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Importance of a Digital Presence Strategy – Part One

It’s a bit cliché to say, but the world won’t be the same once we return to our usual routines. That’s not entirely a bad thing. In the last month, we’ve seen the advancement of remote working and learning. Thousands of workers and students are logging-in to their jobs and classrooms from home. We’ve seen businesses change how they offer services or products and expand their digital presence to comply with stay-at-home restrictions.

Soon, there will be plenty of studies and reports discussing the lessons learned during the response to the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re interested to know what business professionals expect to see, read this article from Harvard Business School.

What we can agree on is that this crisis stresses the importance of businesses having a digital presence to survive. From the mom-and-pop shop on the street corner to the international conglomerate headquartered downtown, everyone’s felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that immediately leveraged their digital presence and became innovative and adaptable are managing to stay in operation. In this article, we look at a few examples of businesses managing both innovation and adaptability. In upcoming articles, we’ll break down the components of a digital strategy and how to create a consistent social media presence.

 

Innovative

Innovative businesses don’t necessarily create a brand-new service or product. Rather, they apply better solutions that meet new requirements. Hospitality businesses, like restaurants, are suffering from the closure of non-essential businesses. Very quickly, however, they began innovating how they do business by strengthening their digital presence. One of Digital Wake’s clients is a specialty restaurant in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Rather than shut down, our client flipped its service from dine-in to carry out. Additionally, using its relationships with suppliers, they began offering specialty boxes with quality deli meats, cheeses, dairy products, and yes, toilet paper.

Further, they updated their website to announce the new options and allow for online ordering; connected with delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats for free delivery of ordered products; and used their social media platforms to get the message out. The result? Revenue is coming in and most of the staff are working. There’s also the chance they’ve created a new revenue stream once they return to serving in their dining room again.

 

Adaptable & Communicative

Each day of the crisis brings new information and changing guidelines. Companies have to adapt to constant change. Office meetings are being hosted in living rooms via online conferencing platforms. Overnight, businesses and schools had to learn new technology and how to interact, work, and learn at a distance.

The digital presence of each organization was key to their adaptability. Organizations without a way to effectively communicate to their employees or students saw a dramatic decline in productivity. On the other hand, a Digital Wake client with a global presence relocated employees to home offices over one weekend. Employees were kept up-to-date via internal video announcements they accessed through a virtual desktop. Similarly, the company used its social media platform to interact with clients and encourage them that business was happening as usual regardless of the situation.

Another of our client’s is a large grocery chain in Texas. They are not only innovative and adaptable, but are a role model in how businesses should respond to a crisis. Digitally, they ensured their website and social media platforms were constantly updated with current information. This let consumers know that they were working on keeping sought-after items in stock. They encouraged customers to stay calm, not hoard items, and reiterated their focus on keeping shoppers and workers safe.

 

Digital Presence Strategies Are Crucial

There are too many examples to list here of how businesses used innovation and adaptability and communicated via their digital presence strategies. Sadly, there are also too many businesses that didn’t have a way to effectively communicate to potential customers. Even if they were innovative and adaptable, they had to rely on word-of-mouth and hope that was enough.

Make sure to read part two of this article that focuses on creating a digital presence strategy. Soon, we will also share recommendations for creating a social media presence. In the meantime, we would love to talk with you about your current digital presence strategy. We stand ready to help you with all your digital marketing needs.

Jennifer Bays
Jennifer is a marketing and learning consultant with more than 15 years' experience designing educational content and online learning for military, commercial, and non-profit organizations. She's also a skilled technical writer and editor and has worked with several self-published authors.