Key Takeaways 5-minute read)
- In today’s marketplace, no matter the industry, having a digital strategy is a necessary means for doing business.
- More than just a website or social media page with information, your digital offerings for consumers must include unique experiences they’ll remember.
- Being mobile-optimized is essential for boosting success.
- Digital is about communication, convenience, and breaking convention.
- Your digital strategy still needs to extend beyond the online experience.
Branding a business in the twenty-first century is impossible without taking our technologically advanced society into account. Ignoring the digital side of creating and promoting a brand would be irresponsible, even. Consumers are online—they’re on their phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops for hours per day—especially mobile devices, which account for 63% of all 5.4 billion Google searches that occur each day, according to research published by Review42. Brands without a strong digital presence can kiss a huge portion of their audience goodbye—not only because consumers want to connect with their favorite brands and have convenient options for doing so, but also because having that foundation lends credibility to your brand.
Think about it. What’s the first thing you do when someone tells you where they got those sneakers they’re wearing? You Google the brand to shop their website or digital storefront. What do you do when someone mentions a new restaurant opening in town? You check social media to see when it’s opening. If your brand is lacking in a good looking, user-friendly, mobile and SEO-optimized presence online, you’re missing out. On revenue, on new consumers, on brand recognition, and on success because people will think you’re either a dinosaur not worth their time or that you’re nonexistent. With many businesses struggling during the pandemic, even larger corporations, it’s completely plausible that someone would see your meager digital footprint and assume you were one of them. Create a strong digital presence as part of your brand landscape immediately and it will forever be part of your master plan for success.
It’s not enough to just have the website or Instagram account—that’s a half-ass move that we don’t condone here. A digital strategy has to have that second component. You want to be methodical yet authentic in the digital experience you offer consumers. This is your chance to make the best virtual first impression or to offer your existing audience something new that they won’t forget. Use your digital channels as an opportunity to connect and communicate with your consumers. Finding out what they love most, what they want, and what will give them the best experience from your brand is how you can build your digital strategy to ignite the love affair between your brand and consumers. Get creative, be different from the competition, and, above all, be real with your people. Make something they will remember after they interact with it. The audience is here to see what you’re all about, so show them in a way that’ll have them thinking about that informative video series or enlightening quiz days later. You might even entice them to follow you on social media, sign up for email or texts, and even visit your brick-and-mortar locations if that’s one of your goals. Using online channels as a means for community engagement and research is crucial.
Mobile and SEO Optimization Are Non-Negotiable. If the stat above about mobile deceive usages didn’t convince you of this, then this will. Since 2015, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update has given mobile-friendly pages a ranking boost in mobile SERPs, and it de-ranks pages that aren’t optimized for mobile. (Remember, mobile accounts for over 60% of all searches.) Optimizing your website or other digital channels will ensure that your design for the web looks and functions great no matter what device a consumer is viewing it on. It also increases the likelihood that that user experience will be satisfactory. Make your site convenient, good-looking, and memorable for users and they will be back—hopefully after sharing with friends.
Digital Strategy doesn’t end with online offerings. It’s part of your overall brand experience; therefore, each “real-life” component of your brand must also match and synergize with the digital experience. This includes the look and feel, customer experience, and overall ethos of your company. You don’t have two brands—one for the web and one that’s in-person—so why would your brand and marketing strategy be completely separated? Work them together from the beginning of your branding endeavors and you’ll already be seamlessly connected to your audience wherever they are.
Learn more about how Digital Strategy for Marketing Extends Beyond the Web from A&P.