Digital Marketing for Business – Why it’s important for your business!
Traditional marketing has taken a back seat over recent years with the emergence of a new way of marketing to prospects and customers. Once there was a time when advertising was limited to tv, radio and print media. However, the internet brought a whole new means of communicating and now digital marketing has become the norm.
The constant development and emergence of new apps, platforms and advertising opportunities has ensured that digital marketing has remained at the forefront of any savvy marketing strategy. Digital marketing can bring a lot of opportunities and growth to business through exposure to new customers and increased profits. For those businesses without a digital marketing strategy, the risk of being left behind is high. The business market is highly competitive, and in order to differentiate your business from others, retain existing customers and attract new ones, a digital marketing strategy is essential.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is simply promoting or creating brand and product/service awareness using the internet. As with traditional marketing, there are many different elements to consider but a well thought out digital marketing strategy will ensure you choose the right avenues for your business.
This helps drive visitors to your website or landing page through paid advertising. You pay every time someone clicks on your advert, with the intention of converting them into a lead or a customer. Whilst the most popular advertising route is through Google, there are many opportunities now through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. It's a marketing strategy that will draw paid traffic to your business website.
Search engine optimisation involves working on your website content and back-end structure to increase search engine rankings for desired keyword searches. The higher your website ranks on Google for example, the more traffic you’ll drive to your website. Whilst this can be done in-house with the right team, it often involves content and technical experts to achieve good results, so is often outsourced to SEO professionals.
Content marketing focuses on value and creating content that will attract potential customers to your brand, product or service. By not focusing on selling your offering, instead providing information of value, it’s a softer marketing approach that pitches your company as the expert in your field. The content created can also form the basis of social media posts, infographics, slideshares and more to help create a consistent message and strategy.
Video has gained huge popularity as a marketing tool recently. It’s the most engaging media online and already studies have been done to prove increase in engagement rates through the use of video. It’s a versatile medium that can be used in many ways – to promote your brand, show behind the scenes of the business, share stories and testimonials, demonstrate products and more.
With GDPR regulations, many thought that email marketing would decline in popularity. However, although it’s one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it still provides a high return on investment. Sending well written, targeted and often personalised emails is a hugely popular and cost effective way of engaging with your audience.
Why do you need a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A strategy gives direction and goals.
A digital marketing strategy looks at your existing customers and target audience and defines the best means of engaging with them online to fulfil your digital marketing goals. Whether you’re looking to engage new customers, retain existing customers or branch out into a new market, a well crafted digital marketing strategy will help you reach your goal and stay on the right track with your marketing efforts.
A digital marketing strategy for all sizes of business – whether a sole trader, B2B, B2C or a global entity – is essential. It’s a valuable tool to help your business grow, increase your visibility and achieve your business KPIs. Companies who don’t have a strategy in place often have no handle on their online activities, failing to achieve meaningful engagement and marketing results.
Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business
It’s where your customers are
Unless you’re selling snow to eskimos, you can virtually guarantee your customers are online. Increasing your exposure online is the best way to attract new customers.
It’s also where most people will do their research before engaging with a potential supplier, so having a presence online is vital to ensure you’re in their considerations. If people can’t find anything about you online, chances are they’ll not even consider your business as an option.
It’s more affordable
Digital marketing is considerably cheaper than other forms of marketing. Advertising online typically costs much less and is a better use of resources than for example designing, printing and distributing flyers.
It’s also much faster and leads to quicker results than traditional means. With digital marketing you can start the process immediately and gain results much faster.
Your competitors will be online
A full competitor analysis will show you where your competitors are, what their engagement is like, and also where their customers are! This can be useful information in devising your own digital marketing strategy and helping to differentiate you from your competition.
What do they post about? Where are they visible? How are they ranking on Google?
If you have limited marketing resources it may be worth engaging with a digital marketing agency who have specific tools at their disposal to conduct a comprehensive competitor analysis (like spying, but legally) and pitch where they are online against your business.
Communicate directly with your customers
Building relationships with your customers is much more effective online. Blog comments, social media posts, reviews and messages are visible to all. This public communication also becomes the perfect showcase for your business to potential customers too. Customer service is key. And if you’re seen to be responding to customer queries, solving issues and communicating effectively, it will filter through to your target prospects and can help boost business. Showing your customers that you care and are responsive helps them to feel valued and part of your online community.
Grow your brand
Digital marketing is highly effective at helping to develop and grow your brand. Done correctly, it showcases what your brand, your company and your people stand for, and how it can help meet the needs of your target customers.
It’s easier to track success
Unlike traditional forms of marketing, it’s much easier to track digital activities and their success rates. By monitoring advertising engagement rates, web visits and visitor journeys and email marketing clicks it’s much easier to gauge which activities generate the most success and is right for your business. Tracking and data analytics will also help you to review and refine your digital marketing strategy.
Where to start with digital marketing?
We’ve established that digital marketing is crucial in your overall marketing strategy to ensure business growth. Many smaller teams don’t have the dedicated resource to develop, implement and manage a consistent targeted digital marketing strategy.
In this case, it’s wise to engage with a digital marketing agency to help define the right strategy for your business and engage with your customers on your behalf. A badly implemented online presence can be as detrimental to your business as no presence at all!
At FWD, we cover all disciplines in-house from marketing, design, development and print. You can get in touch with us at email@example.com or phone us on 01246 439045.
Author: Nic Wilson-deRoze