The importance of digital marketing for business owners
Did you know that in 2021, there are around 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide? This statistic indicates how the digital landscape has boomed in recent years, and it will only continue to grow as time goes on. Your business’ digital marketing strategy is your key to unlocking a path to access these potential customers.
When a new business gets started one of the most important things they need to establish is how to reach and engage with their target market most effectively. Your product may be miles ahead of that your competitors are selling, but this won’t matter if you can’t reach the right people at the right time.
We live in a world where we use search engines, like Google, to look up anything we want and get answers within seconds. The same goes for shopping, finding local restaurants, services, and more. Therefore, if your business does not have an online presence, how will prospective customers find you?
Any businesses, including small brick-and-mortar businesses, should be taking advantage of digital marketing right now. The whole world is constantly browsing for solutions to their problems. If you want to be in a position to offer them a solution, you will need to get your business and brand online.
Here are some more reasons why digital marketing is so important for businesses today:
It is cost-effective
The pandemic has taken a toll on the finances of all businesses and no company has been left unscathed. So, cost-saving has become a top priority for all. At this time, when revenue is low and cashflow is tight, you should (where possible) be turning to digital marketing campaigns which come at a fraction of the price that traditional channels would cost you.
Digital marketing is profitable because it yields a high ROI while simultaneously increasing scope and reach of the targeted audience. This is a big plus for small and new businesses, as they are often operating with limited resources. Since campaigns are much more cost-effective to run digitally, this means a greater return on investment for businesses of any size. Another benefit is that marketing strategies and campaigns can also be tweaked regularly without a significant setback in budget.
You can run multi-channel campaigns
Digital marketing uses multiple platforms, to reach and appeal to a variety of audiences through their screens using social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and mobile marketing. Businesses are able to develop a strategy that combines these platforms and tactics in a way that can better target and attract their specific audiences.
It creates a brand identity
The marketing business function used to be merely about selling your product or service. Today it is much more. Marketing allows for businesses to build their brand, and a strong brand identity is of essence to any company as you have to get your brand out there so people know who you are, what you do and where to find you. Brands today shouldn’t just be selling their product, they should also be informing potential and existing customers about their business, its values and what defines them.
Utilising a strong digital marketing strategy will enable users to start recognising your brand, referring your brand to other users, and start buying from you. The sooner you begin to create stronger online brand awareness, the sooner your brand becomes recognisable, and ultimately, the more sales you will get.
Helps You Connect with Your Audience
In addition to promoting products and building a strong brand identity, digital marketing also allows businesses to develop personal relationships with their customers. Engaging with your customers directly is after all key to building long-lasting relationships.
If you look at traditional marketing media like print, television or radio, the communication is one-way. What happens in the case that your potential customers have queries or concerns? This makes for a difficult and expensive task if want to implement two-way communication.
One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the ability it provides you with to create two-way communication between your organisation and its prospects or customers.
You provide them with a way to contact your business through whichever digital platforms and channels you choose to communicate with. If someone sees your ad/post/email and has questions, they can find your contact information and reach out to you immediately.
This helps you build a relationship with your audience. You get to know them and open the door for meaningful, real-time communication with them.
Building these relationships is as valuable to your customers as it is to your organisation. Customers today want to be valued and want to know that their business is valuable to you. They choose companies that value them as an individual.
Uses Metrics to Drive Success
Technology drives the user experience, and digital marketing not only facilitates the customer experience, but also allows us to track, monitor and analyse our conversions and engagement giving us a better understanding of our audience. The better you know your audience the easier it is to create content that speaks to them, encourages engagement and ultimately leads to conversions.
You will find that using data to identify your target audience and learn about their behaviour will save you time and money.
When using metrics, you will need to analyse the performance of your campaigns to see where there is room for improvement and whether you need to adjust your content or your strategy.
Your strongest competitors are doing it
Another reason to be focusing your marketing efforts on digital, is that all your competitors are doing it. They are already establishing themselves online and growing traffic to their site.
The beauty of digital is that it allows you to keep an eye on what your competition is doing, and how they are doing it. This will allow you to identify possible flaws in your current strategy and empowers you to perfect your strategy and be one step ahead of your competition.
Where to start?
The first step to any successful marketing plan is to develop some realistic goals and a strategy to achieve these goals.
Don’t be hesitant to test out a number of different strategies when deciding which digital marketing strategy is best for your business. Take a look at the results of each different strategy to see which methods are the most effective with your target audience, and make sure you’re getting a positive return on investment.
Some strategies can pose challenges when measuring performance, but the most important thing is to be consistent with your method of measurement. This will provide you with the most accurate insights.
How to level-up your digital marketing knowledge?
By signing up for our industry-leading social media marketing short course. This course will help you harness the power of social media, whether you’re a small business owner, a marketing manager, or an aspiring social media manager.
Through this course we aim to give you an in-depth understanding of several social media platforms, and the online marketing tools, segmentation capabilities and metrics they offer. You’ll learn how to effectively reach and communicate with your customers using social media, the importance of engagement with a brand and how-to set-up campaigns that people will be buzzing about for a long time to come.
Follow this link to learn more about this short course, or to sign up today: https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online-course/social-media-marketing-short-course/