Marketing is all about grabbing your target audience’s attention, and this means that you have to go where that attention is directed. It’s no great secret that these days most people’s attention is directed at their phones and PCs. They may be on social media, checking personal messages, streaming TV or audio content, or simply surfing the net. The point is that if this is where people are looking, then this is where your business needs to be.
This is where digital marketing comes in. Although digital marketing isn’t just about online, promotion via the internet forms an increasingly large part of any successful company’s digital marketing strategy. This simply mirrors the way that the internet increasingly dominates all of our working lives and leisure time.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is marketing via any electronic media. As this is so all-pervasive these days, it’s easier to say what digital marketing doesn’t include. Print marketing and advertising, in newspapers and magazines, billboards, posters, flyers and direct marketing via post, are not included in digital marketing. But even here there are exceptions. Electronic billboards, of the type you see in big city centers, count as digital marketing, as do posters, flyers and mailouts that contain a QR code.
Digital marketing includes the use of websites and social media, blogging, online ads and also radio, TV, email and any form of electronic communication. Telephone marketing, including cold calling and text messaging, also comes under the digital marketing remit.
What are the advantages of digital marketing?
Compared to traditional advertising methods, digital marketing (especially online) has a far greater reach and is much more cost-efficient. The World Wide Web is an amazing resource for any business. As the name clearly states, it gives you instant access to a global audience and market, initially at no cost. For a very modest financial outlay, you can increase the chances of connecting with a large target audience in a way that would have been prohibitively expensive in the pre-internet era.
The second major advantage of digital marketing is that it can be analyzed. A wide range of tools are available to track how many people visited your website or clicked on a link, and again, many of these tools are free. Moreover, you can potentially track every stage of a customer’s journey, from their first point of contact with your business to their purchase of goods or services. A large amount of information can be gathered about them in terms of age, gender, background and other interests, all of which enable you to know your customers better and to target them more effectively.
Digital marketing strategies can be held up to scrutiny. It’s easy to tell what is working and what isn’t, and to tailor future campaigns accordingly.
How can I get started?
While anyone can embark on a path of digital marketing and learn by trial and error, the best idea is to engage a professional firm such as Wolverine Solutions Group to create an effective multi-channel digital communications strategy for your business. Wolverine Solutions Group is able to advise on the best ways to reach your target audience and, most importantly, to convert them into loyal customers. Utilizing expert knowledge and experience can be the best way to ensure that your digital marketing is cost-effective and supports sustainable growth for your company.
What do I need to begin?
At the heart of all of your digital marketing activities should be your business website. Although some businesses carry out their digital marketing solely via social media, a website allows you to directly communicate your brand message. Perhaps most importantly, it can also be a way for customers to purchase your goods and services, or to get the information they need to do this offline.
Your website needs to be designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. This is another reason why it can be a good idea to hire professional help from the start. Website SEO breaks down into three broad categories. On-page SEO relates to the content on your site. Does it answer common questions based around likely keyword searches from your target audience? Off-page SEO consists of links to your site from elsewhere on the internet. Finally, technical SEO is concerned with technical factors such as page loading speed that will affect your ranking with popular search engines such as Google or Bing.
What do I do next?
Once your website is established, you can set in motion different digital marketing campaigns designed to direct traffic towards it. These should include a multi-channel social media presence and regular email campaigns, as well as pay-per-click advertising. All of these methods are designed to make people aware of your website and funnel them towards it, with the ultimate aim of having them engage with your business on a commercial level.
Digital marketing can turn a good business into a successful one, and can help any company grow into a potentially global phenomenon. Ignoring the potential of digital marketing is the easiest way to get left behind. It’s time to make sure that your strategy is up to date and working effectively for you.