In today’s advertising world, digital marketing is becoming more popular than traditional marketing. Digital marketing includes efforts to promote and sell products via digital channels. Fundamentally, it doesn’t differ much from traditional marketing. Online marketing has become an essential tool for big and small businesses alike. Here you’ll find a basic guide on digital marketing – what it is, why it matters, and how to get started.
Why is Digital Marketing Important?
Incorporating digital marketing into your advertising strategy is essential for several reasons. Your prospective clients are searching for products and information online, usually with Google. They also make buying decisions after reading product and business reviews. The way customers shop has shifted; your marketing strategy should shift as well. You can also reach a wide audience with digital advertising – even a global one. Your access to potential customers is much higher online than with traditional marketing. Digital advertising also lets you engage directly with customers. You have a clearer picture of who your client base is and what they search for. You also receive instant insights from your digital ad campaign. This lets you focus your strategy on your most probable customers.
Being online gives you a legitimacy factor as well. If prospective customers can’t find your website or social media page, your business loses some credibility. In addition, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the cost. Launching and monitoring an ad campaign online is cheaper than traditional advertising methods.
Digital Marketing Basics
We’ve seen how digital marketing could be superior to traditional advertising. So, what are the basics of a good online marketing strategy?
You’ll need some essentials: a user-friendly website optimized for SEO; at least one active social media profile where you engage with your customers; some form of paid advertising; an email marketing campaign; and solicited reviews. Buyers make purchases based on reviews. If you ask customers to leave you a review, it will almost always be positive. Unsolicited reviews tend to be negative.
Another essential tip is connecting with your prospective customers. Make yourself easy to find – optimize your website for search engines. Look at what your competitors are doing as well. Are their websites ranking higher than yours? Do they engage more with their customers? Evaluate what’s working for them and model your marketing strategy toward a similar audience.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Cost isn’t the only thing digital has over traditional. Digital marketing has a few other advantages over traditional marketing as well.
Traditional advertising includes radio, print, TV, newspapers, magazines, and billboards. You don’t have to avoid traditional marketing altogether. But there are significant downsides to consider before investing. The main problems marketers cite with traditional methods are no audience engagement, costly ad campaigns, trouble with measuring ROI, difficulties receiving feedback, and poor conversion ratios.
An online marketing strategy can counter these problems, especially engagement and feedback. With instant consumer insights, you can see what’s working and what’s not. You use can insights like how many people saw your ad, the number of its shares, likes, comments, and the profile of customers engaging with it. You can also pinpoint your target audience and adapt your strategy to them. Most digital marketing campaigns can be updated at any time. With traditional, you can’t change anything until your ad contract runs out.
Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Online marketing is especially powerful for small businesses. The affordability coupled with a wide reach is ideal for small budgets. Digital marketing can even the playing field for small businesses. Small businesses can even outrank large corporations. With effective online marketing, you could even avoid traditional marketing altogether.
An import factor for small businesses to consider is local search optimization. Use location-specific keywords on your website. Google can then find you more easily when users are searching for nearby businesses. You should also claim your business’ profiles on local online directories, like Google My Business. This will make finding you even easier for prospective customers.
As a small business, you’ll also want to use email marketing. It has the highest ROI of any digital marketing tool available. With emails, you can personalize your engagement with your customers further. This prompts them to return to your business.
Digital Marketing Benefits
The benefits of digital marketing are manifold, as we’ve seen. You have more in-depth analytics. You get instant marketing insights that allow you to laser-focus your strategy. These insights also let you target specific demographics. You can track who is engaging with your ads and purchasing your products, then tailor your campaign specifically to them. This strategy leads to a higher conversion ratio. It also gives you greater control over your marketing strategy, increasing your ROI.
The benefits of digital marketing are too immense to avoid it. You simply won’t have the same results as traditional advertising. Whether you’re a small startup or a growing organization, online marketing should be part of your advertising strategy.