You may hear the words “Digital Marketing” floating around if you run a small business and you have been looking for ways to promote yourself. Is it a buzz word or is it something that can deliver value to your business? Digital marketing encompasses a lot of things and it should be a part of every businesses advertising plan. Why? We are going to learn what digital marketing is, why it’s important and why you should be using it for a few simple reasons.

What is Digital Marketing?

In it’s simplest form digital marketing is advertising & promotion through online channels. The number of channels & the relevant strategy are dependent on a few factors including:

– the type of business
– the industry
– the business goals e.g. enquiries, online sales, signups
– budget

Digital marketing is now a broad terms that covers advertising using the following channels:

– Search engine optimisation
– Search engine marketing
– Content (inbound) marketing
– Social media marketing
– Display & re-targeting advertising

Utilising all of the above channels gives you a full toolbox to attract, retain and convert customers who are visiting your website. All the efforts that go into your digital marketing plan should be focused around customers performing some kind of action usually on your website. Having a high performing website becomes of utmost importance when you are pursuing any kind of online marketing activity.

Why Is It Important?

So why is it so important for your business? Most people are already aware of the shift in the landscape of doing business with more traditional methods of providing services & products being phased out and brought online. Even industries where an online presence wasn’t important five years ago are finding that being online is an important factor and is becoming increasingly important. The cyclical nature of business means that you need to constantly reinvent the way you do things, how you interact with customers and how you acquire new business. Digital marketing gives you an opportunity to target a new segment of customers that you previously may not have reached. It also allows you to directly target specific niches and measure your results down to the finest detail.

Measurable results and detailed action plans are key for your business understanding whether the money you are spending on advertising is delivering a real return on investment. Let’s use the example of a local business that puts an ad on the tv screen at their local gym. Note, this is a good form of advertising to gain exposure and build brand awareness, however do you have the opportunity to measure how many customers are a direct result of this advertising. The answer would most likely be no. The gym may give you stats on their demographics & how many people are going to see it, but the only thing you should care about is acquiring new customers. If you can’t measure it, that can make it quite difficult to ascertain if the advertising is of value and if you are generating a return on investment.

With any kind of online marketing you should be able to measure the result of your spend. If you run an e-commerce store and you are managing a pay per click campaign through Adwords you should know exactly how much it is costing you to acquire a customer. If every click through costs you $1 and for every 10 clicks you sell on average a $65 item you should be able to assess the cost to acquire those sales and determine if the return on investment is good enough. If you find a strategy and niche that works you should continue to invest more and more money into it. If I’m selling $100 worth of items for every $10 I spend in advertising and I’m making a net margin of $50 why wouldn’t I invest more money in it? You can grow ten fold by investing in a strategy that is working. If you don’t continue to build and grow, your business won’t grow. Digital marketing provides measurable results that lead to detailed action plans designed to grow your business.

There are components of digital marketing that deliver intangible benefits including:

– A social media profile that has an engaging community and growing base of followers
– A loyal following of readers in your industry following & reading your content
– First page rankings on Google that deliver not only customers (measurable), but also the impression of being the leader in your field

Digital marketing isn’t something that is a nice to have. It’s a must have for any business that is aggressively promoting and advertising their business to new & existing customers.

Why Should You Be Using It

There are some pretty simple reasons why you should be using digital marketing:

1) There is a whole segment of customers you are missing out on
2) Your competitors will be doing some form of digital marketing
3) You can measure results and develop plans to optimise your plan depending on those results
4) You can measure your return on investment
5) You can diversify your traditional advertising methods.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle