Once upon a time, in a completely fictitious land, a local business opened up its doors and was suddenly flooded with customers. The end.
It’s the stuff fairy tales are made off. The truth is, though, if you want your business to succeed, you need a kickass digital marketing plan. Why is online marketing important, you ask? Let’s discuss.
Businesses in Days of Yore
Digital marketing wasn’t always a “thing.” Back in the day, businesses spread the word with newspaper advertisements, radio commercials, and newsletters they’d send out via snail mail. You remember snail mail, don’t you? It’s that stuff in your mailbox.
To be clear, some businesses are still doing this, and with great success. Traditional marketing isn’t completely dead, despite what some people might argue. It’s not necessarily thriving, either. It’s just getting kind of old and probably shouldn’t be driving at night.
Traditional marketing started becoming obsolete as social media exploded and more people were accessing the internet from their phones as opposed to their computers. This meant that when newspaper ads and newsletters stopped having as much of an impact, Facebook and Instagram were like, “Hold my beer.”
Thus, online marketing became what filled the gaping hole that traditional marketing left behind.
Why is Online Marketing Important? 10 Reasons
Business owners like to think that all they need to do in order to succeed is to provide a good product or service. You might very well be doing this, but — spoiler alert! — so are a lot of people, and regardless, it won’t help you stand out in a sea of competitors.
What’s going to get you noticed? What’ll help you differentiate yourself from other businesses in your industry?
Without online marketing, your website anonymously floats through space. Nobody will find you. You need a way to connect with your target audience that aligns with current world functions — meaning marketing yourself online to people using their phones and computers.
Here are just a few reasons online marketing is crucial to the success of your business.
1. Online Marketing Increases Your Visibility
Digital marketing helps your audience find you through Google and social media. These are people you probably never would have reached otherwise. And make no mistake about it: These are the two biggest sources of website traffic. In other words, if you aren’t playing by their rules, you’re either drowning or you’re already dead.
As an added bonus, you have the opportunity to reach a more targeted crowd. We’re not merely throwing darts at a dartboard, hoping something good happens. Digital marketing allows you to zero in on the people most likely to do business with you and connect with them via social media and search engines.
You can target people based on the area where they live, what they do for a living, what their interests are, the language they speak, and — as far as Facebook goes, at least — even other pages that they’ve liked online. Without digital marketing, this kind of targeting simply isn’t possible.
It’s an amazing opportunity to nurture these relationships and cater to their needs.
2. You Can Track and Measure Your Efforts
If you don’t know whether or not your marketing efforts are even working, how can you improve them? You can’t improve what you can’t track and measure.
This is yet another reason why you need online marketing. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have built-in analytics and insights, and there are countless third-party platforms that provide even more robust information.
Take, for instance, social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Later, all of which come with their own analytics. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.
The same can be said for how you perform in organic search, as well as paid search (more on that in a moment). Google Analytics, Moz, and SEMrush can give you all sorts of juicy details on how you’re performing in Google and that other one called Bing, or whatever.
The endless data you can collect from your online marketing efforts tells you if what you’re doing is working, where you’re falling behind, and ultimately, what you need to do to perform better. Remember, too, just how advanced these analytics are, and they’re getting more sophisticated every single day.
3. You Can Pay to Play
Want to really get a leg up on your competition? Throw a little money at it.
Google and social media platforms will happily take your cash, and in exchange, they’ll promote you above others. It gets more complex than this. You need to be a whiz at audience targeting and ad creatives.
But if you (or someone on your team) can whip up some digital ads that really resonate, you can see serious returns on your ad spend. There are businesses spending tens of thousands of dollars a month on Facebook ads, and it’s not because they’re crazy. It’s because it works. You can turn five figures of ad spend into six figures of revenue. People do it every single day.
4. Online Marketing is Inexpensive
We know this might contradict what we just said, but hear us out.
Paid ads aren’t simply about how much you spend. It’s about how much you spend and what you get in return. Who cares that your biz dropped $5,000 on ads if those ads generated $13,000 in revenue?
In that respect, online marketing is indeed inexpensive, because it can drive results for a fraction of the cost of traditional print media. You have more room to scale your budget and adapt to the marketplace, giving you a better chance to compete for a bigger share of the market.
In fact, there are businesses who give themselves the goal of spending as much on advertising as possible, simply because they know that the more they spend, the more they make.
5. Online Marketing Makes Reputation Management Easier Than Ever
Digital marketing is wonderful news for businesses with good reputations. They have a better opportunity to show off to potential customers, and businesses with a bad reputation are in for a rude — and possibly anxiety-inducing — awakening.
Aside from people being able to post on their own pages, Facebook and Yelp give them the opportunity to leave reviews of your business. Positive reviews are basically free publicity. Negative reviews are a chance for you to offer a professional and polite response, and perhaps learn from a mistake your business made.
Don’t underestimate the power of online reviews. Research shared by Zendesk reveals that 90% of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Having a lot of positive reviews is vital if you want people to trust your business enough to spend money on it.
6. Digital Marketing Helps Small Businesses Compete With the Big Boys
Mom and pop shops dread when a new Walmart opens up in town, because they can all but assume their own business is kaput. Sadly, this scenario isn’t anything new. The Targets and Walmarts of the world have been putting smaller shops out of business since… always.
Digital marketing changes this completely. It gives the little guys a real chance to catch up and have a shot at success.
7. Online Marketing Helps You Grow Your Business While You Sleep
If you can only make money when you’re working, then something’s off. In today’s digital age, you can wake up having made money overnight. Dreams really do come true.
This is made possible by online marketing. Whether you’re selling physical goods on your eCommerce store or promoting your business locally to help get more bodies in your brick-and-mortar, digital marketing works even when you aren’t.
8. Online Marketing Reflects How People Make Purchasing Decisions Today
If you want to reach your audience, you need to go where they are.
People aren’t going to stop by your place of business to decide if they like you or not. They’re just going to look you up on their phones. CNBC says that by 2025, nearly 75% of internet users will be hopping online using only their smartphones. That’s roughly 3.7 billion people, FYI.
Online marketing makes it possible for you to reach people through the device they hold in the palm of their hands. Furthermore, when you optimize your website for mobile use, you make their experience with your business even better.
9. Influencer Marketing is an Unstoppable Force
In the past, if a business wanted to work with a celebrity figure to get increased exposure and establish authority, well, good luck with that.
No more, my friend. No more. Enter: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing has made it possible for businesses of all shapes and sizes to work with people with large online followings, and it’s a win-win. The influencer gets paid monetarily or in product or often both, and the brand reaches a massive audience for a fraction of the cost they’d pay otherwise.
Better yet, the ROI on influencer marketing is beyond insane. A survey from Influencer Marketing Hub found that some businesses are making $7.65 for every $1.00 they spend on influencer marketing.
10. You Can Scale Your Online Marketing Efforts as Big as You Want
Last but most certainly not least, your digital presence can take whatever size and shape you want it to. Simply by investing more time, money, and resources, you can grow online. The internet never closes and it has no ceiling. There is nothing to get in your way.
Now you know all the benefits — so, are you going to take action?
Digital marketing clearly offers significant gains, but it’s a huge responsibility. Thankfully, you don’t have to tackle all of this alone. We can help.
But your online marketing strategy won’t be complete without a high-quality website that converts visitors into shoppers, SEO that gets you ranking higher on Google, captivating copywriting, and email marketing — and we can help with all of that, too.
If your marketing strategy isn’t optimized, you’re leaving money on the table. Shouldn’t your brand be seen online? Contact us today to learn more and get started.