‘Digital’ – the buzz word that’s hot on the agenda from global organisations to small business. But what does ‘going digital’ really mean and how should you tackle it?
The transition to ‘going digital’ often starts with the ostrich model – hiding from it in the hope that this nonsense will go away. The primary symptom of this stage is people using words like ‘new media’ or ‘e-media’ and maintaining that social platforms are ‘all about what people had for breakfast’ and the argument that there’s still a place for the printed magazine.
The next step is the panic reaction to step one: the digital team model. This involves hiring ‘specialists’ and setting them loose on the web and social media, which also means canning the printed magazine. The main sign of this is a desperate hiring of ‘young people’ in the belief that they are the only ones who understand this sort of thing. There’s often a great deal of managerial relief that this is now someone else’s problem, and then ignoring the specialists anyway.
Step three after this is the realization that those ‘young people’ may understand Twitter but they don’t understand the business, strategy or the target market. And that this is much harder to understand than intuitive social media and other digital platforms. The next phase, therefore, and where you should begin, is getting help from the professionals from agencies like us who have a good mix of experience and knowledge of both marketing, internal and external communications and social media platforms.
Realizing your digital potential through social media is complex and starts with a strategy that ties into your company vision, goals and must reflect what you are doing in the area of social responsibility and ‘doing good’. Consumers of today are discerning – they know good content and design when they see it.
There’s science behind how to use these digital platforms to effectively deliver key messages to your target market, from the time of day you post, to understanding each generation to writing good copy that’s emotive and uses humour and localisation as the hook.
And there is still space for printed materials. One needs to look at the type of employee and consumer. Cast your net wide when communicating… the trick isn’t to go digital and discard all the rest. You need to communicate across all channels to reach your full audience. So going digital is just one element of any good communications strategy. It’s likely your primary channel now, but not the only one, and not something to fear but embrace.