The answer to this question can be found just by looking around you. How many electronic devices can you see? The chances are that you are reading this on a laptop or mobile and there are probably a few other devices that can connect to the internet within easy reach.
Think of how you consume information yourself and even how you share information with colleagues, friends and family. Being online and being connected has transformed the way we buy things, the way we find out about events and, it can even influence the way we vote. Being readily online, at almost anytime, is one of the reasons digital marketing has transformed how businesses promote and market their products and services.
We believe digital marketing has four key advantages over the traditional way of marketing – measurability, affordability, speed and engagement.
A website is arguably the single most important marketing tools and it is an insight into what people are interested and how they find your website and move around it. How many people have visited your site? Where are they coming from, natural search, through pay-per-click (PPC), social media or email campaigns? You can monitor the change in your figures over time, giving you real information about whether your marketing message is getting through to the right people.
Digital marketing has opened up the arena of marketing to smaller and medium-sized firms the world over, putting them onto a level playing field with bigger corporates, through its affordability. For example, Facebook advertising through ad campaign tools such as ‘boost posts’ costs a fraction of the cost of printing leaflets and can be directed at a specific group of people.
At the same time, you get much greater reach with a wider audience that potentially spans the entire world, and less paper goes to landfill to boot. Similarly, online banner adverts on websites generally cost less than adverts placed in more traditional outlets like daily newspapers or magazines. With the data that is generated by these online advertising techniques you also get feedback on how efficient you ad spend was too.
You can also get your message out there quicker in the virtual world – a simple click of a mouse button is all that is needed. When compared to the much longer process of getting printed materials produced and distributed, it means that companies can be much more agile with their messaging. Twitter posts or website updates take a few minutes compared to days for the development and printing of a flyer. An e-newsletter can be written and controlled when it gets sent out and you can monitor who has opened it, whereas an advert can take a week to place in a newspaper and you never quite know how many people have seen it.
Digital marketing brings a dynamic edge to how you promote yourself in a fast-paced world.
One of the biggest reasons digital marketing has become so important is the engagement it brings – you can converse with your prospective and current customers, answer questions and resolve issues. You can also interact with a wider audience, meaning you can do more than just sell.
You can seek opinions and carry out market research to better inform your decision making. You can also seek out collaborations or campaign for subcontractors or the professional opinions of your peers on project work too. By getting your audience to share pages you can increase your profile, and receive their endorsement in the process.
Using real time online marketing you can comment on issues and update or inform your customers immediately after significant events that may impact the sector you and your customers operate. You can also quickly match or better competitors’ offers with your own, keeping you at the sharp end of the marketplace.
So, digital marketing is more than important to your business – in 2018 it is indispensable.