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Digital communication: how to develop it to differentiate yourself from competitors?

 
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That the world is more digital than ever, everyone knows. But the question on most managers’ minds is: how to use digital communication to leverage sales, gain and retain customers and differentiate from the competition?

Communication practices carried out in the online environment are, in fact, an extension of traditional social communication. After all, it is not a new thing that companies seek to interact with their potential audience through information, advertising, publicity and entertainment, is it?

The big difference is that the way and means of communicating have gained new elements, accompanied by significant transformations in consumer behaviour and habits. If in the old days, publishing an ad in the commercial column of TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional was good business, today it may not be so advantageous if the goal is to reach a segmented audience that is more present on the internet.

In this article, we address this and other issues related to digital transformation and communication. The focus is to show how to develop these communicational practices in the virtual environment to differentiate from competitors and attract more customers. We will explain what digital communication is, its benefits, importance and some steps to succeed with it. Check it out below!

What is digital communication?

Digital communication is another stage of social communication, enhanced by technological advances. It is a set of practices and forms of dissemination, interaction, reception and dialogue between sender and receiver in online platforms – accessible through devices such as computer, notebook, tablet, mobile phone etc.

In fact, like all human activities, communication is constantly changing, mainly due to technological advances. This was the case with the invention of moveable type by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-1450s; the rise and monopoly of printed periodicals until the early 20th century; the popularisation of radio in the post-First World War era, followed by the arrival of television and finally the launch of the internet – as we see today.

For businesses, digital communication has brought valuable opportunities. Among them, the different forms of language, access, greater proximity and audience. In addition to resources for analysing consumer behaviour and planning communication based on this data.

Benefits of digital communication

The benefits of digital communication for businesses are diverse, especially when it comes to marketing and sales strategies. It is worth noting that using this strategy well is not just about creating profiles on internet social networks and developing websites.

In addition to the massive dissemination processes, digital communication allows:

  • expansion of markets, such as e-commerce (electronic commerce);
  • automation of processes and their effective operation;
  • approach to customers through different channels;
  • overcoming barriers of time and space;
  • development of new marketing possibilities and opportunities;
  • exponential cost reduction;
  • creation of different ways to communicate with customers;
  • among others.

Importance of digital communication

Brazil is the fourth most connected country in the world. So says a report on the digital economy released in 2017 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. According to the survey, there are 120 million people accessing the internet in Brazil. Only the United States, with 242 million, India, with 333 million, and China, with 705 million, are ahead.

Such information reveals that being present in the digital environment is no longer a strategy but a necessity for companies. Today, people spend hours surfing the internet looking for information, knowledge, fun, relationships and consumption.

How to achieve success with digital communication?

Therefore, digital communication is very important to a business for gaining new leads, promoting products and services, building customer loyalty, leveraging sales and expanding the business. Faced with an extremely competitive market and more demanding consumers than ever, it is necessary to invest in this type of communication to seek differentiation and remain active, solid and sustainable.

Below are some steps to using and developing digital communication in the business world:

Know your target audience well

This is key to marketing in general. If you don’t know the profile, preferences, characteristics, desires, problems and objectives of your target audience in detail, your company is doomed to fail.

How do I do that? Market surveys, using questionnaires, are the most commonly used tools for this purpose. Define your audience, delimit, research, listen and then analyse. This makes it easier to get important data.

Detailed planning

As much as digital communication offers numerous resources and possibilities, it is necessary to have a strategic plan to use it. Establish a plan for launching products or services, selling, customer service, branding. Finally, it is essential to plan actions and campaigns. Everyone does marketing, but few stand out, precisely because of the planning.

Use e-mail marketing in a strategic way

Anyone who believes that the older ways of communicating have been left behind is quite mistaken. E-mail is one such strategy. Using e-mail marketing to win new business opportunities is a very frequent strategy that is on the list of actions of successful companies. It all depends on the quality of the mailing, the purpose and the language used.

Use SMS to maintain a close relationship with the consumer

The same can be said about SMS. The ideal is to integrate these more conventional channels with the new ones and work on top of a multichannel strategy. Text messages sent to mobile devices are very effective and capable of achieving relevant results – especially getting closer to customers, collecting on bills and maintaining healthy relationships with the consumer.

Offer relevant and quality content

Gone are the days when aggressive and emphatic advertising generated good effects. Today’s audience demands something more than product offerings: they want content. In this perspective, digital marketing has been gaining prominence with the strategy of linking brands to quality content and information that are relevant to the consumer.

Have a strategic presence on social media

It is essential to be present on social media, provide content and offer channels for interaction and dialogue. This is because social media is proven to be an important way of directing customers to your site, where they will look for your product or service. Social networks are also able to serve as very rich databases to study the profiles, behaviours and consumption habits of internet users.

The list of tips is extensive and unfortunately, we will not be able to cover all of them in depth here. However, it is worth noting that all these actions adopted in the field of digital communication should be accompanied by measuring the results, to assess whether or not the strategies are working. The effects are not always immediate, because communication is a process. This means that, if worked well, it can over time build a good image of your company with the public.