If you run any kind of a business, there’s no doubt that followers are primarily online these days. With a quarter of the world’s population active on Facebook, and mobile phones the primary device on every social platform and website, a digital strategy is not only important, it is essential to move ahead; after all, your competitors are reaching clients here, so if you aren’t ahead of the curve with your digital outreach, you could very quickly fall behind in marketing and business success.
The trick to understand here is that you cannot put all of your eggs in one digital basket; no one platform will fully help you to own and convert your followers–you’ll need a combined comprehensive, all-encompassing marketing plan to truly succeed. Follow the steps below to tie together each piece of your digital strategy for success, and to use each platform to hit your goals quicker.
Step 1: The Perfect Website
Integral to the digital success strategy is a website, which you likely already have or are putting into the works. There are some key components to be aware of for a strong website: you’ll want visitors to easy be able to understand what you’re all about, what services you provide, and how they can take advantage of them, all at a glance. With that in mind, you’ll need to have a clear homepage describing your company–and only one or two key items, to keep that landing page clean and easy to take in. Then, add highly visible navigation tabs so visitors can easily travel where they want to go.
Some additional items you’ll want to incorporate on your website for success:
- Make it mobile-responsive. Website visitors are primarily on mobile these days, so you’ll miss out on business, traffic, and awareness with a website that’s clunky and un-usable on mobile.
- Include contact information. Visitors will be looking for ways to reach out to you if they need to, and your website is the ideal place for them to find it. It will be even more efficient and user-friendly if you include responsive buttons that can directly email from the website, too.
- Include links to your social media profiles in the header or footer. In order to connect your digital strategy and keep followers on every digital item you’re represented on, you’ll want to clearly display how to find you elsewhere online.
- Include a highly visible sign-up form for your email list. A key part of a comprehensive strategy is using all pieces to help each other; so use your website to build your email list, and make it easy and simple (and appealing) for visitors to add their email on your site.
Step 2: The Email Newsletter
You’ll want to set up a newsletter for followers for many reasons. This is the place in your digital strategy where you can build and collect your very own dedicated list of followers, and you can speak to them regularly and directly gain conversions this way. While you can also reach a huge amount of potential clients on social media, your email newsletter list is a platform you will fully own and manage (rather than depending on algorithms of the platform), and you can control your messages, content, and capabilities (such as including purchase links directly within the email).
The email newsletter is best used in conjunction with social media promotions; you’ll never reach 100% of your subscribers via email, and you won’t reach 100% on social media each time you post, either. But a combined effort will provide you with the greatest reach, a variety in outreach (as people like to be communicated to in different ways), and a varied audience as well. Begin by sending your newsletter out regularly, once a week or once a month, as you feel comfortable with it. Experiment with subject lines to appeal to visitors, and include enjoyable information as well as self-promotion to keep each email attractive and effective.
Step 3: The Social Media Profiles
If you aren’t on social media yet, you basically don’t exist–this is the attitude of millennials and younger generations towards businesses, and you should take it seriously. People expect to find their brands, large and small, on social media, and they expect to be able to communicate with them there as well. If you’re unsure of how to begin, start by creating a Facebook business page and posting to it once a week, gradually increasing frequency to around once a day. Facebook has the largest audience and the most detailed insights on your followers: how they respond to your posts, what they enjoy, their demographics (age, gender, etc.), and more.
Your social profiles should show what your business is and does and represent you accurately and professionally; while some clients searching for you will go first to your website, others may very likely visit your Facebook page or Twitter profile first. If they then follow you, you have the opportunity to create a community for your followers and potential clients that you can easily run and coordinate from home, with a light strategic plan.
When you’ve built a following, consider advertising as well; on Facebook, advertising options have a wealth of demographic targeting metrics you can use to narrow your audience to the perfect people, and the native display available has proven to be cost-effective and successful at conversion at the same time. Consider sending people to your newsletter sign-up page, on your website, to fully complete the combination of your digital strategy!
With these three steps of digital strategy fleshed out and working in tandem, you’ll be able to effectively and comprehensively reach out to your audience online and continue to build their loyalty and trust.