A digital strategy is a plan to use digital technologies in your business. It outlines your online and digital goals and what you’re going to do to achieve them.

A digital strategy will help you:

  • establish digital goals and a direction for your online presence
  • plan and manage digital tools and platforms
  • allocate resources and responsibilities.

The steps below will help you decide what to put in your digital strategy. If you need more advice, the Australian Government’s Digital Solutions program can help.

Download a digital strategy template

Our digital strategy template helps you set your digital goals and the actions to achieve them.

1. Check your business’s digital maturity

Use our Digital Readiness Assessment Tool to understand how digitally prepared your business is.

The tool shows you what you are doing well and how you can improve your digital maturity.

2. Know your audience

If you’re planning to sell products or start marketing online, you need to understand who you’re selling to.

Do some research to find out:

  • who your current customers are
  • any other market segments you could target
  • their behaviours and preferences
  • which online channels they use
  • the best ways to engage these people online.

3. Set your digital goals

Write down your business’s digital goals. You can draw on:

Think about how you could use digital tools or platforms to:

  • build on your business’s strengths
  • address weaknesses
  • take advantage of opportunities.

Examples of digital goals:

  • create a mobile-friendly website
  • set up an online store
  • start using social media
  • use online ads
  • add a customer support chatbot to your website
  • move to a cloud-based accounting or customer relationship management (CRM) system
  • create a cyber security policy
  • improve your search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • automate one or more time-consuming tasks
  • adopt tools and policies so your staff can work from anywhere.

4. Choose your digital channels and tools

Use your research to choose the best:

  • online channels to reach your audience
  • digital tools to achieve your other business goals.

Online channels

A user-friendly website is the best way to provide an online presence for customers.

Features you could include:

Find out how to set up a business website.

Choose the social media platforms where your audience is most active.

Use your strategy to outline how you’ll use these platforms to interact with customers. You can attach your posting schedule or content calendar to the strategy.

Find out more about using social media for business.

Use your digital strategy to outline your plans for email marketing.

Emailing subscribers is a great way to:

  • keep them updated
  • promote your products or services through targeted campaigns
  • give exclusive offers to loyal customers.

You need to follow anti-spam rules for email marketing. Find out how to make sure you’re obeying the law.

Online profiles mean the details about your business shown on platforms like Google Maps, Bing and Yelp.

Explain how you’ll keep these profiles up to date with changes to hours, contact details and other information.

Also include how you’ll encourage and respond to customer reviews on these platforms. 

Outline if and how you will use online advertising. This includes targeted ads on search engines or social media.

Learn more about advertising your business

Other digital tools

You can use digital tools in your business for more than just marketing. This includes tools for:

  • accounting
  • inventory management
  • project management
  • staff scheduling
  • customer relationship management
  • online meetings
  • collaborating on documents
  • storing files and data.

5. Decide how you’ll measure success

Set measurable targets for each of your digital goals. Have a plan to measure your progress towards them.

Free tools like Google Analytics can monitor many aspects of website traffic. This includes showing how effective your content and digital ads are at driving sales.

Social media platforms and tools can measure how engaging your posts are.

You can use data from analytics reports to decide what’s working and what you might need to change.

6. Ensure cyber security

Cyber security is essential for a digital business. Your digital strategy should outline:

  • how you’ll protect accounts, devices and information from cyber threats
  • how you’re going to keep your customers’ data private
  • cyber security policies your staff need to follow
  • a plan for regularly updating your software and tools to prevent vulnerabilities.

7. Allocate budget and resources

Break down all the costs involved in achieving your digital goals. Include any ongoing expenses as well as upfront costs.

Some of the costs you might need to consider:

  • buying new software
  • upgrading computers or other hardware
  • ongoing subscriptions for platforms or tools
  • development costs for your website or custom software
  • training your staff to use your new tools
  • hiring new employees
  • outsourcing tasks
  • digital advertising.

Review these costs against your overall budget to work out what you can afford.

8. Create an action plan

An action plan breaks your digital goals down into smaller tasks. This will help you work out what you need to do and stay on track.

To create your action plan:

  • list the tasks you need to complete for each goal
  • make sure every task will benefit your business
  • give each task a priority and due date
  • assign each task to someone to complete.

9. Train your team

If your employees don’t have all the skills to implement your digital strategy, you’ll need to give them training.

This might involve:

  • internal or on-the-job training
  • external courses
  • mentoring.

Encourage a culture of learning and embracing new things to ensure your staff get the most out of digital technologies.

10. Review and adjust

You should update your strategy over time in response to:

  • changes in your business
  • analytics and customer feedback
  • new digital tools and technologies.

Plan to regularly review your strategy against your digital and business goals. Use monitoring data to identify what you might need to change. Be flexible and adjust your strategy if you need to.

It’s also important to plan for future technologies. How will you stay informed about new digital tools in your industry?

11. Get help if you need it

Our website lists grants, advisers, events and training to help businesses go digital.

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