The other night I went to dinner with family. At some point between a spring roll appetizer and a chocolate mousse desert, my elderly aunt leaned over and asked, “So what is it you do, now?”
“Digital marketing,” I answered between bites.
“Okay,” she nodded. “I like Facebook.”
After dinner, I thought back to that short exchange and realized something – we hear the words, “digital marketing,” but struggle to wrap our minds around what it means. It’s a struggle having an impact on many businesses today.
Modern Marketing for Business
Like my aunt, these businesses can’t grasp the scope of digital marketing, and that’s hurting the bottom line.
Digital marketing is more than AdWords. It’s not just a spreadsheet of keywords that may (or may not) turn into a sale. It’s not just video content and social posts. If you’re like my aunt, it’s more than Facebook and pictures of family and grandkids.
Digital marketing is all of this and more. It’s also critical to your business success.
According to a study by Nielsen, Chief Marketing Officers report digital advertising is more effective than traditional media. Traditional marketing approaches like cold-calling, ads, or direct mail have a conversion rate of just 1.7%, while SEO and digital marketing have an average conversion rate of 14.6%. In fact, it’s estimated that digital ad spend will overtake traditional ads in 2019.
Yet, because many businesses are struggling to grasp digital marketing and what it means, they are struggling to optimize their marketing strategy.
What is Digital Marketing?
In marketing, you need to be where your audience – your best customers and prospects – are.
In the past, that might mean an ad in the newspaper or a campaign in a magazine. Today, that means digital devices and social media.
We live in a digital world. Business prospects are online and interacting. They are doing research before making a purchase, so that’s where the business needs to be.
Digital marketing uses digital and electronic channels such as the internet, websites, or a digital or electronic device, to engage in marketing activities.
In digital marketing, businesses utilize online channels like social media, search engines, websites, mobile properties, and email to reach and build a relationship with prospects and customers. It includes a mix of tactics, like SEO, content marketing, and email marketing. Tactics offer both paid options, like banner ads and AdWords campaigns, and channels that deliver free traffic for a blog or website.
To my elderly aunt (and so many others), digital marketing is much more than Facebook.
Defining Success in Digital Marketing
Finding success and capitalizing on opportunity is difficult for businesses still struggling to understand digital marketing.
These businesses will put up a website. They’ll write blogs and send out a few Facebook posts, but they aren’t putting the pieces together. They don’t have a cohesive strategy. They haven’t set up conversion paths on the site to turn a visitor into a customer. They are missing out on opportunities. Activities aren’t reaching the right audience or having the desired effect.
Businesses that can leverage digital marketing successfully, through outside groups specializing in digital marketing or building internal resources, are utilizing the different tools, tactics, and channels to reach company goals. They are increasing business for less money and effort.With the right digital marketing tactics and tools, targeting the right channels, companies can grow their business and reach their goals with data-driven, efficient marketing efforts that deliver a healthy, and profitable, return.