It’s no secret that the world is becoming increasingly digital. In the year 2000, only 6% of the world’s population used the internet. Now, over 62% of the world’s total population is online. For this reason, digital marketing is also on the rise. Still, business owners may wonder, “is digital marketing a waste of money?” Aren’t there better ways to reach your audience? Is digital marketing measurable, and does it actually work?
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing, or online marketing, is advertising that’s delivered digitally through the internet. It can take place through a variety of channels. Some of these include search engines, email marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, and pay per click, along with others.
Surveys show that in 2022, the average person spent an average of over 6 hours online each day. That’s a lot of time! Consumers who are interested in a certain product or service usually turn to the internet as the first place to find information. In the world we live in, consumers expect to be able to find your business online. When they don’t, they’re frustrated.
However, being found by expectant consumers isn’t the only reason your business needs to make use of digital marketing (though it is a significant reason!). Let’s look at a few more benefits of digital marketing for your business.
Benefits of digital marketing
It’s less expensive than outbound marketing
Besides giving searchers a better chance to actually find your business online, digital marketing is generally less expensive than outbound marketing. With outbound methods, such as billboards, direct mail, and press releases, you pay a set price for your advertising to reach a wide group of people. While some may be interested in your product or service, many will not be. How many times have you bought something because you saw it on a billboard? Probably a few. How many billboards do you pass by without another thought? Probably a lot.
Digital marketing allows you to reach your target audience. These are the people who will actually be interested in your product or service.
It’s highly measurable
With analytics tools, you can find out tons of information about your marketing efforts. You can see how many people visited your site in a day, how many clicks your links received, where your traffic is coming from, and much more.
Not only do digital analytics tools allow you to see whether or not your marketing is working, but they also allow the opportunity to hone in on the methods, keywords, and channels that are providing the most ROI. By analyzing your methods, you can easily put more time, effort, and money into the ones that are providing the best results.
It allows you to build relationships with your customers
Unlike outbound marketing, digital marketing provides the unique opportunity to strengthen customer relationships through each step of the process. Using the StoryBrand marketing framework, we’ve seen our clients connect with their customers from the very first stage of interest all the way through to having repeat sales from nurtured customers.
Types of digital marketing
Digital marketing encompasses a broad range of marketing tactics. Here are some of the most common types of digital marketing:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Content marketing (blog posts, ebooks and PDFs, podcasts, etc.)
- Social media marketing
- Pay per click (PPC)
Digital marketing money-wasters
While we firmly believe in digital marketing (we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t!), there are some digital marketing techniques that you need to stay alert to avoid. Here are some pitfalls to watch for if you’re considering getting started with digital marketing.
Inexpensive or DIY websites
Inexpensive doesn’t always necessarily equal bad. However, looking for a cheap way to have a website made can also be a slippery slope.
If you’ve been researching web development options, you’ve probably been bombarded with choices such as Wix or Squarespace that offer the opportunity to create your own site. Or, perhaps you have a friend or family member that you’ve considered hiring to create a site on one of these platforms.
While it may not be overly difficult to design a site on a DIY platform (after all, they’re made to be easy to use), be careful. Just because a website exists or even looks good does not necessarily mean that it will be helpful to your business or work well down the road.
The main issues we see with these websites include an inability to make needed changes and updates to the site, site safety, sites that are nearly impossible to find using Google, or the inability to use features that you actually need without paying for hidden costs (such as e-commerce systems and online payments, the ability to remove ads, etc.).
Sketchy SEO techniques
While proper search engine optimization is one of the most valuable ways to promote your business online, it’s important to keep an eye out for SEO experts who use illegitimate SEO techniques.
While certain unethical SEO practices used to work, they don’t anymore. And in fact, they can actually cause your site to incur penalties from Google. If you’re looking to hire an SEO professional, make sure they don’t participate in any “black hat” practices, such as keyword stuffing, duplicate content, sneaky redirects, or invisible text.
Another major mistake we see often see across various digital marketing platforms is unclear messaging. Whether you’re looking to hire a web designer, social media manager, content creator, or email marketing pro, make sure to look at some samples of their work first. Ask yourself whether the messaging is clear, understandable, and compelling, even for someone who’s unfamiliar with the brand’s industry.
Lots of digital marketing materials include messaging that’s either confusing or too focused on the brand itself. To put it bluntly, consumers don’t really care about you or your brand. They care about how your brand is going to help them. As you dive in to digital marketing, it’s very important to work with someone who can portray your brand in a in a clear, simple way that resonates with your audience’s needs.
Is digital marketing a waste of money?
Because of the number of people using the internet, the targeting abilities of digital marketing, the options for adaptability, the relationship-building aspect that customers have come to expect, and so much more, we believe that digital marketing is one of the very best ways to spend your marketing dollars. Digital marketing isn’t magical and doesn’t (usually) produce immediate results. However, it’s a highly effective way to reach the people who are interested in your business and turn leads into sales. In addition, many digital marketing mediums tend to allow your efforts to compound over time, bringing more results and more business down the road.
If you’re considering digital marketing for your business, we’d love for you to consider Lifedge for your digital marketing needs. From web design to SEO to email marketing to social media management and more, we’d be honored to create a digital marketing plan that works for your business.