Keep reading this blog to learn:
- How digital marketing can attract customers for your business
- The wide variety of digital marketing channels you can use
- The advantages of adapting and adjusting your digital marketing strategy
- How digital marketing makes it easy to track your results
- Why digital marketing is worth the relatively low cost
Does Digital Marketing Really Work? These Facts Say Yes!
Look, we get it. You’re skeptical. When you ask the question “Does digital marketing work?” it’s not so much out of curiosity as it is out of caution.
And why shouldn’t you be cautious? After all, your business can’t afford to waste time and money on a flashy website or a social media ad if they won’t give you the results you’re looking for. Maybe larger companies have that luxury, but you need this to work.
We respect that. That’s why we’re not going to lie to you. Digital marketing isn’t this magic wand that will make your business successful overnight. Just like regular marketing, it requires some trial and error and patience before results can come.
Still, we want to be clear about why digital marketing is more than worth it. Like it or not, we live in an increasingly digital world. And without a strategy for promoting your business in the digital space, you will get left behind. It’s that simple.
So, why is digital marketing worth it? Here are seven great reasons marketing your business online is a great use of your time and resources!
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Did you know your business has a digital storefront? Every business does these days because the Internet has become the go-to place for people to scout out local companies. And even if you haven’t done anything to create it, your digital storefront exists.
Don’t believe us? Just open up a new tab and search for your business. Go ahead. We’ll wait.
Chances are your search turned up at least a few results about your company. There may have been some reviews on Yelp or an unclaimed directory listing on Google. How did that listing get created if you didn’t put it there?
That’s how the Internet is. It’s a constant hive of activity where people add information about businesses every day. And if you’re not on top of it, your digital storefront can begin to look pretty dingy!
But why should you care how your business looks online? Your company is brick and mortar, not ones and zeroes! That may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that today’s consumer cares about your digital storefront a lot!
The fact is 91% of adults search the web to find information, and 46% of Google searches are for local businesses and services. In other words, people want to learn about you online before they find you in person. That’s how the world works now.
So, how do you think they’ll respond if they look for you online and find only a few lackluster results?
Caring for your digital storefront can pay dividends by attracting customers to your business. And the best way to do that is with a digital marketing strategy!
2. Take Advantage of a Wide Variety of Digital Marketing Channels
So, what can you include in your digital marketing strategy? The Internet provides many options for promoting your business. And you can use as many or as few as you want, depending on your company’s needs and goals!
Here are the most popular online marketing channels for small businesses and the advantages of each:
One of the best ways to help people find your business online is by designing a company website. These days people not only expect your company to have a website but, according to Stanford University, 75% of consumers decide whether or not to shop at a company based on its website design. Therefore, a well-designed site is an essential part of a small business marketing strategy.
Of course, what good is having a well-designed site if no one can find it. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in!
SEO is the art of making your site rank highly on search engine results pages. You can do this by including keywords your customers are searching for in your website content and making sure your pages load quickly, among other optimization techniques.
Did you know email marketing has the highest return on investment of any marketing channel? This is especially true for Business-to-Business companies since 86% of businesspeople favor email when communicating for work.
Email marketing is an excellent marketing channel for companies looking to create a loyal and active customer base. By getting them to subscribe to your newsletter, you can keep them aware of everything going on at your business with reminders sent right to their inboxes!
Whereas traditional marketing is highly promotional, successful digital marketing provides free value to customers with high-quality content. This channel includes things like blogs, infographics, videos and eBooks.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Why would I waste time and resources putting together content just to give it away for free?” The answer is simple: By showing your audience that you’re willing to give them free value initially, you make it more likely they will purchase your products and services. It’s all about quality and trustworthiness. Your customers will appreciate the high-quality value you can provide, and your reputation as a trusted resource in your industry will grow.
Creating valuable content is also a great way to improve the SEO of your website. Search engines like Google can tell when a piece of content is professionally written and valuable for users. Thus, the more quality content you put out there, the higher you should rank in search engine results!
Social Media Marketing
Nothing helps promote brand awareness quite like having an active social presence for your business. After all, social media channels are more popular than ever, and 54% of social media users research products on social media. So, what do you think will happen if they try to research your business on social and find nothing there? We shudder to think!
Another way people research businesses online is by looking up their customer reviews on sites like Facebook, Google and Yelp. And that makes sense because it’s one thing to hear you gush about your business, but it’s much more reliable to hear it from others. So, it’s a great idea to ask your happy customers to leave reviews there.
Of course, not all online reviews are glowing. Negative reviews will come. But by responding to those reviews right away with an apology and offer to make things right, you can help give your business a favorable reputation online by showing you care about your customers.
3. Easily Adjust Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Not much stays the same in the realm of digital marketing. A strategy that worked a year ago may already be outdated. Therefore, digital marketers need to stay up to date as new channels emerge and algorithms change.
This may sound like bad news to you if you like things to stay the same. However, it can be tremendous news for small businesses because it opens a vast realm of possibilities for finding success online!
Think of the digital marketing landscape as a playground. Maybe your favorite thing to do on the playground has always been to slide down the metal slide. But when a sweltering summer day comes along, that metal isn’t as fun to slide down. So, what do you do? You adapt and give the swings a try!
In the same way, digital marketing gives your business the freedom to adjust.
For example, let’s say you’re no longer getting the engagement you once got on a particular social media channel. The good news is there are plenty of other channels to try! You can do some research and find the channel where your target audience likes to hang out.
The same goes for your website. If you’re not getting good web traffic, you can always look at what other successful businesses in your industry are doing on their sites and mimic their style.
One of the best parts of digital marketing is how easy it is to make these adjustments. Whereas traditional marketing channels like print and TV require expensive re-prints or re-shoots, you can make these same adjustments online with a few keyboard and mouse clicks! You just can’t beat that flexibility!
4. Achieve Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Make no mistake. Digital marketing isn’t just clicking a few buttons and waiting around hoping things will work. Instead, it’s a very concrete process of strategizing for success in the short term and the long term.
Different digital marketing channels work for different stages of the buying cycle. You can use blogs and social media posts to establish your brand as an industry leader for the awareness stage. Then, you can use videos, website content and email campaigns to show people why your products are worth it for the consideration phase. Finally, when it comes to making the sale, nothing works quite like glowing customer reviews and ads on Google or social channels linked to optimized landing pages.
In this way, you can play both the short game and the long game with online marketing. You can pay for Google ads to get you a quick return on investment while at the same time optimizing your website for SEO, which will win you more customers over time.
5. Closely Connect with Your Customers
Another way digital marketing outpaces traditional channels is the ability it gives you to develop relationships with your customers. After all, it’s easy and convenient for customers to communicate with businesses online.
Think about it. When was the last time you put out a print ad or TV commercial and heard back right away from your customers? Sure, maybe you got some more traffic to your store, but you probably didn’t have any conversations with customers because of it.
With digital marketing, on the other hand, you can put out a social media post and receive comments from customers right away. Similarly, people can instantly respond to your email newsletter or comment on your blog post. This immediate feedback allows you to respond to them and have a conversation.
People often message companies through their digital marketing channels when they have questions or need help with their products or services. These are excellent opportunities to deliver great customer service through timely and helpful responses. And nothing boosts brand loyalty like excellent customer service.
In short, people tend to flock toward businesses that are responsive online. So, make sure your company is one of them!
6. Instantaneously Measure Results
How do you know if your marketing tactics are working? With traditional marketing, this can be a cumbersome task of asking customers how they found you and collecting data. On the other hand, digital marketing channels make this task much simpler!
Every digital marketing channel has a way to track and analyze key performance metrics easily. For websites and blogs, you can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see what pages are performing best and how your traffic has changed over time. And email marketing programs and social media channels give you a lot of data to sift your way through.
Of course, all of this data can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial to determine what key performance indicators you will want to keep your eye on as you track your digital marketing campaigns. Once you know that, you can easily watch those stats and adjust your strategy accordingly.
7. Save Your Money
Digital marketing is highly affordable for small businesses. And it’s especially cost-effective compared to the high price tag of traditional marketing channels like billboard advertising or TV commercials.
Many digital marketing channels cost nothing to set up! For example, creating a page on most social networks is free, and it doesn’t cost anything to ask customers to leave a review. And you can make a successful online video with just your smartphone and a well-lit room!
Of course, digital marketing is not entirely free. Some channels, like website design or email marketing, require a bit of an investment, but they are worth it for the returns we mentioned above.
Furthermore, consider how much cheaper it is to advertise on social media than any other form of advertisement. Social media is the only channel that can get your message in front of over 1,000 people for only $3! That’s a bargain well worth the price!
Ready to Save Time and Connect with Your Customers?
We began this blog with a simple question: Does digital marketing work? As you can see, digital marketing is a highly adaptable and affordable way to promote your business and easily measure the results. Of course, we realize that not all business owners have time to manage their company’s digital marketing. That’s where we come in!
At Frontier Marketing, our in-house team provides a full slate of digital marketing services for companies throughout the Northern Illinois region and beyond. Let us put in the work so that you can enjoy the results! You can learn more about all the services we provide, from web design to email marketing, here.