Updated: Nov 14, 2019
If you are the type of business owner who believes digital marketing is not necessary or you don't understand the benefit, keep reading, you won't be disappointed.
If you haven't at least explored the options that digital marketing has to offer, you are missing out on quite possibly the greatest business hack. Contrary to what people think, marketing is not advertising. Yes, advertising is a part of marketing, but marketing is so much more. While a huge part of marketing is promoting and selling goods and services, it is also a process of creating, maintaining and expanding relationships with customers. If you don't have a good relationship with your customers, then all of the advertising and promotions won't do you much good.
Since we just established the basis of marketing, let's talk about digital marketing. Digital marketing is the broad term for all marketing efforts done on the internet. With digital marketing, avenues such as search engines (Google, Yahoo), social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.), email and websites can be used to help you connect with current and potential customers. It constantly provides you with new ways to grow your business and decreases the hassle of obtaining and monitoring data because activity can be viewed as it is happening, in real time. Digital marketing allows you to know who you are targeting, their demographics, interests etc.
The components of digital marketing are fairly simple. They include SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SMO (Social Media Optimization), social media marketing, PPC (Pay-Per-Click), inbound marketing, e-mail marketing, and of course, online public relations.
There are over 4 billion internet users in the world, which means you can literally reach half of the world with digital marketing very quickly. This is why digital marketing shows a larger return in a shorter time frame.
So, how am I building my case for digital marketing? The biggest and strongest case for digital marketing is that digital media is rapidly taking over traditional forms of media to obtain information. When you want to find a new restaurant nearby, do you search the yellow pages in the phone book or use Google? If you're a college student doing a research paper, do you use an encyclopedia or wikipedia/online articles for information? If you're looking for a job, do you search the want ads in the newspaper or search Indeed/LinkedIn?
The world is increasingly moving in a digital direction, so for businesses to be involved with the movement is not something that should be done, it needs to be done.
Still not convinced digital marketing is for you? What about efficiency? Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted efforts or money is something all business strive for in order to be successful right? Digital marketing is more efficient than traditional forms of marketing. If I put an ad in the newspaper, the only data I really have is the amount of people who subscribe to the newspaper and I can kind of take a guess with how much business has increased based on that one ad, but I don't really know. If I place an ad online, I know exactly how many people saw that ad, how many people clicked it and how long that person stayed on my website. Additionally, I will also have data that provides demographics for the people who clicked on my ad.
Information is beneficial for business. So with information regarding my business and potential customers, I can instantly change my strategy to better suit the needs of my business. I can even run two strategies against each other at the same time to determine which works better. Digital marketing allows for a more effective plan for success. Contrary to what many people believe, traditional media and traditional forms of marketing are far riskier than digital. There's too much room for error with a larger scope of wrong data being presented.
The internet houses the world's largest marketplace and anyone can use it. Customers can find you easily and there aren't any limitations as to how big your business can grow. If you don't have a digital marketing strategy in place, you're missing out on acquiring new customers/clients and increasing brand awareness. If that isn't bad enough, you're also missing out on significant revenue generating opportunities. Digital marketing isn't just for large companies. In fact, digital marketing provides small businesses, with limited budgets, the ability to reach audiences of millions worldwide. If you are seeking business growth, digital marketing should definitely be part of your strategy.