As everyone knows, the world has rapidly transited to a digital mode for virtually everything right from the way we order pizzas to the way we consume news and entertainment and everything in between. The marketplace for businesses across all industries has become even more transparent and competitive and customers are better informed not only about product performance but also about pricing. Today it is rare to find a customer considering a purchase without researching online. According to Forbes.com, even among people who prefer to buy offline, nothing less than 82% of smartphone users prefer to conduct their research online. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of small businesses are climbing aboard the digital marketing wagon. A spotlight on the numerous benefits of digital marketing and why small businesses should implement it immediately:
Digital marketing is extremely cost-effective compared to conventional print and electronic advertising and communication. Because traditional marketing is comparatively more expensive, it prevents small businesses with limited budgets from reaching out to influence customers, and thus they tend to lose out to big businesses that can afford far bigger marketing spends. The arrival of digital marketing has changed that scenario completely, and today small businesses can choose to target specific audiences defined by specific demographic parameters at minimal costs. According to experts, by spending less than $3, a small business can expose its products and services to over 1,000 people using social media. A comparative analysis reveals that to achieve the same exposure using TV, it would have cost $28 and a whopping $57 using direct mail. The only drawback is that some digital marketing techniques like SEO, social media, and content marketing can take time to build customer engagement. However, tactics like PPC and social media advertising can produce results as quickly as traditional mass media advertising, observes a consultant at digital agency online impact 360 marketing, a leading digital marketing agency.
Campaign Effectiveness Can Be Measured
Conventionally, marketers using traditional advertising had to complete their campaigns and take stock of the situation to find out if their efforts had paid off or not. Since it was not possible to measure the efficacy of the campaign while it was in progress, businesses had to be prepared to learn that their campaign had failed and their money completely wasted. Digital marketing campaigns have the advantage of being measurable even when they are in progress. Marketers can figure out if the campaign is working as per the design, and weak spots can be identified and corrective measures implemented to put it back on course. Variables like content quality, relevance, scheduling, etc. can be very easily tweaked quickly to achieve a better ROI by using advanced analytics. This not only takes the guesswork out of marketing but also allows businesses to use their marketing budgets more effectively.
Enables Better Targeting of the Audience
One of the principal advantages of using digital marketing is that marketers can analyze a huge amount of information very quickly to segment their target audiences and target the ones they like with customized campaigns. Using sophisticated data monitoring and analysis software, marketers can track customers and build their profiles of preferences, interests, buying behavior, and more to suggest products and services that are more relevant to them with targeted advertisements. For example, if a person searches for flight tickets, advertisements for hotels, suitcases, can rentals, etc. can be displayed on the screen. The same person can be again targeted with the same ads even when he uses the search engine on another occasion. Having a refined list of email subscribers also allows marketers to send target email shots to nurture leads and encourage conversions.
Boosts Brand Credibility and Social Acceptance
Building brands is a long and uphill task; however, it is much easier for marketers to use digital marketing since reaching out via the Internet is much faster and more economical when compared to traditional brand outreach techniques. The more customers see the brand being active, the more they tend to trust it. Using digital marketing, brands can be more in the face of customers across a large variety of online channels. By using content strategically, the business can clarify important product concepts, highlight benefits, address the doubts of customers, and demonstrate that it appreciates the concerns of customers. By distributing content that is relevant and interesting, a business can improve its credibility and gain their trust as well as that of influencers and industry experts. An easy way of finding out if your brand has credibility is to find out if you are ranking on the first page of Google search results for target keywords. A consistent Page 1 ranking is a great reassurance for all stakeholders that you are a reliable and trustworthy business and gives the impression that you are an industry leader. Blogging is also considered a very effective way of demonstrating that you know the industry, including its trends and developments well. Consumers seeking high-quality expert opinions will be impressed with your blogs that explain concepts and answers queries professionally. The rub-off is that your business is seen as dependable and an industry expert.
Digital marketing has the advantage of being extremely flexible. By being able to increase the extent of your reach or target more messages at your customers, you will be able to boost brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. With digital marketing, you can track your customers after you have made the first sale with custom messages that increase brand loyalty and assure them that they have made the right choice. You can offer them incentives for referring other customers too, which is a very cost-effective way of customer acquisition. According to one study, as much as 40% of revenues from online shopping come from repeat customers that comprise only 8% of the visitors to the website. In addition to your website, digital marketers can use social media to boost customer engagement as well as email marketing, which remains the most effective digital marketing channel with an ROI of over 40%. Digital marketing has opened up new vistas in customer engagement, brand loyalty, and sales for small businesses that suffer from budgetary constraints. By using digital marketing techniques well, they can compete with their much-larger competitors on a more level playing field.