"Companies that fail to create a marketing strategy are destined to either fail or struggle indefinitely. However, just because you create a strategy does not guarantee success."
- Steve Olenski, CMO Network and Forbes Contributor
A successful marketing strategy can catapult your business to industry stardom. But on the flip side, an ineffective marketing strategy can leave you spinning while competitors blow by you. As a small business owner or marketing director, it's up to you to ensure that you're spending your marketing dollars wisely. We're living in a consumer-driven world, which means you'll need a digital marketing strategy. So, today I'm diving into the top six reasons to invest in digital marketing.
Why Should You Adopt a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Marketers don't deny the role traditional marketing played for companies like Nike, Coca Cola, Nestle and others. But the internet and changing consumer preferences force traditional marketing into the back seat. So many have gone digital. One problem: consumers don't like forced promotions, and nearly one-half of them use ad blockers to avoid intrusive ads.
So if users are blocking ads, should you throw in the towel?
Absolutely not. Digital marketing is a convenient, flexible strategy that yields impressive results—if you do it right. Regardless of your budget, a digital marketing strategy will drive traffic and bolster conversions for your business. Here's why:
1) Digital Marketing Gives Audiences a Choice
"Traditional marketing doesn't give the audience a choice. Most people hate receiving sales flyers in their mailbox or phone calls at inconvenient times on stuff that they have little interest in. Online people get the choice to opt in or out of communications and often it is relevant because they were the ones searching for it in the first place."
- Julie Cave, Digital Doughnut
Traditional marketing doesn't let your target audience choose how to receive content or when they can access it. Instead, they stuff mailboxes with brochures, air spots during TV commercial breaks or use other forced approaches.
Digital marketing strategists use the opposite approach, realizing every prospect is unique. Some folks enjoy reading social media posts, while others watch educational videos. So instead of forcing content on prospects with a snail mail brochure, digital marketing strategists create content to publish online in various locations and formats. This way, audiences have the freedom to choose how, when and what type of content they consume.
2) You Can Easily Update Materials
Traditional marketing campaigns are hard to update after rollout. It's impossible to edit magazine print ads, for example, because they've already been released to the public. You'd have to run new ads to replace the existing ones, which is pricey and will kill your marketing budget.
One of the biggest reasons to invest in digital marketing is you're free to make major ad changes any time. In as little as a few minutes, you can edit videos, blog posts and articles to reflect the needs of your target audience. These quick changes immediately impact your sales numbers for the better—without spending more cash. More importantly, your audience gets their hands on the information they crave.
3) Digital Marketing is More Cost Effective
"You must pay for ads in newspapers or mailers every time you run a new campaign. Adding new products or sales pages to your website doesn't create additional costs if you already have a person on your team who can update your product information. Traditional marketing companies may charge per delivery area for fliers or mailers. On the Internet, your ad is accessible to the entire World Wide Web."
- Debbie McRill, Bizfluent
In general, traditional marketing carries a heftier price tag than digital marketing. For instance, magazine print ads cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000 to run. And some national publications charge up to $500,000 for an ad inside a magazine's front cover! Businesses usually spend 1 percent of their revenue on advertising, so high-profile traditional print ads just aren't cost effective if you're trying to grow.
Keeping costs in check is much easier with a digital marketing strategy. Local Search Association Content Strategist, Courtney Dobson, says digital marketing works especially well for small businesses because there are so many ways they can engage with target audiences without breaking the bank. She outlines four digital marketing techniques businesses can use with a limited budget:
- Content Creation and Publication: Creating useful, high-quality content can build trust with your target audience
- Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO can be done in-house, and it's way cheaper than paid search campaigns
- Social Media: Billions of people use social media and there's plenty of free analytics tools, so you can hardly afford not to hop on the social bandwagon
- Video Content: Video is a low-cost way to promote upcoming events or showcase new products
4) Global Reach is Possible with Digital Marketing
More businesses are expanding into emerging markets. According to a Wells Fargo survey, 87 percent of U.S. business owners believe international expansion will bring long-term growth. Companies relying on traditional marketing strategies face problems reaching overseas customers because of direct mail challenges and limitations with print media, for instance.
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing lets you reach prospects just about anywhere. So with 96 percent of the world's consumers living outside the United States, businesses increasingly rely on digital marketing to reach overseas markets. But how do they do it? Website translations, international SEO and content creation with international keyword research are just a few successful strategies. Digital marketing strategies enable your business to compete on a bigger scale internationally—even if you're an industry newcomer.
5) Consumers Are More Likely to Trust You
"Fifty years of abuse at the hands of advertisers has made us savvier and less permeable to shiny, corporate messages...Of course, human beings can still be manipulated by fake news and misleading advertorials, as the post truth era might reveal - but brands are less able to induce us to buy with ads."
- Fernando Polo, CEO at Good Rebels
Traditional marketers have used advertising campaigns to persuade consumers for years. But today's prospects are an entirely different breed, and they refuse to be manipulated by pre-fabricated ads that make inflated promises.
Accordingly, consumers respond well to authentic, relevant and personalized marketing messages. And there's no better way to achieve this trifecta than through digital marketing.
These digital marketing tactics resonate with prospects especially well:
- Video testimonials provided by satisfied customers
- Case studies shared on social media
- Blog posts featured on a company's website
6) You Can Measure Digital Marketing Results
You can't really measure traditional marketing results, which is a serious shortcoming. It's almost impossible to see how many people invested in your products or services because they saw your ad or heard your radio commercial. Sure, you can ask new customers how they heard about you or even use coupon codes to link sales to traditional campaigns, but you'll only capture feedback from some of your customer base.
Right now, 39 percent of companies struggle to prove marketing ROI because they depend too heavily on traditional marketing. But digital marketing offers data and analytics so you can collect reliable customer information. By using a marketing strategy that focuses on testing and results, you can isolate the marketing initiatives that are driving most of your traffic and conversions. What's more is you can pinpoint campaigns that fell flat and strike them from your marketing plan.
Invest in Digital Marketing for Business Success
Digital marketing delivers measurable results at an affordable price and lets prospects choose how and when they receive your content. But most importantly, digital marketing yields an attractive ROI. Whether you own a startup or a growing mid-sized company, a digital marketing strategy can elevate your business. In the end, your question shouldn't be whether there are enough reasons to invest in digital marketing, but rather why your company isn't doing it already! Need help getting started? Get in touch with me to develop your digital marketing strategy.