Why Digital Marketing is Important
What is digital marketing? Digital marketing is the direct promotion of your brand utilizing online means. Some of the mechanisms involved in digital marketing include email marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, as well as text and multimedia messaging.
Different business types may pursue different channels and strategies, but the common theme is “digital.” With such a large audience living on digital devices, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to reach new users.
Digital marketing has become increasingly popular due to its cost-effectiveness. You can launch a campaign with very little upfront costs compared to traditional marketing and see a positive ROI in less time.
Another huge advantage is data availability and access. Campaign information is available in real-time, allowing you to continually monitor and see the effects of campaigns as you go.
If your brand has yet to make digital marketing a prominent part of your business, it’s not too late to start.
Let’s go over the main benefits of launching a digital marketing campaign for your business.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Businesses all over the world are finding success through digital marketing, and they are finding it effective for a number of reasons.
Firstly, digital marketing has the potential to reach hundreds, thousands, millions, or even billions of users. Depending on your target audience, you can tailor each campaign to reach the most highly qualified potential customers.
Reach is heavily correlated with two factors, keyword usage and/or ad spend. The types of keywords you are targeting will impact the size of your audience, and the amount of money you spend in your digital advertising campaigns will also impact the size of your audience.
Let’s use a local business as an example…
If a local plumber is launching a digital marketing campaign that combines SEO and paid advertising, they will only want to target keywords specifically related to their location, like “drain cleaning Columbus, OH.” These keywords will have much lower search volume which will make them easier to rank from an SEO standpoint, but they still might require a hefty ad spend to reach the right target audience.
Here we can see the average number of searches for “drain cleaning Columbus, OH” over the last year in addition to its keyword difficulty and PPC costs.
Audience reach is one of the most important considerations to make whenever you are consulting a digital marketing agency or are in the process of formulating a new campaign.
Every business is concerned about costs, as they should be. Digital marketing helps alleviate these concerns by providing low, to almost zero cost options for certain types of campaigns.
If you are doing search engine optimization, or SEO, you could start by optimizing your website’s pages for certain keywords. This would not involve any ad spend or other upfront costs. Although you may see slower results from these efforts than, say, a paid advertising campaign, it is an extremely cost-effective foot in the door for your brand’s digital marketing.
Where traditional marketing efforts may not have afforded you readily available analytics, digital marketing lets you collect information on your campaigns instantly. Whether you are using the free platform Google Analytics to measure campaign success, or a third-party analytics platform, having this information at your disposal allows you to make key insights and pivot your strategy as needed.
Google Analytics shows KPI’s that can help you see how many users are visiting your website, how long they spend on it, and how many pages they view among many other available metrics.
KPIs can include a number of factors in digital marketing, like page visits, clicks or impressions to your website, or conversions on a contact form. Just about anything can be conveniently tracked using your preferred analytics platform, and you can gain useful insights in less time.
A/B testing is another massive benefit to digital marketing. You can test different styles of the same web page against one another to determine which one is more likely to convert, and you can do this in a short amount of time. From call to action buttons to styles of font, there is no shortage of testing you can do to ensure your pages are performing at their highest potential.
Unlike traditional marketing platforms that are often a one-size-fits-all solution, digital marketing allows you to tailor your marketing efforts according to your specific branding needs.
Digital marketing has so many channels to choose from, it makes things easy for tailoring campaigns specifically to your brand. You can go wherever your audience lives and reach out to them with ease.
If your audience lives primarily on Facebook or Instagram, you can launch a social media marketing campaign in minutes. If they live in your local service area, you can launch a Google ads campaign or local SEO campaign to connect with them.
Whatever channel of digital marketing you choose to employ, your audience is never more than a few clicks away.
More Advantages of Digital Marketing
In addition to the obvious benefits of audience reach, cost effectiveness, and ease of analytics tracking, there are some other advantages to digital marketing that are noteworthy.
Traditional marketing’s targeting limitations oftentimes make campaigns not profitable from the start. You can set yourself up for failure without a solid understanding of who your audience is and where they reside.
Digital marketing allows for many robust targeting options, including the extremely useful ads method called retargeting. Retargeting ads reach users who have previously visited your website, and they are typically a great way to lead warm traffic down the path to conversion.
Most digital ads platforms allow brands to finetune their targeting to ensure that the most hyperspecific, relevant users are being reached. Without this capability, you would be wasting time by posting to uninterested users.
As time goes on, users are beginning to expect more personalized messaging from online brands. They want digital content to speak to them directly. If not, they will click away in favor of thousands of other options.
Rising above your competition will involve finetuning your targeting correctly, and that’s where competitive research comes into play.
When it comes to analyzing your competition, digital marketing offers a variety of intuitive solutions. You can use comprehensive software tools like SpyFu, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to get specific insights about your top competitors: see what terms they are ranking for, how much traffic they get, and what types of websites are mentioning and linking to their brand’s website.
Unlike traditional marketing, where competitive research is much harder to do, digital marketing provides many low-cost and oftentimes free solutions that show you specifically what any other website is doing to stay ahead.
We know that efforts to boost organic traffic don’t have to be expensive, but digital paid advertising doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can launch a simple, low-budget campaign that gets you valuable information about your audience and product line within a matter of minutes.
Digital marketing is extremely accessible for all. It’s never been easier for brands of all sizes to reach their consumers. You can learn about your audience personally and build brand loyalty more easily than with traditional marketing.
There’s also accessibility from the standpoint of connecting with users who have disabilities. You can utilize features like alternative text (alt text) or screen reader compatibility to connect with people of all abilities and make information more digestible.
Make your brand more available to the users that matter most.
Digital marketing also makes it easier to control your brand’s digital messaging across channels. For example, social media marketing can ensure your brand is active and engaging on top social platforms, while SEO helps you keep your most positive web pages and articles near the top of Google search.
You can have live question and answer sessions that allow you to keep up with customers in real-time. Customers can ask questions and feel like their voices are getting heard, while providing you with instant insights and ideas you can employ for your brand in the future.
Digital marketing also gives you the ability to connect with influencers who can further your brand’s reputation. Influencer marketing is a tactic that employs the use of established personalities, celebrities, and other respected people in your industry to help you sell a product. When they post a short video or social media post, it can have a massive effect on reputability towards your brand.
Don’t leave your brand up to chance. Create positive momentum across all digital platforms by crafting the right narrative.
Compete with Larger Competitors
Let’s face it, your competitors are using digital marketing to improve their business. Why aren’t you?
Because of its low-cost barrier to entry, digital marketing can help even the playing field between large and small competitors. You have the power to place your brand in front of inquiring consumers with much less hassle than traditional marketing afforded.
While larger brands may be able to shell out more money on paid ad campaigns, small to medium-sized businesses can still reap the benefits of improved brand awareness, audience building, and are able to compete more closely than before digital marketing.
Connecting with customers has never been easier. Brands can speak directly to their followers through social media (messages, comments, or videos), and engage with them in real-time.
Traditional marketing made it more difficult to understand customers’ wants, desires, and concerns, because brands didn’t see their customers in a personal environment. The digital world provides more personalization opportunities, as customers can directly articulate what they want to see from their brand and the brand can pivot accordingly to these requests.
There are many aspects of digital marketing that can be automated, and there are many software programs that can help you do so.
Social media posts can be set to publish at certain times automatically using a program like Buffer, so that you don’t have to manually go into the platform and hit “publish.” This is a really useful way to ensure that you aren’t skipping any posts and that you’re publishing everything on time.
You can also automate your paid ad campaigns on many platforms including Google Ads.
Workflow automation is a huge time saver, and thankfully there are many all-in-one marketing tools to make this possible. Hubspot is one of the most popular resources for digital marketing automation, as users can easily navigate a visual board that helps them craft a conditional workflow.
Follow-up emails are an important step of every email marketing campaign, and luckily there is software that makes this process automatic. Using a software program like Mailchimp, your brand can pre-write all of your emails for a given campaign, then send them out automatically when specific actions are taken by users. You can even set each email to drip out after a certain amount of days following the user’s opt-in.
Types of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses a lot of subsets. Let’s break down some of the most common areas of digital marketing that you are likely to encounter.
Search engine optimization is the process of ranking your website for specific keywords that boost your organic traffic. SEO can include something as simple as mentioning your target keyword in the title of your page, or it can be the process of acquiring backlinks.
Why is SEO important in digital marketing? If your website isn’t showing up in Google search results, no one will see it and you won’t get any organic traffic.
A quick search of your business name will quickly let you know if your website is indexed and able to show up in search results.
The goal of SEO is to tell Google, “this is what I want to rank for!” And for the most part, this can be done at a relatively low cost compared to other means of digital marketing.
Most SEO strategies are twofold: start by optimizing your existing website for target keywords (found through competitive analysis), then develop a plan to create new content which targets additional keywords.
A well-optimized website will take a number of SEO factors into account. Nowadays, one of the most important factors to consider is E-A-T, or Expertise-Authority-Trust. You need to express that your brand is the utmost authority in your field by including credibility measures on your website like certifications and badges, as well as positive reviews and testimonials on third-party sites like Yelp!, TripAdvisor, and elsewhere.
SEO usually takes longer than other digital marketing techniques before seeing results, but it’s an extremely effective long-term strategy that will pay dividends for most brands.
Pay-per-click advertising is exactly what it sounds like. You pay for each user who clicks on your ad and goes to your website.
The main advantage of pay-per-click is that it’s instantaneous. You can post an ad today and start generating clicks to your website immediately. The downside is these ads cost money, and you have to be strategic to ensure you’re receiving a positive ROI for your efforts.
Google ads is one of the most famous, long standing PPC platforms. Formerly called Google AdWords, this is the primary platform for businesses looking to advertise on Google search results pages.
PPC campaigns are easy to measure using Google Analytics and other performance tracking platforms, and if you’re not happy with a campaign you can turn it off at any point.
A/B testing is hugely important in paid advertising. Whether you are running Facebook ads, Google ads, or any other kind of paid media, there are always ways to improve and finetune your campaigns. These adjustments will not only save you money, but they will help improve your conversion rates.
With so many people addicted to their mobile devices, there’s always an audience ready to be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social channels. Even people who don’t use a computer are likely to use social media.
Here’s an eye-popping statistic for brands: 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. So if your brand isn’t active on any social platform, it’s time to get started.
There are paid and organic options available on most social media platforms. You might want to experiment with some social ads, especially when announcing new products or promoting a Black Friday sale, but you can also rely on organic social media posting to engage your followers and build trust.
It’s crucial to understand why content is important in digital marketing.
Content marketing encompasses many areas of digital marketing, including blog creation, video marketing, and podcasting. Without any of this content, your brand would just be a logo. Content gives your brand the character and personality necessary to engage audiences and thrive.
Creating content that is engaging and informative will help improve your SEO rankings, while providing an opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader in your space.
The key to success is picking a channel that works best for you and sticking to it. Some brands may choose blogging as their most effective channel while others might prefer creating videos or podcasts.
Once again, competitive analysis is key. If your top competitors are killing it with a blog, that’s probably what you’ll want to do.
Why Digital Marketing is Important for Small Businesses
Understanding why digital marketing is important for your business will help you put forth a strategy that’s durable and effective.
Digital marketing isn’t just working right now, digital marketing is the future of marketing.
Getting started is easy, but being successful requires a guided strategy. This is why you should hire a digital marketing agency to help spearhead your efforts and uncover a pathway to long-term success.
An experienced agency will be able to a) determine which marketing channels are the most vital for your brand, and b) allocate the right resources to those areas. An agency will take an enormous weight off the shoulders of bogged down business owners, helping them focus on what matters most: their business.
Learn how your business can launch a new strategy or reinvent its existing strategy, contact us today!