It should not come as a surprise that I am a huge proponent of digital marketing across the board. Not only do we offer digital marketing outsourcing and agency services, but we have also built our own business using the same marketing channels.
Why is this such a huge focus for us? Because we strongly believe it’s the best way to promote a modern business. This post is focused on outlining why we feel that way.
Top 7 Reasons to Focus on Digital Marketing
Realistically, this list could have been as many as two dozen reasons, but I tried to boil it down for simplicity purposes. Here are my own personal top seven reasons for being so vocal about using digital marketing to promote and grow your business.
Digital Marketing Costs Less
Digital marketing can range in cost from “free” (sweat equity is free, right?) to pay-per-performance to paid placement.
The word free is very misleading, with respect to this topic. You are either spending the time to build it up or paying someone else to do it for you. But regardless, you are building out something of value either way.
Even if you look at the paid digital media, it is still far less expensive than the old school mass marketing / push marketing approach. Whereas you would have to pay millions of dollars to place a television ad at a key time, you’re only looking at pennies-to-dollars to place a PPC ad on the SERPs or a display ad on a third party website.
Of course, the onus is on you to then turn those ads into business. Which harkens toward the next reason…
Internet Marketing is the Most Measurable
We have data to measure almost every single thing you can do online today. Email marketing, SEO, Pay-per-click, digital media buys, sponsorships, the list goes on and on.
If you take the time to understand the buyer’s journey and building sales funnels, those models alone provide you with a great way to measure success. Layer the buyer’s journey along a sales funnel and track how far down the funnel prospects make it before they drop off. Not only does that indicate whether you’re spending your hard earned dollars in the right place, but it also tells you where in the process you need to improve the experience or CTA.
This is the first time in the history of marketing that we have a chance to measure every single thing we do. While I think you can overdo it, you should at least be measuring the tactics that matter the most. And especially those activities which cost money to pursue.
Online Media Have More Reach
In the old days, you’d have to pay for ads based on foot traffic, listeners/watchers, or total views and impressions. While you can still pay against any of those numbers, you don’t have to do so any more.
Take Facebook ads for example. You don’t pay for impressions, but for clicks. That’s one medium where I’m actually okay with NOT getting clicks. Why? Because I get more impressions before the budget runs out. Until they are clicked, the reach grows larger and larger.
The same holds true for other areas like search engine optimization and social media. Both of these areas can get you in front of new eyeballs without overtly paying to be there.
What old media did the same? Maybe public relations, but that discipline is also a slog to get attention in an age of information oversaturation and content shock. All-in-all, online or digital media have much more reach than nearly any of the old school techniques we used for many decades.
Digital is Less Invasive than Push or Mass Marketing
The biggest knock on the old way of advertising is that it interrupts the user and tries to force them to pay attention. This worked for a long time, but most people are ready to get past interruption marketing in the digital age.
Digital Marketing completely flips that script.
SEO is about showing up when someone is already interested in a topic or keyword, as is PPC.
Social media is all opt in. If you bark too loudly, the users can simply turn down the volume.
Email marketing is well established with opt in and opt out standards, and laws to enforce reasonable levels of interruption. With Marketing Automation so easy to get ahold of, this tactic is improving even more over time.
Bottom line: Digital Marketing is the least interruptive and most customer centric way to promote your business. If you really care about customers and their success, you shouldn’t have to bully your way into a sale or conversion. Digital is the way to do that correctly.
Good Marketing Goes Where the Audience Is
A key mantra of successful marketing is to enter the conversation with prospects and customers where they want you to engage with them.
This could be anywhere. Ads, content, forums, social media, etc.
Some audiences want a more traditional media experience. If that’s true for your targets, then go there.
But most of us are pervasively connected these days. Smart phones are all over the place. Internet use is at an all-time high – you can even find internet access at libraries and other public facilities if you can’t afford your own connection.
Your audience is almost surely on digital. You need to be there, too.
Digital and Real World Experiences Overlap
Have you ever seen a product in a brick and mortar store, then searched online for reviews, competitive pricing, and other information? I do it all the time.
We are not alone. Well over half of shoppers claim to use a combination of in person and digital means to evaluate product purchase decisions.
So, if that’s true, how should we be managing the integration of the two? Have you figured out how to merge the two experiences, the online user experience and the in person customer experience?
The most typical answer to those questions is that they remain separate, and in some cases, the digital part is completely overlooked. With the way people shop now, it will pay you many times over to figure out how to merge your digital UX with your in store experience. Customers expect it, and ignoring the trends could very well cost you sales and revenue in the long run.
Inbound Is the Best Marketing Investment
Wrapping up all of these reasons to do digital marketing, we land out at inbound marketing itself. Inbound is basically all of the things you do to set yourself up for success with prospects and customers coming to you. No push marketing involved there.
While it may take additional time and effort to nurture inbound leads along the buyer’s journey, it is well worth it to invest for the long run. We’ve previously covered how SEO is the best inbound marketing investment, and that remains true.
But avoid myopia and put together a holistic inbound marketing strategy. The investments you make will pay dividends many times over in the long run.
Digital marketing is here to stay, and the best way to promote a modern business these days. These seven reasons are my main motivators for considering digital marketing as a must have. What other reasons would you add to the list?