Last time, we discussed getting started with a new digital presence, and finding a digital specialist. Today we'll look at some strategy and planning ideas.
One of the main reasons a website project will fail is a lack of planning. Most people don't just jump in and buy a new house, or go on a holiday, or start a new business, without some research and planning first, right?
Strategy & Planning
I've found there are 3 key objectives that really help towards the success of any digital project:
1. WHO - identify your target audience(s). Who are you trying to communicate with?
Different audiences require different strategies. There's not much point designing a cool minimalist website with Instagram integration, if your primary target audience can't find the menu and doesn't use Instagram. Similarly, there's no point choosing pastel pink if you're selling heavy metal memorabilia, and there's no point hosting a website in Europe if your target audience are all in Melbourne.
In order to sell your message successfully, it's important to have a really good understanding of WHO you're talking to. Establishing demographics such as age, gender, location and interests are a good place to start.
Keep in mind, you may have more than one target audience. In that case, it's better to identify that up front, and plan strategies to communicate with each audience.
Write down WHO you think your target audience(s) are.
2. WHAT - identify your business goals. What do you hope to achieve with your digital presence?
Many people's first response to this is - "Make lots of money so I can retire early". Well, yep, we probably all want that! But unless you're in the right place at the right time AND incredibly lucky, this isn't something that just happens for most people. So realistically - what are your business goals? What are your online goals? How do you define success? And how do you know if you're doing it right, or wrong?
This is important - GOALS SHOULD BE MEASURABLE. For every goal set, you should be able to look at the end of a period of time and see how you've gone. If you've achieved it, set new goals that are a bit more ambitious. If not, modify your goals to be a bit more achievable.
- Start selling online within 3 months
- Increase online sales by 3% within 12 months
- Increase customer base by 10% in the next 5 months
- Reduce costs by 5% by the end of this financial year.
Write down WHAT your goal(s) are
Make sure you can measure them
3. HOW - to best communicate with your audience(s) to achieve your goals.
Once you've worked out WHO and WHAT, the next step is to work out HOW you're going to do this. I also call this part of the strategy TOOLS. What tools do you need - software, marketing, people - to enable you to communicate successfully with your target audience(s) and work towards your goals?
If your organisation is already established, you may already have a good idea about WHO and WHAT and be ready to look at HOW. If you're starting something new, it will definitely pay to spend some time on your whole strategy early on.
If you need assistance, find a good digital specialist. They should be able to help finetune your target audience, ensure your goals are clear and measurable, and establish the right tools and processes to support these goals.
Next time, we'll look at establishing your online identity.