Choosing the right digital strategy is not something to take lightly.
The path a business goes down after choosing their online strategy represents many hours, resources and a healthy budget for most. So before you get caught up in blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets and Google ads – looking at your business through a magnifying glass is really the best place to start. This will help insure that your eventual digital approach will be more effective in the long term.
Tactics and specific implementation will (and should) change. The underlying strategy should change far less often. Let’s get back to basics and take a look at what you should consider BEFORE you craft your digital strategy.
(More detail below the infographic!)
It all starts with what you can offer your market. While everyone knows that selling requires having a product or service, what many businesses don’t do well is feature their strengths. There are really only three things you can excel at:
Products – Do you have the better mouse trap? Have you figured out the absolute best solution to the main issue in your market? There are typically only a few of these any any industry. That’s ok though, because you can win other ways.
Service – For everyone else who doesn’t have a unique or better product, there is customer service. Are you really outstanding at anticipating your customers needs? Do you walk them through the process with precision? Are you great at follow up and loyalty?
Point of View – Is your outlook in your niche one that is unique from the rest of the market? Do you get referenced or looked to for thoughts and ideas in your area of expertise? Can you start a movement whenever you launch something new?
Job Title – Do you know who and what your target demographic does for a living? Whether you are B2B or B2C you are looking for a person.
Day to Day activity – Where do potential customers spend their time online? Are they interested in similar subjects? Are they on their phones a lot? How do they get their information?
Budgets – What kind of money do they have to spend today vs tomorrow? Many companies spend too much time getting the quick buck and ignore the fact the a small purchase can earn them much bigger lifetime earnings.
Knowing your offline competition is highly valuable. When it comes time to purchase, you have to know what companies are top of mind for your customer. However if you don’t pay close attention to who is highly visible online, you may be missing the boat.
Believe it or not your stiffest competition online is rarely the same as your offline compadres. This is who matters.
At the end of the day, the company who does the best job of solving issues and being trustworthy wins the business. Lots of companies work on the product, but totally forget about the education and assistance that comes before the purchase
Education – What are the most common questions people have about your industry? What about the process, does that need to be explained? What happens after the purchase? There are often follow-ups to use a product or service most efficiently.
Consulting – Are you available before purchase to help with the decision? Do you offer genuinely helpful answers, not just ones that send people to your sales page?
Product/Services – Now you are ready for the big finish. Do you deliver on the promise? Are you continuing to improve your offering so people will refer you and come back?
You need a plan before you dive into the online pool. It’s not a complex process, but it is an important one. One that requires thought and research. If you take the time to really try to get into your customers head, then your online strategy will 10X better than all the other guys.
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