HOW TO CREATE A DIGITAL STRATEGY FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS

Background

The world has gone digital and if you are struggling to keep up, you are definitely not alone. In a brochure titled EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE DIGITAL AGE: WHERE DO WE STAND? Which was prepared by the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), under the supervision of Gabriela Ramos, OECD Sherpa and Chief of staff, it was stated that

“Today, globally, there are some 250 million fewer women online than men (ITU, 2016). This is especially worrying as the gender gap in terms of Internet penetration has been increasing since 2013. Furthermore, today 200 million fewer women than men own a mobile phone (GSMA, 2015) and even those who own one tend to use it for less complicated tasks than men (Demirguc-Kunt et al., 2015).”

Many women especially the older, non digital natives, have problems understanding the seemingly complex digital world. However,we need to do everything possible to ensure that we keep up with the pace as women in business if we want to build sustainable, global and profitable businesses in the 21st century.

Having a digital coach and strategy has been proven to make this easier for women. A digital coach or strategist is someone who guides you through the process of getting familiar with digital technology as it concerns your life and business and also guides you through the process of creating your digital strategy.

What is a digital strategy

I’m sure you’ve been itching to ask! In simple words, a digital strategy is a plan for all your online activities developed from your business goals. It’s a plan that helps you actualize your business goals using digital technologies.

This would involve employing the digital marketing means relevant to your business, setting key performance indicators and then evaluating results.

In this post, I want to show you how to create a digital strategy for your business in 5 simple steps.

Let’s dig in!

5 steps to developing your digital strategy

What are your goals?

The first thing to do is to define your goals for going online. What do you hope to achieve? Agreed everyone wants improved sales but there are usually deeper and more specific goals attached to online activities. For someone it could be to your brand noticed, to build a thought leadership reputation, for another it could simply be to get 500 followers or build an online community of 20000 subscribers, have recurring online sales and so on.

Your digital goals should be set based on your knowledge of your overall business goals as it is a subset of your business strategy. Goals can be broadly categorized into brand or business goals. I’ll treat this as a separate topic in upcoming posts.

To build an effective digital strategy as a woman in business in Nigeria, you need to carefully outline your goals as this will help you in determining all other factors.


2. Your target audience:

After setting your goals, you need to discover the type of audience that will help you achieve these goals online. Everybody cannot and should not be your target. You would just be throwing many stones in the air hoping one will catch a bird, and that will be a futile effort more often than not.

For example, if you run a wig-making business and your goal is to have repeat sales from people online, you will definitely not be targeting men. Most men, I presume, can buy a wig once or twice for the woman in his life and that’s it! Your target should be women in the busy age range who don’t really have time to stick around salons much. Whatever sector your business is in, as long as you had done due diligence before starting that business to ascertain that there’s a market for it, you will always have a niche you can target online.


3. Your digital means: 

There are 5 basic digital means:

social media and social messaging

Site- websites and blogs

CRM- Customer relationship management: Email, sms, push

SEO/SEM: Organic and paid search results

Display: display ads and popups

Depending on your goals, you may need one or two or all of the means. Working with a digital strategist will make determining the relevant means easier to identify and deploy. For example, someone who retails consumer products may need to employ most or all the 5 means while someone who is in the B2B category may have no need for social media and messaging. Knowing the relevant platforms will save you time and money.


4. Content:

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “content is king” before. It is true! Content development plays a huge role in the success (or otherwise) of small business strategy. Imagine a guy who wants to woo a lady, if he’s serious, he would do some background study on her, hat she likes, where she hangs out, what she likes to discuss so that he can flow properly with her.

It’s the same way with you. You are trying to woo your target audience. What do they like to say, hear and discuss? How can you integrate that into your content strategy to attract and retain them?


5. Key performance indicators: 

How would you measure success? The key point here is not to try to achieve everything possible at the same time so that you can easily measure progress. For a start, you can aim to be noticed by say 500 people in a particular month. Your indicators here for the month could then be social media likes, follows and shares or number of website visits, blog post views… You get the gist, right? At the end of the month, you should review the indices so that you can see if the strategy you are using is working for the goal or not.

Conclusion

Finally, let me say that as a small business owner, you should consider the use of relevant paid ads such as Google ads, Facebook ads, Video ads on YouTube and so on. We also have a free guide for you on how to get your business listed on Google search and maps. Click here to access it.

I hope this has helped you get clearer about setting up a digital strategy for your business? If it has, do me a favour, click on the social icons below to share this post with friends.

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