A Digital Strategy For ASG Renaissance

 

SITUATION ANALYSIS:

The digital arena is changing the world!

It has changed how we interact/communicate with others; how we research and find information, how we consume news, and how we are entertained. This seismic shift has also drastically changed the way business is conducted. The Internet has shifted the balance of power to the consumer. As marketers we can no longer control the message, think of the Domino’s employees who posted a You Tube Video or more recently Subway, when someone actually measured the size of their foot long sandwich and found it was not 12 inches. In the “old days” something like this was inconceivable. But today, it can spread faster than the cream cheese on your bagel and destroy a company’s reputation in seconds.

Before the Internet, the best way to get attention was to buy expensive ads and get articles placed about your company in the press. But today, it’s about building relationships directly with your customer. And the best way to do that is to develop a digital strategy to position your company as a thought leader, monitor and take part in the conversations, create content that can be shared across platforms and use the new tools such as social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, SEO and blogging to enhance your online presence and engage with your customers.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the Internet is now used by 1.6 billion people worldwide (1).  

Plus the number of people using social media sites continues to grow.

LinkedIn = 200 million users

Facebook = 1.6 billion monthly users

Twitter = 500 million total users with 200 million active users

Pinterest = 25 million users

Instagram = 100 million users with 4 billion photos

 According to a 2012 Hubspot report: State of Inbound marketing, 57 percent of marketers have acquired customers from blogging and 44 percent have acquired customers via Twitter.

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Dartmouth released its latest study on social media usage among the Inc. 500, the fastest-growing private companies. Overall, 92 percent of the Inc. 500 are using social media to market their brands.

 

As you can see by these numbers, your buyers could be somewhere in these numbers but if you don’t have an online presence they will never be able to find you and I don’t mean just a website.

The web has created opportunities to reach niche buyers directly with targeted information. It’s time to think like a publisher and thought leader and  focus less on what your selling and more on what problems your buyers have that you can solve.

If your organization isn’t present and engaged in the places your customers are, than you are losing out on potential business. The following digital strategy outlines some steps ASG Renaissance can do to increase their online presence, position themselves as thought leaders, engage with potential customers and in the end, secure new clients.

About ASG Renaissance

ASG Renaissance is a multidisciplinary professional services firm that provides clients with staffing and recruiting, consulting/advisory services, supplier development and public relations, marketing and graphic design.

Throughout its 25 year history, ASG has relied on referrals and direct personal relationships with industry professionals to obtain new business. But as the Internet continues to change how business is conducted, the company also needs to change to keep pace. In the summer of 2012, ASG dipped its toes into the world of social media and created Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages. In addition to the company website, these social media pages have provided a starting point for expanding ASG’s digital footprint but more must be done.

OPPORTUNITY:

The Internet gives us the opportunity to share our expertise across the multiple platforms, drive conversations and build the Company’s reputation while also helping prospective clients find us online resulting in new business that will increase revenue.

 TARGET AUDIENCE

  • Fortune 500 companies
  • Small Businesses
  • Information Technology Companies
  • Product Development Companies
  • Universities
  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Chief Communications Officers
  • Vice President, Public Relations
  • Vice President, Communications
  • Vice President, Marketing
  • Chief Executive Officers

Additional research would be needed by the other company business units to identify more detailed target audiences for the staffing and recruiting, consulting and supplier development companies to identify high level corporate decision makers and better break down our target audience (This could also be accomplished during the buyer persona workshops).

Goals/Objectives

  • Obtain five news clients in the first five months of the campaign
  • By July 2013, launch new ASG website
  • Increase brand awareness among our target customers resulting in a five percent increase in website traffic
  • Increase  the number of potential leads by 3 percent by July 2013
  • Increase likes  and comments with fans on Facebook on an average of five comments per post by July 2013
  • Increase the number of followers on LinkedIn by 5 percent by July 2013
  • Identify the top 25 influencers for each business unit to help blog, repost and spread the word online by July 2013.
  • Improve ASG organic search by making the first page in a Google search by September 2013

 TACTICS:

1)  Build buyer persons for ASG’s 1) PR/Marketing 2) Staffing and Recruiting, 3) Consulting and 4) Supplier Development business units

  • Conduct workshops with employees from each business unit to develop a better understanding of the type of person who is interested in ASG’s services. The following is a sample of the type of information we want to identify through these workshops:

 - What are our buyer’s goals and aspirations?

-  What are their problems?

-  What types of media do they rely on for answers to their questions or problems?

- What words and phrases do the buyers use?

- What sorts of images and multimedia appeal to each.

- What do we want each group to believe about ASG?

-  What is this person/company really buying from ASG?

  • Conduct similar interviews/workshops with existing clients

Once the buyer personas have been developed, the information can be used to build a new ASG website organized by the buyer personas, and develop content specially targeted to each using media they prefer.

 2)      Overhaul the ASG Renaissance website

At the center of ASG’s digital strategy is to design and implement a new interactive website that will attract visitors, educate and convince them to take action. The site will integrate search, social media, content, blogs, and much more.

 Currently, ASG’s website is static and the text sells the services more than it tries to solve buyers problems.

 

The following elements/activities will be included in the redesign:

  • Design a clean layout with simple navigation that makes it easy to find information (no more than three levels deep)
  • Develop the website around the buyer personas identified in the workshop
  • The site will be Search Engine Optimized (SEO)

-Placing important keywords within the content elements of the website pages such as in headlines, sub-heads, body content, image tags, page URLs, and links. Additionally, title tags and meta tags will also be used.

  • Create inbound links (getting other quality websites to link back to the ASG site)
  • Include links within the page copy
  • Create and post high-quality educational content such as white papers, e-books, customer stories/testimonials, a blog, etc
  • Once completed and approved the new site will be submitted to online directories
  • The site will be built around buyer persona’s for each business unit
  • Create a sitemap
  • Develop the site so it can be used on multiple platforms: Smartphones, tablets etc.
  • Include social media share buttons, and RSS feed buttons
  • Utilize multiple forms of content (video, photos, audio)
  • Post photos and videos of ASG employees/events (carry through to other social media platforms)
    • Set up Google Analytics to track visitors to the site to we can benchmark the data and make necessary changes as the site evolves.

 Note: This is just a representative sample of website ideas at this point as I didn’t talk in depth about design.

3)      Create an ASG Blog

By creating a blog, ASG can become a part of the conversation, creating a dialogue which in turn builds ASG reputation as a thought leader in the market segments we serve. This in turn will drive more traffic and leads back to the website.  ASG has two choices when it comes to blogging:

1) A companywide blog with different business unit employees writing each week

2) Separate blogs for each business unit.

I would recommend experimenting with one business unit to start and then expand to have a blog for each business unit. Each blog would have a link to that blog on the new ASG website.

  • Develop and editorial calendar for each blog
  • Assign employees from each business to write their blog
  • Post the blog to such sites as Reddit, Digg and Stumbleupon
  • Include links back when relevant/obtain influencer mentions
  • Write guest posts for other blogs/post comments to other blogs
  • Promote the blog on the ASG website, link to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as use news release to announce new posts.
  • Create a sign up people to subscribe to the blog
  • Allow for comments and feedback loop

 4)  Better utilize ASG’s LinkedIn page

LinkedIn is the most popular social media tool among the nation’s fastest growing private companies according to a Study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research. More than 8 in 10 companies listed in the 2012 Inc. 500 (81%) us the professional networking site, up from 73% a year earlier.

  • Create a more robust presence to effectively target customers and facilitate leads
  • Join LinkedIn groups and join the conversation by posting comments and or responding to questions
  • Create an ASG group  
  • Post updates to the page on a consistent basis
  • Post jobs from ASG staffing and recruiting
  • Repost or link to the ASG blog
  • Obtain recommendations from existing clients

 5)      Continue utilizing ASG’s Facebook page

  • Share articles and blog links
  • Post pictures of ASG activities/events we do for clients
  • Post links to our blogs
  • Engage with others on
  • Post polls

 6)      Create a Google Adwords campaign for each business unit

  • Identify keywords people would use to search for the business services offered by each business unit.

-  This would be accomplished during the buyer persona workshop.

- Test to see if ASG comes up in search engines based on these keywords

  • Develop budget based on business units
  • Develop two sets of ads – to test to see which one has a better response rate and adjust over time as needed

 7)      Incorporate Search Engine Optimization techniques throughout through the various elements outlined in the digital strategy

  • Continually track the performance of keyword

8)      Build a digital media training program for all ASG employees

  • Hold training workshops on a monthly or weekly basis to educate employees to the benefit of engaging in the ASG social media platforms and encourage participation.
  • Create community managers for each business unit
  • Present tips and technique for using the various sites outlined in this digital strategy
  • Write and engagement playbook for employees to use

9) Build a Social Media Dashboard to monitor what is being said about ASG

The dashboard would monitor the following:

  • Referring traffic from our social media sites and blogs
  • Conversions
  • Number of people talking about us
  • Share of Voice
  • Share of conversation

MEASUREMENT/KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Based on the above goals and objectives the key performance indicators of the success of the campaign will be based on whether the program obtains those goals.

BUDGET

This budget is based on 12 months

 

Task

HOURS Per Month

RATE

COST

Account Management

80

$150

$12,000

Website Development

80

$200

$16,000

Employee Workshops

32

$150

$4,800

Graphic design

35

$100

$3,500

Content Development

100

$150

$15,000

Digital Media Training Program

40

$150

$6,000

Creation/management of blog

40

$100

$4,000

 

 

TOTAL

$61,300

 SUMMARY

Since ASG already has some existing digital properties, it best to first start by improving those assets such as the website and encouraging and teaching employees how better to use these assets to create an better online presence for the  company.  Additionally, several new components have also been added that were overlooked such as the SEO for the website, and the blogging platform that will be initiated.

 

It’s best to start small and I consider this digital strategy just the tip of the iceberg and as we engage all levels of the organization in helping to create ASG’s online presence. On an ongoing basis we will continue monitor conversations and trends and create a presence on other sites that we feel will be beneficial in the bottom line goal of increasing awareness of ASG and bring in qualified lead that we can convert into new clients.

 

1Source: pewinternet.org/