January 2, 2018
As technology becomes increasingly more important in today’s world, it is essential that businesses are prioritizing digital transformations to keep up with the rapidly changing environment. In this article we discuss how companies can and should implement digital transformation strategies and how it can affect the growth and profitability of your company.
What Is Digital Transformation And Why Is It Important?
Digital transformation can be different for each company depending on the industry they’re in and the type of business they have. Overall, digital transformation is changing your business from current processes and adapting to the digital age and implementing new digital technologies that cater to the growing digital marketplace. It is also being prepared to challenge current business strategies and practices and to fulfill your customer’s digital expectations in whatever capacity necessary.
How Have Recent Technological Advancements Impacted Businesses?
One of the biggest impacts on businesses and how they operate is the creation and expansion of social media. Social media has become an almost essential aspect to most companies in this day and age. According to Hubspot, “nearly one third of the world is using social media regularly,” which is why this medium is important for potential growth and outreach. People use it for recruiting, advertising, brand development, thought leadership and much more. The key to social media is catering it towards your company and being consistent and intentional with your posts. At KCG, one thing we realized when we were working on our strategic plan for 2018 was how we needed to incorporate more thought leadership into our marketing strategy.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is when a company considers themselves an expert in the field, they put out information to the public about those topics to educate the viewer. Most marketers do this via blogs, videos, and podcasts. We started using our social media as a way to educate our followers on news and events relating to our industry which is largely cybersecurity. Here are some statistics so you can better understand the significance social media and different mediums can have an effect on your company:
According to hubspot, “43% of people want to see more video content from marketers, and companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.”
According to Edison Research, “67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly. And 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly, which is 5 times more than going to the movies.”
Consumers respond better to visual and audio marketing versus written marketing. We didn’t realize how large of an impact podcasts had on the educational community until we did research on effective thought leadership strategies…and that’s how the KCG podcast began.
Where Do You Start?
1) Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan
This can all sound overwhelming to tackle all at once and that is why it’s important to set a strategic marketing plan for your company with goals and a timeline to follow.
2) Begin Small
It is better to slowly develop your profiles one by one on each social media platform and the same goes for thought leadership posts. Start with blogging or podcasts and make sure you have the manpower and time to expand into videos or vice versa.
3) Quality Over Quantity
It is way better to be consistently posting good quality content on all of your mediums than it is to spread yourself too thin and have low quality work on one platform over the other. You also may need time to see what is best for your followers, what information they respond well to and so on.
4) Always Update Your Marketing Plan… and RESEARCH
It is important to note that as you continue to research it is key to go back and review your strategic plan and update it to meet your current needs and goals set forth.
Why Thought Leadership Instead Of Advertisements?
Well KCG is unique in the fact that it is a service-oriented company and doesn’t necessarily provide a tangible product for purchase. For companies like KCG, we don’t have a product to sell and advertise online like a boutique or tech store, we provide a service and consider ourselves to have valuable knowledge and expertise in the industry in which we serve. We use thought leadership to build our brand and educate the customer on the potential threats and the needs that our services fulfill. There is a 90-10 rule, 90% of your postings should be fun and curated content and 10% should be self-promotion. The key is to become the brand people associate with the industry.
What KCG Struggled With And How We Overcame It:
One of the biggest hurdles most people might not realize is that social media and marketing are constantly changing. You have to constantly check analytics and make sure that you are hitting your marks and if not, you are changing your strategy as new social media platforms develop and new marketing tools appear. The key is to finding the right balance between consistency and change, which all depends on your company’s growth and statistics.
We also struggled with trying to figure out where to start and creating a social media road map helped significantly. We set deadlines and goals for implementation of podcasts, blogs and videos. As we continue to research and learn we have been adjusting our timeline and goals to complement our current strategies.
Another thing we have struggled with is that analytics is not yet as complex as we would like it to be. To compensate for the information it doesn’t provide, we have researched other social media superstars and have found consumer behavior statistics through third party sources. We have used that data along with trial and error to figure out what will work best for our followers.
What Does A Social Media Roadmap Look Like?
1) Start with one platform
Work on posting up-to-date quality content. One way to do that is to subscribe to email lists that only send out information related to your industry so you have less news to go through.
2) Set Goals
Put a forecast together or timeline of when you think you will reach that goal.
3) List Potential Resources
It is also helpful for you to list potential resources you may need to achieve those goals so that you can approach management ahead of time with your list of potential needs and the company can allocate a budget for that investment.
Future Projections Of Digital Transformation
Just like 2017, businesses should expect for digital growth in 2018 to be exponentially larger and faster than years before. There are some trends and expectations for digital transformation in the new year resulting from this growth in technology:
As the generations grow-up surrounded by social media, the trends in their purchasing behavior change to incorporate that. More and more consumers will be persuaded by micro-influencers on social media than paid advertisement as the older generation phases out.
● Video/Live Video Marketing
There has been a huge rise in video consumption vs. article consumption in 2017. This is expected to continue to grow as “live streaming video” on social networking sites becomes more popular.
● Less Organic Reach
As more companies enter the different social platforms and create accounts, this also creates competition among existing businesses. It is becoming harder for companies to grow organically through discovery, which is going to result in an increase in paid advertisements on social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
● Push for More Complex Analytics
Since social media continues to grow, so does the need for measuring the ROI. Marketers want to know more about their customers preferences and social media consumption. Although we know this is a necessary step, it may take longer than a year to implement the metrics marketers desire.
It is important to know that what might work for one company might not work for your company. Your social media roadmap needs to be unique to your company and your business model. Take time to focus on your content and produce something that your followers want to read. Last and most important is to continue to research, never stay complacent because that’s when you become irrelevant. Social media has changed so much since its creation and will continue to change so don’t get left behind!