Why is Digital Marketing Important to your Business?
Taking a closer look at how Digital Marketing evolved over the past few years, would be an excellent way to conceive its importance. Starting as a new way of marketing goods and services, Digital Marketing was considered as just another tool for businesses to connect with their audience. One quick look around you will probably make you understand how things have changed since then. The chances are that you surround yourself with more than one electronic device within reach of Internet access. And this is where the magic of Digital Marketing begins: By reaching out to your customers in the place they are already spending time: Online.
Contemporary businesses now understand that Digital Marketing is not a choice, but rather a necessity for building brand awareness and staying competitive in the ever-changing Digital Landscape.
But first, let’s make sure that we actually understand what Digital Marketing really is. There have been countless attempts to define Digital marketing, but in simple terms, Digital Marketing is a vital component of marketing that utilises the Internet and other digital technologies, devices, media and channels to ultimately connect with consumers and promote products and services.
Later, in this article, we will endeavour to get a deeper understanding of those digital media and channels. But for now, let’s recite the main ‘Reasons why Digital Marketing is Important’:
Measurability: Unlike traditional marketing, Digital Marketing equips your business with metrics and tracking tools that help you measure your efforts’ effectiveness. In this way, you can monitor alterations within your figures overtime, check your campaigns’ performance, and optimise these campaigns in order to achieve better results.
Return on Investment (ROI): Especially for small, and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to run cost-effective marketing campaigns is essential. Digital marketing, compared to traditional marketing methods, reaches a wider audience while spending less, allowing thus, a room for further growth and ROI.
Agility and Accuracy: In the virtual world, everything moves faster. Accordingly, delivering and optimising campaigns which reach your audience is usually done in a fast-moving pace. This speed, along with the digital marketing’s attribute to reach its target customer with unparalleled precision, is what makes it so unique. Digital marketing has allowed contemporary businesses to downscale enormous demographics into specific groups that are truly interested in what your business has to offer. Targeting at this level is crucial since your business is far more likely to generate leads that will eventually convert.
Pretty impressive what Digital Marketing can do, right? But let’s be realistic. Running a business, and utilising Digital Marketing to reach your clients without any further plans on the horizon can be compared to wandering in a foreign place, with no maps, no phone and not speaking the language. Pretty chaotic and involving a great chance of getting lost.
This is where a Marketing Strategy comes in. Building a successful brand is impossible unless you set a strong and vigorous foundation. And Marketing Strategy does exactly that; It encompasses a course of action or a plan that leads your business to accomplish your set marketing goals. In other words, marketing strategy is the Master Plan of your business, that helps you see the big picture and leads your business to the future.
And at this point, you might as well be wondering: Why allocate money and direct energy into a strategy that has such a long-term horizon? Especially now, when things are already complicated. The answer is simple. If you don’t have a marketing strategy in place, then recurrence and scale are not plausible.
Even if your marketing strategy will, at some point, require some small adjustments and tweaks, it nonetheless functions as the ‘guiding light’ throughout your companies’ individual efforts and marketing campaigns. Your company will easily adapt and improve through recurrence but without having to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
Eventually, when your marketing strategy is established, scale will permit spreading the strategy’s main aspects throughout your company’s components, your human resources, projects, and even your products and services. The scale will ensure that everyone within the company is on the same page, and consistency is guaranteed.
The Key Components of a Marketing strategy, which are mentioned below, might seem a lot, but they are of equal importance for businesses success.
Key Components of a Marketing Strategy:
What businesses should not fail to conceive is that their respective marketing strategy should revolve around their ‘Unique Value Proposition’. ‘UVP’ informs their audience of what the company stands for, how the company operates, and how it stands out from the competition.
Once established, the Marketing Strategy is then implemented to your business. This strategic integration process involves a series of important decisions, one of the most important being the Digital Marketing Channels and Platforms’ selection. Having crossed the threshold of the 21st century, utilising marketing channels can help your business come a step closer towards the completion of its marketing goals. How? Simply by allowing direct communication with the customers, opening an interactive dialogue, and receiving invaluable feedback for improvement.
Each and every one of the Digital Marketing channels plays a specific role and combined can work miracles for today’s businesses but following are some of the most’ trending’ and effective Digital Marketing Channels that are best known for generating substantial results.
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? Social Media Marketing is a powerful set of tools connecting your business with your audience.
In order to be successful in Social Media Marketing (SMM), you have to be creative and build an effective strategy. When running social media platforms, your daily activities include content creation, publishing content, uploading photos and videos, running surveys, and everything related to your business’ driving audience engagement.
97% of marketers use social media, and 78% of salespeople, outsell their peers by utilising them. Those numbers do not let us doubt the importance of social media’s presence.
However, studies show that 50% of small businesses are still not using social media to promote their business. Half of this percentage does not have an optimal plan to use social media in the future either.
The major social media platforms (at the moment) are Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.
Creating an excellent social media marketing plan allows you to increase your web traffic, build conversions, raise brand awareness, generate the brands’ core identity, and improve communication with your audience.
But, how to grow big with Social Media Marketing? Well, all you need is a PLAN.
If you’re wondering how to create a good and valuable Social Media Plan, you just need to follow these steps:
1. Set the goals.
Setting the goals for Social Media Marketing is a crucial part of achieving and measuring success. So, the easiest way to do this is to sit down and plan which goals you wish to accomplish, creating an action plan including all the steps to achieve them.
Some typical goals can be: creating brand awareness, building and improving relationships between your business and the community, expanding your reach, increasing direct sales or generating leads.
2. Who is your audience?
Selling and promoting to everyone does not necessarily bring your business positive results. So, first things first, analyse your current audience. Paying special attention to the following points can prove crucial when forming a social media plan: Age, location, language, interests and spending patterns. To get more insights, you can use tools, such as Google Analytics or other similar tools, to get a more in-depth understanding. Stay focused and brainstorm on what you believe would keep your audience interested and make sure to keep being active in your social media accounts.
Once you have defined your goals and audience, you can then plan the content to populate your social media accounts accordingly. Just remember:
- Always keep your brand image consistent,
- Identify your business’ core personality, and
- Maintain the way you speak and interact with your audience through all social media platforms.
You can find millions of different forms of content you can populate your sites with. Nevertheless, following are some of the most popular ones: Video and Photo sharing, Content/Blogs/Articles writing, Video stories, live videos, Testimonials, Reviews, and Contests. Lately, podcasts’ popularity increases exponentially, so you might want to consider creating a podcast for your brand.
There is substantial research regarding the social media posting on different platforms, so following are some useful tips you can use when creating your social media marketing plan, which will probably help you deliver better results.
Posting frequency on Social Media:
- Twitter – Three to ten times per day
- Facebook – Once or twice per day
- LinkedIn – Once or twice per day
- Instagram – Once or twice per day
- Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories, twice per week
- Pinterest – Five to ten times per day
- Youtube– once or twice a week, at the same time.
- TikTok- one to three videos per day.
Best time to post on Social Media:
- Twitter – the best time to post is during the lunchtime, 12 pm to 1 pm (you may schedule right before lunchtime). Posting during the weekdays, from Monday to Friday, 12 pm 1 am is usually the best practice. The best posting day is Wednesday, and the worst time to post is probably on the weekends.
- Facebook – the best time to post is 1 pm and 4 pm during the week. The only suggested time to post on Facebook on a Sunday is at 3 pm. The best days to post are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday is considered the worst day to post on Facebook. Weekends get the highest rate of engagement.
- LinkedIn – the best time to post is 10 am, and 11 am, while Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to be the best days for posting on Linkedin. Weekends and right after working hours are probably the worst timing and are currently receiving the least amount of engagement.
- Instagram – the best time to post is from 11 am- 1 pm, and evening after working hours from 7 pm to 9 pm. The best posting days are thought to be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday is the worst day to post on Insta whereas on Wednesdays you get the highest engagement.
- Pinterest – The best timing for Pinterest posting is 8 pm to 11 pm (after work hours). Work hours are less popular for Pinterest. Best days are considered Saturdays and Sundays.
- Youtube– The best time to post on YouTube is early afternoon between 12 pm and 4 pm. Thursdays and Fridays tend to be the best timing for YouTube posting. Most viewers watch YouTube on weekends, so feel free to post on Saturdays and Sundays early morning between 9 am, and 11 am.
- TikTok– The best time to post in TikTok is either early morning 6 am to 7 am or late evening between 7- 11 pm. While the highest engagement is on Tuesdays from 9 am, Thursdays by 12 pm and Fridays by 5 am.
When we have already set the goals, defined the audience, populated the content in the proper hours and days, what remains to be done is understanding if it brought about a considerable result to our campaigns. Measuring the performance is an integral part of social media marketing strategy. We need to focus on metrics such as:
- Reach, which is the potential unique viewers a post could have.
- The number of clicks on your content. Tracking the clicks is essential to understand what drives your audiences’ curiosity and encourages people to keep viewing your content.
- Engagement. The engaged audience interacts with brands through likes, comments and social sharing. By tracking it, we can understand the audience’s potential size and how often it interacts with your account.
- Conversions. Conversion numbers will demonstrate how many people clicked on a post and took action on a page. By action we mean a direct purchase, a newsletter subscription, registering for a webinar, etc. A high conversion rate means that your content is valuable and compatible with your target audience.
What is Email Marketing?
Who said that email marketing is old fashioned and not worth investing in? To this question we are going to answer with some numbers:
- Research shows that email marketing is the most profitable direct marketing channel, generating an average ROI (return on investment) of $44 for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign.
- 73% of millennials identified that email is their preferred channel of communication with brands. Considering that there are around 71 million millennials, 73% of this number is over 51 million. Impressive, right?
- The consumers arising from email marketing campaigns tend to spend 138% more.
- 99% of consumers check their email daily. They also state that email is their most preferred channel to receive their favourite brands’ updates.
By now, you probably got the grasp of how email marketing is one of the pillars in digital marketing strategy. It connects the targeted audience with your brand, by letting them know the latest news, newest trends, products, and promotions. We simply cannot ignore the importance of email marketing, so, for now, let’s dive deep into Email Marketing, and the reasons why it is so beneficial for businesses.
With email marketing campaigns, you can increase the traffic sent on your Website, and there is a direct connection between email marketing and SEO improvement. Make sure that you always include a clear Call to Action (CTA) at the end of the email, so your audience can directly reach your website.
Email Marketing compared to other types of traditional marketing channels, is way more cost-effective. Email Marketing is not only less time consuming but also, it does not require overwhelming financial resources.
Every time an email is sent, it carries along a plethora of metrics and reports about open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and conversion rates. These metrics will eventually show you the information your business needs to progress and improve. Thus, your company can see the bigger picture, for example when email marketing campaigns need improvement, and work better to bring the wanted results.
Can you think of something more brilliant than reaching the right audience at the right time?
With email marketing campaigns, you can create separate lists and groups of people who share the same interests, sending each group respectively. In this way, you can deliver targeted content to your audience. Mostly, it creates added value, encouraging more conversions.
One of the most important goals in marketing is communicating with your audience in a way that inspires the creation of a relationship. Email marketing is such a powerful tool when building your ‘brand’s community’ overtime. The key element for success in email marketing is that you let your audience feel that they can talk with you, and through this type of ‘bonding’ they are more likely to become loyal customers.
Sales season has already started. Thinking of launching a new product?
If the answer is yes, please note that an email marketing campaign can encourage customers to complete a purchase, even after abandoning their cart on the checkout. In email marketing campaigns, you can easily include messages, encouraging people to buy by letting them know about special offers, product launches etc. Your audience, which probably originates from your subscribers’ list, are people who have already bought from you or are considering doing so, and thus are more likely to convert.
According to a McKinsey’s study, an email campaigns’ average order value is at least three times higher than the average order value of social media posts. So, an effective email marketing campaign can drive more sales than other digital marketing channels.
Also known as Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is commonly defined as the optimising of a company’s website and content, in a way that yields a higher ‘ranking’ in the search engine results, therefore bringing ‘organic’ or free traffic to your website.
What is important to understand, though, is that traffic per se is not a good enough way of bringing about the results your company needs and utterly deserves. Instead, companies need to focus on the quality and the quantity of the targeted traffic their website draws. More in-depth:
- Quality: Refers to the relevance of your website visitors. Ideally, your website would attract visitors that connect with your business by expressing interest over your products and services. There is no point in attracting an enormous number of visitors with little or no interest over your business, with no scope to convert or visitors indifferent to your content.
- Quantity: Once you have the targeted audience visiting your site, the quantity refers to your company’s need for the extended and continuous increase of the number of unique page views, received from the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The importance of acquiring ‘good’ traffic to your website is far-reaching, and when sensibly employing SEO, the benefits can be significant. While other Digital Marketing Channels can also generate traffic, search engines are the leading generators of online traffic. Concisely SEO:
- Creates organic results, which from the novice tech users to the most tech-savvy searchers, are considered more ‘valid’ and ‘credible’.
- When assembled correctly, SEO can pay dividends and continue to bring traffic to your website over time. Setting up the right content, with keywords that may rank high, and creating a solid foundation, can, with the right preservation, repeatedly and regularly deliver results.
- Delivers a seamless user experience. While everyone focuses on the ranking, traffic and visibility of their website, often they overlook that user experience is a quite important part of getting there. When people search online, they ultimately want to find something that covers their needs and answers their queries. SEO can, therefore, integrate a positive user experience that your business can exploit in its favour.
To spice things up a little, here are some Tips and Facts that will help you upgrade your SEO plan:
- Do not overdo it with Keywords. The phrase ‘the more, the merrier’ does not apply in the case of Search Engine Optimisation. And this is where most people get it wrong. Ensure that your content is ‘to the point’ for your users while paying homage to the search engines.
- Level-up your Local SEO game. Now, probably more than ever, search engines’ attention is leaning towards offering consumers results based on their specific location. It’s all about being THERE, at the right time, in the right place. Make sure your business masters Local SEO, using the Tools, Keywords, and content to step-up your business.
- Research shows that 46 % of all Google searches seek local information’, a number not easily overlooked. Right?
- Content. Content. Content. I cannot stress this enough, but at the very end, it is all about the quality of your website’s content. Make sure that your content embodies the ‘essence’ of your business, is accurate and descriptive and of course ‘fresh’. Being up to date and refreshing your company’s website by keeping obsolete pages away will help consumers find your website useful and convince the search engines that your website is well looked after.
What is important to grasp from this article, is that despite the acronym, SEO is as much regarding people as it is regarding search engines. SEO is about comprehending what people are searching for on the web, what they are truly seeking, what kind of words they are using for expressing their queries and what type of content they wish to come across. Being able to answer those questions will give your business the ‘kick’ to connect with people searching online.
Have you ever noticed the ads that appear on the top in your favourite search engine? Then you already know what Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is. SEM is a marketing strategy, using paid advertising to help your website appear on the first page and preferably at the top search results. You set up your budget accordingly, and you are only getting charged when your ad is clicked. This is how a sensible use of SEM can make it affordable to every business to integrate, and eventually allow them to get a premium spot in Search Engine results.
Many people get confused about how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) differ. SEO and SEM are totally different concepts. As we talked previously, SEO is about getting your clicks and visits augmented organically (free), while SEM relies on paid advertising, positioning your Ad on the top of search results. But both SEO and SEM have a crucial part to play in establishing a Digital Marketing Strategy.
Now, we have bad and good news for you. Let’s start with the bad news. Paying for your ads and just sitting around, hoping for the best will sadly not be enough for your website’s performance. But here comes the good news. In the following paragraph, we will state the commonly made mistakes that can kill your SEM campaign. Identifying errors and trying to avoid them is your business guaranteed path to success.
Choosing the right keywords is a process involving many factors, such as the CPC (cost per click), the frequency of the keyword use, the relevance of keywords, the targeted audience etc. You can also research different keywords, starting with branded and non-branded to long -tail and location-specific. If you do not choose your keywords wisely, you will pay for clicks, which will not convert and eventually end up spending your fixed budget.
- Do not forget to test.
In the digital world, you have the opportunity to regularly test your campaigns, check your results and of course, improve from your feedback. When running two different SEM campaigns simultaneously, you can compare the results in real-time and further understand why one might have performed better than the other. Just by differentiating a variable can help you understand and have accurate test results.
- Keep your website up to date.
Once the potential client lands on your web page, make sure that you provide him or her with the best possible experience. Poorly constructed, not properly functioning web pages can destroy your SEM campaign. Whereas, a nicely designed landing page, with a speedy loading time that adapts to all devices, being safe, secure, and interesting for your consumers, will for sure create the results you expect.
- Link your Campaign with your Tracking System.
One of the biggest mistakes that can be done during an SEM campaign is failing to track the campaign results. If the tracking system you are using to track your results is not linked to your campaign ( for example your Google Analytics Account is not linked to Google AdWords account), you lose the ability to gather insights and data for obtaining insight and getting better results.
- Track the conversions.
When running a Search Engine Marketing campaign, set your tracking Goal. That can be a newsletter subscription, a purchase, a filling of a ‘contact us’ form or other. The data recorded by conversion tracking identifies the areas where your SEM campaign performs well, so you will be able to optimise the bids, the keywords and the whole text accordingly.
- Clear call to action (CTA).
So, we are nearly ready to convert our SEM campaign, but what really closes the deal is Call to Action (CTA). CTA links consumers directly to each campaigns’ ultimate goal, which can be either a sales promotion or a call to subscribe to the company’s newsletter or another. What is certain is that CTA is essential to drive the client to the final conversion.
Having recited the importance of Digital Marketing in contemporary businesses, and, the urgent need of utilising its power while using a Marketing strategy as a beacon of the company’s goals, efforts and processes, we then continued by extensively analysing the Digital Marketing channels, their importance and the different ways of their implementation in a business.
For all these marketing efforts to work, though, maybe the most crucial point lies in the consistency between them. Having a Digital Marketing Strategy that does not go hand-in-hand with your company’s marketing channels, tools, and campaigns can prove rather damaging for your brands’ identity and distract your audience from how they apprehend your business.
Establishing a cohesive digital presence and incorporating your digital channels in a consistent strategy can, in fact, result in maximising the return you get from utilising them. In today’s business nothing can work and survive in isolation, so make sure that every bit and piece of your marketing entity is interconnected, interlinked and leads your business and audience to the same direction.
Written by team Accudy @Eirini @Orinta
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