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I've been writing a digital strategy recently - a big one. I've been writing these digital strategies for over 2 years now and each time they seem to get bigger and better.

It's got me thinking though about how you approach some as massive as a digital strategy if you've never approached one before. 

Before I started on my first strategy, I felt baffled. Truly and utterly baffled. What is a strategy? Why do you even need one? What needs to be included? How's it structured? Then finally how the hell should it be presented?

So I would offer these words of advice. If you have a content marketing strategy, social media strategy, or hell, a complete overarching digital strategy for an enterprise level client then read on...

What a Digital Strategy Needs to Include...

I'm reading a lot at the moment about goal planning. From career goals, gym goals or overall life goals there's three critical items you need:

  1. Agreement on where do you want to be. Insert the core goals ranging from world domination to more Twitter followers. 
  2. An understanding of where are you now. Assess everything about you or your present business situation. . 
  3. A plan of how you're going to get there. Add in your marketing skills for how to you're going to make Point 1 happen.

So, include these elements and work it into a narrative. If you're creating a written strategy start with Point 2, then add in your destination (Point 1) and fill in the details with Point 3. Steve Peter's book - The Chimp Paradox explains this far better than me, so buy it here.

How a Digital Strategy Needs to be Structured...

It's up to your perception of the client. Are they going to read a 50 page document? Really?

If the answers no then consider PowerPoint presentations as a way of communicating your plan. I've done both and both work. If there's multiple people you need to impress though a detailed written doc PLUS a top level presentation covers all bases. I'm thinking about making the next one into a video but that'll have to wait for another day.

How a Digital Strategy Needs to be Presented...

Let's be clear here. You need to present it. When we're putting together a strategy we spend a lot of time talking to all the different people that make up a business. And when the job is done we invite them back and present it to both them and the key stakeholders. Reasons for this include:

  • To answer common questions
  • Explain it in a way non-marketing people will understand 
  • To make people feel appreciated for their contribution
  • See the people and personality that have gone into making it

The reason being for all of this...

TO GET BUY-IN

There is no point if your strategy's new home is the filing cabinet. Whatever you create should have an impact and create change. Often they don't, and it's something which I'm still working on. For the meantime though engaging and communicating with the very people that it's going to impact means it has potential to flourish. 

Without going into specifics that's about it. So make a roadmap and stick to it. Tweet me with questions @danwht