One of the most common questions around digital marketing is how businesses can maintain a digital presence that maximizes brand visibility, engagement, relevance, customer interaction, and industry authority.
In other words, what are a few ways a small-to-moderate-sized firm can build a digital brand that really connects with customers—and achieve the digital capabilities needed to maintain relevance and grow a loyal customer base essential to thriving in the long term?
Increasingly, business owners and marketing directors are faced with a major challenge: how do you create a digital strategy without fully understanding all of the different tactics, channels, and online platforms?
And what if you dive into one of these and it happens to be the wrong choice? You could easily spend months and thousands of dollars (or more!) only to end up with lackluster results.
Building a Solid Digital Foundation
It can be easy to jump headfirst into the latest digital trend, as that new social media platform or trending app may seem to be the answer to your digital strategy problems.
But if you look beneath the surface, the reality is that many marketing campaigns are built on a house of cards. Once that new platform becomes saturated with competitors—or once budgets stop flowing into paid strategies—new business can dry up quickly.
At that point, you’re left back in the same place you were before you jumped in. And your digital capabilities are no better than they were before you started.
To avoid this scenario, your digital marketing campaign must be built on a strong foundation. It sounds crazy, but many companies are jumping ahead of themselves by missing a vital and fundamental aspect of their digital marketing campaign: a digital foundation.
Your brand is the essence of your company. It includes your identity, your personality, and your culture. It is how your organization speaks, moves, sounds, and acts—at least in front of your customers.
Everything you say or do is a reflection of that brand, even if you are not intentionally doing so.
If you’re not clear on your brand, and can’t speak clearly about the values that make it unique, then your first step must be to gain this clarity. Your brand is the central focus of your digital strategy—and should be clearly defined, outlined and shared with everyone on your team.
All the digital channels and platforms marketers talk about on a daily basis (social media, email marketing, lead generation, SEO, Facebook, Instagram, AdWords) are all distribution channels—and are ways in which you distribute your company’s vision, message, and purpose.
The problem many run into is stepping up to the megaphone with nothing new to say. It is therefore imperative that your message is not only unique, but makes an impact on those that hear it—cultivating an emotional connection that leads to further action.
While your brand is who you are, your message is what you are saying, why you are saying it, and who you are saying it to. More than one or two paragraphs scrawled out in your business plan, your message is the position you take across every platform and channel on the web.
Those ideas, thoughts, and values are all part of your unique message. When properly organized and integrated into your strategy, they can help define your position in the marketplace and provide the best opportunity for success.
Equipped with the right digital capabilities, you have the opportunity to get that message out effectively, quickly, and to the largest audience.
If you know who you are and what you want to say, now you need to say it. “Content” is any medium you use to get your message across and engage with your audience and it typically starts with the text and visuals on your website, although it can extend far from there.
Blogs, whitepapers, videos, presentations, tweets, FAQ’s, emails, case studies and interviews are all examples of types of digital content that can be reshaped and optimized to deliver your message and connect with your audience.
Unfortunately, too many companies fall short at this point in the digital strategy process. They have a website and want to start a digital campaign that generates new business. However, their website is only going to say so much, as it is generally very inwardly focused.
A great website can provide a powerful anchor for your message and your business, but your digital strategy should be built around creating content that uses that message to teach, engage and inspire—that which is both valuable to your customers and teaches them something about your industry.
Regardless of your digital approach, you need to develop solid, valuable, ongoing content that can be shared with the world. Whether it is social, advertising, or physically handing over pieces of paper, content is not only necessary—content is king.
Distribution is how you get your content, your message, and your brand out to the world. This is where digital strategies and platforms really come into play.
A few of the most popular ways or strategies for sharing your brand and distributing your message are:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM/PPC)
- Display & Social Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Online Platforms (Social Media, Forums, etc.)
Maintaining Your Edge by Building Your Digital Capabilities
Digital marketing continues to expand at a rapid pace. if you haven’t been actively involved in the development of your online footprint—and strengthening your company’s digital capabilities—things can become quite overwhelming.
However, it is clear that digital marketing is here to stay, and will be the lifeblood of business for the foreseeable future. Updating your digital toolbox is something you should be embracing with open arms.
If you have been considering starting your own digital campaign, or have had one in place but haven’t seen the results you were expecting, we can help.
Our skilled digital marketing professionals and client representatives provide the solutions to push you and your company forward in the digital marketplace—helping you grow your digital capabilities while feeding your bottom line.
To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 720-378-5024.