The other day, a friend of mine (and former coworker) posted a great video from Reza Aslan. His whole mission is to change the perception of Muslims in America - but he couldn't do this with facts. Truth be told, Israeli PR has had the same problem - fighting perception with facts instead of with humans. Mr. Aslan spoke about changing perception through human intervention and connections.
Naturally, this got me thinking about how we approach digital strategy. In most agencies, some form of a user journey is utilized to craft the go-to-market strategy and user journey maps are incredibly helpful but when it comes to plotting out the digital landscape - there's only one real place to start: humans.
In media, we understand that when new marketing initiatives are put into place and executed, it sends a signal to people to head to organic search when they finally need what you're selling. So, TV, radio, print - all fairly traditional forms of advertising, result in an uptick in organic traffic. Online Advertising (OLA) and sometimes Online Video Advertising (OLV) tend to have the same effect but in media, we start with research on what humans want to perceive from the messages we're telling them.
Digital strategy should be the same. What do humans need from our product/service and how are they currently finding it? What are we trying to solve for through digital means?
These are questions digital strategists ask themselves before starting their journey. And they are important questions to ask because if you can't map your strategy back to human need and behavior, your strategy will fail.
So how do you start?
Solve for: what do we offer for human consumption?
Look at your current traffic. If you have a website and a social presence, it shouldn't be hard to do a traffic audit to figure out how people are finding your internet footprint and where they are finding information. Start with your analytics suite, then head to the Google Search Console to find the keywords people are using organically to get to your information.
Analyze what people are saying about you on the web. Read reviews and go to SEMRush for brand monitoring.
- Research your competitors and why people are coming to their site. Again, SEMRush is a great tool.
- Solve for: how are people currently finding us?
- Think about how else you want to be found, then start solving for it. It may include advertising streams like paid search, paid social, and OLA.
Based on the information you compile above, start asking what are the problems? Where are the pitfalls? Where are your competitors succeeding? Are there any forms on your site that could be updated or eradicated? Do you need to create new tools to help with the user experience?
At the very heart of your digital strategy is your user experience, because, again, we do this for humans.
Have more questions or want to fix your digital strategy? Contact me.