The more technology evolves, the more digital the world of marketing has become. Businesses have been leveraging digital and social media marketing for some years now, and they only become more powerful every year. Yet if you’re like a lot of businesses, digital and social marketing tactics are things you know you should be doing, but you’re a little fuzzy on why.
You’re aware online marketing is the key to growth and success, but you’re not entirely sure how it’s going to happen.
With 51% of British consumers preferring to do their shopping online, and 93% of consumers conducting online research before buying, the simple answer is that digital and social strategies allow you to reach your target audience.
But there’s rather a lot more to it than that, and you probably want all the details. So, here are sixteen big business benefits of digital and social media marketing…
#1 Cost-Effective Marketing…
Both social and digital marketing are the most cost-effective means of promoting your business. Whatever level your business is at, however much you’re able to invest in online strategies, there’s a solution in the digital sphere. Social platforms can be setup for free, and content can be shared on your blog and social channels for free.
You can try new thing, for limited periods of time, and if they don’t work out simply stop doing them and try something else. You can significantly increase your results, with relatively low levels of investment (compared to, for example, television advertising or paid ad placement in glossies).
Any paid promotions or investments you make to improve the quality and reach of your content are entirely in your control. You can keep the costs low while testing strategies, then ramp up your budget once you’re certain of the returns you’re going to generate.
#2 Easily Measured Results…
One reason digital tactics are so beneficial is that you can very easily measure the results they yield. You can track exactly which of your efforts are working, the extent to which they are working, and see how to improve the results you’re getting.
Traditional forms of marketing can be difficult to track – how do you know how much business finds you as a result of a billboard, a radio segment, or a printed ad?
You can take the guesswork out of figuring out your ROI through digital analytics. These allow you to measure results in real-time, and get a clear view of which tactics are working and which aren’t.
One word of caution here – you will be able to see analytics results instantly, however the true measure of any digital or social marketing strategy can’t be fully understood until it has been running for some time. A launch, for example, can only be assessed in terms of success when it’s over and all the date is in. SEO campaigns, on the other hand, take a good 6 months to kick in. If you don’t let your marketing run for long enough, you risk stopping a very successful strategy before it’s gained enough momentum to show you its potential.
#3 Digital Marketing And Social Media Marketing Are Highly Adaptable…
Another downside of traditional marketing strategies is the need to wait weeks and even months to judge how well things are working. The analytics of digital marketing and social platforms allows you to view your audience’s behaviour in real-time. This means you can see which pages and posts are most popular – allowing you to create more of what your audience wants and less of what they don’t – and tweak your sales pages and copy to improve your results as much as possible right from the start.
While it takes a while to judge the overall effectiveness of a digital campaign as a whole, tracking its success in real-time allows you to get a decent idea of how well it’s performing. It also allows you to identify weak spots and correct them early on.
#4 Increase Your Conversion Rates…
The enhanced visibility your business will enjoy through online marketing will lead to an unlimited number of conversion opportunities. Every single blog post, social post, video, image, or comment your business makes online leads to views, which leads to website visitors, which leads to conversions and…well…leads.
The content you create has a humanising aspect to it that is quite unique, and ironic considering the digital nature of the form. You’re interacting with your audience and allowing them to interact with you ever time you share content online.
This personifies your brand, making it real and tangible, which is great for conversions because people buy from people.
The stats show that social media offers a lead-to-close rate that’s 100% higher than outbound marketing. This is due to the high levels of trust social media marketing generates with your audience.
This probably isn’t news to you – we all know social media can be powerful for business – but with 66% of marketers seeing an increase in lead generation from social channels, what you really need to know is how to do it.
Because social media doesn’t magically generate leads just because you’re online.
66% of marketers are generating great leads on social, but that is contingent upon spending a minimum of 6 hours per week working on building your social platforms.
The brands that aren’t succeeding on social aren’t putting enough time into it. If you’re serious about social lead generation you can reap great rewards from it, but only if you’re willing to truly invest in it.
#5 The Buyer’s Journey Begins Online…
How often do you turn to Google, or ask Siri for information about a product or service you’re thinking of buying? Be honest, impulse purchases while you’re out and about in town aside, when was the last time you bought anything without checking out it, and the alternatives online?
Even if the purchase takes place in a store, these days the buyer’s journey almost always begins online.
A lot of the time it ends online too.
Stats indicate that 93% of experiences online start with a search engine, making SEO alone an incredibly powerful tool to harness.
#6 Boost Your Search Engine Rankings…
Speaking of SEO, ranking highly on SERPs is something that can only be achieved through digital and social media marketing. Posting high-quality, highly shareable content on your blog and social channels will soon get you found.
While social media efforts don’t (strictly speaking) boost your SEO, consistent activity will help over time as it will drive more traffic to your site. In fact, 58% of online marketers who consistently use social media for at least a year see improvement in their search engine rankings.
Meanwhile, social platforms themselves are functioning more and more like search engines. YouTube is second only to Google in that respect, while Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter aren’t far behind.
SEO is powerful on an international level but particularly useful for local businesses. Google estimate that 28% of searches conducted for something ‘near me’ result in a purchase. Considering how frequently people use this term to search for locations like schools, hospitals and other places that would never conceivably result in buying anything, that’s an impressive statistic, and one local business owners can’t afford to ignore.
#7 Connect With Mobile Customers…
The digital sphere doesn’t just connect you with all those consumers searching for the stuff you sell, it lets you do it via every device the modern world uses to surf the web.
With more than half of online users on mobile devices, that’s a big win that gets you right in front of the eager eyes of your ideal clients, whatever device they prefer to use.
#8 Get Competitive…
Small businesses often struggle to compete with the big fish in their industries. Those big fish, meanwhile, are struggling to compete with the sharks, while the sharks are fighting among themselves.
The glorious thing about digital marketing and social media platforms is that it gives everyone an even playing field. While you may not have the budget of your competitors, you can still create a strong presence through exceptional branding and content.
Businesses of any size with any budget can get great exposure using digital channels. While you may not be able to match your competition in terms of big budget traditional marketing tactics or digital PPC campaigns, leveling the digital playing field is considerably easier.
#9 Increase Your Brand Awareness…
All that engagement generated by your online efforts does wonders for your brand awareness.
If you liked that ‘66% of marketers see increased leads’ stat, you’ll love this one: 91% claim they have greatly increased the exposure of their brand by investing a few hours a week in social media. Other content marketing strategies – particularly starting a vlog – will do wonders for your exposure and brand visibility.
#10 Generate More Inbound Traffic…
The more digital activity you engage in the more traffic you will get on your website. Between traffic from SEO, traffic from your social platforms, traffic from guest posting and other PR methods, and paid traffic generated by PPC, you have the potential to drive an exponential level of traffic to your site.
The best part about this is the built-in snowball effect it creates. The more traffic you attract, the more people share your content, the wider your reach becomes, and the more traffic you attract.
The more platforms you syndicate your content on, the more you amplify this effect.
#11 Directly Target Your Ideal Clients…
The best part about that snowball effect is that you have the capacity to generate traffic from all over the world, as well as highly targeted local traffic.
One drawback of a lot of traditional marketing is the ‘spray and pray’ nature of it. When you show an ad on television, play it on the radio, plaster it on a billboard, or print it in a magazine there is a limited amount of control you have over who sees it. Sure, you can pick magazines, time slots, and areas you know your target audience are more likely to see, but there will still be a lot of people looking who have no interest in what you do.
That level of uncertainty doesn’t apply to digital marketing.
You have far more control over who views your content. You can optimise it for search terms only your target audience would be using, and target it at people interested in the specific topics and demographics relevant to your business and offerings.
Such highly sophisticated targeting approaches allow you to improve your ROI, and remove the worry that all your efforts will be wasted on showing your marketing to people who are never going to care.
#12 Create Better Customer Satisfaction…
Digital marketing and particularly social media are amazing communication platforms. Like I said earlier, they have a humanising element, which has huge benefits for client satisfaction and customer service.
Your clients like to know they can post to your Facebook page and get a response, that when they comment on your Instagram pictures you’ll reply, that when they ask a question on your YouTube channel a future video will provide and answer.
Every single interaction between you and your clients on social media is a chance show your brand’s values, culture and compassion, as well as positively handle any issues or complaints.
#13 Improve Your Brand Loyalty…
All that customer satisfaction and audience engagement to will lead to one other thing in abundance: loyalty.
Being able to interact and communicate with your brand on a regular basis gives people a sense of consistency, familiarity, and confidence. They know you’re always there, know you’ll always answer, know that even if something goes wrong, you’ll fix it.
Millennials in particular are known for being highly loyal to particular brands, and 62% more loyal when it comes to brands they engage with directly on digital channels. Since this techno-savvy generation are digital natives, and the next up and coming generation are only growing more tech-focused, the time when you have no choice but to communicate through social media is (realistically) already here.
The sooner and more effectively you do it, the better for your business.
#14 Generate More Brand Authority…
The upshot of all of these benefits is that your business can massively boost its authority through online marketing activities. The more present you are online, and the more open you are in your communication, the more credible you become.
Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty leads to people talking about you positively. The more they mention you, giving positive feedback and opinions, the more new visitors will see your brand has value and authority.
Authority is a lot like traffic in the digital world. It snowballs. You get some positive feedback, it convinces new visitors to give your business a whirl, you impress them, they start talking you up. Now you have more positive feedback, leading to more leads trying you out, and on and on it goes.
This is another reason both social and digital marketing are cost-effective; they reach a tipping point, after which they generate entirely free advertising.
#15 Let The Data Guide You…
One of the huge advantages of the online sphere is the potential it has for marketplace insights.
It’s the best way to gauge the thoughts, feelings and needs of your clients.
Your online profiles are a gold mine of information on the opinions and interests of customers that you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, but that can benefit your business development and growth. Social media in particular is a complementary tool for research, particularly once you have a larger following. You can analyse demographics, segment the syndication of your content based on interests, topics, and the types of content generating the most engagement.
#16 Reap The Rewards Of Thought Leadership…
Finally, if you’re looking to position your business as a thought leader and influencer in your niche, the digital sphere is the most powerful way to leverage all that wonderful, original, industry-leading content.
If you’re ready to harness the power of online marketing for your business, or you’re already active in the digital sphere and want to uplevel your efforts and results, we can help. Acrylic specialise in creating effective digital and social media marketing strategies for local businesses in Northwich and the surrounding areas of Cheshire and the North West. Book a free, no-obligation consultation today for a one-to-one chat about your business, goals, and objectives, and how we can help you grow…
Acrylic Digital’s co-founder and director Nick Simpson is a marketing magician and the brains behind the business development side of our team. Keeping our customers happy and making sure we deliver maximum ROI to each and every one is a bit of an obsession of his.
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