We’re constantly coming across examples of companies confusing simply having a presence on Twitter or creating a PPC campaign with having a well defined digital strategy in place. So, what is a digital strategy?

A digital strategy is a comprehensive plan covering all your online (and often overarching business) objectives and the activities outlined to achieve these goals. An effective digital strategy will be based on thorough research into your competitive marketplace, audiences and current online offering, and will constantly evolve based on performance review.

So why care?

Digital spend is growing at an astronomical rate, reaching a gargantuan £5.4 billion in the UK last year. This clearly indicates the effectiveness of digital in today’s marketing mix, as companies continue to invest more and more every year into the online space. In fact, digital captured a huge 32% of advertising market share in 2012, second only to TV.

It’s all about data

Digital is unique in that it offers instant, in-depth information, meaning you can easily measure the impact and results of your digital initiatives in real-time and adapt appropriately.

What does a digital strategy entail?

A digital strategy will provide an overview of all online activity and digital channels, which could include any or all of: your company website, search marketing (organic or paid), social media, email marketing, display advertising, online PR, and social or mobile apps.

Measuring performance

The foundations of a successful digital strategy are well established KPI’s, which not only outline exactly what you wish to achieve and when, but also act as metrics of success upon which you can implement effective change. Attribution modelling is an efficient means of evaluating what touch points have contributed to a conversion or sale, meaning you can optimise the channels that perform best for you.

The best digital strategies adhere to an integrated marketing approach, uniting your holistic business objectives across both on and offline channels, so that all marketing activities support each other and promote a consistent brand image.

As digital rapidly becomes the medium of choice for companies across the globe, your digital strategy will grow in importance, becoming a more integral and ingrained part of your overall business strategy.