The Conversation Prism

How do I create my online value proposition is a question I get asked often. When I say that it’s still about strategy and planning, I can see people’s eyes glaze over. I know they’re thinking, “but this is too hard, will take too long” or “yes, but, I want to do stuff now, not think or plan it.” Now, I’m being harsh but you get my point. So let’s break down what to do. 

Creating your online value proposition is not a stand-alone task. It needs to be developed from your offline value proposition and your business strategy and objectives.

Many organisations know they need an online presence whether that’s an enhanced website, a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter or some relevant blogging, so a tactic is born – someone gets the job of putting the company on the social map. Followers are sought and linked to and the social media tap has been turned on. But has any attention been given to the source of the flow and to the ultimate spread of liquid?

And here lies the problem, a tactical decision has been made with no regard to the planning and strategy. And there are many hundreds of tactical options, as you can see from The Conversation Prism visual opposite. It would beggar belief if any company were to embark on any other sales, marketing or even operational endeavour without due strategic consideration but it so often happens online, I guess due to the easy access of tools. Here is quick checklist of a better way to achieve online success:

1. Create your offline value proposition first. Your value proposition is your promise of value to be delivered and a belief from your customer of value that will be experienced. Download our white paper for a starting point in how to do this. Follow the 6 phases. You must get your customers involved to ensure it’s not just an internal exercise.

2. Then create your online strategy and objectives. There are many great white papers, webinars, and slideshares on how to do this. Two important things to remember, firstly use your website as the hub for getting all your push and pull marketing working together. So aim your social media feeds and your SEO back to your website from where you can offer downloads, webinar sign ups, blog comments etc. anything to add value and encourage interaction. Secondly, ensure your online fits with your offline. If you are a serious, intellectual publisher, don’t resort to bad grammar, school boy humour or risqué images online. I’ve seen this happen so am speaking from the heart!

3. Measure the results. If your objective was to increase awareness then you’ll measure things like an increase in web traffic. If it was loyalty then it might be number of repeat visits or regular comments on blogs. Then you can add these to your marketing funnel and see what tactics are working the best to achieve your objectives and ultimately start filling the top of your sales funnel.

It is vital that you sit back and stop yourself rushing onto online and social media and for those who have already joined; this is time to take stock. It is clearly just as important to your business to have an online strategy which is aligned with your business, sales and marketing objectives. Your brand is too important for its provenance to be left to others; take control of your online value proposition by first creating it offline.

We’re extremely interested to know what you’ve done with your online and social media strategy? Has anyone had to withdraw from any social media commitments? Why? What went wrong?