“Digital strategy” is a carefully crafted business and marketing plan, using digital tools and channels, to maximize the success of your brand.
In today’s competitive digital landscape, a digital presence isn’t enough. Every brand should be connecting with its audience through multiple digital channels (e.g. website, social medial, newsletter, etc.) and also outlining a plan to use those channels to move toward its business goals.
Conventional wisdom might lead you to believe you need a blog, but do you know why? Is it really what you want to start with? Do you know the best way to execute it?
Business goals are the foundational pillars on which product ideation is built. They provide focus and direction. It’s easier to make good decisions when there are prioritized reasons for doing so.
If you read one of the NaviBlog’s previous articles about Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), this might start to sound familiar.
There are a lot of models on the Internet for defining digital strategy business goals, but over the years, the following list is the one I’ve used repeatedly:
Let’s look at an example:
Tom, a local high school pottery teacher, was encouraged by his students to start a YouTube channel to share his projects and techniques with a wider audience. After some time, he started receiving inquiries about custom work. Tom has always thought of himself as both an educator and an artist and is excited about the prospect of reaching a wider audience of learners, while also making more money to build a home studio.
Using the list above, Tom can start asking how each of those items apply to what he wants to accomplish, prioritize the list, and then fine tune them into focused business goals.
· Growth – Tom has been steadily gaining an audience on YouTube, but knows he needs more views to monetize it.
· Retention – Tom also wants to keep his viewers coming back so that when he is ready to produce educational content he can charge for, he will have customers ready to purchase.
· Engagement – To grow and retain an audience, Tom must decide how, when, and where he will interact with them, to build a brand relationship with them.
· Monetization – Tom has made some sales of physical goods through direct requests and would also like to monetize his YouTube channel.
· Usability – Tom has not yet built a website for his educational content, but when he does, it needs to be easy to navigate, easy to use, and easy to make a purchase. Tom does not yet have the time or resources to build it.
With the information above, which goal categories would you prioritize?
In this case, Tom might want to put his focus on growth and engagement strategies. Growing the audience gets more eyes on his content. Engaging them well retains them and leads to monetization. In the usability category, Tom is eventually working towards a website, but in the meantime, he could be more proactive about providing links within the channels he has, to make it easier for his audience to purchase his work.
Some examples of objectives and key results Tom can now create to anchor his digital strategy are:
· Grow the YouTube channel subscribers to 1,000 and reach 4,000 valid public watch hours over the next 12 months. This will meet the criteria to join the YouTube Partner Program to be considered for monetization.
· In order to engage a greater audience, and help drive traffic to his YouTube channel, Tom has decided to create Instagram and TikTok accounts, to share shorter versions of his video content as teasers. He will look at views, likes, dislikes, followers/subscriptions, and video completion rates as measurements that support both growth and engagement. Because Tom is creating new accounts and fine tuning his YouTube growth, consistency is key. Tom’s specific engagement goals are to create and post new content on Instagram and YouTube 3 times per week, and 1-4 times a day on TikTok.
· Tom can support his YouTube public watch hours by increasing video retention. Internet statistics state that the average viewer sticks around for anywhere from 35-50% of the video. That’s a pretty wide range. Tom has set a personal goal to get his video completion rate up to 60%.
· Besides preparation for monetizing his YouTube channel (above), Tom wants to increase revenue from physical sales of his personal pottery projects by 10% over the next 6 months. He does not want to commit to too much hands-on work, so he still has time to devote to the digital aspects of his business plan. To facilitate this, Tom will be adding clear and usable call to action links to his digital posts.