Social and digital media have become vital components of most modern marketing strategies. They are cost-effective, easy to manage, and effectively reach audiences where they already are. But even in an age where everyone has the ability to post in an instant, doing it well can still be overwhelming.
From maintaining multiple channels to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and curating content, it’s easy to worry that you might make a mistake. As digital strategists and marketing professionals, we’ve learned that just because digital is always on, doesn’t mean you have to be. With an audience-specific strategy and an experimental mindset, you can maintain your digital presence with calmness and confidence.
Here are 6 steps to approach digital relaxed and ready for what’s next.
1. Take a Deep Breath
We know that the digital landscape can be daunting, but the first step is to keep calm and take a positive mindset when it comes to your online presence. Make time to outline realistic goals of what you hope to achieve with your digital channels. Going viral overnight might not be feasible, but engaging the right audiences at the right time is. Develop goals that are focused, attainable, strategic, and timely. This will help you ditch the stress and maintain a narrow focus on how it can serve as one of the many tactics that support your larger mission.
2. Have a Strategy
At Mission Minded, we like to say that your brand is synonymous with your reputation. It’s how you sound, how you act, how you look, and what you do. That means that your digital channels shouldn’t operate on their own. Rather, they should be fully integrated with all your other brand signals. You should use your digital channels as an opportunity to connect with your key audiences, furthering their understanding of who you and why you matter. Just like with effective printed marketing materials, your social and digital media efforts should be built on the larger benefits of your organization and its services, not just the details of how you operate.
3. Focus on Your Audience
In order to effectively communicate with our audiences, we have to think deeply about their wants, needs, motivations, and the value that they receive from connecting with us. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help better identify and connect with your audiences online:
- Who are your top 1-2 audiences for digital?
- What do they want from interacting with your organization online?
- How do they want to connect with your brand (social, email, etc.)?
- Why do they care?
- Where do they go for their information?
- What digital channels are they utilizing?
4. Be Realistic
One of the most overwhelming things about digital is the sheer amount of channels and platforms. From various social media accounts, to numerous peer review sites, it seems like there is a new place to be every day. The key to an effective digital strategy is being realistic not just about which of these channels you have the ability to maintain, but also maintaining the ones that are important to the success of your brand—and your key audiences.
Once you’ve had a chance to identify your key audiences, identify which platforms will most likely move them to action. Also conduct an audit of your current channels—evaluate how they are operating, and decide what makes the most sense for your digital strategy and your key audiences.
5. Get to Work
Now that you know your audiences, it’s time to tailor your content to them. Content should be created in the spirit of your organization’s brand. One of the keys to building an online audience is dependably creating content at regular intervals. This means that if you have a blog, you commit to producing content for that blog daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Predictability is as important as being on-brand, and is a pillar of digital.
It’s a common trap for organizations to get overwhelmed by consistent content creation. Content is everywhere and can be re-used and re-purposed. Content exists in presentations, webinars, press releases, interviews, emails, phone calls, and reports. Everything an organization creates should be viewed under the lens of content. Can information—or components of information—be pulled from a webinar and re-purposed in your News/Update section? Can content from a conversation between two partners be recorded and turned into a Q&A update for the website?
6. Try and Try Again
At the end of the day, not everything you do on digital is going to be perfect. The nature of it, though, allows us to learn from our mistakes and adjust our course as needed. At Mission Minded, we believe digital done well is a series of experiments. Unlike other media platforms that are traditionally unforgiving, digital allows us to try something new at low or no-cost, observe how it performs, and evaluate how it serves our larger brand efforts. Digital offers data, so whether you have a sound digital strategy or are just getting started, you can test new approaches and use the data to inform future efforts. Plus, you can edit digital posts and delete when mistakes happen, which they will.
Looking for more tips on developing content for your channels? Check out these 7 secrets to creating compelling digital content.