Every web designer at some point of time has to be prepared to chalk out a digital strategy, regardless of whether he works as an external contractor or is part of an in-house team. To get you acquainted with digital strategy, let us introduce you to a few basics about it. But first, let us introduce you to the terminology as the very name of it intimidates people.
What is a digital strategy?
A digital strategy is nothing intimidating, but is plainly just a document outlining how the company in question has to handle the different aspects of digital, like in the website, mobile to email, social media and digital marketing. It need not cover every aspect of it in detail, but an understandable account or outline can do. We will look into it in detail, but let us look at a case study that makes digital strategy needed all the more for a business.
Why digital strategy?
A digital strategy helps you focus on the points that are briefed in it rather than behaving like the wind- with no direction in mind. It is a more streamlined approach towards achieving the goal set in place or can help a business in emergencies or making a hasty, but an informed decision. Simply put, the approach of yours in the digital strategy about to be written should be that which is able to facilitate flexible decision making within a specified framework.
For example, if a company opts suddenly for an eBook to be launched or a mobile app, chalking out a well laid-out digital strategy can help a great deal. Though this decision was taken out of the blue by the management, a digital strategy can help a lot because of its focused and streamlined approach. Instead of falling victim to managerial whims, the digital strategy can guide a business and thus carry substance.
3 things required to write a digital strategy
There are 3 basic things that a web designer has to bear in mind when writing a digital strategy:
This part is about the people held accountable for the various responsibilities delegated out to them. It ensures that people with specific expertise oversee and supervise those areas under their direct jurisdiction. No overlapping of the areas under them is entertained- for example, the marketing head is not authorized to look into the development section.
Moreover, there are different people assigned to look after the various digital elements at hand. Also, a few things should be written about the outsourcing part- what work is outsourced and what is not. The criteria for selecting a supplier can also be mentioned.
These policies act as a framework within which different decisions are made. They need to be well-defined. This also enables fast decision making and does not entertain wild and out-of-the-box ideas that do not necessarily end up being a success. During operational decisions, there can be no room for confusion or more precisely, reinventing the wheel. This can also resolve a lot of conflicts arising later on.
There should be clearly defined priorities in the digital strategy as to what task takes precedence over the other. It can work thus: if a person wants to add a new feature to the priority stack, he has to sell it to the web committee and ascertain whether it important enough to be prioritized or not, based on user needs or business objectives. Then, it can secure itself a place in the priority stack.
Different aspects of digital
Let us help you look at 2 aspects of digital where one can write a strategy around the needs mentioned below:
Ask these questions before writing a digital strategy: Do you want to build a responsive site? Do you consider using third party or native apps for this endeavor? What platforms can offer compatibility for this?
2. Digital Marketing
This carries a whole lot of aspects in its ambit from managing SEO and PPC to banner advertising and affiliate schemes.
A real-life incident supporting digital strategy
Here is an interesting story about the potential of incorporating digital strategy in your business and marketing needs. This can be a real eye-opener as to what benefits a digital strategy entails and once its limitless potential is harnessed, there is nothing that can stop businesses from reaching the zenith. Mr. H belonged to a family that represented a business house popular among people in the suburban landscape. Always looked up by his peers he was a very smart and hardworking guy. He had a good knowledge about designing websites too. People were charmed by his persona and needless to say, he used to take everyone in his stride. It appeared that he would juggle many roles in the coming years.
He amazed everyone with his hard work and innate entrepreneurial skills. People saw in him an immense potential to make it big in the business world. After numerous failed attempts, he settled for a low-paying job that did not meet his standards or subliminal skills that he had acquired.
However, he quit the job after an eventful couple of years. The reason he opted for a salaried position was to acquire more skills needed to manage his traditional business as it was brought forth in a suburban atmosphere away from the modern and lavish lifestyle in the city.
Surely, after acquiring a good amount of skills from the urban surroundings he decided to jazz up his family business and slowly gained foothold in the vast reaches around his town. Though he exercised a lot of caution concerning the welfare of his business, there was a lot of negligence in picking up with the trends prevalent in the business world. All his expertise did not help him to revive his ailing business and many people believed that it was about to founder.
The main culprit for this was that he turned a blind eye towards the growing technology needs of his firm.
On the behest of a concerned individual, he considered incorporating digital strategy into his company needs and this rejuvenated it, which was once showing no signs of recovering. This incident evoked in him a keen interest into the functioning of his business from the technology angle. Soon, he gave up the carefree attitude he had towards this aspect of running his firm and the business which was once about to founder became more and more buoyant in severe and unforgiving conditions.
How to write great digital strategy?
The best way you can ensure that you are writing great strategies for your clients is to make sure that you have spoken to them on Skype, telephone or have met in person. You need to understand what your clients need, whether they are from a small town like Mr. H in the case study above, or they are from a large urban business. By interviewing and understanding your clients’ needs, you will be able to draw a digital strategy that will explain how you will handle their web strategy. There are several important things to remember while writing a digital strategy for your client. Some of them are:
Make sure that you know how much your client is willing to spend. Do not be driven by your own intuition to write a digital strategy that may incur a lot of unexpected costs for your client.
Tastes and Themes:
Make sure that you interview your clients to understand their tastes and their business themes. By understanding their quirks, wishes and tastes, you will be able to create a web and digital strategy that suits their business as well. This will ensure that there will be no friction in the future between you and your clients in terms of aesthetics, style and tone.
Always make sure that you write your digital strategy in such a manner that the final outcome is delivered way before the deadline. By making sure that you know when they expect their final web development project completed, you can write a web strategy that gives you sufficient time to surprise them with fast results.
The importance of writing a digital strategy is to ensure that the process of web development goes smoothly. It is important to understand the clients’ needs and deliver the results well within time. It may seem like a daunting task, but a well-written digital strategy will help you to stay on schedule, win clients and grow as a business.