What is digital marketing?

With the rise of technology, digital marketing has become a vital aspect of modern-day marketing.

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is conducted primarily online, leveraging the advertising power of social media, websites, search engines and much more.

The American Marketing Association defines digital marketing as “an ever-changing, dynamic process… [that] provides an avenue for two-way communication between a business and its actual or prospective customers.”

This two-way communication is becoming increasingly important for businesses to adapt and respond to customer demand.

What better way to secure the future of your business than listening to your customers?

How will digital marketing benefit your business?

The benefits of digital marketing are not terribly different from those you’d see from traditional methods. The most distinct being that these benefits will present themselves in the digital sphere.

However, there are a number of ways these benefits are unique to digital marketing.

Here’s a handful of ways digital marketing can benefit you:

Low Cost & High Reward

Traditional marketing can often be an expensive endeavour, especially when you’re looking to reach other markets and grow your business.

Digital marketing, however, provides a cost-effective method of achieving this with little monetary investment, costing over 60% less than traditional marketing.

Most social media platforms are free to use and it’s even possible to design custom websites and blogs on a small budget, too.

This makes digital marketing a very effective method for both large and small businesses.

Engagement With Customers

It’s true that all methods of marketing are here to promote customer engagement. However, digital marketing provides new ways to achieve this goal.

These days, customers expect a business to have some online presence or community to engage with. It’s suggested that over 70% of a customer’s journey is based on how they feel a brand is treating them.

In fact, Retail Dive suggests that if consumers engage with a brand online, they are likely to spend as much as 51% more over a lifetime.

So, not only engagement benefit the way your business presents itself, but it can also have an impact on sales.

Reach Local and International Audiences

By taking your business’ presence online, your reach could be significantly larger than relying on only local marketing.

By 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online. This is a stark increase from 2016’s 1.66 billion.

So, ensuring that your business maintains an online presence and reaches these markets could be advantageous for your business.

From a local consideration, there are many platforms that ensure a business benefits from digital marketing.

Google My Business, for instance, ensures that your business appears on Google Search and Google Maps.

This way, you’re able to provide customers with up-to-date information about your business and ensure that if they’re in the neighbourhood, they know exactly where to stop.

Improved Customer Targeting

Digital marketing isn’t just for your customers. In fact, a huge benefit of being present online is the analytics that platforms can provide you with.

Through social media, website management and search engine optimisation (SEO), you’re able to not only see who your most consistent customers are, but you can target them more efficiently too.

Equally, if you’re looking to expand your offering to other demographics, then digital marketing can provide you with the tools to do so. From engagement to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements, there’s a method for all budgets.


How to implement your digital marketing strategy

While the benefits are vast, every business will gain different positives from digital marketing, depending on their marketing strategies and where they will find the most benefit from online marketing.

So, how do you ensure your digital marketing strategy benefits your business?

Understand your business direction

Ensuring your business has clear goals on what it wants to achieve through its online presence is vital in creating a beneficial marketing strategy.

Whether you’re looking to go global for the first time, or simply want to target new demographics, knowing what the end goal is will help determine whether your digital marketing is successful or not.

Having key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure against will ensure you get the most out of your strategy.

Understand the online market

Marketing online can be very different than traditional methods. Something that may be well-received with traditional marketing methods may not go so well in the digital sphere.

As such, it’s important when defining your digital marketing strategy where you sit within your online market. Don’t go in blind – do some research before you begin and adjust along the way as you discover what works.

Understand your customers’ needs

It’s true that this is one of the more difficult steps, especially when just starting out, but it’s also crucial when forming your strategy.

This is why providing a platform where your customers can speak directly with you (whether through social media, your website or even a forum) can help you succeed with your goals.

Stay ahead of your competitors

Whether using traditional or digital methods, this is a key goal for any business. Luckily, digital marketing can provide a great platform for staying one step ahead as it’s ever-changing.

The key is to monitor what your competition is doing online and to build on these ideas, but never directly copy. If you see something successful from a competitor, think about why it works and how you may implement something similar but better into your own strategy.

Choose the right platforms for you

The most important thing when setting up your strategy is to ensure you’re using the right platforms for your business.

It can be tempting to dive head-first into all the platforms available to you – they all have their merits, after all. However, this can actually hurt your digital presence.

What platform works for your business will differ depending on the product or service you offer. As such, it’s important to do research on where the demand sits.

For example, if your primary customers are teenagers, then you wouldn’t choose LinkedIn as your primary social platform, as only 19% of its userbase is below the age of 24.