As of 2019, 4.39 billion Internet users spend an average of 6.5 hours a day online. In a single, impressive year of digital growth, the web-dwelling population has increased by a whopping 9.1% and is expected to rise at a constant rate. With these numbers steadily climbing, it’s no wonder businesses are migrating to digital platforms –after all, it’s now the best method of getting your message across to billions.
It pays to understand what digital marketing means now that being plugged in is the mode. In light of this, we’ve put together a brief primer on the field and how it factors into the life of the average business.
What is Digital Marketing–Life Before the Net
Advertising isn’t new. In fact, it dates back to the 1470s, during which the birth of printing also birthed the very first print ad. Since then, tangible pieces of advertising such as newspaper bulletins, calling cards, and posters gave way to more advanced broadcasting in television commercials and radio. All are considered traditional marketing, an advertising method that is now considered “old fashioned.”
A competent business would not only focus on providing quality services to an appropriate market –it would also leverage effective marketing techniques in order to do so. The core of achieving your business’ maximum potential is being able to connect with and care for your audience. This means reaching out to potential customers from where they spend most of their time: online. Hence, digital marketing is fundamental to any modern organization.
Traditional marketing remains accessible, but is no longer as effective as it used to be. While skimming through a daily paper, consulting an infomercial channel, or taking a look at a billboard in regards to a particular product are still familiar activities, all are fairly limited. For one, they are static, and not being able to interact with your target market directly serves as traditional advertising’s biggest disadvantage. Traditional marketing is also costly, and mostly confined to a local audience. Most importantly, results are nearly immeasurable, a drawback now easily resolved by means of going digital.
Digital Marketing is Reaching More People
With the everyday internet user boasting an average of 7 social media accounts, the potential of taking to the web to interacting with your customer base is high. More often than not, potential buyers will research a product online before making an investment, with social media being the current preferred platform for customer care. Considering that 60% of Facebook users are online every day, it’s an obvious contender for investing your business presence.
In most cases, a buyer’s journey will begin online, via a preferred search engine. Some people are primarily online to shop, spending most of their time interacting with branded content. Many will make direct purchases through Facebook ads, making digital marketing the easiest method of integrating with consumers.
Digital Marketing is Running Precise Campaigns
Because of its highly customizable nature, digital marketing strays from the traditional blanket approach, allowing for more control over a targeted audience. While reach is important, deconstructing demographics will help you create more relevant content. Knowing who you’re selling to is also cost-effective, because you won’t only be spending less on ad costs in general–you’ll only have to communicate your product or service to the appropriate clientele.
You can even further narrow your target audience and create groups by segmenting. Compartmentalizing your buyers garner better responses while lowering acquisition costs and saving you a lot of time. Some sites such as Facebook have built-in tools that allow users to skew their content towards certain locations, age brackets, and job titles.
Due to the measurability of results, turning leads into business is also simpler than ever. Analytics removes the guesswork, allowing for you to adjust your tactics as needed. CMOs have since invested less in labor costs, boosting marketing technology funds up by 29% of average budgets just last year. Being able to analyze results makes transforming your business and allocating your resources all the more manageable.
Digital Marketing is Creative Adaptation
One exciting capability of digital marketing is being able to track results in real time. With online landscapes ever-changing at a brisk pace, adapting strategies as you go is prime for improving your business. The core of improvement itself is knowledge: knowing how many people visit your sites and accounts, what type of content they gravitate most to, and how much time they spend there.
Free tools such as Google Analytics allow you to scale your business, as well as provide important information that will help improve website performance. Other tools can easily provide SEO suggestions, create a more practical space for all your social media accounts, and collate content relevant to your business.
The current digital landscape is flexible –everything is easily adjusted in the simple click of a button. Making changes can occur whenever you want them to. You can apply new strategies at a rapid pace and at little expense.
Digital Marketing is Two-Way Communication
Perhaps the most striking discrepancy between traditional marketing and digital marketing is the ability to engage with your audience when you take your business online. Traditional marketing provides no guarantee that your campaigns will be successful–there is no way to measure these responses. Going digital, on the other hand, allows you to create deeper and longer-lasting relationships with clients and customers.
Being able to respond to customer needs and queries makes your business reliable and significantly more sustainable. Knowledge of your buyers’ preferences also helps brand development, which makes the essence of two-way very give and take. Making sure your customer is cared for is rewarding by sense of higher conversion rates–because everything is a simple click away, maintaining a loyal customer base isn’t usually a problem.
Conclusion: Digital Marketing is the Present
Today’s society is a global village made possible by technology. Digital marketing is no longer the future, but today’s foundation for success in business. Vast exposure and quicker successes are now more achievable than ever due to the universal nature of modern businesses.
Gauging by how digital capabilities have since allowed growth within the industry, there is no telling where digital marketing will take up and coming business horizons.