need a digital strategy. 

A digital strategy will show you the best channels, tactics and content that will work best for your business. 

It will give you a practical action plan that you can execute on. Which will mean you can work smarter, not harder by focusing on the channels and tactics that will work best for your business. 

There is no need to over engineer a digital strategy. It’s about understanding the digital behavior and preferences of your target audience and working with this (not in spite of this).

It’s a simple framework. 

  1. Work out the best channel based on where your audience spends their online time 
  2. Identify how best to use that channel 
  3. Know all the right things to be saying to keep their attention and convert them to customers. 

 

If you can do this, you will save time, cut down on the noise of what you should be doing and focus on optimising – not trialling different channels and tactics to see what works. 

It’s a formula that will help you focus in on the best possible digital experience for your potential buyers. 

Channels

When we talk about channels, we’re talking about whether you need to be using search eg Google or whether you need to be focused on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram. 

Other channels that you might consider are video, so think Youtube, or audio, with streaming or podcasts. 

To work out which channels best fit your business, you need to understand where your target audience hang out online. 

Understanding this allows you to identify best fit channels. If they are there, then you should also be there. 

That means understanding whether they are searching on Google for you, or using Facebook all the time, or are they on Pinterest more? 

Top tool tip #1

Tools to help you see where your audience spend their time online when ‘talking about your topic are: 

•    https://www.wordtracker.com/. This helps you work out how many people are actively searching for your ‘topic’. 
•    Buzzsumo. This will show you content on your topic that is most popular based on shares so you can see which channel is most popular. 

Tactics

Once you know your channel, you need to work out how to best use the channel.  

So, spend some time on the channel. Look at the accounts and content that are relevant to your target audience. Do they like to watch video versus reading? Do they like images that they can collect and view rather than sitting to watch a video. Notice whether there is any paid promotion in the content you are seeing, and anything that is engaging them such as challenges or competition. These are all important clues on how to deliver your content into your selected channel for greatest impact. 

Top tool tip #2

Use the following tool to rummage around and explore how content on your topic is served. Note the way that the content is presented.  This will inform you on the tactics being used. 

•    Good old Google to discover content on your topic
•    Buzzsumo to discover other content not on Google .

Content

Your content is what brings your channels and tactics together to get you cut through in the noisy online environment and attention from your target audience. 

Knowing what you need to say, how to say and when to say it, is key. 

If you are saying things that are relevant to your audience, so they want to hear from you, you have a head start. Making sure you use their language and talk in a way that appeals to them is also key. 

Spend time looking at the content that your audience reads and consumes. Take notes on the topics and questions being answered. 

Think about the decision making process for your buyers. Content should reflect this process and the information they need to help them reach a decision in your favour!

That means, when they first start looking, or maybe they are not even looking, they are researching. They don't know exactly what or who will provide them with their solution, but they are open to understanding all of the options. This is your opportunity to be 'discovered' by them and be helpful to them by showing them their options, pros, cons and other considerations they may not know about.

Then, once they know what they are after, they want to know who can provide them with their perfect 'thing'. This is your opportunity to 'woo' them and let them know how great your offer is. They will likely have lots of questions and even do some comparing with other options on the market. Make sure you make it easy for them to make their decision.

Then you need to close the deal by making it easy for them to sign up or buy - that is, to 'convert'. Think about the final points that a buyer needs to cover off. Perhaps it's information around returns, warranties or needing proof from others how good you and your offering are.

Finally, I like to go that one step further and also focus on the after sale experience. What can you provide or do that will make for a great experience, that will encourage or nudge your new client or customer to talk about you to other people? A little post sales love is an important part of the customer journey. Done correctly it will mean that you will have a new channel of leads and sale as part of your sales funnel.

Making sure you think through the entire process gives you a complete 'customer journey' that you can map your digital activity against. It will give you a sales funnel and a holistic approach that makes sure you don't have any gaps in your process.

Top tool tip #3

Tool to help you discover and explore content on your topic

Channels, tactics and content are the three ingredients needed to make digital work best for you. Creating a plan that identifies these three things is the basis of a strong digital strategy that is based on the digital behaviour of your target audience. 

If you would like to develop a basic plan based on this simple approach, click through for a template to help create a map of the channels, tactics and content for your own business

If you would like help in identifying the right channels, tactics and content that will best suit your business, we can help with creating a Digital Strategy and Tactical Plan for you ready for you to put into action, or take the Digital Strategy Crash Course to create your own strategic action plan.