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How To… Create a Digital Strategy

How To… Create a Digital Strategy

Define your target market and budget time and money wisely to reap returns from your digital strategy, says Andrew Lee Miller, marketing director of YaDig.com.

Every day I hear more and more people, both audibly and digitally, becoming adamant about setting up a digital campaign for their businesses. I find it hard to believe that this is still a task for any business in 2012 since it should have been on their radar in 2008!

How do you go about defining the important places to start, focus on and move forward with?

Firstly, you may be asking what is a digital strategy? A digital strategy does not only mean making a new website, nor does it only mean a Facebook advertising campaign, although it can include all of those things.

A digital strategy is defined as “the process of specifying an organisation’s vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximise the business benefits of digital initiatives to the organisation.”

Here’s what you need to consider before you set up a proper digital strategy:

Define your absolute target demographic

The first area of interest to focus on when developing your strategy is to define your Absolute Target Demographic (ATD). Basically, your ATD includes the specific type of users you want to attract to your digital presence – be it a website, an app, a mobile site or a game.

This is not the same as target demographic because ATD goes beyond age, spending habits and geo-location to focus on intent, interest and purpose. So let’s say you are a restaurant, your demographic may be everyone since all people eat food and pay to do so.

For your digital strategy however, you may be looking for people searching on the internet for restaurants in Dubai Marina. That’s your ATD.

Decide your immediate conversions

The next important task for marketing your business over digital platforms is deciding on your immediate conversions. This means figuring out what exactly you want customers to do at the end of your campaign that will mark it as a success.

Conversions are not always related to making money as they would be offline, say for instance in your store or restaurant. For a restaurant the conversion is people in seats, but for their digital strategy, a conversion could be a filled-out contact us form or a view of the contact us page.

The digital strategy’s main conversions don’t always need to be tied to a certain monetary value. Most businesses’ digital conversion won’t be tied to money making directly unless they’re an e-commerce website.

Figure out what you want your absolute target demographic to do once you’ve gotten them where you want them.

Dedicate a budget (of time and money)

After you have done your due diligence on the previous two points you need to take it seriously enough to assign a budget to this campaign. If you have trust in your product and the person doing your strategy, then it should work.

However, budget doesn’t always have to refer to money when in discussions about digital strategy. A lot of it refers to time budgeting as well. Put your time where the most potential is.

In terms of money budgeting, make sure to start with a budget that will give you enough data to make legitimate assumptions and enable you to build and optimise on. For instance, if you spend only $100, you won’t know enough about behaviourial patterns or you will only get data only on one single channel with nothing to compare it to.

One more tip is to steer clear of over saturation.

Determine the highest ROTI

Return On Time Investment (ROTI) refers to my earlier mention of the fact that budgeting time can often be as equally important as budgeting your money.
Focus hard on what is important and channel energy, time and money into that. After you’ve started your campaign, let it run until you get about 100 conversions (industry standard for a decent test) from each channel and then optimise based on which source brought your ATD to your core conversion the most.

Go granular; look at days, hours and the whole funnel that the user experienced. Make slight changes and analyse and you will get better results every week. If you run out of sources, you can re-evaluate your sources with new conversion channels like email catchers or competitions.

After you’ve done these things, you should be well into a thriving campaign with a significant ROI that is being tracked, noted and acted upon. Also, make sure to reinvest any profits that come from your digital campaigns in order to scale them up.

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