Developing A Digital Strategy From Scratch

We live in a digital economy, there is no doubting that. I think we can all agree about it. However, while it may seem like everyone is taking advantage of this new age environment, there are still a lot of companies stuck in the past. It may seem silly but it hasn’t been that long since the dotcom bubble and with smart phones rapidly making up the majority of internet traffic, the front is still evolving

Where to start?

The first step in developing an effective digital strategy is to pay close attention to the type of work that you are doing. Whether you are an e-commerce shop or an agency that sells digital services, it is important to know how your area of expertise is affected by the digital landscape.

If you don’t already have a plan in motion, then congratulations, you have a fairly easy task ahead of you. Since you are starting from scratch, any data is valuable to you, and if you don’t meet your goals, you still have a lot of information that can be used to further your agenda. Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does!

Goals, Goals, Goals!

I’ve always found it useful to track two directly opposite goals. One example would be driving traffic to a landing page that is designed to either educate users about services, or to generate email list signups. You can track the education by describing services with links to even more detailed examples, once a user clicks a link you know that they are at least reading and inquiring more about offerings. When someone signs up using the email signup form, then you know you are making progress towards that initiative as well.

Having two goals that are vastly different means that you can perform two tests at once, which is a far better use of your time than trying to only gather data for one.  I’ve seen this effectively used on custom landing pages, as well as in e-newsletters with effective call-to-actions that build customer bases. People have a give/take relationship these days and when you can give them information they are usually more willing to give you a bigger chunk of their time.

Measuring Success

Once your campaigns are set up you need to have some way to measure the success of their effectiveness. When you are just starting off you don’t need to do anything crazy, you can set simple numbers like 50 new signups or 200 referrals to our services section. If you use something like Unbounce, this will give you harder percentages based off of traffic. Google Analytics can also be helpful in tracking these conversions.

Remember when I said earlier that you shouldn’t worry about failing?, well that is true as well at this stage. If you fall short of your goals you need to analyze what went wrong. Were your call-to-actions week? Is the design confusing? There can be a lot of factors into why a page/newsletter fails. One of the biggest reasons I see underperformance is that users are given way to many options. Most UX pros agree that after 3 options any person is going to suffer from choice overload and it is far easier for them to move on than waste time worrying about something they might not care about.

In the end what matters is that you are making educated guesses based on solid data that represents your user base. If you are doing that then you will be successful, it just takes a little bit of time. The more you reiterate on your strategies the better they will become. All companies start off at this stage and eventually make it to the big leagues when it comes to digital marketing and strategy.

Good luck! 😀



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