6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Double Down on Digital Marketing
Why should you take a long look at your current marketing strategy?
“Companies that fail to create a marketing strategy are destined to either fail or struggle indefinitely. However, just because you create a strategy does not guarantee success.”
- Steve Olenski, CMO Network and Forbes Contributor
A successful marketing strategy can catapult your business to industry stardom. On the flip side, a dated or ineffective marketing strategy can leave your business sputtering while your competitors blow by you in the fast lane. As the owner or marketing director of small business or start-up, it is up to you to make sure that you are spending your marketing dollars wisely. In our consumer-driven world, this means adopting a digital marketing strategy. Below is a look at the top six reasons why your business should double down on digital marketing.
Why should you adopt a digital marketing strategy?
Few marketing professionals will deny the critical role that traditional marketing has played for companies such as Nike, Coca Cola, Nestle, and others. However, the advent of the internet along with changing consumer preferences are relegating traditional marketing to the back seat of many marketing platforms. In particular, tolerance for forced promotions and messages is waning, as nearly one-half of consumers now block paid advertisements because they find them intrusive.
At the same time, digital marketing has emerged as a convenient, flexible strategy that yields impressive results that are impossible to ignore. Regardless of the size of your budget, a sound digital marketing strategy will help you drive traffic to your business and bolster your conversions. The top reasons to adopt a digital marketing strategy are as follows:
1) Digital marketing gives your audience a choice
“Traditional marketing doesn’t give the audience a choice. Most people hate receiving sales flyers in their mailbox or phone calls at inconvenient times on stuff that they have little interest in. Online people get the choice to opt in or out of communications and often it is relevant because they were the ones searching for it in the first place.”
- Julie Cave, Digital Doughnut
Traditional marketing’s lack of flexibility prohibits your target audience from choosing how they can receive their content or when they would like to access it. For instance, traditional marketers may inundate mailboxes with unwanted sales brochures or air a promotional message during the commercial breaks of a popular TV show.
Digital marketing strategists use the opposite approach. They realize that every prospect is unique. Some people enjoy reading social media posts while others prefer to watch educational videos. So rather than forcing content on these prospects by mailing them a promotional brochure, digital marketing strategists create content and then publish it online in many different locations and formats. This allows the audience to choose how, when, and what type of content they wish to enjoy.
2) You can update marketing materials quickly and easily
Traditional marketing channels rely on methods that are often not possible to update after implementation. For example, it is impossible to edit an existing print ad in a magazine because the ad has already been finalized and released to the public. You would have to create a new ad to replace the existing one if you wish to execute any changes. This measure is costly and can quickly erode your marketing budget.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to make a major change to an ad at your leisure. You can also quickly and easily edit existing videos, blog posts (did you know that this very blog post was easily edited and updated to keep these tips relevant?) , and articles to reflect the changing needs and demands of your target audience. Such instantaneous changes can have an immediate positive effect on your sales numbers without requiring additional expense. More importantly, your target audience has the latest leading-edge information they crave.
3) Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing
“You must pay for ads in newspapers or mailers every time you run a new campaign. Adding new products or sales pages to your website doesn’t create additional costs if you already have a person on your team who can update your product information. Traditional marketing companies may charge per delivery area for fliers or mailers. On the Internet, your ad is accessible to the entire World Wide Web.”
- Debbie McRill, Bizfluent
In general, traditional marketing carries a heftier price tag than digital marketing. For instance, it can cost $500 to $20,000 to run a print ad in a magazine. Some national publications charge up to $500,000 to run an ad on the inside of a magazine’s front cover. With the average business spending 1% of its revenue on advertising, high-profile traditional print ads are simply not a cost-effective option for a growing business.
Keeping costs in check is much easier with a digital marketing strategy. Furthermore, it is much easier to track the success of digital campaigns. Local Search Association Content Strategist Courtney Dobson notes that digital marketing is a good fit for small businesses in particular because there are multiple ways that a business can engage with their target audience without breaking the bank. She outlines four digital marketing techniques that businesses can employ, even if they have a limited budget:
- Content Creation and Publication: Creating useful, high-quality content can help build trust among members of your target audience
- Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Organic SEO can be handled in-house and is much less costly than paid search campaigns
- Social Media: With billions of people using social media and all of the free analytics, you can hardly afford not to market via social media
- Video Content: Video is a low-cost way to promote an upcoming event or showcase new product offerings
4) Going global is easier with digital marketing
More businesses than ever are expanding into emerging markets. According to a survey by Wells Fargo, 87% of U.S. business owners believe that international expansion is necessary to achieve long-term growth. Companies that rely on traditional marketing strategies will find that their ability to reach overseas customers is severely hindered due to direct mail challenges and the limitations of print media.
With more than 96% of the world’s consumers residing outside the United States, a growing number of businesses are turning to digital marketing to target prospects in overseas markets. Unlike most traditional marketing initiatives, digital marketing allows you to reach prospects outside your town, city, or country. Examples of proven strategies include website translation, international SEO, and content creation using international keyword research. With a digital marketing strategy, your business will be able to compete on a much grander scale internationally — even if you are an industry newcomer.
5) Consumers are more likely to trust your brand
“Fifty years of abuse at the hands of advertisers has made us savvier and less permeable to shiny, corporate messages…Of course, human beings can still be manipulated by fake news and misleading advertorials, as the post truth era might reveal — but brands are less able to induce us to buy with ads.”
- Fernando Polo, CEO at Good Rebels
For years, traditional marketing strategists have used paid advertising campaigns to persuade consumers to invest in their brands. Today’s prospects are an entirely different breed of consumers. They refuse to be manipulated by pre-fabricated messages and marketers whose ads promise more than they can deliver.
Today’s consumers respond to marketing messages that are authentic, relevant, and personalized. On top of this, digital marketing allows for more touch points which increases the familiarity the consumer has with your brand. This combination of attributes is best achieved through digital marketing strategies. Here are a few examples of digital marketing tactics that resonate with prospects:
- Video testimonials provided by satisfied customers
- Case studies shared on social media
- Blog posts featured on a company’s website
6) You can easily measure the results of digital marketing
The inability to measure the results of traditional marketing is a serious shortcoming. It is nearly impossible to determine exactly how many people have invested in your products or services because they saw your advertisement or heard your radio commercial. While you can ask new customers how they heard about you or use coupon codes to help link buying behaviors to traditional marketing campaigns, you will only capture feedback from a small sample size of your customer base.
Digital marketing offers outstanding data and analytics to help you collect reliable data from your customers. If you are among the 39% of companies that struggle to prove the ROI for your marketing efforts, then you are likely depending too heavily on traditional marketing methods. Fortunately, by employing a marketing strategy that focuses on testing and results, you can identify your marketing initiatives that are driving the bulk of your traffic and conversions. You can also pinpoint campaigns that failed to deliver desired results and strike them from your marketing plan moving forward.
The Bottom Line
Digital marketing delivers superb, measurable results at an affordable price. Additionally, digital marketing offers prospects the ability to choose how and when they receive your message or content. Perhaps most important, digital marketing yields an attractive ROI that is impossible to ignore. Whether you own a small startup or a growing medium-sized company, a digital marketing strategy can elevate your business to the next level of success. And with such an impressive ROI, you can hardly afford not to adopt a digital marketing strategy.