Years ago, digital marketing was a new, innovative way to reach out to prospective customers. The internet was in its infancy not long ago, and it offered an exciting new platform for businesses to sell services.
That’s changed. Whereas digital marketing was once supplemental to other marketing efforts, a solid digital marketing strategy is now necessary. You need digital marketing to keep up with the competition. You need an online marketing strategy if you want to reach your target market.
There are many reasons why you may have put off creating a digital marketing strategy. Maybe you haven’t set a budget aside for it. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by it, or just don’t have time. Or maybe you simply have underestimated the importance of digital marketing.
It’s time to get started! Here’s why a good digital marketing strategy is critical to the success of your business.
Your customers are on the internet.
Whether you sell life insurance or plan weddings, one fact exists: your customers are online. Studies show that 73 percent of all buying decisions today begin online, and a full 51 percent of purchases are completed on the internet.
Your prospects use the internet in different ways. Some may browse at their desktop while others may make quick purchases via smartphone. Regardless of their habits, your customers are becoming increasingly dependent on the internet to research and finalize buying decisions.
Your customers are on the internet. You should be, too. Creating a strong digital marketing strategy ensures that, as those customers search for your service, it’s you they’ll find rather than your competition.
Lead generation opportunities are endless.
Lead generation is one of the simplest, most effective ways to build a base of prospects who are interested in the service you offer. There are quite a few ways to execute lead generation, but the premise behind each method is the same: you offer something of value to your prospects, and in return, you receive their information.
The contact information you’ll receive through offering a discount or an eBook is extremely valuable. This is a customer who is, at worst, mildly interested in your product or service. At best, he or she is ready to make a purchasing decision.
Digital marketing is automated.
Are you using your time productively? What if you could automate the lead generation process, freeing up hours formerly spent on cold calling? What if you could reach thousands of prospects simply by posting shareable, likable content on social media?
That’s the beauty of digital marketing. Digital marketing is automated and frees up hundreds of hours that could be better spent on other aspects of your business. From your company homepage to email marketing and social media outreach, automation is one of the most valuable aspects of digital marketing.
Analytics allow you to course-correct and demonstrate ROI.
In this digital marketplace, it’s now easier than ever to demonstrate the ROI of your marketing efforts. In the past, it was impossible to determine the outreach of one newspaper ad or one radio spot. Today, however, digital marketing takes the guesswork out of your marketing strategy.
Using one of the hundreds of tools available to you online, you can track just about every aspect of your digital marketing plan. Know who’s visiting and interacting with you. Know how much time they spend on your site. Know how many people are clicking through to your site from a social media or PPC ad. You can even find out, through a digital heat map, the specific areas of your website visitors are engaging with most.
These analytics will allow you to demonstrate ROI and, of course, will give you the information to course-correct if there’s a component of your strategy that’s not working so well for you.
Digital marketing is highly targeted.
Let’s circle back to that newspaper ad or radio commercial. Before digital marketing became prominent, it wasn’t possible to target consumers in the way you can now. If you placed an ad in the paper, every single subscriber would see that ad … or not. So while your target demographic may be women aged 25 to 40, those advertising dollars would also be spent reaching men aged 65 and older. That doesn’t make sense.
Digital marketing is highly targeted. Using services like Google Ads, Twitter for Business and others, you can choose to only reach the people who will be interested in your service. Age, gender, marital status, hobbies and physical location are just a handful of the attributes you can specify in targeted digital marketing.
Digital marketing is personalized.
Today’s businesses are becoming more and more focused on digital marketing. It stands to reason, then, that your customers are, too. Although your target consumer is making more purchasing decisions online, he also still craves a personalized experience.
Digital marketing allows you to offer that personalization to your consumer. Using information you learn about him from analytics and behavior tracking, your digital marketing strategy will be customized to fit your prospects’ preferences. This, in turn, creates brand loyalty and a sense of community amongst your customer base.
Digital marketing is interactive.
From landing pages to email marketing, digital marketing is highly interactive. Whether your client base is engaging with you on social media, sharing your blog posts with others or just filling out a lead form, this interaction is unique to internet marketing.
The interactive nature of digital marketing allows your consumers to connect with your business on a more personal level. You’ll not only strengthen your brand but will also build a community of loyal, repeat customers who respect you as a leader in your industry.
Digital marketing establishes credibility.
A successful digital marketing strategy is one that will establish you as an industry leader. While that may sound daunting, it’s actually quite simple. There are a number of ways you can begin to build credibility with digital marketing.
- Customer reviews are critical! According to a 2018 study, 86 percent of consumers read local business reviews before making a purchasing decision.
- Don’t be shy – give away information for free. Offer a white paper, a tutorial or even just some industry advice to your prospective consumer.
- Cater your content to your target demographic. This will keep the consumer engaged, as well as will encourage more “likes” and “shares.”
- Be consistent. Ensure that every piece of content you publish, whether it be a social media response or a video, reflects your brand appropriately.
Your digital marketing strategy is inbound.
There are quite a few benefits to consider when you implement a digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing is targeted, it’s personalized to your consumer and it’s cost-effective. Digital marketing will help you build your brand and will establish you as a leader in your industry.
Perhaps one of the most prolific benefits, though, is that it’s inbound. Rather than waste time (and money) reaching out to customers who just aren’t interested, a good digital marketing strategy will have interested consumers coming to you. As mentioned, much of this is automated, making digital marketing an efficient, effective use of your time and money.
Be sure you use best practices in SEO, focusing on quality content and engaging material. Periodically use your analytics tools to determine what is and is not working, then reshape your strategy as needed. The rest is simple! You’ll find that your workload is minimized while your client base grows through digital marketing.
If you’ve not yet begun to develop a digital marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Your customers are online, as is your competition. More than ever before, it’s critical that your company build an online presence that represents your brand and establishes you as an industry leader.
Are you ready to get started building a successful digital marketing strategy? We have the perfect resource to help you. Download our free cheat sheet “10 Steps to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy”!
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