Digital marketing is the new normal for businesses around the world, but many small business owners are still unable to define digital marketing in a way that is relevant to their brand. This is understandable since so many of the buzzwords surrounding digital marketing services seem unnecessarily complicated. The truth is that the primary concepts of digital marketing are highly practical, and the best digital marketing techniques are often the simplest. In a recent survey, it was found that 63 percent of small business owners in the United States alone used digital marketing solutions in their marketing efforts. By incorporating the most effective digital strategies into your overall marketing campaign, you can gain an edge over the competition and make optimal use of your marketing budget.
Why Digital Marketing Techniques Matter
According to a Red Website Design and CJG Digital Marketing infographic, 80 percent of all customers use the Internet to find the information they need when making a purchase. Businesses that use digital marketing techniques have conversion rates that are 24 percent higher than those that don’t. These figures demonstrate the importance of incorporating digital marketing into your marketing budget as soon as possible. We’ve covered this in more detail in our SEO guide.
One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is that it allows you to stretch your advertising dollars further. Because digital marketing is easier to measure through basic metrics and software solutions, you can analyse whether your online campaigns translate to real sales or not. Change or abandon campaigns that underperform and focus on those that help you connect best with your customers. Digital strategies can improve your return on investment for marketing efforts by an impressive 300 percent.
Popular Digital Marketing Solutions
There are a variety of digital marketing techniques out there, but a few of the most popular include:
- Search Engine Optimisation: SEO is the process of optimising the content on your site to drive free or organic traffic through higher rankings in search engine results. In other words, through the use of naturally integrated keywords and high-quality, well-organised page content, you can help people who are searching for keywords relevant to your brand find your goods and services.
- Content Creation: “Content is king” has become a saying in the digital marketing industry, and for good reason. Generating a steady stream of high-quality content is the best way to incorporate relevant keywords into your online marketing efforts. Well-researched content also helps you stand out as an authoritative resource in your business niche.
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing: PPC marketing is a term used to describe the process of paying each time an end user clicks on one of your advertisements. Most PPC advertisements can be found on search engine results pages as these pages are highly targeted towards users who are already searching for information in a given niche.
- Email Marketing Campaigns: Email marketing campaigns are some of the most effective ways to build a devoted customer base. Opt-in campaigns allow users to sign up for regular updates when your business offers a sales promotion or has exciting new digital content to give away.
- Search Engine Marketing: Similar to SEO, SEM uses placement in search engine results to generate attention for your brand or website. Paid advertisements are some of the most common means used to boost your SEM efforts.
While there are many more digital marketing techniques to choose from, these are by far the most common. Digital marketing is a highly effective way to promote your business. Digital consumers are typically eager to buy or obtain information on a specific topic, meaning that they are already far along in the sales funnel.
When trying to define digital marketing, it is important to remember to take mobile marketing into account. While desktop advertising was once the only thing digital marketers had to worry about, mobile marketing is quickly taking over. It is estimated that a staggering 80 percent of all Internet users own at least one smartphone, but those same users expect different things from digital marketing campaigns depending on which device they happen to be using at a given time.
Mobile users take their smartphones out and about with them. From comparison shopping to researching sales-related topics, mobile consumers demand accessibility and instant access in order to convert to customers. This means making it as easy as possible for these users to make a purchase when interacting with your brand on a mobile device. Responsive websites are the key to offering high-quality service to your desktop and mobile customers alike. These sites are designed to adjust depending on the resolution of each mobile device. Without a responsive site, you run the risk of having your text and images skewed. Some software won’t work efficiently on mobile devices at all, which is why many businesses opt to create apps specifically for their customers.
Mobile apps grant you access to a greater segment of your chosen market. A customised app may require an upfront investment, but it comes with the benefit of being able to offer discount codes, on-screen notifications, and shopping cart systems that are tailored to work well on mobile devices. The key to finding success in mobile marketing is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find your site, get the information they need, and make a purchase. Mobile-specific marketing also makes it easier to reach 36 percent of Apple mobile subscribers who only read emails on their mobile devices.
Digital marketing is still a new frontier, but business owners around the world have discovered what a necessity it is. Effective digital marketing techniques allow you to connect with consumers on their chosen devices when they are most primed to convert to buyers. Without incorporating digital marketing into your sales strategy, your products will be unavailable to a growing segment of the market.
The Power of Local Marketing
Local marketing is the lifeblood of many businesses, and search engine results have become the most effective way to reach local leads. In order to have the broadest reach possible, your site should be optimised for local search results on mobile and desktop. This means including relevant local keywords naturally in the content on your website, from information pages to helpful blog posts. Maintaining social media profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can also help you gain visibility in search engine results.
To understand the importance of local focus in a digital marketing strategy, think about the way the average customer goes about solving a problem. If that customer is having car trouble, he is likely going to conduct an Internet search for car repair shops in his area. The businesses that come up first in those search results are far more likely to get that customer’s business because they are more visible and seen as more authoritative and accessible than the other results. This is especially true in comparison to local businesses that don’t rank in search results at all. No matter how well-established your business is in a physical setting, it pays to have digital marketing working to drive traffic to your website. Depending on the success of your digital marketing efforts, that traffic is then more likely to convert into actual leads and sales.
Digital Marketing Services
Now that you’re familiar with the importance of digital marketing and the benefits it can provide for your business, you may be overwhelmed by the number of digital marketing techniques it takes to succeed. Trial and error is a significant part of the process for business owners who are just getting started out in the digital field. For this reason, many business owners make the decision to outsource their online marketing to a company that is devoted to providing digital marketing services. This allows you to bypass the digital learning curve and begin reaching customers online immediately.
Popular digital marketing services include:
- Content Creation
- Social Media Management
- Search Engine Optimisation Services
- Multimedia Creation
- Website Creation
- SEO-Friendly Coding
If you are still searching for a way to connect with customers online, setting aside some time and money for digital marketing is an excellent investment. For business owners who do not have the time or resources to market on their own, working with a digital marketing services company is often the best option. Whether you are just starting out or looking for a way to improve upon your existing marketing strategies, understanding the most common digital marketing solutions will help you increase your sales without significantly increasing your marketing budget. The best part is that most of these techniques make it easy to track the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns so you can invest only in strategies that work for your brand.