Okay, so maybe you are behind the digital trend a little or you are completely off the mountain. Regardless, a new year is here and it’s your chance to take the right steps in 2021 for digital transformation of your business. The time is now to take your business into the digital sphere and to do so successfully.
Did you know that 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy in place or state they are working on one? Of those companies, the majority complete their digital transformation strategy because of the growth opportunities that come with the change (Forbes).
Digital transformation is essential in today’s business and consumer environment. For some businesses taking the leap can be difficult or even scary. If you’re going to survive in a digital world, you need to understand the value of and how digital transformation for small business works. In 2021, having a digital presence is essential to your business success.
Your company may have started a digital transformation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s never truly over. A true digital transformation is a state of mind for a company to continually evolve and adopt new digital solutions internally and externally. One of the first goals of digital transformation is to break down internal silos to create a seamless internal experience.
Most companies had digital transformation in their 2020 strategy, but it seems they were not far enough along in their journey to make COVID-19 a non-issue. The pandemic has forced change among companies, knocking through long-standing resistance. Digitally transforming both internally and externally is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but a must-have, in today’s world.
Now, more than ever before, companies need to make it easy to do business with them. Clunky processes and disconnected interactions make it easy for customers to go elsewhere. 96% of potential customers report being disloyal to brands if they have a high-effort experience (BlakeMorgan).
In order to be successful, digital transformation must strategically be based on your customer and ideal customers’ needs. Applying digital solutions merely to use new technology isn’t effective and can end up being a waste of money and resources. As with all marketing efforts, you should have a strategy in place, prior to implementing any changes and your plan should involve you being able to be nimble and adjust your strategy as you learn customer behaviors.
The best small business digital transformations consider customer needs and how they can be met with technology for a seamless experience. With customers shopping and searching online now more than ever, are you providing them with an effortless way to not only find your business, but to be able to ask questions, understand your products/services and brand, order from you with just a click of a button, and stay up to date on your latest company news? A true digital transformation allows customers to have a consistent experience no matter how they interact with a brand.
Digital Marketing Solutions for Digital Transformation
The first step to any digital transformation strategy should be to have a website that is designed to convert viewers to customers. Websites are the doorstep into your business. Based upon the look and feel and the information you provide; within seconds of landing on your website, a prospective customer will decide if they want to do business with you.
The average user leaves a web page in 10 to 20 seconds. Having a website with a clear value proposition, call to action, and that easily shows what your business can do for the customer; can hold a user’s attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of users’ attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds of the user landing on your page (Nielson Norman Group).
Your website needs to be optimized for mobile and able to convert viewers to customers from their home or on the go. Website design is key to a successful digital transformation. We have said it before, but simply driving viewers to a website that can not convert them into customers, will not be a successful strategy.
Social Media is an important extension of any business today and should be included in your digital transformation strategy. Communicating with your audience on social media may be just as important as your website. It is important to know who is talking about your business and what is being said online. As a business, you need to control your message as much as possible.
As we have discussed before, there is an increasing need for brands to establish a 2-way conversation with consumers and to connect with them on matters that are most important to them. Genuine engagement and relationship-building are the key factors in creating a healthy customer experience and digital transformation strategy.
In today’s day and age, customers are looking for real-time responses and engagement. If you are not using social media to connect with your customers and respond to them promptly, your social media presence may be a moot point. You need to be sure your company is actively using social media, so your consumers don’t get buyer’s fatigue while waiting on a response from you.
Video and Over the Top Television
Video and Over the Top Television (OTT) advertising, allows you to target by more than just demographics of who television stations hope they are reaching, as far as the signal will go. Video/OTT can reach individuals based on demographics, geography, interests, user profiles, age, income, location targeting; like east side vs west side or even target based on radius or zip codes and you can track the results back to your website.
Just how valuable are videos to your digital transformation? More than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands… more than any other type of content. Videos on landing pages are capable of increasing conversion rates by over 80%, and 80% of users recall a video ad they have seen online in the past month. The mere mention of the word “video” in your email subject line increases open rates by 19%. 90% of customers also say videos help them make buying decisions (HubSpot).
Videos are a quick, easy, and entertaining way for you to reach viewers who you may not have captivated with other forms of marketing. 65% of your audience are visual learners and video marketing gives you the opportunity to grab their attention and turn them into customers, where other forms of marketing may not.
Live chat gives your company an additional way for your website visitors to interact with your business. Having chat functionality is an important part for your business to have a successful digital transformation. Chat is not only a real-time solution; it is also an alternative contact method or after-hours monitoring. No website visitor will feel the need to wait to contact you during business hours and you will not lose that lead. With chat, you can collect your website visitors’ contact information so you can follow up with them at a later time.
Your ideal customers are looking for a way to communicate with you without having to pick up the phone and stop what they are doing. Did we mention, they also are expecting an immediate response? 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature when dealing with businesses, more than any other communication option (Forbes).
50% of consumers say that having a live person answer questions in the middle of a purchasing decision is one of the most important features a brand can offer (Forbes). Consumers are not just looking for a live person over the phone, in fact, 59% of consumers say that they would rather go through additional channels to contact customer service than use their voice to communicate (Business Insider). Having live chat functionality on your website can increase your sales by over half and is an important part to your business’s digital transformation.
Website design, social media, video/OTT, and chat are not the only digital elements which will help you leap ahead of the competition in 2021, but they are 4 of the most valuable digital assets you can add and adjust for your digital transformation strategy. The time is now to take the right steps for digital transformation of your business.
Water Bear Marketing offers multiple solutions for a digital transformation of your business. You may already be using some of the solutions and may see the value in adding other digital solutions to continue to help your business climb the 2021 customer attention grabbing mountain. Check out our Ad Pantry™ for all of our digital solutions.