Digital marketing has been a game-changer. But there are those who are quick to adapt, and others who do not. Reasons for not doing digital marketing could be from a lack of understanding of how digital marketing works & how beneficial it can actually be for a business. And yes, we do understand that some people might feel a bit confused or fearful of jumping into something they may not be comfortable with.
However, digital marketing in today’s world is not optional. It’s a must.
In this post, we’re going to explain to you 13 of the most important reasons you should be investing in digital marketing for your business. And to help you evaluate what you are doing already and what you need to do, check out our FREE downloadable 50 point digital marketing audit checklist!
1. More People Are Online Than Ever Before
The internet has truly transformed the whole idea of marketing. And that’s not just because companies have more ways to market (although they do), it’s primarily because that’s where the people are! Think about it, how many times do you go online every day? Research from Investp shows that there are 3 trillion internet users around the world, and roughly 84% of people in the US go online.
Now, with the invention of SmartPhones society is not just taking their lives online through social media but they are dependent upon internet access to perform daily functions. Whether it’s paying bills, communication, entertainment, going to school, watching TV, shopping, finding a great restaurant nearby, searching the best things to do in a new city, mapping and traffic…and so much more!
All of this has brought about an entire lifestyle change for many of us. And since everyone is hanging out online, that means it’s the best place for marketers to go to get in front of their target audience.
If you don’t have a website or any type of strong web presence, then in today’s world you’ve already lost.
For example, I was recently on vacation in Florida and wanted to take my dog to get groomed. I immediately went online…and while Google showed a handful of dog groomers nearby, after clicking on them I found that only ONE of these businesses even had a website! To me, all the others didn’t exist – and I went to the one with the website.
That’s it in a nutshell. In 2020 if you don’t have a website for your business…you basically don’t exist. At least in the eyes of the consumer.
You have to make it easy to get in front of your target customers wherever they are and provide them with the information they need. This also extends to Google searches. Think about the last time you did a Google search – what did you look for?. Did any companies pop up on your screen?
Content marketing is one of the MOST important ways to attract customers in the modern internet era. That’s because we go online for everything – and many times that means we are looking for information, or answers to solve some type of question or problem. Depending on your target market, they could be looking on Google or even Facebook or Instagram.
Are you there? If not, again…you don’t exist in their mind.
2. Your Reach Can Grow Dramatically Online
The moment you take your company online for marketing, you immediately have an audience that’s wider than any net you could have cast in a traditional marketing format. Digital marketing also gives you the ability to network online and get publicity from news or media outlets, or just get mentioned from other companies, bloggers, influencers, or even just customers!
Word of mouth marketing is every marketer’s dream. If you can get your customers to talk about your business (positively) online, then you are already on a great path!
This is enhanced if you choose to do any type of online advertising, such as Google or Facebook ads. Advertising online isn’t mandatory though. It can get expensive, and if you do a great job at organic digital marketing online, then you may not even have to pay for online advertising.
It’s also important that when you embark on a digital marketing strategy you set out specific goals for tracking traffic to your website, conversions / sales, and so much more. These are called KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. Setting these goals in advance and tracking your progress will really help you to see how you are doing and make improvements as you go.
3. Digital Marketing is More Affordable & Trackable
We often get questions about the cost of doing digital marketing, because we understand it’s a genuine concern for many businesses – especially small businesses. But the GREAT thing to know is that digital marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, when compared to traditional marketing and “old school” media, digital marketing is BY FAR less expensive overall.
Digital marketing allows you to scale your spending to what your business can afford. So if you are a big company, then sure you can drop some cash. But if you are a small biz, there are plenty of inexpensive and flat out FREE ways you can market your business online.
In addition, digital marketing can actually be tracked and analyzed in ways traditional marketing cannot.
How many people actually look at your brochures? Read your billboards?
You don’t know. You never really can know for sure.
But if you have a website and install tracking tools such as Google Analytics (which is totally free) then you can see how many people are coming to your website, where they come from, how they find you, how long they stay, how many pages they view, etc.
This allows you to actually calculate your ROI for your marketing because you can even build in tracking that goes all the way to purchase. Further, if you are collecting email addresses to build your customer database (which you better be…) then you have a base of customers or prospects that you can sell to in the future.
4. Show Your Customers You Are Up-to-Date
All of these digital marketing activities will not only help you to market your business effectively in the modern era, but it will demonstrate to your target audience that your business is actually up-to-date.
For example, if I click on a website and it’s not mobile-friendly or looks like it’s from the 1990s, then I’m clicking off and going to another one. The same goes if a company isn’t on any of the social media platforms either.
Lastly, video marketing is all the rage and will likely only get bigger in the near future! With everyone’s lives getting busier, many people don’t have time to read lengthy blog posts and enjoy entertaining videos to give them the information they are looking for.
YouTube has exploded, and will likely continue to do so. YouTube has been an incredible way for many companies to market their business, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Even simply shot “how-to” videos have been marketing GOLD for some small businesses. I know of a plumber who’s business just exploded because of homemade videos he put on YouTube.
And as always, the search engines know the power and popularity of videos in marketing. So companies like Google (who also just happen to own YouTube) prioritize video in search results. So again, another opportunity to get at the top of the page if you are doing videos for your business.
5. Mobile Device Usage is Exploding
Since we use our phones more and more it is critical that your website be mobile-friendly. If it’s not, I guarantee your customers will click off it (as you probably have at some point too). Further, having the ability for people to buy things directly from your website or even from your social media are huge opportunities for you to grow your sales – or even just build your database with customer emails.
6. More People Shop & Book Online Every Day
More and more people are shopping online everyday. So if you actually have a website and people are able to find you…are they able to use it? Think about the last time you waiting 5 minutes for a website to load.
Oh wait, you didn’t.
You probably clicked off and went to another one. That means website speed is super important to a business!
Also, how about the user experience on your site? Since people go online so often on their smartphones, having your website be mobile-friendly is an absolute MUST!
I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I’m searching online and click on a website only to have it look so tiny that I can’t read it on my phone. I can’t click around, or find the menu…and my fat fingers can select anything!
This also means that you need to make shopping on your website super easy as well! If people can’t buy your products or services on your website, then what business do you have? If anything, there should be a contact button – but really if you are selling a product or even a service, in today’s world there’s no reason not to integrate some type of shopping / booking / scheduling on your website to capture those customers right away.
If you aren’t, then your competitors are.
7. Brands Can Be More Interactive & Memorable Online
Another benefit to your business of having an online presence and digital marketing strategy is that you can provide a more interactive experience for your customers and potential customers.
Building a brand isn’t just for the “big companies” because you can take control of creating your own brand online. From your website, your copy, your logo, your content and more. Just little things like your tone of voice or “brand personality” are things that can really make you stand out from the competition. And again, most businesses don’t need to hire expensive marketing or advertising agencies, they can simply be themselves online. You just need to find out what kind of brand you want your business to be. Or more importantly..what kind of brand do your customers want you to be!
8. Speak Directly With Your Customers Online
One of the most powerful things about the modern internet and social media is that consumers have the chance to directly engage with brands and vice versa.
Think about it. When I have a good experience flying on an airline, I often tweet a photo at the airline and describe what happened. And what do you know…they almost always respond back to me!
When in history did that ever happen before?
Nowadays any company has the power to build a relationship with its customers on a much more personal level. Social media is a perfect example of that.
Social media is a 2-way conversation between you and your customers. It should not be one-way – don’t talk at them, talk with them! Not only is it the best market research out there, but you are building relationships and emotional connections with your customers, something that is critical in marketing in today’s online world.
Beyond social media, email marketing has provided a way to talk directly to your customers as well. As long as you make sure to respect them and provide them with something valuable!
Don’t spam your customers. Don’t abuse the fact that you have their email address!
If you genuinely care about them, then you want to help them and build that good relationship.. Good email marketing can absolutely do that. In fact, according to Oberlo email marketing has an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.
So even though you may be annoyed at the spam in your personal email box, think about what it is you actually dislike. It’s the crap. It’s the spam. It’s not the good stuff. I guarantee there are email lists you stay subscribed to because you do enjoy their content and they are providing you with helpful information.
That’s the kind of email marketing you want to do for your business.
9. Target Your Customers More Precisely
Quite possibly one of the biggest benefits of using the internet for digital marketing is the ability to hyper-target our customers so much better than before. Think about billboards…really? How can we know if our target audience is really getting our message with a billboard, or just a brochure handed out at a tradeshow?
Digital marketing allows us to understand our audience even better and go where they are. But you need to do that research first to understand your audience first. For example, do you have “personas” for your business? These are your ideal target customers and researching and developing personas are one of the very first things you should do for marketing in general, but especially digital marketing.
Having personas and knowing about your customer’s demographics is great, but when you have deeper knowledge about their interests, what social media they use, what groups they are a part of, what type of entertainment they like, etc. then you have more opportunities to tailor your marketing in incredible ways.
Further, you can extend this to your customer database and your email marketing efforts so that you can provide the most targeted, helpful, and customized content for your customers!
10. Get In Front Of Your Customer More Easily
People are crazy busy in today’s world. That’s why we often go to the internet. We are looking for something quickly and easily. Remember that dog groomer example I mentioned before?
I didn’t have time to ask around, search the phonebook, etc. I just wanted to do a quick Google search to find what I need and book an appointment ASAP.
It also meant that I wasn’t going to search around and read 100 different websites or do a million Google searches.
So whatever popped up at the top of my search results was likely what I was going to investigate further. And I was also going to look at their reviews.
Ah yes…this is the KEY!. How to get in front of your customers at the right time, right place, and with the right information.
SEO – or Search Engine Optimization is one way to do this. Essentially, this means that when people search for something on places like Bing or Google, your business shows up at the top (because really, who scrolls far…or heaven forbid go to the second page of results!).
Great SEO can explode your business! However, it’s not easy to do. You don’t snap your fingers and get on the top page of Google. It can take a long time, and there’s a whole sub-section of digital marketing that dives into SEO…because it’s a monster!
Still, you can and absolutely should be doing SEO online.
But keep in mind that there are other ways to get in front of your target audience too. Social media is a perfect example. Finding a way to integrate your brand into the daily lives of social media followers can also be an amazing way for your business to succeed online. But it’s not just throwing up posts advertising your services or talking about your business.
Social media marketing is another distinct area of marketing online, and it’s important to remember that you need to have a conversation (remember, I said this before…). Don’t talk at them, talk with them!
This means you need to post content that is engaging, interesting…and will spark a conversation. Use social media as a way to build relationships, nurture your community and help others. That will not only help get your business in front of people, but it will keep it top of mind, garner positive feelings about your company, and then lead to sales or other types of conversions for your business.
11. Your Competitors Are Doing It
I’ve alluded to this before, but it’s important to reinforce it here. If you are not doing digital marketing, then you are already losing…because your competitors are.
If you don’t have a website, then potential customers are going to your competitor who does. If your website is slow or doesn’t work on mobile, then your customers will go to a competitor’s site which is faster and looks great and is easy to use on their phone. If people can’t buy easily on your website, they may just choose to buy from a competitor.
Think about it. What would you do if you were in your customer’s shoes? What about the last product you bought online?
12. The Internet Will Only Continue to Grow
There are so many other benefits to taking your business strategy online because it’s not only marketing. In fact, there are some things that you may introduce as a part of your initial marketing efforts which can be transferred into other functions of the business. Perhaps there is a process you can automate or other operations that you can streamline in your business which can not only save you money but improve the quality of the product or the experience of the customer?
Things like customer service, tracking sales, following up on social media, all of these things are tied together with technology. You can use email automation to follow up with customers after a purchase, or direct them to a Facebook group to help answer questions they may have about using your product.
13. Digital Marketing is Moving Fast – Don’t Play Catch Up!
It’s crazy to see how far digital marketing has come up to now. But 2020 won’t be the end, in fact, it’s probably only the beginning. This area of marketing will continue to explode at rapid speed. And if you aren’t up-to-date now, then it will just get more difficult to catch up later.
Now is the time to create these digital strategies for your business and get them implemented. Things like a great, functional website, social media, content, email marketing ad more. Set goals and build processes, start tracking and seeing where you are getting the best results. Then you can scale from there and it will be much easier to adapt your business later as the world continues to evolve.
Get Your FREE 50 Point Digital Marketing Audit Checklist!
We’ve put together a 50 point digital marketing checklist which will help you evaluate your business and see exactly where you need to make improvements. Be sure to download it here for FREE so that you can get moving on this important initiative for your business.