Technology and the evolution of the last era have brought the world online. We are connected in a million and one different ways, and it’s how the global economy functions daily.
Without digital connections, small and medium-sized businesses would have failed decades ago. Having a marketing strategy in place is vitally important to get any business name out in the market.
Creating an effective strategy is another issue. With all the advancements in technology, it’s clear to see that soon everything will be integrated online and no traditional forms of marketing will have a place in the world.
Here are five ways that digital marketing can improve any business and five more tips on how to design a strategy that works.
Bridging the Gap
For the old types of businesses that relied on traditional marketing to get their name known in the market, there was only one way to reach your audience: printed media. It still exists to a large degree today; however, we are in a time between the crossover into fully digital mediums where traditional media still has a place, albeit a small one.
The only way those older businesses have lasted is by accepting the new age with open arms and embracing the change that technology will continue to bring.
Eventually, printed forms of marketing will die out completely, and jumping on the bandwagon before it’s too late is crucial. Digital marketing allows all businesses to even out the playing field and allows lesser-known names to gain online awareness.
Maintaining connections with the target audience can be done much easier with online avenues, such as improved customer service and quick turn-around times.
Printed media can be extremely expensive. It’s why most businesses have such a large marketing budget to produce flyers, billboards, and banners to advertise. Digital media is far superior in many ways, and being cost-effective is just one of them.
With the right marketing team that is creative and uses the analyzed data correctly, a business can create just about anything for next to nothing. There are millions of creative software and programs that were designed just for digital media.
From simple images to videos with sound, there is little investment to get a business’s digital marketing off the ground.
There are other cost-effective options if a business doesn’t have a budget big enough for a full team of professionals onsite. Online platforms allow less tech-savvy employees to create just about any type of poster or short video for free.
There are limitations as to how many functions they will have, but for small businesses just starting that need brand awareness, there are plenty of ways to do it.
Some businesses just churn out printed and digital media, screaming about their promotions and deals. If this is the only type of marketing they provide, it shows a lack of direction. There is no clear strategy in place that is actively engaging their client base.
Online and digital forms of marketing allow a business to connect deeper with the world and the market. It’s in our human nature to want to connect with the people around us, as well as those we do business with. We want to have a relationship with our purchases, and experience goes a long way.
Digital marketing can help to create a specific brand that people associate with the instant they see a certain logo or catchphrase. It tells a business where its strengths and weaknesses lie and what they need to do to correct them.
Because digital media is accessible to anyone who has an internet connection, a business can expand the avenues of customers it tries to attract.
Businesses that have gone online are now able to experience things from a different perspective. It’s easier to quantify how well your marketing strategy is working. Digital marketing that is done through Facebook, for example, provides information as to how popular an advertisement is and whether it’s gaining traction or not.
Anytime someone clicks on the post or shares it, the business will know. This is just one way to analyze digital marketing, where traditional printed media is lacking. This is known as data analytics.
Analyzing digital media helps a business to learn what their clients are looking for. It’s a way to understand how their customers engage with them, and to provide real-time information. This kind of data is imperative for any business to succeed in the modern age, but it will require an experienced analyst to interpret.
A data analyst has key skills and abilities to understand what the data means, and how it can grow a business. Experienced professionals in this field need to have a Masters in digital marketing which can be obtained from Emerson College if they want to apply true data analytics for the business’s benefit.
With the cost-saving effect, a comprehensive and well-thought-out strategy for digital marketing can increase revenues and improve return on investment. By more people knowing about a business through digital marketing streams, it automatically has a better chance of gaining more revenue.
With the right monthly plan in place in the form of email or social media marketing, customers can find a product or service they need much easier.
By investing in a website, there is an even greater chance of increased revenue and soon the investment will pay for itself. As long as there is continuous flow to the website, there will always be someone who wants to conduct business. Specific goals and targets can be tracked and calculated with digital marketing.
Identify the Target Market
It’s unrealistic to assume that every single person in the world will buy the same product and from the same company. That’s why every business needs to have a core demographic that it targets. For example, a tattoo parlor isn’t going to advertise its services to children through social media.
A manufacturer of high-end sports gear isn’t going to attract someone that isn’t into fitness. It’s not just about reaching the whole world, but gearing the digital marketing to a specific audience that is more likely to make a purchase.
Once the target audience is identified, the marketing strategy needs to be adapted to attract those kinds of people. The audience needs to be a part of every strategic decision made, otherwise, the business is just shooting in the dark.
With digital marketing, a business can analyze audience behavior and purchasing traits. They can tell more easily which products or services are in the most demand for their target audience. The information a business can gather is what demographics of people are more likely to buy certain things.
Do the middle-aged males of the world engage more with a certain perspective, or do children play a bigger part in the customer base? All of these questions can be answered with digital marketing to identify a business’s key target audience and gear its digital marketing strategy accordingly.
To manage digital marketing and create an effective strategy doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort. The key is to target specific areas by using the SMART process. The acronym means to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
This is to say that any strategy should focus on these five core areas to get the most out. To be specific means that a business must isolate and define what it wants from its digital marketing. Does it want to reach a certain audience, reach a certain profit margin, or start a movement? Once these goals are in place, it’s easier to work on a plan to go forward with.
The second part means that the business needs to be able to measure its strategy. If something is not measurable, it cannot be calculated and corrected if necessary. Setting achievable goals is one of the most important parts. The objective has to be attainable, otherwise, the business is setting itself up for disappointment.
This also means that the goals need to be realistic to not overexert resources or make big investments where the end goal is too big to achieve.
Lastly, an effective marketing strategy must be implemented and performed within a good time frame. Don’t set unrealistic goals for two years from now. Evaluate the strategy every six months to make sure it still meets the SMART rules.
Present a Voice to be Heard
This closely ties in with building relationships with customers through experiences and values. A business that has a specific and clear agenda, such as producing all-natural products, should expand on that.
Essentially, it’s a part of the business’s mission and vision statement. Do they want to create the next level of innovative technology through environmentally-friendly means? This is an example of a brand’s voice that people want to hear about.
If a business doesn’t have a brand that actively attracts people, it will soon be forgotten. Create one if none exists, to give the business a personality of its own that uses digital marketing to get its point across. Perhaps a factory engages in community development. Use that as a niche to create a unique brand that no one else has.
People are more likely to conduct business with a company that fights for bigger causes or helps the needy. Environmental protection and friendliness are big aspects of the 21st century that humans have started to take note of.
Always Be Present
This means posting regular digital media as well as being available for customers at all times. A good marketing strategy has key individuals in place to manage customer queries online and ensure customer service is the top priority. It can mean the difference between someone choosing a competitor over another business, simply because it has better rapport with clients.
Always be present in digital marketing, constantly, every day. Social media especially moves at an incredible speed. Posting one advertisement per week or sending newsletters only every six months, means the business will get lost in the shuffle.
The online presence needs to be felt and seen constantly. New businesses are entering the global market daily, and if they have a consistent plan to engage online customers every hour on the hour, you can bet they will get more business. Many businesses even hit a marketing plateau where none of the usual methods work.
Use digital marketing to change the business’s perspective and focus on being present on more than just a handful of online platforms. Actively pursue various mediums every day.
We have everything we need at the tips of our fingers. Cell phones have been mainstream for a few decades now, and everyone has one, some even have more. A person can perform online banking from their phone, follow their favorite celebrities, and order food to be delivered right to their door.
The more mobile a business can become, the more people will use their product or service. Customers can reach a company much easier if there is a mobile app in place. Being accessible via mobile also means customizing a website and app to work on the different platforms that customers may use.
It would be wise to invest in search engine optimization (SEO), to make sure that customers will see a company as one of the first in the list on places like Google and Bing.
Soon digital marketing will be the only way that businesses get their name out there. The key is to get ahead of the game sooner rather than later and take advantage of everything digital marketing has to offer.
Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is vital for any business to make it in the market, but it involves a lot of thought and planning.
A business has to be target-driven, define a brand that people can relate to, and engage its target market regularly. With these tips and recommendations, any business can improve with the use of digital marketing and a clear strategy in place.