When creating a marketing strategy you may find yourself asking why digital marketing over another more traditional form of marketing? What are the benefits? Are there any downfalls? Is it worth the money? Is it hard? Is it fast? Will it even work? If you are just starting out and marketing isn’t in your wheel house, then take some time to learn why digital marketing can help you build a profitable business.
Before we can talk about why digital marketing is king, let’s first define it. Digital marketing is an umbrella term for any type of online marketing including SEO, PPC, email marketing, content marketing and social media marketing. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, here’s a quick breakdown.
PPC in Digital Marketing
PPC stands for “pay per click” and is attributed to Google’s search and display ads. When you run these ads on Google, you pay a set price each time someone clicks on your advertisement. You will need to come up with a keyword strategy that aligns with your business. There is a lot that goes into a keyword strategy like choosing words with high search volume that have a low cost per click. When Google users search your target keywords your ads will appear. With PPC you have the power to create your own ads and you are also in full control of your budget. Some keywords are relatively inexpensive per click like “men’s t-shirts” at $1.70 per click whereas some are extremely expensive like “car accident lawyers” at $209 per click.
If you have money to spend, you can easily reach the number one spot on the first page of Google search. But you will still need a strategy to make sure you are reaching the right audience and getting the highest conversion rates possible. Remember, unqualified clicks on your ads can waste your money, so make sure the people that click are genuinely interested in purchasing your product.
SEO in Digital Marketing
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is how you organically rank in Google search. This means that you are not paying to do so like you are with PPC. Everyone wants their business to be on the first page or at least in the top three organic search results because those get the most traffic from potential customers. How do you rank in search engines without spending money?
You optimize your content with keywords! Keywords are the powerhouse of SEO. In order to rank you will need to strategically add keywords to your copy, H1 tag, title and meta description and image alt tags. You will also need an ongoing SEO strategy which involves blogging and acquiring backlinks to build your website’s authority and make your online presence stronger.
These are the top three results for a drip coffee maker. If you were selling this product you would want to beat out your competition in order to get into one of the top spots. This may take some time because these websites that are ranking seem to have a lot of power. You may not be able to rank for this keyword, but keyword research will help you strategize and find those keywords that you will be able to rank for.
There are many in’s and out’s of SEO but once you learn them you will be able to build a profitable SEO campaign like the pros!
Email in Digital Marketing
According to a Campaign Monitor study for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44. With a return like that, it’s no wonder why digital marketing is the best way to market a business! Email marketing is exactly what it sounds like. You as a business send emails out to your subscribers in order to convince them to buy your product or service or follow your brand. It’s like writing letters to your potential customers except with email you can see how many people have opened your “letter” and who has clicked links within your email.
There are a few email guidelines that you will need to follow in order to have a successful campaign. The first is to have a catchy subject line. Take Dollar Shave Club for example. They used a simple yet intriguing subject line to entice users to open their email. Subject lines are the first thing users see before opening your email. Tell them what’s waiting for them inside and make it sound irresistible. Once you get people to open your email, the next step is getting them to take action.
The next guideline we recommend is to have a call to action at the top of your email. Tell users what you want them to do whether it is to “shop” and make a purchase or “read more” about your product. These should be big and bold so that your customers can’t miss it! The goal with a call to action is to get those clicks so that customers visit your website. Sometimes it may take some testing to see which buttons your subscribers respond to most.
You should also keep in mind that too much text can be difficult for users to digest. No one wants to spend time reading your overly wordy email because they probably receive hundreds of other emails every day. Keep it concise. And if you do feel like you need a lot of text, break it up into manageable or scannable paragraphs so that your readers are not overwhelmed. You can always link to your website pages or landing pages for additional information.
The best part about email marketing is that you can set up an email campaign to automatically send emails to your customers. These are called email automations. You can set up welcome email automations welcoming your customers or giving them a discount for their first purchase. This is a great way to get them in the door to try your product out. You can also send abandoned cart emails that will email customers when they leave something in their carts. This method of retargeting customers is something that many large companies do to capture those missed sales.
DSW sends abandoned cart emails to customers to remind them to go back to their site and purchase what they previously put in their cart. Their email resembles their website so that it makes it simple for a customer to click on any tab and keep shopping! It also has text that is short and to the point with a great call to action.
Content is King in Digital Marketing
Content marketing includes things like blogging which can immensely help your business. You can write blogs so that they rank in Google search and they can also help your potential customers to understand your business or answer questions that they have. How can you rank with a blog? It’s all about the length of the blog, how many times you can strategically place your keyword, how many clicks and shares it receives and how long people spend reading. Whatever you blog about make sure your blogs are full of useful and relevant information that is related to your brand. No matter what type of business you have, there is something to blog about, whether it’s tips and tricks, giving advice or simply promoting your business.
Get Social with Digital Marketing
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves marketing across social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Advertising campaigns on social media are quick to set up and you can target these ads to specific groups of people. The amount of data that is collected through social media can help you tweak ads to make them more aligned with what your customers want to see as well as make your dollar stretch as far as it can. Advertising on social media is by far the cheapest way to advertise.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
When we say traditional marketing we mean the marketing that you are probably already used to seeing like advertisements in newspapers or magazines, on billboards or in TV commercials. Many people think that traditional marketing is the way to go so that you can build trust with customers and create a network of lasting relationships. Surprisingly enough, the same thing can be done over the internet but for a lower cost and ultimately a more successful outcome.
So why digital marketing over traditional marketing?
For starters you can attract highly targeted traffic by creating a custom audience when using digital marketing. This proves difficult with traditional media. You can put an ad in a specific magazine that your target audience reads but how many people will actually purchase that magazine or even see your ad? Or let’s say your business wants to advertise on a billboard. A bunch of eyes will see your ad but will they take action? Chances are your ad won’t apply to every person that sees it.
You can’t retarget with potential customers with traditional media. Retargeting is one of the reasons why digital marketing is so successful. When a customer interacts with your advertisement on Google, Facebook, Instagram or any other channel, you can track their every move and use this data to retarget them in the future. Wondering why that ad for those shoes you looked at last week keeps appearing in your newsfeed? You are being retargeted and chances are high that one day you will revisit that store and purchase them. After all if they keep appearing this must be a sign right?
Every business wants to save money in any way that they can. You want to get the most bang for your buck! Facebook advertising is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising out there. The average cost per click for a Facebook ad is around $1.72. That’s pretty good when you consider that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users every day.
With digital marketing it is much easier to measure results. You will be able to monitor everything from how long someone spent on your web page to where that person came from on the internet to get to your website. You can monitor how well your ads are doing and make quick adjustments when they are under-performing. This is why digital marketing has so much power. Every action that your customers take can be recorded, and that data can be used to form a successful digital marketing campaign.
Facebook delivers all of your data to you through ads manager. It is user friendly, gives you a simple break down of costs and results, and allows you to control your budget. With traditional media like advertising in a magazine, the only analytics that are really available to you would be how large the magazine’s circulation is, and that’s not going to be super helpful for your marketing campaign.
In order to keep up with your competition you will need to use some form of digital marketing. Even though much of our world is digital, you can still use traditional media. But supplementing it with online marketing will allow your business to rise above the rest.
Why Digital Marketing Comes Out On Top
If you are a small to medium sized business you need to take advantage of everything digital marketing has to offer. Beating out large competitors is difficult enough. Don’t make it harder on yourself by using outdated marketing methods. There are countless reasons why digital marketing always wins versus traditional marketing. Digital or online marketing allows you to engage with your fans, keep your costs down and builds trust with your customers.
One reason why digital marketing is taking over is the ease of communication with customers. Online marketing is a two-way street. You can communicate with your customers as easily as they can communicate with you. This is something that you as a business owner need to take advantage of. And it’s one reason why digital marketing reigns supreme over traditional marketing methods.
Nordstrom is a brand that is killing it on social media! They reply to fans comments and ask if they need any assistance with their shopping. Engaging with your fans and customers can make a huge difference in their shopping experience. It humanizes you as a brand and shows customers that you are here to help them.
Digital marketing builds trust with users. You can use social proof like testimonials from previous customers on your website or star ratings in order to show shoppers what others think of your products. Patagonia displays their ratings for every product on their website and breaks it down by stars. As you can see they have 64 five star ratings on this product. Since all of these reviews are accessible to the shopper they can browse and read through all of them if they want. This is something you just can’t do with traditional marketing or even in-store shopping. It would be immensely difficult to show 60+ reviews in a magazine for your product.
Over 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends. The more ratings you have the more trustworthy you come across to potential customers. Would you be more likely to give your business to a company with one five star review or a company with 46 four and five star reviews? Many consumers do at least little bit of research before they decide to buy from a new company, so make sure you earn their trust online!
Speaking of ratings, asking for reviews for your business is something that is extremely easy to do online. You can send an email asking your customers what they thought of your product and to kindly rate it. You can run an ad or boost a post asking followers to give you a review in exchange for a coupon. In both of these examples you can include a simple button or call to action that links directly to a review site. This information can be used to redesign your product or service so that it better meets people’s needs if the ratings are not so great. It can also be used to show new customers that your product or service is better than your competitors if the ratings are great!
Call to Action
On your website you can also use clever calls to action or CTA’s to entice users to buy. CTA’s are typically action buttons that tell customers what you want them to do like buy, like, share or contact you. You can’t really link your newspaper advertisement to more information. Everything on your site is right there ready for your customers to purchase. If they see an ad in the newspaper they have to physically go take action and probably be reminded to do so several times (and then they still may not take action).
In most cases digital marketing is instant. You can create an ad for Google, give it a budget and start running it relatively quick if you’re a pro. With some forms of digital marketing like SEO it does take time, but it is well worth the wait when you see your business page ranking number one in Google search. To potential customers, that first result is trustworthy. It must be good if it’s ranking number one right?
Useful Analytics & Data
Probably the biggest reason why digital marketing has overtaken traditional marketing is that you as a business have the ability to track your customers every move online. This provides you with a wealth of data to analyze so that you can make adjustments in your digital marketing campaigns. With other forms of traditional marketing like radio or TV there is no way of knowing who saw your ad and who converted because of it.
Analytics from a Facebook ad will tell you how many people saw your ad, how many times it was displayed and how many conversions you received from it as well as how much you are paying per conversion.
Let’s say you pay $500 for a billboard (this is excluding the amount you would pay for someone to design it) there is no way of lowering this cost. With Facebook you can spend a small amount each month and rapidly increase your audience and receive all of this data that you can use to make your campaign stronger. By “small amount” we mean $10. Yes you can actually grow by spending only $10 a month!
Just posting on Facebook and not running ads is not enough. Facebook is a pay to play platform which means that you have to put in some money (even a small amount) in order to gain followers and fans. In reality your followers will see less than 1% of your posts. But having an active Facebook ad campaign can increase your page clicks by 96%.
With digital marketing you can target your specific audience. You can even use something called a lookalike audience on Facebook to target customers like the ones you already have. This audience is built from your email list of customers that you already have. Facebook will take these emails and find customers on Facebook that are similar to your existing customers. You also don’t have to target your existing customers with Facebook ads – you can completely exclude them! Using a lookalike audience will mean that your ads are being seen by more qualified leads which can ultimately lead to more sales and building lifetime relationships with loyal customers.