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In a complex world, where information circulates continuously, how to set the conditions for the success of a digital business strategy and its readable declension in the form of digital communication? Especially for SMEs which often do not have all the resources and skills in-house, having to deal with external service providers. Which approach to follow? What operational translation should be considered? The following article proposes avenues for methodological reflection at the crossroads of design and UX, the web and natural referencing, theory and practice.

Let’s first define the term digital strategy!

The digital strategy is often assimilated or even confused with the digital marketing. It is indeed necessary to distinguish between the two notions, the second being one of the consequences or the implementation of the first.

If we refer to Wikipedia for a first level definition: “Digital strategy, also called digital strategy, is a technique that consists of identifying digital tools, developing a strategic plan and taking actions that allow a person or a company to achieve their marketing and business objectives. »

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In his work “Digital strategy: methods and techniques to create value”Jean-Philippe Timsit identifies three recurring pillars in the establishment of a global strategy:

  • The positioning study: “A company seeks to position its offer on a specific market”. This is a preliminary analysis phase of the strengths and weaknesses of its offer as well as a competitive benchmark.
  • The determination of the positioning: “This final choice of the right positioning determines the objective of the strategy”. For this, the organization concerned may or may not have the necessary resources internally, must acquire them or request them via external service providers.
  • The implementation of resources: it is “strategy execution” in order to achieve the set goal.

As the author explains: “Strategy makes it possible to move from point A to point B. Point A is the current situation of the company’s activity. The strategy is first to define point B, a desired position. Then to trace the path to go from A to B. Finally, to survey this path: that is to say the implementation of the strategy. »

The concept of digital strategy originates in digital transformation driven by web 2.0, collaborative and participatory. Both are intimately linked. The need and the behavior of the user are at the center of the reflection.

In this sense, develop a digital strategy is not a matter of computing or complexity.

It is first and foremost common sense: “A question of use and understanding of the behavior of an audience” as Jean-Pierre Timsit writes.

“Technology comes next”it provides among the tools to propel “the company’s offer at the service of the emotions of the audience”.

The digital strategy is not just about creating a website, a mobile application or animating social networks. ” Digital [ndr : ou le numérique devrait-on dire ?] is the right approach when it provides the best response to a problem or a need encountered by an audiencecontinues Jean-Pierre Timsit. Digital is a question of inter-individual behavior, emotions and sharing. »

To elaborate the best digital strategy therefore amounts to:

  • Listen and hear its users
  • Take into account the expectations expressed
  • Deploy the appropriate digital device next to it, by activating all or part of the levers available.

Among these levers:

  • “User friendly” website as nodal (entry and exit point)
  • Digital marketing and digital communication
  • Optimization of the natural referencing (SEO) of the platform’s editorial content, by focusing on the added value of the publications and the search intention (another strategic consideration of the audience: anticipating their question to provide it with a targeted and useful answer )
  • Paid search campaigns (SEA)
  • Animation of communities on social networks
  • Advertising on these same social media channels (SMO), etc.

Without ever forgetting these two mantras, during the respective transitions from strategy to digital strategy and then from the latter to the digital communication of a media brand:

“The public is your boss” and “Content is King”.

From digital strategy to digital communication: the 4C rule

There are many versions of this 4C rule which applies in the commercial field. Let’s take the following approach:

  • To know his target
  • Contact his visitor
  • Convince prospect son
  • Conclude in “trades”

We can reconcile these 4C of the 4 COMM keys‘ offered by Nathalie Van Laethem on the CEGOS website:

  • Target : what is/are my personas? Which amounts to the audience mentioned above in the chapter on general strategy.
  • Goals : is it a question of developing notoriety, traffic to the website, turnover through incoming contacts from the contact forms, strengthening the employer brand, jointly affirming CSR values, etc. and what are the pre- determined (KPI) to measure whether the objective(s) have been achieved?
  • Message : it takes into account both the problem and the solution and the benefit for the user. It is related to the objective. The need is central… and, in the formulation of the answer to the question asked to lead to the web or social media publication, the search intention is the keystone (informational, navigational, commercial, transactional). Natural referencing is one of the components of business strategy and digital strategy.
  • Medium : it is the vector of transmission of information! Depending on the three previous components, the target(s), the objective, the nature and the form of the message, the dissemination medium can be multiple: blog article on an internal site, sharing of the link in a post on a social network, sponsored ad (Google Ads), banner or display, emailing…
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What possible plan to build your digital strategy and then translate it into useful digital communication actions?

The 5Ws, a rule derived from journalism, provides an interesting matrix because they are transversal (the 5Ws are not to be considered in silos but according to the interactions generated between them):

  • What what) : what is the problem to be addressed? The answer to What is the offer, product or service to be compared.
  • Why: what is the trigger, the need, the question? The Why determines the competitive positioning and the differentiating dimension of the offer.
  • Or or) : what is the market and its geographical area?
  • When (When): what is the temporality of the strategy and actions between short, medium and long term? But also what is the validity of the offer.
  • Who who) : what are my targets and personas to address the right offer (according to What and Why), in the right place (Where) and at the right time (When).

Obviously not forgetting the ” How much “ ie the price!

Five phases to follow for a successful digital strategy to serve your users

To conclude, five main steps can be distinguished from theory to practice:

  1. Internal and external strategic audit: company’s offer and strategy to date, competitive benchmark, digital strategy, digital communication including global web audit, tools in place, SEO positioning, SEA budget and return on investment (ROI), strengths and weaknesses, internal skills, external resources …
  2. Strategy reset: both the general strategy (is the offer still in phase with the market) and the digital strategy (according to this same offer, the objectives and the targets)
  3. Design and conception: this is the keystone phase based on UX (User Experience or user experience) during which it is necessary to imagine interfaces, script navigation routes, prototype and test POC (Proof of Concept or Proof of Concept) to collect from user opinions until the solution is found… this stage is also interested in the form of the messages, according to what concept, what form? Between creation and ideation.
  4. Production : the creation and deployment of the digital communication system according to the media chosen to deliver the messages and the tools.
  5. Measurement and continuous improvement: based on the performance indicators defined upstream (during the recalibration of the strategy), assessment of the results (web audience and social networks, quality of these, conversion, turnover, loyalty, etc.), possible corrections and new content production loop, etc… to stay design.

Learn more: Digital communication agency: what missions and what contributions to companies?

West Media

Are there keys to success? A digital martingale?

  • The more the company knows itself, masters its offer, its targets and its market… the more it reduces overall strategic risk and, in variation, that inherent in the digital strategy!
  • As everything starts from the need and the user, it is necessary to collect and interpret a maximum of signals. A company can provide an incredible offer, a 100% innovative product or service… but if this value proposition is not defined – for digital communication purposes – in accordance with the way the user searches for this product or service on a question engine like Googleit will never be found.

Must be User-centric at all levels and constantly challenge themselves.

Mining stone

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