DIGITAL GROWTH STRATEGY

In the last decade, the way we do business has changed in ways never seen before. Business digitalization is accelerating.

Business leaders and decision makers must now answer questions vital to the growth and survival of their industry: what does it mean to be a digital business? What can my company accomplish to be up to speed with changing business dynamics, and be ready for tomorrow? How does going fully digital equate to growth and increase profitability ?

 

DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

In the early 2000’s, being digital meant having a website. Shortly after, it meant having a social media presence with Facebook or Twitter accounts then having an app. Although those steps are still the cornerstone to a digital existence, there is now much more to that. Using the digital universe to its full extent means increasing a company outreach to acquire new customers, having better control over brand management , open a two-way communication channel between consumers and the business that can benefit the company internally by making business processes simpler, more efficient, resulting in a happier and more efficient workforce.

Why does it matter?

-E-commerce does not only cater to millenials anymore. While younger people tend to shop more online, every market segment is affected, whether we are talking about demographics or product and service categories.

-E-commerce changes the way companies do business, both in the way they acquire customers but also on how they deliverer products and services.

-Globalization opened new market possibilities across the globe and timezones. At any time, a customer, in any country can be a potential new client. That requires businesses to adapt to be able to fulfil that demand. Developing countries may not be fully up to speed with online access but internet is now readily available across nations and those new customers are easily reachable with the correct digital strategy. This will amplify sharply is the coming years.

Digital presence, or how to  acquire, retain and compete.

Digital customer acquisition is key to online success, in any sector. Whether your goal is direct sales, brand awareness, reputation management or driving traffic in brick and mortar stores.

To succeed, businesses will have to :

-Build up demand: create brand awareness and attractivity

-Being available in space and time for customers to find you , no matter where they are in the digital universe

-Create a great customer experience: build trust, easy product identification, seamless online buying process

-Deliver both a product or service and great customer experience, along with opening channels for customer feedback and engagement.

A digital business place delivers opportunities and challenges. The consumer in front of a screen is offered amazing tools to compare in seconds products, prices, read reviews, and will decide based of a few seconds of browsing which provider he wants to do business with.

Getting in front of the consumer

Typically consumers looking for a product will use a search engine. The search engine will return relevant results to the user. Your business must be relevant in the eyes of the search engine.

This is what is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This is a buzz word because it is a very important topic for companies looking to acquire customers online.

SEO really started when the first search engines started indexing pages. Back in the days, search engines used mostly page title and Meta Description to assess the content of a webpage. Choosing the right keywords was easy enough to cheat the search engine algorithms and to drive a business on the first page of results. Search engines realized that people were cheating and that it was defeating the purpose of smart search engine which duty is to deliver relevant content. They started to use “Page Rank” or PR, which was a grade on a page importance, authority, reliability, based of the number of clicks for this page in the search engine as well as backlinks, meaning the number of external pages with links to this page.

Today things have changed. Most search engines are smart and it is impossible to cheat them. Those who dare can be placed in a “sandbox” meaning that the promoted page is no longer indexed. Search engines look for quality, unique content, relevant to the topic of the page. While some of the historical methods we discussed may still work, such as backlinking and Domain Authority or DA, those methods account only for a small percentage of the relevance grade given by a search engine. Businesses need to keep in mind that SEO is only as relevant as the competition. If you have a very unique, niche product, your website will be naturally indexed well. Conversely, if your website promotes a highly competitive product, it will be very difficult to achieve a good position in search engines.

We work with our clients on SEO, with third party companies we worked with over the years and who have proven to be dependable and deliver results. Some of the channels we use are high DA bloggers/influencers/websites backlinks, growing the social media presence by acquiring thousands of followers and produce high quality content for our client’s website. Once more, content is key to good SEO.

A last note on SEO, a quote from one of our expert who actually works for one of the leading search engines “ SEO is scam, it is just history”.

Looking past SEO

When SEO is not enough and a company needs to get in front of the consumer on a search engine, a synergistic approach is to use Pay Per Click advertising such as Google Adwords. Ads can be customized to target certain keywords people are looking for, certain markets, certain demographics to increase quality of clicks, and conversion rates.

Lastly, not all customers will get to know your brands through search engines. Having a social media presence with active, engaged followers is key. This is a space where businesses can develop brand awareness, product awareness, and grow their hip factor. When you start, it is difficult and time consuming to create traction , we have the tools to grow your audience. Lastly, not all social media are created equal, they all tailor to different demographics, while one business may need to be on Facebook, a more institutional corporation probably only needs to be on Twitter. Fashion and apparel for instance, will have another strategy.

Conversion

After all those efforts, you finally drove the customer to your website where another set of challenges arise. Your website is very often the first image your customer will have of your brand. It needs to convey, digitally, your brand identity : who is your company, what do they offer? Design is key to position yourself. Colors, logo and design will tell a lot before your customer has even read a single word. Many small businesses don’t have the time or the know-how to create an appealing website. More often that not, they end up with a bad mix of expensive poor design, paying a company every month for a “white label “ website, that looks dated, not unique at all . This might even be counter productive driving business away from you. A nice website doesn’t always cost a fortune. It is about working with the right people. Your website should have an attractive domain name, design and as we mentioned before bulletproof content relevant to the user, up to date and informative.

Your website should clearly delineate your services and products , how to shop online to buy a product, make an appointment for a service, how to reach you. Should the customer take an action on your website such as a purchase or a booking, this should be an easy, clear, reassuring experience. The back end of the website must work properly so the process is smooth.

Customer Deliverables

Once the customer is acquired, the business needs to deliver. Your customer may have purchased a product or a service from you. Delivery might be physical or through virtual channels, this delivery is still part of the customer digital experience and need to be pleasant and seamless. The business must deliver on its promise, on product and timeline. That implies precise business processes and logistic on the back end that should be efficient, cost effective and transparent to the user. Once the life cycle of customer acquisition is complete you may think it is over but it isn’t in a digital world. This satisfied customer is now a vector for more new customers acquisition through reviews. Like other items we discussed, reviews present both opportunities and threats. They are written by your customer that give their impression on their experience dealing with your business and product. Unlike in real life where you can smile and say thank you to your customer, a digital experience doesn’t offer this possibility. You must give your customer a positive impression on your brand and product so he can become a witness of your excellence for others. This is key to your brand management and can make or break a business , fully digital or not. Reviews aren’t fair because they come from the public. They aren’t written by experts. They are written by people who don’t understand the challenges and limits of your offerings. Reviews might be overly positive , or dramatically negative. They might be lies. Some of them might be written by a disgruntled competitor. But there is one true fact about reviews: they exist, people read them, trust them and they must be taken seriously as they can make or break a business. Dealing with reviews must be part of your brand management strategy.

Our firm offers solutions and guidance to improve or correct your branding strategy.

Being a business in the digital age offers challenges and opportunities. An unlimited pool of potential customers is available for acquisition, for a fee. Products can be delivered, physically or virtually for a fee. Those costs should be weighted against the margin and market strategy should be revised accordingly to sustain the business financial health and growth.

A business is very much like a child. Whether your business is taking its first steps or living its teenage years in our digital environment , Nealberg is here to assist you with your digital growth strategy to become, be and stay relevant in an always evolving digital business world.

Brand Strategy

Build a brand narrative and grow brand awareness

Search Engine Optimization

We work with the best SEO experts to improve your visibility

Social Media Management

We can help grow your audience and improve customer engagement

Brand Design

Our team can help you create a brand visual identity: logo, colors, tag line

Media

We have the relationships to create or improve your PR and have bloggers and influencers talk about you.

Web Design

Be unique. Our design team can help you create or modify your website to better showcase your products or services.