It’s no secret that our perceptions of how a business looks, sounds, and operates has changed. And, as a community, this new normal will continue to evolve as lockdowns lift, stores reopen, and we get ready for summer. While there’s no denying that the pandemic has altered the future of business in the community, its aftermath has also redefined the traditional relationship between businesses and consumers.
Regardless of whether you rely on word-of-mouth, printed ads, or google ads to engage with your customer base, the long shadow cast by the pandemic has continued to reaffirm digital strategy’s status as an essential part of the present, and future, success of a business. The pandemic has forced customers inside and online, and our reliance on technology has on served to highlight digital strategy’s increasing relevance.
Now, more than ever, people are turning to the internet to fulfil their basic needs. Shopping online isn’t just for specialty items or gifts; e-commerce has made it possible for consumers to buy groceries, liquor, and even home décor online. Even though each business will have specific consumers and demographics that they wish to target, building a digital strategy based on specific data can help generate brand awareness, increase sales, and keep your business in the game. So, regardless of where your business started, in a strip mall or in a URL, there’s no time like the present to build your online presence.
Sure, putting out targeted google ads might get you some clicks, but how can you appeal to your existing customers who have already made a purchase? A loyal customer base can provide you with vital data and knowledge that can help you to articulate realistic goals for your company. Take stock of any digital marketing that you’re currently doing, and use that information to determine what’s working, what’s not, and outline new objectives based on the data you uncover.
Having clear objectives can assist you in creating the best digital strategy for your business. Don’t just copy someone else’s campaigns or send out an e-mail blast on a whim: Defining goals for your business allows you to reconnect with your customers using considerate content that illustrates your desire to provide solutions and support.
According to State of Digital, your company’s lack of digital strategy will only help your competitors gain recognition and dominance in the market. Contributor Lauren Irwin comments, “Consumers are inherently programmed these days to go online – whether for research, to buy or to look up a brand or product through word of mouth – and if there’s no digital presence, brands will find themselves forgotten.” Your digital strategy should aim to increase your presence across a variety of social media platforms, and utilize different methods of delivery, in order to avoid redundant, annoying messages! A digital strategy can give you a valuable glimpse of current market trends and help you locate your niche in a competitive market. You may not snuff the competition overnight, but your presence will let customers know you’re out there.
One other conundrum that businesses face? They simply don’t have the proper resources to put together a digital strategy that works. By implementing a few resources, like a CRM or Google Analytics, your marketing team can piece together a more robust image of how users are interacting with your website. Feedback from analytics can help you can optimise your site based on user traffic, the consumer’s journey, and even customer queries. B2C argues that “Organic traffic is one of, if not the most, valuable forms of traffic. It’s highly targeted because users are finding you through typing in search queries.” A digital strategy won’t just help users find you but can help your marketing team determine if their efforts are paying off, and where your business might be struggling to connect with consumers. Since a customer who initiates a Google search will have some idea of what they’re looking for, they are, as B2C points out, the most likely to make a purchase.
Despite many companies relying on loyal customers and word of mouth for repeat sales, e-commerce’s rise means that a digital strategy is not just a “nice to have,” but a necessity! So, what does this mean for older demographics and the companies whose marketing strategies cater to them?
Well, implementing a digital strategy doesn’t shut down your existing marketing efforts, but allows your business to grow within a new medium in order to reach a new demographic. One source points out that one out of three workers in “the American labor force are Millennials, and another one-in-four are Gen Zers – making them the largest generation contributing and making purchasing decisions. These digital natives have a set of expectations that companies must meet to receive their business.” If you sell orthopedic shoes or bifocals, your regular clients will still know how to reach you, and you may find additional, willing buyers with a digital strategy.
Finally, with many buyers working from home, you can interact with your target audience more freely than you could before. Customers who have been laid off, or are working more flexible hours, will have the time, freedom, and desire to engage with interactive webinars, forms, and giveaway contests, and each can be integrated into your digital strategy to help maintain interest in your company and its values.
Terms like e-commerce and digital strategy are intimidating and arbitrary, especially since they’re fairly new to this century, and have become popularized by social context. But no matter what your business background is, launching a digital strategy can feel as frightening as sending your business off into the abyss to fend for itself! We want you to feel confident in your website’s digital debut: Let our team help you maintain the integrity of your brand by building a custom digital strategy for you. Contact us today to learn more, or engage with us online to stay updated on digital trends and get access to exclusive webinars!