Greg Fehrenbach Follow

Greg has received numerous awards in design and his work has been published in Print, Graphis and LogoLounge. As a partner and co-founder of Matter, Greg enjoys working with a variety of brands and clients. Leveraging his formal Graphic Design training from the University of Cincinnati's world-renowned College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), Greg has led in-house and agency creative teams, shaping many well-known brands and licensed properties across business-to-business, consumer and healthcare categories.

Blog Mar 5, 2019

Five Steps to Building a Digital Strategy Playbook

A well-executed digital strategy gives your website investment measurable ROI.

Think of your website like it's your dream home.

Most people who've worked with me know how I like to use analogies to convey ideas. Imagine you built a house in the middle of the forest. You cleared a space among the tall trees and spent loads of time and money building your dream dwelling (it's a modest little red cabin in the visual, but it could be an 8-bedroom mansion with a 5-car garage). You could not wait for family to visit, to meet the neighbors down the way and welcome your new friends to enjoy what you've built and what you have to offer them. But few came. Days, weeks, months and years passed while, sadly, your dream home became more of a lonely, aging money pit.

In a moment of clarity, you realized you didn't actually tell many where you'd built your house. There were no well-marked highways, roads, street signs — heck, you didn't even pave a driveway. You were off the grid.

Is your website off the grid?

Clearly, your company's website is a key way to communicate your brand's unique value proposition and what separates you from the competition, and to connect with your customers and prospects. If you don't create (and execute) a solid digital strategy, you aren't leveraging the investment you've made in your branding and website. Makes sense, right? Let's assume you have a well-designed website that effectively represents your brand and your business offerings. But where do you start to attract visitors and how do you prioritize your efforts? We recommend starting with a Digital Strategy Playbook to outline your goals and align necessary resources.

Five steps to building a Digital Strategy Playbook

1. Ensure your site is optimized.

The more frequently a website appears high in search results, the more likely it will be visited. Search engines like Google and Bing use complex algorithms to determine how web pages are prioritized for ranking. Therefore, it's important to build yours so that search engines can understand its text and HTML elements. Factors to consider include:

  • Load time
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Keywords and phrases
  • Tags and meta descriptions  

2. Know your audience and what motivates them.

At Matter Creative Group, we believe brands that relate to consumers on an emotional and human level have unshakable staying power. This level of connection can only be made if the brand has a deep understanding of not just themselves—their why—but also of their ideal customer. Without these insights, a brand will not thrive in today’s buyer-centric market. 

The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights gathered from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have only one buyer persona or as many as twenty. 

3. Share (and promote) your brand and voice.

With so many ways to promote your web presence and brand, it can be overwhelming. But with a solid plan and bit of discipline, you can position yourself as a thought leader while authentically connecting with your audience. A few recommended tactics to consider are:

  • Social media (mix of organic and paid)
  • Web banner ads
  • Links and referrals
  • Remarketing / retargeting
  • Email blasts
  • CRM integration
  • Blogs
  • Press releases and media kits

4. Provide content your audience values.

An excellent way to develop and increase trust with your audience is by giving them information they value. Providing engaging, creative and well-branded content that makes your audience perceive you as a go-to resource is well worth the time and effort and will help keep you top-of-mind when it's time to make a purchase. Content could be in the form of:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Newsletters
  • White papers
  • eBooks

5. Review results and adjust as necessary.

Of course, to measure success, you have to first identify your goals. A good place to start is by reviewing current Google Analytics and benchmarking against the competition. Then, set SMART goals to reach them:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

6. Leverage emerging technology.

OK. I know I said "Five Steps…" consider this one a bonus. A November 2018 article by Forbes highlights ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) will positively change digital marketing. From machine learning enhancing usability, to voice search recognition improving brand search results, if AI isn't already on your radar, it should be. Forbes contributing author Nicole Martin identifies the following benefits of AI:

  • Better user experience
  • Predictive customer behavior
  • Real-time customer support

Now's the time to bring in the bulldozers, pave some roads and welcome your visitors the right way. Contact us and get started today.

Matter Creative Group is an independent, award-winning design agency with locations in Cincinnati, Ohio and Austin, Texas. Our expertise is blending strategy and creativity to build and activate brands. Together, we can create relationships with your audiences that drive desired business results. Your brand matters. Let’s cut through the clutter and tell the world.