Digital strategy - what, why and how


Summary

We’re back with another Rusty Monkey vlog! Today Matt and Chris are talking about digital strategies; what they are, how to create them, and how they can benefit your business.

Here’s the overview:

    What is a digital strategy? (00:37)

    Why create a digital strategy? (01:08)

    How do you create a digital strategy? (03:15)

If you have any questions or comments, just stick them below and we’ll try and address them in a future vlog.

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Free stuff!

This week we’re giving you an example digital strategy template which is available to download:



Video transcript

Matt: (making swimming shapes) You're doing the breaststroke as well.

Chris: I am.

Matt: This is obviously the best swimming style to do.

Matt: Hi, I'm Matt.

Chris: I'm Chris and welcome to another Monkey Monday.

Matt: Did you get it right? I'm not sure it is.

Chris: I think I got it right.

Matt: It's hard to say.

Chris: Yeah.


What is a digital strategy?

  • It's a set of KPIs designed to help you achieve certain results with your online marketing.

Matt: We're going to quickly look today at a digital strategy. What it is and how to get one together. It's as brief as we can make it as an introduction to this because they're quite complicated things.

Chis: Yeah, but luckily we've got Matt who is our digital strategy expert.

Matt: One of them.

Chris: So what is a digital strategy Matt?

Matt: Okay, so in short a digital strategy should be a set of KPIs which are key performance indicators to achieve a goal online. To give an example, it could be we need to get 10,000 hits on our website and if we do that we will sell 500 hats.


Why create a digital strategy?

  • It can help you to measure the success of your strategies and investment.
  • It can identify areas for future investment and growth.
  • It can help focus your efforts in the most profitable way.

Chris: Wow that's a great example. So why would you create a digital strategy?

Matt: The most important thing we think you can get from these strategies is that it helps measure your return of investment when you're spending money for your online marketing.

So, especially within big companies hopefully such as yourself when you have managers at the top who don't really want to have to understand everything involved in their online marketing, the strategy should allow you to give them an idea what the required action and outcomes will be. For example, if we hit all of these targets then for every one pound you're spending you should hopefully get twenty pounds back. That'd be a pretty good return investment so we'll have to see how yours measures up against that.

What it can do as well is help identify opportunities for growth. So when you put your strategy together you might look at all of this together and say, well hang on a minute, we're a really visual company here, are our products super visual, it’s the most visual product in the world, but we're not doing anything on YouTube. Is there an opportunity here? By doing a bit of research at the start of your strategy you might see some real opportunities of where you could funnel some money, time and effort to get a return.

Chris: That should provide some focus for where to put your budgets.

Matt: It should do. Once you have that strategy in place you can maybe on a monthly basis look at your KPIs and where you're not quite hitting them, and you can adjust your behaviour.

Perhaps you have a KPI around domain authority, maybe that's something that you've determined is important (domain authority is the measure of how important your website is). Maybe that's your goal. Maybe you're trying to get domain Authority of 40 and you might look at how you're doing after the third month and say “well we’re a bit low on domain authority”. So you might want to focus some attention to back-linking and building up some more social media activity to try and help improve that domain authority.


How do you create a digital strategy?

  • Analyse and research – What traffic are you getting? Where is it coming from? Where would you like to start getting more traffic from?
  • Understand the channels available to you – What is the best way to connect with your audience online?
  • Do the maths – Calculate how much it will cost for you to achieve your KPIs, how much budget you can allocate to this, and find a balance.
  • Set some goals – Make sure your goals are realistic.
  • Keep analysing and adjusting – Prepare for your first strategy to be wrong, but know that you can improve it as you learn more about your channels and audience.

Chris: Okay, so let's look at exactly how we'd go about doing it. The first point is analysis and research.

Matt: Yeah, you can instruct a company to help you with your digital strategy or you can you can start doing it yourself. There are simple processes to go in place to do it. The first thing you're going to need to do is to do some analysis; have a look what sort of traffic you are getting, what sort of traffic you want to get, where you want to get that traffic from. In doing your analysis you should be able to determine keyword analysis, you should be able to look at your social media makeup and your audiences on that, you can look at your competition, but the analysis is a really important part because it gives you all of those early numbers to help you do the next part which is working through those channels.

Try to get a good idea of where you want your audience to find you. Is it through paid advertising on Google? Is it through organic social media? Is it through answering questions on the Google AnswerBank? It's a branded thing; maybe everyone's looking for you from your brand, so you what you want to do is determine what those are. Roughly you've got organic, you've got paid, you've got referral traffic (so traffic coming from other sources), you've got social media and maybe you've got a really good newsletter list; maybe a lot of it comes from email.

Chris: And some of these will be more expensive and some of these will be cheaper to do?

Matt: Well it depends on your industry really. We've done some analysis recently for a security-based business and the cost-per-click for Google Adwords is very expensive so you might find after doing some of the analysis and research that it's less expensive to go down a different paid route for your paid advertising. Maybe social media paid is a better way to go or YouTube advertising or something like that. They can vary but they vary from business to business as well.

Chris: Hmm, so you've got to do your sums.

Matt: Yes. Once you've got there you've got a lot of maths to do. What you want to do is look at that traffic and work out the cost of getting that traffic to you. The next important numbers you need to look at are your business goals. What are you actually trying to achieve if you're trying to achieve X amount of turnover? How much traffic do you need to get to your website? How much of that you need to convert into actual sales? And what is the value of that? Once you work that backwards you should be able to do some maths to be able to say “well okay, paid is gonna work for me, socials gonna work for me.” Or you might say “I've looked at how competitive it is to get to the top few spots in Google organically and that might be a really good win”.

It's a case of looking through those channels, working out where your opportunities lie and then trying to tweak it so that the maths works in your favour.


Chris: And then set some realistic goals of where you're gonna get to?

Matt: Yes, you may not have any of these stats yet but certainly after a short amount of time if you're a startup you should be able to see what traffic you are getting. You should know how many Facebook followers you have. You can run your site through tools such as Moz to find out what your domain Authority is. So you should have a base starting point and then you can set yourself some realistic goals that will help you achieve the traffic and conversion you need to get that return investment. It's pointless if you're getting 1,000 visits (example) to your website a month and you have a budget of 500 pounds, to say “well I now want five million visits to my website a month”. It's not a realistic goal so the sums should really help you set those goals to be realistic.

Chris: Yeah and on the journey we then reflect on them and adjust our strategy to keep going?

Matt: I think certainly when you start out and you've built your first ever strategy, you're going to be wrong (probably). After the first two or three months you're going to have a much clearer picture of how that strategy is working and whether your assumptions were right; so you can use the data to refine the strategy.

Chris: So is that how long you need to wait between changing things? Like a couple of months? Three months?

Matt: You can vary, it depends on how much budget you have. If you really throw a load of budget really early at the start you're gonna get the numbers back to be able to make some quality decisions. If you're starting with a fairly small budget then it's probably going to take longer for you to be able to make some decisions based on the amount of traffic you're getting. If you're basically through organic and paid buying yourself 1 million hits, or 1 million visits, 1 million sessions, however you want to call it to your website, you've got a lot of data to work with there. You've got a million units to measure. Whereas if you're just putting 10 pounds in and you're buying just a couple of hundred people (visits) it's harder to make those decisions.

Chris: Hmm, all very useful information, Matthew.

Matt: Thank you very much, Christopher.

Chris: I'm going to go off and sell a lot of hats now.

Matt: Yeah, I think you should.

So importantly there's probably some sort of document under here. Perhaps it's our own example of a digital strategy that you can use as a template. We generally do these things and then make up the content afterwards so who knows what's down there it could be anything…….RUN IT’S A SHARK!


Free stuff!

This week we’re giving you an example digital strategy template which is available to download:



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