With nearly 5 billion internet users worldwide, it's safe to say that we have entered a digital revolution. The internet provides users with fast and efficient access to products and services across the globe. As a result, businesses have had to keep up with consumer demand by adopting digital marketing. Traditional advertising has given way to social media, search engine optimization, influencers, and more. The question for marketers then becomes: what are the benefits of digital marketing and how can I use it for my business?
Fortunately, digital marketing isn't complicated. Even better, there are countless benefits to this form of online marketing that go beyond just reaching your ideal customer. In fact, you can save tremendously on time and resources while enjoying better consumer relationships, higher organic traffic, and a larger online presence. This guide outlines digital marketing benefits, provides examples, and teaches what improvements you can make for future campaigns.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing includes marketing efforts that make use of the internet and electronic devices. These days, businesses use a variety of tactics to achieve their digital marketing goals, with some of the most popular including:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Affiliate marketing
People have access to these marketing efforts through their computers, smartphones, or tablets, among other technological devices. Such a wide amount of possibilities gives you many opportunities to reach customers across the digital sphere.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
No matter what kind of business you have, your brand will benefit greatly from implementing a digital marketing campaign. Here are the top eight advantages of digital marketing.
1) Target the Right Customer
Traditional marketing struggled to accomplish one thing in particular: connecting directly with potential customers. Companies marketed to audiences via billboards, printed media, and television ads, but could only hope that their advertisements would reach their ideal consumer. With digital marketing, you can target the exact type of customer you believe would benefit from your products or services, no matter their location in the world.
In fact, the internet is full of analytical tools that allow you to see important user demographics that you can incorporate and utilize in your campaigns. For instance, Facebook Ads gives you the ability to select your audience by choosing to target a specific gender, age, interest, location, or behavior. By using these types of segmentation, you can rest assured that your marketing campaigns are reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in what you offer. You can better craft these campaigns by developing buyer personas.
2) Provide the Ultimate Buyer Journey
Digital marketing also gives you the opportunity to target customers at every stage of the buyer journey. Gone are the days of consumers walking into physical stores in order to make a decision on a purchase. Instead, 81% of customers today perform online research before making any decisions. Customers do this by looking up solutions to problems on search engines, browsing companies' websites and social media pages, and interacting with various digital content.
Now, you can create relevant and engaging content for the customers who are looking for information, those who want to compare brands, and those who just need a final push. At the same time, by providing this content, you can build up your brand's credibility and exposure on multiple digital marketing platforms.
3) Maximize Your Communications
Providing top customer service has always been essential for businesses. Through digital marketing, you can maximize your communication efforts to offer better customer service than you ever have before. For instance, many businesses make use of chatbots to allow customers to receive answers to their questions about your brand at any given moment. Alternatively, you can give customers the option to reach you by email, through the submission of a web forum, or through social media messaging.
Social media is also the optimal place to give customers the chance to engage with you and your brand. You can post unique and interesting text or visual content on numerous digital channels and interact with customers who respond. You can reply to, like, or share customer comments, questions, and even reviews of your products or services. Even better, you get increased brand visibility when customers share your content with their own friends or followers.
4) Optimize Your Lead Generation
Lead generation is often a source of great frustration for many marketers, as many companies have wasted time on unqualified leads. Luckily, digital marketing makes the lead generation process much less painful. Not only do you have a greater ability to appeal to qualified leads, but you can move along with customers as they move through the sales funnel. During every step of the way, you can target them with appealing offers, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
To illustrate, if you own an eCommerce website, you can offer different incentives for customers at varying parts of the purchasing process. For example, you can offer first-time visitors a 20% discount on their first purchase. Alternatively, for those who have signed up for your site but haven't made a purchase yet, you can send out a personalized email that allows them to have a free trial or demonstration of your product or service.
5) Save Big on Finances
By far, one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is its cost-effectiveness. Old-school marketing methods such as newspaper, magazine, or television advertisements often came with a hefty price tag for businesses. However, with digital marketing, you only have to spend a few dollars to launch a campaign or create content that drives up conversions.
For instance, you can spend as little as $5 advertising on social media and, in return, receive plenty of organic exposure and engagement, yielding a high ROI. You can also do pay-per-click advertising on Google for a few dollars more, where you only pay when a user clicks on your link. Alternatively, you can work on creating website content, such as blogs and articles, to draw in visitors.
6) Easily Measure Results
Another downside of the traditional form of marketing is the difficulty in measuring your success. By contrast, digital marketing tools like Google Analytics let you track every step of your marketing campaign efforts to see what's bringing you results and what isn't. Using such tools, you can track metrics such as the number of views, clicks, shares, reviews, and returns on investment (ROI) you receive.
Armed with this data, you'll know which campaigns bring you the most success as well as which could use improvement. This saves your business big on costs, time, and resources in the long term.
7) Adapt Your Strategy
With digital marketing, you can make changes to your marketing campaigns on the go. After tracking your success for a designated period of time, you can easily go back into your content to adjust copy, imagery, or hyperlinks. There's no need to wait for weeks or months after investing in a campaign to begin making time-consuming alterations.
Furthermore, you can choose to completely change the digital marketing methods you're using without because there are no long-term commitments. If you notice that your blogs aren't quite getting the conversion rate you'd like, but your social media ads are receiving many likes, comments, and shares, you can shift your complete focus to optimizing your social profiles instead.
8) Level the Playing Field
Finally, digital marketing levels the playing field. You don't need an expansive marketing budget to afford digital advertising, making small businesses as equally competitive as large businesses. Though it takes time, you can build your website and social media pages to receive the same engagement. And, while paid ads like Google Ads do require an investment, search engines also consider the quality and relevance of an ad when determining search result page rankings. You can create purposeful and engaging advertisements on a budget and still receive one of the top rankings on Google.
Best Examples of Digital Marketing
Many famous brands incorporate digital marketing strategies throughout their websites and social media platforms to achieve a higher conversion rate. Check out some of the best examples below.
1) Airbnb: User-Generated Content (UGC)
Airbnb's user-generated content digital marketing strategy embraces word-of-mouth to let its users do the marketing for them.
Since its launch over a decade ago, Airbnb has revolutionized how hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide travel and experience local cultures. Though the company's unique lodging options and affordable prices do play a role in its overall success, Airbnb has also mastered the art of including its target audience in its marketing efforts. It does so by incorporating user-generated content (UGC) on its social media pages, such as in the picture above.
UGC, or content uploaded by users on social media, is a highly effective digital marketing strategy. In fact, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say that UGC is authentic than brand-made content. Customers like authenticity in a brand because it shows trustworthiness, credibility, and value. Airbnb leans into this desire for authenticity by sharing reviews, photos, and other content about its listings that have been uploaded by its users across the globe. In doing so, users become part of the brand's image and have the opportunity to share their own experiences. Even better, by inspiring users to post Airbnb-related content in the hopes of being shared to Airbnb's official profile, the business gets even more exposure online.
2) American Express: Content Marketing
American Express Open Forum understands that not all marketing has to be centered on getting sales.
Content marketing can not only lead to higher conversions, but it's also one of the best digital marketing strategies for nurturing leads. By providing content such as blog posts, articles, ebooks, videos, and webinars, you demonstrate that your brand wants to help and inform its customers, not simply sell to them. American Express OPEN forum remains one of the best examples of content marketing that achieves this very goal.
Specifically, the OPEN forum is a place for those interested in business and finance to gain an incredible amount of knowledge on these topics. Users can find an endless amount of free content dedicated to discussing current trends, answering important questions, and providing tips and tricks on mastering business. Even better, American Express works with authoritative figures and businesses in the industry to contribute knowledge on their own successes. In doing so, American Express illustrates its own authority and credibility in the field.
3) FandangoNOW: Email Marketing
FandangoNOW provides a subscriber newsletter that is interesting, relevant, and useful.
Email marketing is a top digital marketing strategy for building customer loyalty. By incorporating it, you keep in communication with customers while providing them with useful, interesting content and promoting your new products or services. You can also offer loyalty customers promotions, discounts, and exclusive offers for special events or during certain periods, such as the holiday season. One of the best email marketing techniques is sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter.
FandangoNOW knows the power of compelling email marketing. The digital pay-per-view service sends its subscribers newsletters filled with intriguing and timely film-related content. This typically consists of announcements of newly-released television shows and movies, suggestions on what viewers ought to watch next, and promotions of FandangoNOW discounts and deals. While it's graphic-heavy, the newsletter's imagery helps bring its content alive, and its CTA's remain easy-to-click. The company also sends its newsletter during optimal times when users are more likely to use its service, including on Friday afternoons before subscribers are about to enjoy the weekend.
The Benefits of Digital Marketing For Your Business
Digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing methods for the better of all businesses worldwide. Your company now has access to invaluable data, resources, and digital marketing tools to not only increase your sales but to build up the ultimate customer experience. Moreover, you can save big on costs that can go toward other endeavors in your company, paving the way for bigger and better opportunities down the line. To get started with digital marketing, decide what your goals are currently and consider which online strategies work best for meeting that goal. Once you've settled on the ideal strategy to try out, you can begin to fully enjoy the benefits of digital marketing.