Digital strategy has become an indispensable tool for any company in the age where 62.5% of the global population is connected to the Internet.
There are many options available depending on your business and marketing objectives, as well as the means and resources at your disposal.
In this article, Eminence guides you through the key steps of implementing a digital strategy for your company, from auditing the existing situation to your online presence, without forgetting the steps of monitoring KPIs or creating content.
Step 1. Conduct a market audit and assess your online presence
Before starting any process of defining a digital strategy to be implemented, have you established a situation report of your company and your market?
Current state of your company:
- What are your strengths? Any possible areas for improvement?
- Is your current communication consistent with your positioning and values?
- Do you have an idea of your e-reputation: what is the image perceived by your clients or targets?
- What is your company’s ranking on search engines (SEO)? Have you identified optimization measures?
- What are your current digital tools? On which ones would you like to strengthen to reach your customers?
- Does your website offer an optimal user journey and a satisfactory customer experience?
Current situation and trends of your market:
- How is your market evolving? What are the trends?
- What is your positioning?
- Who are your competitors, and how do they position themselves?
- What are their communication channels and messages?
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- What are the expectations and needs of your targets?
- Is there any specific legislation regarding your sector of activity?
The realization of the SWOT / MOFF matrix allows a good visualization of the constraints and opportunities of the market, compared with the strengths and weaknesses of your company.
Step 2. Define the objectives of your digital strategy
Your digital strategy must be in line with your company’s overall strategy to ensure the coherence of your multi-channel messages. It will be a lever, like your other media and non-media communication supports.
Like any strategy, you need to define precisely the marketing and business objectives to be achieved. They will then help you define the means and resources to allocate to them.
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What is your ambition?
- Awareness/Visibility: make your company, its products and services, its news known.
- Image: transmit your company’s values, improve your image?
- Traffic/Lead: bring your prospects to your site.
- Acquisition/Conversion: reach new customers, generate sales, get appointments.
- Loyalty: bring the customer back, build loyalty to your brand/your company.
To do this, answer the 5W and 1H questions.
The SMART method is often used because of its relevance and is based on 5 criteria for setting objectives.
- Specific: des objectifs précis, concrets, factuels,
- Measurable: qui doivent être quantifiables, comme des KPI
- Attainable: avec des moyens mis à disposition permettant de les atteindre
- Relavant: dans le contexte actuel et les ressources allouées,
- Time bound: selon une échéance fixée.
For example: “I want to increase the traffic to my website by 5% by implementing a Facebook Ads campaign and doubling our publications on Facebook.”
Step 3. Identify your target customers precisely and their persona.
This step is essential because if you don’t know who your customers are, you won’t know how and where to reach them. You will, therefore, reach an unqualified audience that will not allow you to achieve your ROI (return on investment).
Determine who your target customers are and draw up their persona:
A company can generally categorize its targets and customers into several segments:
- The primary target or core target: the priority.
- The secondary target.
Once you have drawn up a typical portrait of your targets, we strongly recommend that you determine their buyer personas. There will of course be as many personas as identified targets.
→ How to create your Buyer personas?
What is the difference between a marketing target and a buyer persona?
A target is defined by factual elements such as age, gender, place of residence, income, etc. On the other hand, a persona encompasses psychological and emotional aspects. We try to imagine their story, interests, habits, expectations, obstacles, and motivations.
Why create a buyer persona?
By attributing human qualities to our target, we can better understand their needs and expectations, in order to find the best way to satisfy or respond to them, by offering a more personalized and higher quality experience.
You will be able to better identify:
- the digital tools that your persona uses,
- the social networks on which they evolve,
- the most favorable times to reach them
- the media to which they will be most receptive
- how to address them: tone of voice, content
Take care of your ambassadors and advocates:
They are generally represented by your most fervent customers, who will communicate their satisfaction to their entourage, via word of mouth, or directly on social networks.
Ambassadors are valuable assets for a company and must be cherished, as they convey a good image, and this, in a “free” and spontaneous way.
Consider using influencers:
The interest of this target will depend on your industry, communication trends in your market, and the targets to be reached. It is interesting for you to give visibility, demonstrate a product, or create a buzz within a well-identified community, in your target audience. You must of course scrupulously select the influencer(s) with whom you may collaborate.
An influencer who believes in your product and brand could prove to be a significant asset in your strategy. They can therefore appear both in your complementary target and in your communication channel.
Step 4. Select your digital communication channels
During this step, it is important to analyze the digital strategy adopted by your competitors to see what seems to be performing as a channel.
- Follow them on their social networks
- Subscribe to their newsletter
- Create a Google alert for their name
- Look at their e-reputation
Once you have a broad vision of your environment, your targets, and your resources, you can move on to creating your action plan.
What communication methods should be considered in a digital strategy?
You have a wide range of tools and resources available for each stage of your sales funnel and customer journey.
Inbound marketing takes longer to set up and requires resources to work over time.
On the contrary, outbound marketing can save you time, but will be more expensive if you opt for advertising.
Your choice will depend on your resources, your objectives, and your budget. Ideally, combining the two approaches is best.
Step 5. Create an editorial calendar for your content
The editorial calendar aims to create a schedule of all the content you will be distributing, indicating the essential information such as:
- The target audience to adapt and personalize your message
- The objectives aimed at: awareness, image, conversion, etc.
- The means you will use: social media posts, email, newsletter, blog post, white paper, paid display and ads campaigns
- The social media platforms on which you will communicate: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.
- The media you will favor: fixed post, carousel, video, text
- The days and hours of distribution
Don’t forget to take into account all the events that you can use to communicate: holidays, national days, internal events, arrival of new employees, etc.
Step 6. Create your digital content
Your content creation is what will set you apart from your competitors and give a “human” dimension to your company. You speak.
Make sure to customize your communication according to the personas you have identified to better reach your target audience and make them feel concerned. By providing them with quality content and addressing their needs, you will arouse their interest and put them in good conditions to start a business relationship with your company.
→ Content marketing: why is the key to success for your digital strategy?
Our recommendations ?
- Vary the formats so as not to bore and surprise
- Rely on storytelling to bring your audience into your world
- Don’t neglect design
- Interact with your community to grow and retain them.
Step 7. Define the technical, human, and financial ressources required
Take stock of the resources you have available to implement your digital strategy. Do not underestimate the cost and time it will take to implement all digital dimensions!
Your human resources:
Do you have the necessary resources in-house? If not, have you:
- Planned to recruit personnel to manage your digital strategy?
- Considered training your employees if they do not have the required skills?
- Evaluated the possibility of using an external provider, such as a digital agency, for all or part of your needs?
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Your financial resources
What budget are you able to allocate for the deployment of your digital strategy? Have you:
- Conducted research on the average costs of a campaign?
- Obtained quotes from external providers to assist you at the strategic, operational, or technical level?
- Already made trade-offs by prioritizing channels in order of impact and ROI?
- Determined which channels will generate the most performance?
Step 8. Measure the performance of your digital actions
Finally, the last but essential step involves measuring the results of your digital actions and campaigns.
When you have set your objectives, you have most likely set KPIs (key performance indicators) to reach. These will determine if your strategy has been beneficial and effective and your actions relevant.
Among the most frequent KPIs, we can notably mention:
- SEO: ranking on search engines
- Traffic: number of visitors, time on a site or page, bounce rate, number of pages visited, number of sessions
- Conversion: revenue growth, average basket, conversion rate, re-purchase rate
- Social networks: number of subscribers, likes, shares, and comments
- Mailing: newsletter subscription, open rate, click rate…
We advise you to set up dashboards from the start of your digital actions to monitor them regularly and make quick decisions if you find that you are not performing enough.
In case of doubt, do not hesitate to opt for A/B testing for campaigns, for example: this will allow you to see what works best with your target audience and adapt your communication accordingly.
Make an appointment with our experts
Although it is focused on the long term, a digital strategy is destined to evolve according to market trends or simply the evolution of your target audience’s behavior. Technologies are constantly evolving and you have every interest in keeping a close eye on them to be always proactive.
Eminence can accompany you in the development of your digital strategy, to advise and guide you on all the means and tools that would be most relevant to your needs