In 2020, a digital marketing strategy is vital for businesses to reach their goals. The urgent need for digital transformation across every business sector has been thrown into the spotlight thanks to the pandemic. Digital marketing for businesses is an essential part of this transition.
Online marketing is constantly changing, with technology, trends and developments never standing still. It’s no longer enough to have a website and a few social media channels. Today’s digital marketing strategies include everything from content marketing, social media and podcasts to advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO) and much more.
Digital marketing is about staying relevant, up-to-date, visible to target customers and, above all, one step ahead of the competition. Whatever the focus of your digital marketing campaign, here’s a reminder of why it’s so important for your business. And if your business has yet to create and follow a structured digital marketing plan, the following reasons might just encourage you to speed up the process.
11 benefits of digital marketing for businesses
1. You’ll understand your customers much more
Without a thorough understanding of potential customers, your business will not be competitive. SEO will show you exactly how consumers search online for your business and your competitors, allowing you to boost your brand’s visibility. A recent survey by Databox shows that 70% think SEO works better than PPC for increasing ecommerce sales.
2. You’ll reach a far higher number of potential customers
By 2021, according to Shopify Plus, global ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion. More than half of all shoppers use Google to look up a product before they make a buying decision. Just under 60% of shoppers cite mobile devices as their most used platform. Since the start of 2017, mobile web traffic has consistently accounted for around 50% of all web traffic globally.
3. You’ll gain insight into consumer behaviour
A business without a digital marketing strategy will struggle to define its position within the online marketplace. The dynamics of the digital marketplace are different to traditional marketing channels. There are different demographics, customer profiles, consumer behaviour, competitors and channels of communication.
4. Omnichannel marketing will mean you’ll be one step ahead
Today’s customers want convenient and seamless online experiences. Whether they’re searching for a product or service, it’s got to be fast, easy and on the platform of their choice. Digital marketing across multiple channels offers businesses the opportunity to tailor messages to different demographics and communicate in the way customers want.
5. Cross-media digital marketing will help you build a community
Integrating social media channels, email marketing, podcasts or videos increases the potential audience for a brand. Businesses should focus on building a community where they can share their message, product promotions and any news. Digital marketing allows businesses to build up the kind of personal rapport with their customers that is just not possible with traditional marketing.
6. It forms a part of your broader marketing strategy
Digital marketing should be part of a wider integrated marketing strategy, that can effectively cover every media channel. This is particularly the case for established businesses that have the budget and manpower to implement this. For start-ups, a well-crafted digital marketing strategy can be enough, depending on the business sector. For example, an e-commerce start-ups marketing strategy can primarily be online, but traditional channels shouldn’t be ignored.
7. It will help you stay competitive
Craft your strategy using research into consumer behaviour. When you know where your target customers are, how they search online and the marketplace activity, you will be better placed to craft messages. There is no substitute for effective real-time engagement with customers to help you gain a competitive advantage.
8. Allows accurate ROI forecasting
Return on investment is the single most important factor for any business devising their digital marketing plans. Unlike more traditional marketing channels, online marketing means you can accurately forecast the results you can expect within a specific timeframe.
9. Encourages creative marketing and communication
The beasty of online marketing is that there are so many avenues to pursue. When we consider how much people use the internet, and what they use it for, there is huge opportunity for innovative digital marketing. Use videos, podcasts, interactive websites, Instagram, TikTok and anything else that reflects your brand and business. Hone your strategy to connect exclusively with your target demographic and you’ll reach the people you need.
10. It holds you accountable
This is a good thing! Marketing strategies of all kinds rely on a good strategy, flexibility and accountability. The most successful businesses ensure they stick to their marketing plan, carry out analysis and keep in touch with what’s needed for their success. Digital marketing is a science, and by increasing your channels and outreach, you can hypothesise on what will work best. Keep testing and checking and refine your strategy as you go.
11. Low cost and high returns
Compared with traditional marketing, digital marketing has low entry costs. Social media tools, content management tools and PPC advertising is available to everyone, no matter the size of their business. It takes skills, understanding and effort to get results but it also allows for trial and error. Entrepreneurs and start-up owners can work their way through different online marketing methods without wasting money or time.
When to get a digital marketing agency onboard
Just because it doesn’t cost much to get started with digital marketing, does not mean it’s low skilled. The downside to its accessibility can be that people with no motivation to learn the necessary skills jump in and assume it’s easy.
Effective digital marketing must have a coherent, workable strategy with clear aims. It’s possible to get right down to targeting customers at specific times of the day using the vast data available. Using advanced automated tools makes it even more effective. However, when you move away from the basic tools, unless you are an experienced digital marketer, you will need to get an agency or expert onboard.
|Jack Mason is a tech entrepreneur, industry disruptor and CEO of Inc & Co. Here’s why he thinks digital marketing is a must for every business.|