During the busiest times of year, it can be easy to push aside the notion of a digital strategy. Business may be too hectic to put the time aside. Or maybe, during a crisis, it’s simply not one of your priorities. These reasons are valid, especially for the busy day-to-day of the small business owner.
Even though a digital strategy may not be at the forefront of your concerns at the moment, we at Vervology wanted to take a minute to talk about the importance of digital strategy to the future of your business. Since our philosophy is that our team will handle the digital strategy while you focus on running your business, here is our take on its necessity.
Digital Strategy and Changing Expectations
Your physical store is probably essential to the identity of your business. This is one of the many things that has made the COVID-19 pandemic so difficult. Between having to close stores, shifting policies and hours, and possibly even making changes to products and services, running a small business has never been more difficult or uncertain.
One thing that can help keep things consistent is an online presence. Your online voice will help customers know what to expect from your brand every time they interact. You can provide regular updates to opening and closing times, as well as store policies. All of your information is housed where your customers will consistently go and find it.
On the opposite side, if customers can’t easily find your information, they will be frustrated and confused. You might be seen as unorganized, which could hurt your brand reputation. Or, even worse, potential customers won’t find you at all, sending them directly to your competitors’ stores.
A digital strategy makes things easier on your customers. They would appreciate the ability to interact with your brand, as well as the updates to keep everyone on the same page.
Speaking of customers, a digital strategy allows you to fully connect with your audience. Statista found in 2019 that around 90% of U.S. adults use the Internet at least every now and then. Because so many people are regularly interacting online, it provides an incredible opportunity to get to know your customers so that you can better meet their needs. It also tells you the type of people that enjoy your brand, putting you in a good spot to create buyer personas. Overall, it’s extremely helpful for your marketing efforts.
It can also give you a good idea of who your competitors might be. If you find your target audience talking about brands similar to yours online, you know what kind of products and brand experiences they are looking for. This gives you a chance to think about what is and isn’t working for your company and identify a few opportunities for growth.
Either way, having a digital strategy and online presence gives you a chance to get to know your audience and allows them to know you. It gets them thinking about your brand even after they have left your store.
Digital Strategy and Competition
The great thing about the Internet is that it allows you to interact with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Therefore, the days of nonchalantly visiting your competitors’ stores to scope them out are all but gone. Now, it’s as easy as taking a scroll through their social media feed or looking at their website. It can help give you a sense of what’s working for them.
On the flip side, it’s also a good way of starting partnerships. Collaborations with like-minded small business owners are just a direct message away. This can be beneficial for co-marketing campaigns and shout outs, essentially allowing both businesses to join their individual audiences.
This interaction helps you to become a part of the wider online community. It’s a conversation starter that allows you to speak directly to the people you are targeting or competing with.
Saving Time and Money
Back before online resources were widely available, it could take hours or days to get information out to the public. You had to pay for a spot in the local newspaper or buy banners to put out around town.
Today, these sorts of outreach efforts are instantaneous with the help of a digital strategy. The messaging is your own and you are able to send it out to a wider audience. Social media platforms, like Facebook, can allow you to instantly connect with your audience. Not to mention, your digital strategy helps tell you what messaging works best on which platform. This will ultimately save you time as you effectively reach different audiences and press go on your next marketing campaign.
Overall, a digital strategy is an essential tool for any small business. It will help keep you organized, increase your engagements, and overall strengthen your brand. Your customers will feel more connected to your business, giving them a stronger sense of community and loyalty.
At Vervology, we know that getting started is often the hardest part, especially for busy small business owners. That’s why we get to know your company inside and out, and do all of the heavy lifting for you. If you need a partner to start your digital transformation, feel free to reach out. Our team would be happy to help you.