A few years ago, online marketing was a tool that only big businesses and established brands could embrace. Today that has all changed. Small and medium-sized companies have the same level playing fields when it comes to digital marketing. To understand the importance of digital marketing, you must first learn the different digital marketing areas.
So why is digital marketing important and what exactly is it?
Digital marketing is any marketing effort that takes place online. It includes content marketing, email campaigns, search engine optimization, paid advertising campaigns, pay-per-click campaigns, social media marketing, and influencer marketing.
Before we jump into the importance of digital marketing, let's get a brief overview of the top strategies ...
Content Marketing is creating and distributing relevant, innovative, and exciting content to attract engagement and build a clearly defined audience.
Email campaigns are a choreographed set of emails that are distributed over a predetermined timeframe with clear intent. These could be to sell a new product, signup for a Webinar, or a newsletter to build brand recognition.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on one main principle—rank #1 on search engines. Try our free website performance audit tool to check your SEO score.
Paid advertising and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are similar. With paid advertising, you pay for impressions (eyes on your ad). Pay-per-click describes itself; you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. The most common medium for PPC is Google, and the most common platform for paid advertising is on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Social media marketing includes any effort to build brand awareness, generate leads or sales, and cultivate new customers on any social media platform. If you're posting regularly to your business's Facebook or Instagram ... you're social media marketing!
Influencer marketing is the newest digital marketing area. An influencer is anyone with a social media following with whom they have built trust and credibility. Brands will pay them to post about their products in the hope of driving interest in their products.
Now that we understand the main areas of online marketing. Here are the top 10 reasons why digital marketing is important for your business in 2021:
1 - Reach more potential customers
Unlike traditional marketing mediums like billboards, TV and print ads, or direct mail with digital marketing, you can reach your customers where they already are spending their time.
According to the Digital 2021 Report from Hootsuite, the average person spends twice as much time using the internet as they do watching TV. Think about yourself for a moment; how many times have you pulled out your phone for entertainment instead of turning on the TV?
In 2020 alone, the population of internet users grew by 298 million worldwide to 4.54 billion. That is 59% of the global population.
What other marketing effort would allow you that much reach?
2 - Target your ideal customer and demographic
Targeting is the method of presenting your online marketing campaign to your ideal customers. In the past, if you wanted to target 10s or 100s of thousands of people in a specific geographic area, you could buy a billboard. Yes, that billboard would be seen daily by everyone driving by commuting to work or running errands, but it would also be seen by drivers passing through the area. More importantly, your ad might only be relevant to a small fraction of those drivers.
Enter digital marketing targeting. With the audience targeting capabilities of platforms like Google and Facebook, you can drill down and only pay for your ad to show to the most relevant people.
This is where the importance of digital marketing really shines.
Let's say you are selling organic dog food. On Facebook and Instagram, you can target dog owners interested in organic food products whose income is in the top 50% of the U.S. or dog owners who are also interested in Whole Foods.
Another great targeting tool available in Facebook Ads Manager is the lookalike audience. Facebook's algorithm can analyze people that have engaged with your Instagram profile over a set time period. 30, 60, 90, or even the last 365 days. It will then take that data and formulate common data points between your engagers and extrapolate it to build a new audience to help you find new cold customers. You can do the same with website visitors, email lists, purchasers, and more.
Facebook Audience Insights is a great tool to find potential audiences and deep dive into what other interests these audiences may have. You can use this information to uncover new potential audiences to test.
The takeaway here is that online marketing allows you to target exactly who you want to reach and not waste money on anyone you don't.
3 - Retargetting can boost conversion rates
When trying to grasp the importance of digital marketing, retargeting is the most valuable tool available to any strategy. Retargeting is the method of placing ads in front of an already warmed audience, such as website visitors over the last 30 days or people who have added an item to their cart but never checked out.
I am sure you have experienced retargeting as you scrolled your feed and saw an ad for a product you recently viewed on a website.
Website owners place a small piece of tracking code in the header of their website. Facebook calls theirs a Pixel, and Google calls it an Analytics Code. Digital marketing ad managers can then create strategic ads targeting specific criteria with ultra-relevant content.
A recent study from Rakuten Advertising showed that the average customer would visit a website 9.5 times before completing a purchase. Almost a 4x increase from 2011 when shoppers only visited 2.5 times.
4 - Digital Marketing is affordable for everyone
Traditionally, professional marketing has been financially unattainable to everyday small and medium-sized businesses. The emergence of online marketing has shifted that paradigm.
For $5/day on Facebook, a business owner can reach upwards of 1,000 hyper-targeted people.
For $1 - $2 a click on Google, businesses can drive searchers to their website, lead form, or product. If Google campaigns are correctly optimized, and the keywords are strategically selected, all of these clicks will come from searchers with a clear intent to buy.
5- Interact and engage directly with potential customers
The unfortunate truth in customer satisfaction is that customers are more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one. With active social media accounts, you can address and resolve any customer dissatisfaction and show your brand's true colors.
Through your social media marketing efforts, you can build strong brand loyalty and develop relationships directly with customers. Building loyalty and relationships can quickly turn a customer into a promoter. A promoter is an active customer that organically promotes your brand out of their own free will.
6 - Analytics, Tracking, Data, and More Data
Data is arguably the most valuable commodity in 2021. Understanding the data from your digital marketing efforts will provide clear insight into what's working and what's not.
By analyzing your data and insights, you can make educated decisions about where to invest more time, money, or effort. You can test and find new potential markets for your business.
When it comes to analytics and data, digital marketing's importance is how much you learn about your audience.
Here some highlights of what you can learn:
- The number of people who saw your ad or post
- With TV, radio, and print ads you only get an estimate
- The number of people who engaged with your ad or post
- This provides insight into what is working and what is not. If your audience likes the content or you need to try another direction
- How many people shared your content
- The length of time some spent watching a video
- You can use this information to warm a cold audience and create more targeted advertisements
- The age, gender, and location of the people who interacted with your ad or post
- The time of day users are most likely to engage with you
7 - Scale the winners, turn off the losers
In my opinion, this is probably one of the top benefits of digital marketing. Once a TV ad or billboard is created and running if the content or copy is flawed or a flop, you're stuck with that advertisement until the contract expires.
We start every new campaign with a budget of $5/day per advertisement. After 48 - 72 hours, we analyze the results looking for specific benchmarks to determine the winners and losers. Losers get turned off, and we try the next audience. After a few weeks of testing, we have clearly defined which ads and audiences are working to meet our client's goals, and we start to scale. The testing process continues with a small portion of the budget to continually find new opportunities.
None of this would have been available with traditional marketing. You either get it right the first time, or you fail.
8 - Discover and adapt to the latest trends.
Using tools like Google Trends and following Quoras and Reddit forums are a few great ways to learn about what keywords and topics are trending.
For example, I was able to determine the topic of this article and the keywords I wanted to target based on my research with Google Trends. We also use this tool to help some of our YouTube Management clients pick video topics.
Business owners can use this information to stay ahead of the curve with product launches, trending topics to increase engagement, and creating new content in their niche to drive more website traffic.
Also, to make short-term financial decisions regarding ad spend and important digital marketing strategies.
9 - Best ROI and ROAS
ROI stands for Return on Investment. ROAS stands for Return on Ad Spend.
When gauging the importance of digital marketing, considering the potential ROI and ROAS is essential. Evaluating some statistics is going to paint the most precise picture here.
Google Ads: According to WebFX, the average ROAS for Google Ads across all industries is 200%. That translates to $2 for every $1 spent.
Facebook Ads: According to a 2020 survey by Databox of 30 respondents, the average ROAS for Facebook and Instagram ads is about 6 - 10x. That translates to $6-$10 for every $1 spent.
Email Marketing: According to the Data & Marketing Association, the average ROI on email marketing campaigns is 3,800%. That translates to $38 for every $1 spent.
10 - Cross-Platform Strategies
Cross-platform strategies are the most crucial importance of digital marketing. By planning a coordinated and effective campaign across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and email, you can reach your customers where they are already spending their time.
- You can use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to build brand awareness.
- Hire an influencer with a following specific to your niche to build credibility and increase your organic following.
- Use Google to target when they're ready to purchase because they are searching a keyword with a clear intent to buy.
- Retarget using email to capture an abandoned cart and then again on Facebook with a direct call-out advertisement.
- Create a video ad for Facebook or YouTube to clearly show the benefits of an innovative product or generate a new lead for your online coaching business.
The possibilities are endless! And with the right strategy, understanding the importance of digital marketing can increase your month-over-month leads or revenue.
I hope by now you can see the importance of digital marketing in 2021. Whether you decide to embrace some, all, or even just one of the strategies mentioned here ... you have to start somewhere! It is ok to start with one and then once it becomes routine try another. There are hundreds of valuable resources available to you on YouTube from industry gurus to learn everything you need to get started with online marketing.
If you'd like to learn more about your business's digital marketing opportunities, request a free consultation today! We can evaluate your current efforts, provide some free value, and chat about the opportunities for Elevated Web Systems to run fully comprehensive strategic marketing campaigns.
And if you enjoyed this content, please like and share it on your favorite social media platform!