Remember the good ol' days when marketing your business was fairly simple? You could run an ad or two in local publications and maybe a handful of spots on your favorite radio station then answer the phones Monday through Friday from 9-5. For many small business owners that was it, that was the entire marketing plan and for many it actually worked.
Now that we are done reminiscing let's face it, it's much harder these days. "Closing time" is a thing of the past. Now, consumers shop for products and services 24/7, from a growing number of devices and from almost anywhere, including their porcelain throne! 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.
Success in business today requires you to be visible, relevant and accessible to your audience across an increasingly diverse set of media outlets. Digital marketing has adapted to, and often fueled this important shift in how we attract, engage, and convert customers. Marketing has moved online to meet the demands of today's highly connected consumers. The transition has significant implications for all businesses.
Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing tactics enable businesses to connect with consumers at a much deeper level, creating a whole new benefit-sharing relationship. Educating consumers on products and services, customized offers and gaining valuable feedback are much easier to accomplish online.
Digital marketing presents a number of other advantages compared to traditional approaches:
The advancement of technology and growing number of digital platforms has evolved the way customers shop for products and services. Customers are not getting online anymore. They have access to information all the time and any place they want it. Nowadays, customers rarely make a purchasing decision without doing their own research first.
It is not simply enough to have a presence across the digital landscape, you have to create a personalized, educational, and relevant experience to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more. To do this, you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when, and how they are most receptive to your message. The greater your understanding of the customer’s behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in profitable communications.
There are a number of ways businesses can incorporate digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy. It is important to note that digital marketing is dependent on technology which is ever-evolving and fast-changing. Here’s a snapshot of the current leading online marketing tactics:
48% of people say website design is the biggest factor when choosing a business. Your website is the hub of all of your online and offline marketing efforts and should keep the customer engaged all the way through the customer’s lifecycle by ensuring it is attractive, informative, and responsive.
Google is the most popular search engine on the Internet, so why wouldn’t you leverage it? 98% of searchers choose a business that is on the first page of search result. Through search engine optimization, you can organically rank higher on Google, and other major search engines, so you can get more visitors to your website.
Good exposure depends on a mix of organic and paid search tactics. Search Engine Marketing, a type of pay per click advertising, can get eyes on your page quickly. With this tool, your paid placements show up alongside organic results when customers search for terms relevant to your brand. This puts your offerings right in front of people who are getting ready to buy.
According to Google, an estimated 73% of all online activity is related to local searches. Customers turn to local search to learn the name, phone number, address, and hours of the business. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Developing these local profiles can have a major impact on your business.
61% of shoppers check out online reviews when deciding who they want to do business with. They consider these reviews as important to their decisions as recommendations from friends and relatives. To ensure that you are getting the benefits from review sites, it's important to cultivate excellent customer service and to encourage happy customers to share their experiences online.
Over three-quarters of all Americans are on at least one social network and over half of all users follow at least one brand. Your company needs a presence on the networks most relevant to your customers to keep your brand in their minds for when they are ready to buy.
Email is the most used digital application in the world with over 99% of internet users having at least one email address. With email marketing, your business can create deeper relationships with a highly-targeted audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
When you think of YouTube, you may only think about it as a social media platform. What you might not realize is Google owns YouTube which is why YouTube videos are ranked routinely high on Google’s search pages.
We’re not saying that traditional marketing no longer has a place in your marketing strategy, but if you are not utilizing digital platforms effectively or at all, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Digital marketing will continue to be used by companies in all of their marketing efforts; the key is choosing the right tactics for what you want to accomplish. By creating a digital marketing strategy that integrates your branding, messaging, and speaks to your target market, you will be able to create endless relationships that will ultimately help improve your bottom line.
At Splash Omnimedia we know that having a strong digital presence is paramount for any company that has a desire to grow and succeed. We know that for most navigating the digital landscape can be confusing and downright intimidating. The rules always seem to be changing and it can be difficult to even know where to start. If you are uncertain where to start or are unsure which digital marketing approaches are right for your target audience, we would be delighted to help! We can create a digital marketing strategy that will connect you to your audience in meaningful ways, positioning your business as the local leader in your industry. Contact us today!
Stay tuned next week when we begin breaking down each of these digital marketing approaches in greater detail! Don’t just make an impact, make a splash!