Just screaming louder than your competitor is not going to deliver the expected results. Let’s get clever on digital. Tell a story that can reach your customer wherever they are, on whatever device. Rise above the digital marketing noise and really get their attention … It’s time to act!
When we think about digital we often get overwhelmed. There are so many pieces in today’s digital puzzle: systems, channels, content, engagement, metrics … the list goes on and on. No wonder we get overwhelmed. But we need to get passed this. We need to figure out how to solve it, how to get in control of digital so that we can be more effective with engaging online.
But there’s really no need to feel overwhelmed or frustrated about all the things you do digitally. It’s actually pretty easy to manage as long as you are well organized and put enough effort into it.
Here are 7 smart ways to optimize your digital presence:
Step 1. Know your digital presence
What is it? Your digital presence is everything you do online. It’s the fingerprint of all the online activities around your brand. It’s your website, your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest board … But it’s also blog articles people have written reviewing your product or service. It’s everything that says something about you digitally.
Step 2. Identify your objectives & strategy
What do you really want? What is your objective? Do you want to sell, influence, inform, facilitate? You can’t do it all. Define a clear objective and build your strategy around it. Remember that a good definition of engagement is getting your audience to do something, to act!
If you don’t know what your objective is in the digital world, how can you expect your audience to act in a certain way?
Once you have defined your objective, you need to analyse where you are now and where you want your digital presence to be in the future. Once you have this analysis done you can set sub-goals and sub-objectives. What needs to be accomplished to help you get from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow, in the future.
All set? Great. Now it’s time to set up tracking. You need to be able to track progress to know what is succeeding and what is failing. You need a point of reference to measure progress and optimize where necessary.
Step 3. Understand the shortcomings: where is your digital presence failing?
When it’s not working correctly… traffic is down, users are bouncing off your website, your tweets have no shares or retweets, you don’t have enough conversion … you feel sick to your stomach. You feel like sh… Something you are doing is not right.
But how can you tell when something is wrong? The first place to look is at the numbers. Traffic is decreasing, the shopping cart abandonment rate is rising, Facebook fans are leaving … Those are all indicators. Of course the indicators depend on what you set as your success criteria. It can be different for every company.
We’ve identified 5 things that commonly indicate a poorly-performing digital presence:
Step 4. Assess which resources are available to you.
You know what your digital presence is, you’ve set a clear objective and you understand your shortcomings. Now it’s time to correctly assess which resources are available to you: look at processes, people and technology.
- How well do you create and publish content?
- Who are your brand advocates and how do you engage with them?
- Who are your brand employees? Everyone in your organization needs to be a part of your digital presence at some level. You’d be surprised to know that there are probably people in your organization with a large amount of Twitter followers and tons of Facebook friends. They are already adept at social media. Talk to them about your digital activities. Use them to engage with your customers.
- What kind of business intelligence do you have to continually optimize?
Step 5. Tell stories in order to create real engaging content
Why are stories important?
Stories have been around since the dawn of humanity. We have always told stories starting with drawing them on cave walls. Why are they important? Because stories provide a framework to present ideas. Ideas are like viruses. They need something to help them spread around. Stories work great as a “host” for idea viruses.
Abstract ideas are hard to communicate and be impactful. Ideas need stories.
Red Bull, Coca Cola and Dove are perfect examples of brands using stories to engage with their audience. They’ve build an experience around their brand. Another great example is Lego. The Lego Movie is perhaps the most effective 90 minutes commercial for a toy ever! It’s not only a pretty good movie with a well written story, it also has hidden messages like “We are only limited as our imagination allows us to be” and “You’re never to old to create magic”. Lego hit the jackpot here. The movie proved to be a fantastic way to create an experience around the brand and generate an emotional connection with their audience (from all ages… even I wanted to play with Lego blocks again!). A Lego spoke’s person said: “We don’t sell blocks, we sell possibilities”.
Step 6. Build a workflow
If the processes you have internally are confusing, then it’s only going to get in the way of your digital presence. What we really want is something efficient. Something simple.
What does a typical digital presence workflow look like? It follows a fairly typical cycle:
Part of being effective and efficient is picking the right tools for your organization to help you create, manage, and publish your digital presence.
What are those tools? We’ve identified a pretty standard set of them:
- Website/Content (you need to be able to keep your content dynamic).
- Rich media/Video (you really have to include video in your content as they capture the moment far better than words.).
- Mobile (not necessarily a tool but you have to be able to deliver all of your content to any device).
- Delivery and performance (your content needs to be everywhere in the world, fast).
- Social engagement (you need to track how your content is performing across social networks).
- Optimization (you need a dashboard to tell you how everything is going).
Step 7. Focus on the long term and strive to deliver a real customer experience.
- Merge your offline and online experiences into one overall strategy.
- Picking the tools through which to create, manage, and deliver your digital presence is just the easiest part. You also have to create or change the processes internally so that content can be published quickly while involving as many people as possible.
Recap these 7 steps again and again. What does all this do for you? It will get you the results you need.