Just a couple of short decades ago an organisation’s ability to market itself was quite limited. You could put your brand on the airwaves through broadcast advertising, you could put ink to paper with print advertising, or you could slap your name on a billboard, bus stop or park bench with display advertising.
The internet has changed the game. Digital marketing grants business of all shapes and sizes an opportunity to reach their audience in any number of eye-catching and compelling ways. You could say that it has democratised marketing, turning it from complex and costly to cheap, easy, and most importantly, effective.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at exactly how digital marketing can help your business grow. We’ll focus in on the benefits compared to traditional marketing, and offer up a couple of basic digital marketing strategies to get you started.
So, without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into the world of digital marketing.
The benefits of digital marketing
Why is digital marketing such a compelling tool for small businesses? There are a number of reasons that it is fast taking over from traditional as the go-to marketing tool for businesses.
Broadcast, print and display marketing can be prohibitively expensive. You need to pay to both secure the space your advertisement will take up, whether on TV, radio, billboard or newspaper, then pay to produce the content that will be injected into that slot. Digital marketing is far more cost-effective – you can start a simple Google Ads or social media campaign for just a handful of dollars!
Return on investment
Not only is digital marketing affordable, you can get real bang for your buck. As an example, you can earn a return of $22 for every $1 you spend on SEO (search engine optimisation), and an incredible $36 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. They’re ROI numbers that even the best traditional marketing efforts can’t compete with. Put simply, your digital marketing budget goes further.
The most effective forms of digital marketing are those that are focused directly on your target audience. Traditional advertising offers very basic targeting – buying a slot in a radio show that has a certain listening demographic, for example. But digital marketing turns targeting up to 11. Google Ads and social media marketing tools allow you to reach an incredibly specific audience. If you want to advertise to 30-35 year old new mums in the Christchurch area who are interested in sport, you can.
Size of audience
Not only does digital marketing allow you to hyper-target your audience, you also enjoy a potential customer pool that is essentially limitless. While traditional marketing tends to be quite localised – the readership of a newspaper, the viewership of a TV program, the cars and pedestrians that will see your outdoor advertisement – the internet is more or less borderless. Should you choose, you have the ability to reach the entire world.
There are a lot of presumptions and educated guesses in traditional advertising. It can be difficult to prove how many people your marketing reached, and whether your ads directly led to an increase in sales. Digital marketing, meanwhile, offers up an endless amount of data. You can see exactly how many people your ad reached, the percentage of the audience that engaged and interacted with it, and how many of these people ultimately became customers. And with this incredible level of transparency and measurability, you’re able to identify exactly how to improve your marketing reach, engagement and conversion rates.
Digital marketing grants you far greater control over the narrative of your brand. You can carefully craft your message and deliver it through everything from ads to emails. There’s no better example of the level of control that digital marketing offers over your online presence than social media. On Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn you can give your brand real personality, which allows you to grow a native audience who are super receptive to the occasional piece of marketing material that you post.
How to use digital marketing to grow your business
Now that we understand the why, let’s take a look at the how. There are a number of digital marketing techniques that can ultimately help you grow your business, but here are five of the most effective.
Take social media seriously
Posting on your social channels can feel more like fun that like work, but the reality is that Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and LinkedIn are becoming an ever more important way to curate your brand image, grow a loyal audience and generate direct sales. When done well it gives you a direct line to an engaged audience who genuinely wants to hear what you have to say.
Set up profiles on the handful of social media platforms that your target audience use the most, and try to post at least a few times a week. Go easy on the salesly posts – this is a quick way to lose your audience – and instead, aim to educate and/or entertain. Sure, let your followers know when you have a big sale or exciting new product, just practice a bit of restraint in posting hard ad material.
Write a weekly blog
While it might almost seem an old fashioned approach to digital marketing, the humble blog remains as important as ever to your internet success. By regularly publishing a blog about your field of expertise, say once a week, you’ll tick a few boxes:
- You’ll create keyword-rich content that gives Google something to bite into. This can push you up the rankings, which helps to send people to your website who are searching for exactly what you offer.
- High quality content will earn you backlinks from other websites. This tells Google you’re an authority in your field of expertise, which will also help to send you further up the search engine results page (SERP).
- You’ll establish your brand as a thought leader in your space. If you’re able to answer the most pressing questions that potential customers have, they will see you as trustworthy. You’ll build a reputation as the go-to business in your industry.
Build an email list
As mentioned earlier, when done well email marketing offers a barely believable ROI. To capitalise on this opportunity you’ll need to build and nurture an email list. There are a number of ways to do this: asking people for their email as part of the purchase process, creating a loyalty program that offers deals and discounts in return for contact information, or developing downloadable content that people can gain access to by handing over their details. Speaking of which…
Create a lead magnet
A lead magnet is a piece of quality content, whether a PDF, an ebook, a video or an online course, that is enticing enough for your target customers to want to hand over their contact information for. Lead magnets can be an effective way to generate sales, as they target the exact customer that you’re hoping to gain the attention of, and once they’re set up, they can provide a steady supply of warm leads without you having to lift so much as a finger.
The best lead magnets are those that answer your customers’ most pressing questions. Think about what types of queries you regularly hear about your products and services, then form compelling downloadable content designed to answer them.
Get help from the experts
While digital marketing represents an incredible opportunity to sell your product or service and grow your business, it can be a complex undertaking that places you in competition with brands worldwide. Realising this huge potential is therefore an equally huge challenge.
Which is where we come in.
At Traction Marketing – Christchurch we make digital marketing simple, and grant your business access to the endless opportunity that the internet presents. Our expert team has developed marketing campaigns and managed marketing channels for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We know exactly how digital marketing can help you grow, and we’re ready to apply that knowledge across your digital channels.
Ready to use the internet to turbocharge growth in the digital age? We’re ready to help. Get in touch with our friendly team today.