When starting a new business it’s easy to think of yourself as established once you have a slick new website, but times have changed and promoting your business online is no longer about pushing out content that you hope people will read.
You build your business online by engaging and interacting with your customers through your content because it’s through your content that you build a relationship with them.
People consume content on a daily basis across several different devices from smart phones, tablets, laptops, connected TV’s. Often people use them all at the same time accessing different types of content on different devices.
For example when watching the X Factor you might use your smart phone to access their app and tweet about the show, your laptop or tablet to access their website and live blog and use your connected TV to place votes.
Once you know what digital platforms your customers are using i.e. Facebook, Twitter or other social media networks, smart phone apps, blogs, YouTube, websites (viewed on phone or computer) etc. and how they prefer to interact with their friends and family and also their favourite brands, you can ensure your content is available to them on those platforms to create a digitally friendly company.
Creating content and representing your brand on all of these different platforms is what you call a ‘Digital Experience’.
Creating a Uniform Experience
But it’s not enough for people to be able to access the content. The content and design has to be tailored for that particular platform, but uniform so that there’s continuity across each different touch point.
In other words, you want people to instantly recognise that it’s your brand wherever they’re accessing you, but the content needs to be tailored to suit the platform you’re using, so your website will be different to your blog, the content on your Facebook page will be presented differently to the content on your Twitter page, and your website will be tailored for both smart phones and computers for example.
Content can be different on each channel, which is preferable so you get true brand fans following you on Twitter and Facebook without doubling up on the same content and information, but your branding and messaging will be the same across the board.
People now want consistent content, engagement and interaction across a variety of platforms and websites alone don’t offer that and you can’t create a digital experience from a website. That’s not to say people don’t want a brand to have a website because they absolutely do. But they also want brands to be accessible across Facebook and Twitter which they can access on whatever device they’re using.
How to Create a Digital Experience
The key to creating a digital experience is engagement and interaction.
You want to create a two way conversation between you and your audience with the aim of having your customers engage with you directly using one of your social media platforms, but remember it’s important for you to respond immediately if they do. You’re not creating a positive experience if someone takes the time to connect with you but has to wait hours, days sometimes weeks for a response.
Updating your digital platforms must be a regular if not daily occurrence. The worst thing you could do would be to set up your social media accounts then allow them to lay dormant for months on end. They need regular upkeep and content to keep people engaged and to keep your brand on their radar.
Digital experiences are made up of a number of different channels which include:
- Mobile Websites
- Social Media
- Email Newsletters
This list is not exhaustive; any digital channel your customers or potential customers use can be added to it.
Don’t see these channels as an opportunity to push your content, but a chance to engage. Ask questions and interact with your audience. This will do more for your business and will create a truly digitally friendly company.