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PHOTO: Tachina Lee

For companies of all sizes, the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of having operational tools available to run your business online. It also changed the way consumers are interacting with businesses in the new online world, so it’s crucial that you adapt your marketing strategies accordingly for this new era.

Yet going digital, especially for marketers, means more than simply adding content to a website, instituting Zoom client meetings or reducing the age-old paper trail. Online marketing requires careful coordination of many moving parts. Otherwise, consumers may become disenchanted, confused or even upset by their experiences.

If your business responded to COVID-19 by redoubling your digital marketing efforts, make sure your marketing department can support the decision. The following strategies will help your messaging hit the mark, leaving no virtual stone unturned.

1. Invest in the Right Software

From the moment you dive into the digital world, you’ll be bombarded by a never-ending amount of software choices. Unfortunately, many platforms don’t work together. And those that can be patched together with each other may suffer from glitches, which won’t make life easy for you or your employees.

Instead of trying to launch a top-notch digital experience with a patchwork of software choices, search for an all-in-one software solution that allows you to streamline your operations without causing hiccups. Take your content management system, for instance. Wouldn’t it be simpler if the CMS you picked allowed every team member real-time access to a wealth of data stored in a single portal? As long as the worker could log into the CMS, he or she could conduct business and solve issues.

When searching for all-in-one possibilities, look beyond price and focus on functionality. CRM solution provider Ontraport’s CEO Landon Ray noted “your time is the most important asset you have in your business, and using it to muck around with APIs and integrations and trying four different apps until you find the one that sort of works with the other apps you've got is not effective.” What you need more than anything is a platform that allows you to reach peak performance efficiently and consistently.

Related Article: How to Build the Right Digital Experience Stack for Your Business

2. Develop a Winning Social Media System

To connect with prospective buyers and existing customers, your company’s digital marketing efforts will involve social media. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and TikTok, social media platforms encourage a variety of communications methods and expectations. However, not all social media websites are ideal for all companies.

This is actually good news. Your team doesn’t need to master all social media outlets. Just pick one or two, and become familiar with each platform’s best practices. Then, map out the ways you intend to use each social media network to drive your target personas into and through different sales funnels. Be ready to develop a social media content calendar to consistently deploy posts, images, and videos.

As a final note, remember that social media is about building a brand and a voice while interacting with the public. Wondering how you can remain constant in tone with different marketers developing content? A well-crafted social media style guide can ensure all content resonates with your preferred personality.

Related Article: What Are the Bare Necessities of a Remote Marketing Team?

3. Create an Effective Digital User Experience

Want to make a digital slam dunk with customers? Take their user experience seriously. If most of your buyers’ transactions with your company will be online, you need to be certain they run smoothly.

How can you boost your UX and increase customer satisfaction ratings? Find out what people need from your business. You may want to initiate customer feedback in the form of surveys or focus groups to inform your decisions.

For instance, would your business gain a competitive advantage if you offered an AI-supported chatbot that could field basic questions and filter complex requests to human operators? Could prospects benefit from being able to access a library of how-to videos to make better use of and decisions regarding your products? The more the UX lives up to — or exceeds — your clients’ expectations, the more likely you’ll be to reap solid online reviews, unsolicited referrals, repeat business, and bigger sales.

Related Article: Voice of the Customer Strategies: Effectively Turning Feedback Into Action

4. Collect, Analyze and Use Customer Data

Every corporate marketing team has access to tons of data. Nonetheless, many employees allow data to go unchecked and unconsidered. Why? Two reasons: First, the sheer amount of data points can become overwhelming. Secondly, humans can’t necessarily analyze data efficiently to spot trends or make connections.

If you’re building a digital empire, invest in software to synthesize your data. Doing so will allow you to spot opportunities and patterns you might have otherwise missed. You can use the information to tweak current campaigns or design new ones that will produce reliable results, not to mention more data.

Related Article: Building a Big Picture Customer Experience for Now and the Future

5. Institute a Digital-Friendly Corporate Culture

It only makes sense that people who are comfortable working in a digital culture will lean on virtual concepts and innovations. Therefore, urge everyone on your team to embrace a digital mindset and work lifestyle. Make it your mantra to keep everyone on staff updated on virtual opportunities that could advance your marketing and sales efforts. Above all else, showcase your willingness to at least consider the latest digital technologies.

For example, encourage employees to explore evolving digital platforms. Every quarter, have some of your workers or an outside digital consultant present findings on emerging virtual solutions for marketers. Even if they aren’t right for you and your team at the moment, just knowing about them puts you ahead of the pack.

Successfully moving your business’s marketing into the digital realm won’t happen without a thumbs-up from leadership. Make sure everyone on your team knows you’re 100% behind them as they proceed with a full-blown digital marketing transformation. By showing your support, you’ll foster the innovation and openness necessary to stand out in a digital universe.