What is a Digital Strategy?
A Digital Strategy defines a roadmap for the digital marketing activities of a business. Digital marketing will include a combination of Owned, Paid, Earned & Social Media properties. Digital Strategy creates links between a brand’s properties, directing the flow of customer traffic from one to the other with the aim of converting cold prospects into interested buyers, enthusiasts and loyal advocates.
As seen below, Owned Media properties include a company’s website, blog and products. Paid Media reflects the online advertising activities of the business – running ads on Facebook, displaying banners on websites or leveraging endorsement from influencers.
Social Platforms include the big social media networks like Twitter and Instagram. These overlap with Owned properties – creating “Embassies” – as the brand controls and manages the content, but the platform itself is not owned by the brand.
Earned Media can be thought of as word-of-mouth, and generally refers to User Generated activities, such as social engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments), reviews etc, and as much as it is the hardest to control it presents the biggest opportunity for brands, as the reach of Earned media is theoretically limitless. The more sharable a brand’s content is, the more buy-in the brand receives from customers, influencers, even celebrities, in the form of social capital. Viral videos are the ultimate Earned media, if an idea catches on (becomes memetic) in our digital world, the potential for reaching millions of viewers is a distinct reality.
This is why having a finely-tuned Digital Strategy is so important.
This is the power of Digital Marketing. Never before has it been so feasible to increase a brand’s exposure 10-, 100- or even a 1,000-fold, given the right combination of Content, Context, Consumer and Conversion; Placing the right message, with the right contextual language, to the right person at the right time (when they are most likely to buy or take action).
A successful Digital Strategy leverages the exponential potential of social digital by putting out valuable, sharable content...to reach a specific audience that is most likely to consume, share and advocate the content...
Why Businesses Need Digital Strategy
Digital Strategy covers all aspects of a brand’s digital marketing activities – from it’s website and social media profiles (facebook, twitter, linkedin etc) to it’s digital advertising campaigns (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads) and management of the data, metrics and customer analytics generated and gathered across these platforms.
Likely the biggest problem facing most businesses in an “always-on”, hyper-digitised, “big data” world is the integration and management of their marketing activities. With so much choice of platforms – and an endless stream of customer data – the options are endless, and smart marketers need to make precise decisions about which platforms and activities best serve the business, and consumer, needs of the brand.
Getting the formula right creates a seamless customer journey through a brand’s digital touchpoints; moving customers along the buying cycle – from Awareness & Consideration, to the conversion stages of Purchase, Servicing and the long-tail activities of Loyalty and Retention.
The biggest problem facing most businesses in an "always-on", hyper-digitised world is integration of their marketing activities. Smart marketers must decide which platforms and activities best serve the needs of the brand.
The Attention Economy – Strategies For Getting Noticed In A Hyper-Connected Digital World
We are living in a hyper-connected digital multiverse. Let’s look at some statistics:
- 22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook.
- Over 400 million snaps are shared on Snapchat per day, and almost 9,000 photos are shared every second.
- Katy Perry has 94.65 million Twitter followers.
- Each day on Facebook, there are 350 million photos uploaded; 45 billion “Like” buttons clicked; and 10 billion messages sent.
- 100 million food and 146 million fashion boards exist on Pinterest.
- 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily.
- More than 1 million LinkedIn users have published long-form content, with 160,000 long-form posts being published weekly. And over 19.7 million SlideShare presentations have been uploaded to the platform.
- Over 409 million people view more than 23.6 billion pages each month on WordPress.
Aside from the sheer insanity of these numbers, the overarching theme that emerges is that people are massively overloaded with information! The human brain can recognise, sort and comprehend around 10 million bits of information at a time – equivalent to holding a conversation with one person. Expand that to 2 people, and the brain begins to lose its ability to filter and compartmentalise (make sense of) the incoming data. Now, add a Facebook stream – millions of bits – SnapChat notifications – millions – email, WhatsApp, banner ads, Game of Thrones streaming…. the human brain is literally incapable of computing this amount of data. And this is going on 24/7/365.
In short, the modern Human has an extremely limited window of attention; As dicovered in a recent study conducted by Microsoft:
The findings revealed human attention span has fallen from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just eight seconds today. Humans now have less of an attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average).
Yup, you have less attention than the proverbial joke of the attention world, the goldfish. Thanks to digitisation and the ever-increasing billions of bits of information competing to gain enough traction to actually hold our focus for more than a few seconds at a time, we have become distraction machines.
As a marketer, your message is a teeny tiny piece of this all-consuming attention puzzle. Attention, then, is the single most limited asset your customers have, and it’s your job to find a way to grab it, hold it and convert it into business revenue. No pressure.
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