Research by Pew Research Center shows that in the last three years, internet usage by adults has increased by at least 5%. Now, more than ever, businesses are tapping into the opportunities the digital world offers. In other words, online marketing plays a very big role in shopping decisions people make.
Regardless of the type of digital marketing a business employs, the overall objective of marketing is to connect with the target audience at the right place and right time, and what better place to connect with your audience than the internet.
Before we explore the 9 benefits of digital marketing for your business, let’s get the basics out of the way.
In a nutshell, digital marketing refers to marketing through an electronic device or the internet. It’s another word for internet marketing.
Today, hundreds of thousands of businesses engage in digital marketing, as they find it easier—and more cost-effective—to reach a large number of people this way.
There are many digital marketing tactics, some of which are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Paid search
- Display advertising
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Traditionally, businesses reached their target audience using channels like television, radio, magazines, events, and direct mail. Now, as people spend more time online, businesses are trying to reach potential buyers through digital channels. After all, marketers need to go where the people are.
If you want to make the switch and diversify your marketing strategy, you probably want to understand the benefits of these new digital marketing tactics.
So, let’s dive into the top 9 benefits of digital marketing:
As you know, it costs more to attract and convert new customers than it does to retain existing customers. Customer loyalty can be difficult to establish, but it’s well worth your efforts.
It’s great to finalize a sale with your customers, but it’s even better to retain those customers after the sale. A customer retained can make another purchase or recommend your brand to others, which helps increase sales. In the U.S., 40% of online shopping revenue comes from repeat customers, who make up 8% of site visitors. To retain customers, you need to keep in contact with them and digital marketing makes that easier than ever. Some proven tactics include:
- Personalized email offers: As you learn about your customers, you can send them personalized offers like seasonal discount codes for related products or exclusive access to new product releases. This not only makes the customer feel valued, but it’ll also drive repeat sales.
- Social media engagement: Encourage customers to follow you on social media channels. When they do, you’ll have daily access to them as they scroll through their social media feeds. Keep them engaged with helpful, relevant content or with content that inspires and delights them. Whenever they need your service or product again, they’ll be more apt to buy from your business.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider & VIB Programs is a good example of a company that’s committed to connecting with its customers by using a points-based loyalty program, which utilizes both offline and digital channels.
Customers can use their Beauty Insider card at every purchase—in store or online, and the card tracks the amount of money spent. The more a customer spends, the more Beauty Insider points they can redeem. Members can access their account online to keep track of their points and purchase more products using their reward points. Members also receive personalized emails alerting them of new products, exclusive sales, and membership gifts.
2. Engage the Customer at Every Buying Stage
Before digital marketing became popular, not many people were talking about the customer journey, mainly because it was difficult to understand and analyze. More often than not, a customer would go to a physical store after seeing an ad on TV or in the newspaper, make a decision, and pay for the product or service inside the store. However, in digital marketing, we can track every step that a customer makes, often from the moment when they are triggered to find a solution or product.
These days, it’s common for a consumer to see an ad online, search and compare prices on different websites, then go to a store to try the product or shop on an online store. Mobile apps provide shoppers with special offers and coupons, customer support, and comparison tools, which enhance our understanding of the buying process. With digital marketing, a marketer can follow the entire buying journey of the customer.
To achieve success with your marketing program, you should try to map the buying journey using this 5-step process.
No matter which channel the consumer discovers your business: Google search, Facebook Ads, display advertisements, Instagram, etc., you can engage with them more easily now. This enables you to help the customer resolve all their questions and objections and influence their purchase decision.
It’s now easier than ever to segment audiences since many digital marketing platforms allow you to target a specific audience. We have access to online tools that keep track of an individual’s online activities and demographic information. Digital marketers can use this data to offer users specific products or services that they may be interested in. For instance, once a visitor clicks on a brand’s display ad, whether on social media or through a search engine, the brand can target that visitor with subsequent and related ads. If the content a visitor receives is based on their interests and online behaviors, it creates positive reinforcement and makes shopping easier and more satisfying.
You can also target your audience with content and offers based on what stage they’re at within the buying journey. For example, email marketing can be used to nurture a lead until they’re ready to make a purchase. Perhaps they subscribed to your blog and consistently opened your blog update emails. After several months, they visit your about me and service web pages. At this point, you know to send them a targeted email with an exclusive offer. They click on the offer and submit a request for a quote.
Sophisticated digital marketing tools make this possible. Let me tell you how it works: when a user fills out a form online, he or she provides personal information. Most web pages have cookies that track the user’s behavior on the page. It’s this data that companies or digital marketers analyze and devise the right strategies for different types of audiences.
Creating your “sales funnel” is ultimately the main purpose of marketing. A sales funnel is basically a system for generating consistent leads and sales from traffic. In other words, turning traffic into brand enthusiasts. A sales funnel’s job is to separate the “window shoppers” from the real buyers. It can also help improve the customer journey, based on Taboola’s study.
An online sales funnel is specifically designed to consistently generate leads. Here’s an example: before creating an online sales funnel, a betting company relied on its billboards and location to generate walk-in leads for its products and services. Now, the company is using a digital offer to build a more consistent pipeline of leads. Whenever someone places their first deposit or stake, they’re given a coupon for a free amount of play. The promo is only available on the company’s website and users must register to take advantage of the offer. With this approach, the betting company generates leads in a much more systematic and predictable way. As an added bonus, because customers had to submit their email to receive the free offer, the business can stay in contact with the customer through email marketing.
Unlike traditional marketing, which includes expensive TV, radio, or print ads, online advertising platforms are much more affordable. You can also improve your ad conversion rate more conveniently than you can with traditional advertising. With print advertisements, it’s often difficult to track conversion rates as everything is happening offline. How do you know if someone saw your ad in a magazine and then went to the store? If you can’t track your advertisement’s performance, how can you optimize it?
Digital advertising makes it easy since every interaction is tracked. You instantly know how many people are viewing your ad and what actions they take.
Most online advertising platforms include some level of reporting, which you can use to refine your ad targeting, copy, and design.
With offline marketing, it’s difficult to measure the results of your marketing campaigns. For example, if you place an ad in a newspaper and on a billboard simultaneously, you can’t know exactly how many people viewed the newspaper ad or how many viewed the billboard ad. What can be more frustrating is knowing which ad is more effective and which ad to invest in.
However, digital marketing doesn’t have such issues. In fact, with digital marketing, you can measure everything worth measuring. From when the ad is clicked to when the visitor leaves the page. Everything! You are able to determine how many people saw your ad, how many sales resulted from the ad, and ultimately, your return on investment (ROI). Data analytics software (such as Google Analytics) and social networks or ad platforms (such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads) metrics make this monitoring or measurement possible.
However, it is important that you prioritize the most important data because there are many trackable metrics. This important data is called key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are those metrics that are related to the objectives and goals outlined in strategy planning and represent an effective business outcome. Some examples of KPIs are:
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Customer lifetime value (CLTV)
If any brand is to gain credibility quickly and sustainably, it would be via the internet. Content marketing studies show that digitally active brands usually end up having the most credibility. Through its content, a company can address customers’ doubts, clarify important concepts, and show that it understands what drives its market.
Useful and interesting content helps a company to gain the trust of its customers, as well as that of industry experts. It can be effective to the extent that competitors start to cite it also in their content.
But how do you know your brand has gained credibility? Well, one thing to look for is its rank in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs). You’re a reference to the market if you rank at the top of Google, for example. This attracts more stakeholders to your business and builds confidence in what you produce. After all, it’s natural to rely on professionals who are industry leaders, right?
Blogging is one way that you can establish your expertise. Consumers seek out high-quality content that addresses their challenges and questions. Your company’s subject matter experts have insights that are highly sought after and should be shared with your target market. According to HubSpot, companies that blog generate 67% more leads and It takes five-to-seven impressions for people to remember a brand.
Many business owners might think they have to save a lot of money to benefit from digital marketing. But this isn’t entirely true. Digital marketing can be very affordable and can often yield high ROIs. A small business, for example, can reach customers early and begin to scale quickly. It’s also easier to measure ROI at the various stages of the funnel.
Digital marketing is all about building an online presence. Even if you don’t have the budget for SEO or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, a business can still use digital marketing to build and connect with their audience. Social media is a cost-effective digital marketing tactic that requires little costs, other than your time. Email marketing can also be very affordable.
You may be hesitant to invest in PPC advertising, but it is also a very affordable digital marketing tactic. You don’t have to worry about runaway budgets because the campaigns can easily be controlled.
The most common billing models for online advertising are:
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per thousand (CPM)
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Cost per action (CPA)
In all these billing models, the marketer only pays when a customer clicks, views, or completes a purchase. But to enjoy this benefit of digital marketing, you need to be strategic. If you target the right audience, you won’t have to spend too much money to convince them. So, before you start spending your hard-earned money, think about your digital marketing strategy and who you’re trying to reach.
Chief marketing officers (CMOs) are getting smarter with their marketing budget. Instead of wasting money on expensive TV ads, they choose social media, search, online video, and other online media channels to run ads at a cheaper rate.
With consistent publications on a corporate blog and social media network, for example, you can capture leads and turn them into customers. Depending on how effective your strategy is, you can start a digital marketing campaign with as little as $10 investment on Facebook Ads or Google Ads.
Focusing your strategy on the right audience and executing the techniques efficiently is crucial in generating leads and conversion on a tight budget.
Of course, large companies have big marketing budgets, but digital marketing provides a level playing field for everyone to operate, be it a large or small business. Content marketing and SEO require investments, but you don’t have to break the bank. If you can create high-quality content that answers people’s questions, you can rank for long-tail keywords. It may take time, but it is possible.
It is true that big companies can throw serious money behind their digital advertising campaigns. However, money isn’t the only factor that matters when determining an ad’s rank on the SERP. Both Google Ads and Bing Ads evaluate an ads’ relevance and quality before determining its rank. If you have a highly relevant ad that answers searchers’ questions, you can achieve the top spot on the SERP.
Now that you know about the benefits of digital marketing, how will you know exactly when you need a strong digital marketing campaign? Below are the signs that you need help with your digital marketing campaign.
The ultimate goal in digital marketing is to see tangible results from your campaign. Having said that, are you able to get the best possible return on your investment (ROI)?
For starters, you need to determine your cost per acquisition (CPA) – how much does it cost you to get a single new customer. Once you audit your digital marketing campaign, you’ll likely uncover that some methods or channels are more effective than others.
Your campaign’s ultimate goal is to acquire the most number of clients or customers for the lowest cost possible. You accomplish this by comparing the results from all your marketing efforts and which channels yield the best ROI.
If you’re not hitting your target ROI numbers, your digital marketing campaign may be due for an overhaul.
Many people think that social media marketing simply boils down to creating accounts and posting whenever they feel like it. In reality, companies should create and post content that resonates with their target audience.
Likes, comments, shares, and retweets are all social signals that indicate engagement. If you’re posting content and updates with barely any engagement at all, your social media marketing campaign likely needs some work.
With the help of a digital marketing agency like Cardinal, you can develop strategies that are specific for each platform, keep an eye on social media trends, and be more consistent.
A lot of brands are too hung up on driving traffic into their websites without much regard for anything else. In digital marketing, traffic is simply one part of the equation when it comes to a successful campaign.
Your website could be generating thousands of visitors every week, but if they’re not buying your products or signing up as a member, it’s a waste of time and money. In this case, your marketing efforts are not highly-targeted to only attract visitors that are more likely to convert – like buying your product, downloading your app, subscribing to your newsletter, etc.
One of the major strategies of digital marketing is conversion rate optimization (CRO). It’s the process of optimizing the content and elements of your website to generate better conversion rates from the traffic you’re already getting.
CRO fixes many things that can go wrong in your conversion funnel and help visitors convert.
On the other hand, if your website isn’t generating traffic at all, it’s a clear-cut indication that your digital marketing campaign is failing. When you consider that there are numerous ways to drive traffic to your website, it’s either you’re doing it wrong or nothing at all.
Without a doubt, SEO is one of the best methods to generate consistent, long-term traffic for your website. SEO allows your website to rank highly in Google and generate organic traffic.
Just about every digital marketing campaign will include SEO as one of its many components. However, a well-rounded campaign will also integrate other marketing channels such as PPC and social media to generate organic traffic.
PPC or pay-per-click is a great way to achieve quick results but it can be very expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Many brands are getting sub-optimal results from their paid campaigns due to poor targeting, unoptimized ads, terrible conversion rates, and exorbitant cost per click. An effective paid search campaign should be properly optimized to target the right audience using the appropriate ad content.
Whether you’re using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other paid search platforms, the goal is to be laser-focused on high-quality leads – audience groups that are interested in your product or service.
With a proper PPC campaign, you can get the lowest CPC possible while maximizing your ROI.
Content is king and in the digital marketing landscape, it’s more relevant than ever. Sure, you have a blog and you post an article or two now and then, but that’s hardly content marketing.
Content marketing is the core (if not the most important) component of a strong digital marketing campaign. Highly quality content will:
- Inform or educate your target audience
- Fuel SEO and achieve a high rank in search engines
- Earn high-authority backlinks from other websites
- Be highly shareable in social media
- Make you an industry thought-leader
- Establish brand trust and credibility
- Increase conversion rates
If you want to launch a digital marketing campaign, you need content. For example, content is the cornerstone element of SEO because high-quality pieces will help you rank higher and gain quality backlinks. For PPC, content is essential for your ad copy and landing pages.
Content is the foundation of any digital marketing strategy. Without good content, you’ll have a hard time ranking in Google and attracting the right audience that will convert into paying customers.
Focusing on a single marketing channel is certainly a “putting all your eggs in one basket” situation. Even if you’re getting good results from that sole marketing channel, what will you do if that particular strategy dries up?
In digital marketing, it’s highly recommended that you adopt a multi-channel strategy. We’re not saying that you should hop on all of them – after all, not every marketing channel will work for all businesses.
In addition, you shouldn’t have a multi-channel campaign just because you can. All your chosen channels should fit into the bigger picture and be cohesive.
The main purpose of having multi-channel strategies is to fill the gaps in your marketing campaign. Otherwise, a disjointed campaign will cause you to miss out on potential customers, lose prospects while navigating your sales funnel, and communicate inconsistent brand identity.
You can see that digital marketing has so many benefits, and I just mentioned a few mentioned in this article. In my opinion, the top benefit is its cost-effectiveness. With a modest investment, you really can reach an incredible number of people through digital channels. No matter what size your business is, you can benefit from investing in digital marketing.
If you need further convincing that digital marketing is right for your business, get in touch with us. At Cardinal Digital Marketing, we’re willing to listen to you and answer your questions. Contact us today!