As the world adapts to pandemic restrictions and consumer behaviour continues to shift from traditional channels to online purchasing, typical advertising methods such as billboards, radio ads, and print advertising are no longer a sufficient approach for marketing your business. According to Stats Canada, from February to May in 2020 retail stores sales in e-commerce nearly doubled (+99.3%). Based on this statistic alone and the sheer fact consumer behaviour has fundamentally shifted, many business owners are converting their marketing efforts to online as a means to effectively promote their business in 2021. In fact, according to godaddy.com, 79% of entrepreneurs with a business website expect to grow at least 25% in the next three to five years, compared to 64% of those without a site. Your audience will expect your business to be online and providing a seamless experience is critical in converting leads to customers. Throughout this article, we’ll dissect the top 8 reasons why it’s beneficial for your business to have a strategic digital presence.
Defining Digital Marketing
You may be asking yourself what exactly is digital marketing and how do I get started? Essentially, digital marketing is the process of advertising your business online through efforts and assets viewed on one’s desktop or mobile device. Businesses are leveraging digital channels such a their website, social media, email marketing, blog content, pay-per-click advertising, and search engines to connect with their audience.
Your Audience is Online
With over 4.6 billion active internet users world wide and 89% of customers beginning their buying process with a search engine, having a digital presence for your business is critical in reaching your audience. Implementing a digital strategy makes it easier to scale your marketing efforts and reach way more people in your area, not to mention levelling the playing field with your local and broader competitors.
Reduce your Advertising Expenditure
The pandemic has majorly affected the finances of many businesses and marketing budgets may seem scarce in 2021. However, transitioning to digital can be a cost-effective option that all businesses should consider. There are many options when marketing your business online and a variety of low cost-high return strategies you can implement. For example, creating a digital campaign for a 6-month duration can be expensive, however, the benefit of going digital is that if the ad spend is simply not in the budget, the business can scale back at any time. Social media platforms are free to use and a highly effective way to connect with your audience and advertise your business at little to no cost. Ultimately, digital marketing is highly customizable, can scale with your business as you grow, and is proven to attract a large audience if conducted with an intelligent data driven campaign.
Measuring the Analytics
The data we collect when using digital marketing is incomparable to traditional marketing simply due to real-time analytics. This data guides us to readjust our expenditures or simply proceed if we’re satisfied with the results. Digital marketing has given us the gift of targeted advertising. For example; Company ABC runs an ad in a magazine, the readers of this magazine are males between 30 to 50 years old and the majority of them have post-secondary education. The ad may reach 500k readers but of those readers what percentage is your target audience? There’s ultimately no way of tracking the results from traditional campaigns, therefore money, effort, and time are generally wasted. Targeted ads and data driven content present the opportunity to dissect our audience and measure success against a vast collection of metrics. This information educates the business owner on how they can influence the buyer’s decision, better understand their needs, and adjust their campaigns accordingly.
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is one of the more complex components of a digital marketing strategy and involves the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic through organic (non-paid) search engine results. While paid advertising, social media, and other online channels can generate traffic to your website, the majority is driven by search engines. According to Hubspot, a quarter of web users will not click past the first page of any given search engine query. With this in mind, having an optimized website and strategic keywords within your content will result in better rank performance and more opportunity to convert prospects into customers
Optimizing the User Experience
Otherwise known as UX, User experience is the process of understanding the users’ needs and wants, incorporating these findings into an effective design, and in turn delivering a fantastic user experience when a customer interacts with your website. UX can be broken down into three components; the look, usability, and feel of your website. Customers are becoming more particular about the aesthetics of a website and will remember a brand if the imagery and design resonates. The visuals presented to the user should be persuasive, meaningful, and build trust. As for the usability component, the experience while interacting with a website should be both seamless and intuitive to the user. Creating a meaningful user experience allows you to define customer journeys, support SEO, and increased conversion rates.
Identify Customer Needs Faster
Another valuable component of utilizing digital marketing is the ability to directly communicate with your customers at any given time. Getting to know your potential customers via social media by creating polls or starting a Q&A session are cost free methods to connect with your audience and build brand loyalty. Not only is this a data driven approach to gaining insightful feedback and discovering your customer interests, it also allows you to establish and nurture a digital community that simply would not possible through traditional marketing.
Real-Time Customer Service
By creating a presence online, you have the opportunity to connect with your customers faster than traditional methods. By including contact information options via your website and social media channels, your customers have quick access to communicating with you and customer service naturally becomes easier and more accessible. Furthermore, responding quickly and efficiently will impose a great impression on your customers. These communication efforts result in building a positive brand experience and lead to improved customer retention and brand loyalty.
These insights are just a few factors as to why your business should market itself online. By taking advantage of these tips, you can expect to see your business grow. However, trends and updates to these platforms are ever changing and it can be challenging to keep track. Working with LRO Solutions as your marketing partner ensures you stay ahead of your competition and move your marketing in the right direction.