In today's plugged-in world, a business's online presence has become increasingly important in terms of brand awareness, lead generation, and sales. With literally billions of people searching the Web every day, it's no surprise that an effective digital marketing strategy is becoming more and more valuable with each passing year. Digital marketing can elevate your sales to a plane that more traditional advertising forms could never reach.
What exactly is digital marketing? It can be defined as the online strategies and techniques companies use to engage with consumers, generate leads, and close sales. Of course, digital marketing is a broad term and encompasses scores of specific methods to achieve business goals.
For example, display ads are a form of digital marketing. These are ads that companies publish on various online platforms, such as affiliate websites, social media networks, and other sites. Display ads are great for building brand awareness and driving traffic to your website.
Another type of digital marketing is search engine marketing (or SEM). Nowadays, SEM typically refers to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. A business pays for its ads to be shown at the top of a search engine's results page when including specific keywords in a user's search query. SEM is a great way to generate warm leads and ultimately increase sales.
Digital marketing helps you reach a much broader demographic than traditional advertising does. It also empowers you to put your brand and ads in front of the people most likely to be interested in them. This valuable feature is possible because of digital marketing's targeted capabilities.
For instance, by investing in programmatic ads, you can match your messaging to audiences that share specific characteristics (e.g., location). On the other hand, you can also target your preferred demographic by specifying which keywords for user searches. You can even use negative keywords to filter out search phrases you don't want to pursue!
In the end, effective digital marketing tactics will help you improve your conversion rate and enhance the overall quality of your leads.
Along with its targeted capabilities, digital marketing is also exceptional in tracking performance through comprehensive data sets. Robust analytics and reporting features can help you monitor your campaigns and identify where your efforts are succeeding and where there is room for improvement. The data you receive from a well-designed digital marketing campaign is often the most valuable element of the initiative! (As just one example, analyzing received data around a metric like CPC can help you refine your keyword bidding strategy in real-time and plan out your budget for the coming year.)
In addition, display ads can help you collect unstructured data on your users (in other words, data that's not subject to the limitations of broad user segmentation). Despite how the name may sound, unstructured data empowers you to understand your audience better and more effectively target high-value prospects with future ad campaigns.
Even if you don't have the budget of an enterprise-level competitor, you can still successfully compete with them by utilizing a cunning digital marketing strategy. In many ways, digital marketing "levels the playing field" by empowering smaller companies to advertise with equal effectiveness to larger organizations.
As one example, organic SEO relies on principles of relevance and authority. What this means in practical terms is that if your brand consistently posts content that's both relevant and valuable to your target audience, then your site will slowly but surely climb the ranks on Google's results pages. In this scenario (and many others), digital marketing is more accessible to small businesses because of its reduced cost than traditional advertising methods like TV commercials, etc.
In summary, digital marketing can help your business grow in several critical ways. Its targeted capabilities can help you reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time. Its robust analytics can help you compile and analyze valuable data, which can help you continually improve campaign performance in the future. Moreover, its low entry barrier can help you compete against even the largest of competitors effectively.
Any successful digital marketing strategy has many moving parts, and it may not be possible for you to manage all the activities involved. That is where an experienced media partner may come into the picture. With help from a reputable, established agency with a proven track record, you can develop and achieve all of your digital marketing goals.
Brittney Skoczylas is a Digital Marketing Consultant for Federated Digital Solutions. Her passion is helping to generate measurable results for her clients by creating customized & targeted marketing strategies that will engage a consumer wherever they are in the buying journey. Brittney’s #1 focus is to help local businesses improve their digital marketing footprint.