A double-blind audit study from Brightpearl found that online marketing was 55% more effective than offline marketing in generating leads.
This makes perfect sense; after all, when someone is searching for a business to provide services to, they’re most likely to come across a business that they’ve heard of.
So how can you use digital marketing to take your business’ marketing to the next level?
Well, it all depends on your preferred channel(s).
Marketing Channels and Their Differences
Looking back at the statistics mentioned above, it’s clear that while online marketing is effective, it’s not the be-all and end-all of marketing. This is because most people are likely to turn to online resources first before they decide to make that critical purchase, and that means you can’t rely on one channel completely.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences between online and offline marketing channels, and how you can use each one.
Traditional Offline Marketing
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, then you’ve probably heard of and used direct mail marketing (DMM).
This type of marketing is very effective at generating leads because prospective customers have likely heard of your business, or at least someone who has. This means that they’re more likely to be interested in what you’ve got to say because they’ve already formed an opinion about you or your competitors.
However, despite its effectiveness, DMM isn’t used nearly as much today as it used to be. This is because most people now turn to online resources first when they’re looking for information about a particular subject matter, which means that DMM is not as effective as it once was.
New-age Online Marketing
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, then you’ve probably heard of and used social media marketing (SMM).
This type of marketing is very effective at generating leads because prospective customers can find and connect with you online, whether through your website, social media platforms, or both.
Even if someone is not yet aware of your business, you can bet they’ve heard of someone or something related to your industry. This is because social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are filled with news stories, celebrity gossip, and other relevant topics that could be of interest to someone in your industry. In other words, these platforms can be used to connect with your ideal buyer, which makes SMM so effective.
This being said, SMM isn’t going to generate leads for you if you don’t have a strong online presence, which is why it’s important to have a website and social media accounts.
Choosing The Right Marketing Channels
With all of the different types of marketing available in this day and age, it’s important to know what you should avoid and which ones you should focus on.
For example, while it’s great to engage with potential customers through social media, you shouldn’t rely solely on this form of marketing. Instead, you should also consider using SEO and paid listings to drive traffic to your website, and then from there, you can engage with them, provided you have a suitable environment (e.g., chat room or social media platform) to do so.
Avoid Using Email Marketing To Generate Leads
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the humble email. While it’s a great way to stay in touch with past customers, or potential customers, it’s not always the best channel for generating leads.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, then you probably know how important it is to build a strong brand, and the humble email is not the best tool to do that. For a start, your emails are usually promotional in nature, which means they’ve got to sell something, whether that’s a product or service, to make any money at all. So, in effect, you’re doing promotional spamming, which is always a no-no.
On the other hand, once you’ve built up a strong brand, then you can start to use email marketing to engage with your audience. For example, you can use personalized emails to introduce or alert your audience to new products or services that you think they might be interested in. You then need to follow up those email messages with a call-to-action (CTA), which is what gets you, the business, or product to the point of purchase.
In short, avoid using the humble email to generate leads. Instead, you should consider using other forms of digital marketing, such as SEO and social media marketing, to drive traffic to your website, and then from there, you can engage with them, using various channels, including email.
The Bottom Line
As a business owner, marketer, or corporate officer, you no doubt have many different responsibilities. From overseeing the day-to-day operations of your company to creating and implementing a marketing strategy, one of the most important responsibilities you have is ensuring that your business is being represented in the most effective and responsible way possible.
So, in order to do that, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of how different marketing channels, and mediums, work together. By understanding the differences between online and offline marketing, and the different ways in which each one can be used, you can be sure that your efforts, whether they’re online or offline, are going to be focused on the right audience, and supported with the right kind of budget.