The 5 dimensions of your digital infrastructure

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A digital strategy does not equal a Facebook strategy. Too many people place Facebook (or Twitter) in the heart of their digital approach. Facebook is great, but should probably not be the centre of your digital infrastructure.

Many managers wonder how Facebook likes bring in additional business. It is a valid concern to question the impact of likes on business results. Digital objectives should always be linked to business objectives. To build a bridge between a digital strategy and a business strategy, there are five dimensions to include in your digital infrastructure:

  1. Own interactive platform (used to be called a website)
  2. Smart usage of social networks
  3. Content long tail
  4. Ability for real time marketing
  5. Data strategy

5 dimensions of digital infrastructure

The heart of your digital strategy? Your own interactive platform (aka website).

The best place to achieve your business objectives is probably your own interactive platform. Let’s not use the word ‘site’ too much anymore. Most companies still see a site as something you invest in every three years without any need for in between content refreshment. Looking at the latest trends, a sites should not be static, but should evolve towards a digital magazine.

To link digital and business goals, there is a need for a platform where content can be shared, conversations can be started and data can be captured. Recent research on Emarketer showed the important role of a site in influencing the consumer their buying behavior. A brand and retail site have more influence than Facebook content.

Smart usage of different social networks

Once you have an interactive platform, you still need visitors. Social networks can help to drive traffic to your platform. Use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to engage large audiences and guide people to your site. Only posting content on social networks is like fishing without a hook attached to your bait.

Social networks like Slideshare, Pinterest, Flickr and YouTube are perfect to store your presentations, video’s and pictures. Users of those sites can find your content there. Next to that, embed this content on your own site and share the link of the site on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It increases the impact of this content. To read more about increasing the effectiveness of social media channels, check out this white paper I shared earlier.

Create a content long tail

By placing content on your own platform, you have the possibility to create a content long tail. Content on Facebook and Twitter disappears after a while or is very hard to find back.

Content on your own platform helps with search engine optimization. People that don’t know your company, by searching the topics you are producing content in future clients may find you on Google.

Further, you can use hyperlinks to link your content. Relate back to previous content to guide users to your strong stories from the past. Embed content from YouTube, Pinterest and Slideshare in different content pieces. By re-using this content, the reach and the impact of your content investments increases.

Be smart with real time marketing to boost traffic and conversation value

Follow the news and search for stories that can be linked to your business. Release content about the news that is happening in the world. The goal of this real time content marketing is to increase the reach on your different digital channels. The first three dimensions are all about creating your own stories and building reach/impact with them. This dimension is about hijacking other people’s stories to get the attention to your brand. However, choose your battles in this field. Don’t try to be present in every news story. Choose news stories that match the DNA of your brand.

Capture data and achieve business objectives

If you bring good content, people will want to hear more from you. Give them the opportunity to share their data with you. The moment a consumers gives you data, you received permission to send them stories. When a consumer shares his personal data, see it as a precious gift. It is not something to take advantage of. Use this data as a precision weapon and not as a weapon of mass destruction. Only by using the data in a hyper relevant way, you will have impact. The data allows you to manage the relationship with the client in a direct and personal way.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Van Belleghem
Steven Van Belleghem is inspirator at B-Conversational. He is an inspirator, a coach and gives strategic advice to help companies better understand the world of conversations, social media and digital marketing. In 2010, he published his first book The Conversation Manager, which became a management literature bestseller and was awarded with the Marketing Literature Prize. In 2012, The Conversation Company was published. Steven is also part time Marketing Professor at the Vlerick Management School. He is a former managing partner of the innovative research agency InSites Consulting.

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