The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant disruption in all areas of business and life. To help you to find some order in the chaos and adjust to new ways of doing and being, Doctor Digital has put together a series of COVID-19 factsheets and blogs with tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for how digital and e-commerce tools can support you and your business.
Doctor Digital Says
If you have had to down tools for a while during COVID-19, or have moved some or all of your business to online, or are looking to do that, this is the perfect time to do an audit of your digital strategy, and plan how you are going to tackle the challenges of the next few months.
Auditing where you are at is a great opportunity to take some time to work on (not in) the business, plus it also gives you a chance to see what is working, what isn’t, where you might to tweak your focus, what new things you might want to try and where you can get better value from your digital tools. This isn’t a suggestion to write anything huge, it is an audit and an exploration.
The exact scope of your digital audit will vary depending on your business, what you do and what is already in your strategy. If you don’t have a strategy as such, you can make a list of all of the digital tools you use (for marketing, communications and customer facing activities, not things like Xero) and begin to put some data and information against them.
In most cases the elements of your digital audit should encompass the following tools - here are some helpful prompts:
- Website – What features do you have on your website - and what should you support on the website? How do you decide on content? Who is responsible for site maintenance from design, content and technical perspectives? How often do you update everything? What are your traffic metrics?
- Mobile – How responsive is your existing site? Have you used the Digital Ready Check-up Tool to see how your site is performing? If your site is more than 3 years old, should you think about getting a refresh or a whole new site? Do you need native apps? If so, what platforms will you support? Can you integrate a shopping cart or ecommerce functionality, and if so which one will work best for your customers? Do you need a scheduling tool?
- Social Media – What platforms are you using? How are you intending to manage them, create content etc? Who is responsible for it? What are your metrics of engagement like? What policies exist around acceptable behaviour? How are negative events handled? What is your posting frequency? How much are you using paid posts and advertising and what are the KPI's of this expenditure? Are you using Groups or Messenger to create new communities?
- Digital Marketing – How are you going to raise your online profile? Will you use search engine or social media advertising? What is the budget for advertising within your social channels? What is your search engine optimisation strategy? How will you ensure that your blog or news page is widely read? How will you engage with other businesses and promote each other organically? Will you use AI Chatbots and messaging as part of your customer service?
- Email/CRM – How do you use email to engage with your existing customer base? Do you send out regular emails using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool? Would an email newsletter help your business, and if so what frequency? Do you use online tools to make your email marketing easier to manage? How do you collect email addresses? How do you ensure that the privacy of your customers is protected?
In each area, the digital audit should look at the benefits these technologies have for your business, assess the current performance of each one through quantifiable measurements and make recommendations over the short and long term of how you will use them. You may have a specific plan just for the next 6 months as you weather COVID-19, as this is such an unprecedented time, then it might not be a bad idea to go into emergency management mode.
The most important thing is to figure out where your existing customers (and potential new customers) spend their time online right now. Do they want video, mobile, chock-a-block shops with seamless payment gateways, deep-diving blogs or pretty infographics? Or do they want a combination of all of these things? In some cases, your customer base will be varied and you’ll need to figure out a way to provide value to a number of disparate groups as part of your strategy. It's more likely however that you will have a targeted niche who have more than less in common with you and can be clearly profiled. If you haven’t yet made an avatar or persona of your customer, the time for you to do that work is now.
Once you have established the “who”, “what” and “why” of what you do digitally, you can create a situation analysis of where you are now. What tools does your business have, what needs to be updated, what needs to be tested, what’s working and what’s not? Are there digital or social media channels that you aren’t using that need to be considered during COVID-19? Does your business need to get the website updated to be mobile responsive? Have you considered the potential return on investment of being able to use more email marketing? Who are the people in your business that are your key digital communicators? Is there a contingency if they get sick? If they do, how can you get those same skills using the pool of freelancers and gig economists?
These are the types of questions you need to ask and answer before sitting down to do your digital audit. The more thought and preparation you’re able to put into it, the more effective it will be in helping you use your digital assets as effectively as possible during this time to keep your customers informed and your brand active in their minds.