The internet has and will continue to change the way we conduct business. Nearly 90% of the US and Canadian population is on the internet. And of those 90%, the majority of them use it for shopping and business. If you’re a business owner who’s looking to take your business to the next level, digital marketing is your best bet.
So, what is digital marketing?
The business dictionary defines “digital marketing” as the “promotion of products, or brands, via one or more forms of electronic media.” This includes SMS, e-Mail, social media, blogs, websites, and mobile apps, to name a few. And over the years, digital marketing has grown in popularity – ousting traditional marketing (but not completely). Last year, alone, the retail industry spent an estimated $15 BILLION on digital ads.
Businesses the world over are obviously getting good returns on their digital marketing campaigns and favoring it over traditional means. Experts predict that spending on digital marketing will only continue to increase in the coming years.
Looking to jumpstart your digital marketing efforts before the year closes out? Here are a few ways it can help your small business!
Research has shown that social media marketing costs significantly less than billboards – $2.50 to $5.00, respectively. The other means of traditional marketing include radio, newspaper, magazines, television and direct mail. And all of these cost 2-5x more than billboards. All of these aforementioned prices are per 1,000 impressions.
A quick overview of these numbers, and once can see the cost advantage in digital marketing. Furthermore, brands can reach their audiences in more ways than one, digitally. From smartphone apps, to blogs, photos, videos, live broadcasts/streams, podcasts, and more. The options to reach your audience seem endless. This provides marketers, like yourself, with a variety of strategies to choose from.
Going online is less expensive than you think. And there are a wide range of online marketing tools you can choose from. Sites like EZSiteBuilders have compiled a list of tools you should definitely consider.
Some of our personal favorites include MozBar, MailChimp, HootSuite, and HARO.
Digital marketing adds another dimension to your business through interaction and engagement. It’s not longer just you, as a brand, dictating a message. Your consumers, and target audience, are now able to create dialogue, and spark a conversation around your messages. This is done through comments, “likes,” shares, and re-blogging of your original content.
This raises the level of engagement and often results in better communication between a marketer, and consumer. It’s also a great way to receive feedback at a much faster rate than having consumers fill out a survey after a purchase, for example.
Even more important is the fact that, digitally, you can now track customer engagement and behavior in real time. This allows you to make the necessary changes in your marketing campaign as needed, and as often as you’d like. Analytical tools, such as Google Analytics, provide you with a number of metrics from CTR (click-through rate), bounce rate, conversion rate, and more. With this data at the palm of your hands, you can easily adjust the sails.
As you can see, getting started with digital marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting task – it isn’t as difficult as you think it is. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to drive your sales, and increase engagement, digital marketing should be your first choice.