Having worked for years in the digital and artistic creation field with companies of all types and sizes, I soon realized that the real added value that a professional – or a company – can give to those looking for digital services for their own business is to provide clarity and strategic planning.
In fact, if on the one hand there is a tendency to make any digital activity look extremely complex, giving space to self-declared social gurus who promise exceptional results in a short time, on the other hand, working closely with realities that are moving the first steps in the digital world, you immediately notice a real need to provide a strategic vision even before operational support.
Where do you want to go with your online business ?
What is the ultimate goal of your digital activities ?
Over what period of time do you plan to invest in advertising and digital branding actions ?
How do you intend to measure the success or failure of your online activities ?
It will seem obvious, but this is really the basis from which to start and it is not always clear to everyone.
The methodology that we have implemented and renamed Fishbone. This strategy that we implement in our extensive Branding Department workshops is a “standard path” that helps the businesses we come into contact with to trace together a path that starts from brand awareness and ends in the generation of qualified leads and an increase in sales.
A premise that will displease the credulous:
“We do not have a magic wand.”
Every business is different and every time we relate to a customer, we really want to dive into their brand to understand together what can really work and what can’t. However, the general guidelines we always give are to produce value for your audience through content marketing, create a real niche community interested in your brand and identify through A/B testing the right mechanism to scale through increasing investments.
But what exactly do I mean with Fishbone Strategy? let’s take for example a recent case study that saw us involved:
- The client: company active in the financial services field
- The need: create an active community on their own website / on their social networks to sell qualified training services and continuously generate profiled prospect leads.
- The first steps:
The first step was to have a series of interviews with the CEO of the company to have a clearer idea of what the business idea was and to be able to dive deeply into their company’s reality. The platform already existed, but it wasn’t fueled with quality content and regularly scheduled through an editorial calendar. Furthermore, the activity on social networks was substantially absent and repetitive, cutting one of the main sources of traffic to the website.
As for the platform itself, we were dealing with a website with only a blog feature added to a newsfeed section, thus far from an idea of a training platform. Even if we managed to generate paid traffic in the short term, the platform would therefore not have been able to provide users with the content they would’ve expected, in particular, just a simple space to discuss financial topics like many others on the internet.
- Our Fishbone Strategy:
While we were outlining together with the client which path we should follow, the time frame, and the key steps/performance indicators, our team began to explore the market to create an audit of competitors’ online activities, highlighting how we could differentiate ourselves and what type of content we would have had to focus on.
Our Fishbone began to materialize, a one-year long project developed around a process to build a digital presence from the initial Brand Awareness in the target audience to the conversion of qualified leads generated through the platform. A platform which in turn would have been developed in parallel -while actuating preliminary digital marketing actions- through modules, to stay flexible and be able to adapt to the feedback received.
So, what are the main steps of this Fishbone?
The key-points are four:
- Develop brand awareness by converting occasional visitors into fans and followers through social media and internet blogs.
- Operate on brand consideration to convert followers into engaged prospects, start building communities (the so-called Tribal Marketing).
- Carry out lead generation activities to convert prospects to qualified leads.
- Lead conversion: convert qualified leads to engage with the brand and boost sales.
A common misconception about the activity on social media is that they look useless or only good to have a beautiful social image. It’s completely not true!
As per the websites, our social image is like our business card, it’s the first impression we give to the prospects we interact with.
Being present in a good way is the key to be able to leverage your presence and generate leads to be converted.
Generate value, catch the attention, and drive occasional users into qualified leads first and converted leads second. This is the ultimate goal!