The world has changed. The way we conduct business at a local level, as well as the global marketplace, has transformed thanks to the power of the internet and digital technologies.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 96% of business owners and managers are using digital marketing to grow their companies. That’s a pretty significant share, and clearly something worth getting educated about.
Here, we’ll discuss the importance of digital marketing and what every entrepreneur needs to know about it.
Why is Digital Marketing Important to Entrepreneurs?
In a world full of distractions, it’s important to find ways to stand out from the crowd. As an entrepreneur, you’re bound to face many challenges, both expected and unexpected. The key to success is being able to identify the most effective ways to approach each situation. For that matter, digital marketing can play an important role in shaping the trajectory of your business.
Here, we’ll discuss five ways that digital marketing can help your business grow.
1. Advertising & Marketing Online
No matter what industry you’re in, chances are you’re aware that the majority of your potential customers are now seeking products and services via the internet. This has major ramifications for your marketing plans. Thanks to the power of search engines and social media, finding and engaging with customers, no matter where they are in the world, has never been easier. Your online presence is crucial to getting the word out about your business, and digital marketing gives you the tools to do exactly that.
The best part is that you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to get started. You can utilize free tools like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to gain a solid understanding of how to use digital marketing to grow your business. One of the major benefits of internet marketing is that you can target the right audience for your business.
Depending on your product, you may choose to advertise on traditional media outlets like radio or TV for maximum exposure and to gain immediate brand recognition. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your efforts on online venues like social media for the same reason.
With the explosion of data available to businesses and marketers online, it’s not always easy to know what works and what doesn’t. Luckily for you, we’re here to help. With the help of analytics, you can track the results of your online campaigns and pinpoint areas where you can improve. To give you a better understanding of how digital marketing and analytics can work together, here’s a quick example.
You discover, through social media or other digital means, that a substantial number of your target audience are already participating in online forums like Reddit or Twitter. In this case, it would be beneficial to conduct a Twitter poll or use a social media platform to engage with your audience to see if they have any insights into what would be valuable content for your business.
With analytics, you can gain valuable insights into the behavior of your customers and establish if there are any patterns or trends that can assist you in better understanding their needs. Armed with this knowledge, you can craft more targeted marketing strategies to engage with these individuals more effectively, eventually leading you to grow your business.
Some businesses find that using analytics helps them establish a much more personal connection with customers. Take a look at HubSpot Blogs’ blog post, “Why Is Personal Selling Important To Small Businesses?” for example. By engaging with their customers on a personal level, entrepreneurs can gain a better understanding of their needs and expectations, as opposed to relying on vague metrics derived from a group of users.
Having a clear grasp of your customers’ behavior, tastes and preferences is critical to the success of your business. Armed with this information, you can develop products or services that will satisfy their needs while encouraging them to become brand ambassadors and repeat customers.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Depending on your business, you may decide to forgo paying for social media ads and opt instead to invest in SEO. As the name suggests, SEO is the process of optimising your content (whether blog posts, social media posts or any other form of content) for search engines so that your content shows up when potential customers type in keywords or phrases relating to your business.
There are free tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Yoast’s content analysis tool that can help you determine the most effective keywords and phrases to focus on in your SEO efforts. Additionally, investing in SEO means you can focus your efforts on creating valuable content that will attract and retain customers rather than having to worry about gaining popularity on social media platforms.
While SEO is important for gaining online visibility, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. In today’s world, having a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that includes SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and social media is what’s important for business growth.
4. Content Marketing
To attract and retain customers, you need to have content that is both informative and engaging. As an entrepreneur, you’re most likely creating content to attract prospective customers and encourage them to purchase your products or services. For this reason, content marketing is particularly valuable in digital marketing, as you can target the right audience for your business and craft compelling messages that will encourage them to action.
The best part about content marketing is the variety of content you can produce. From a simple blog post to an infographic or video, you can produce a variety of content to meet the needs of your target audience. With so much competition, being able to stand out from the crowd is crucial to the growth of your business.
5. Paid Social Media Marketing
If you find that your target audience is increasingly engaging with content on social media platforms, it’s probably time to consider investing in paid social media marketing. Simply put, paid social media marketing is the practice of spending money on social media ads to promote your business.
There are plenty of options for paid social media marketing platforms, from social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to standalone platforms like TikTok and YouTube. In this case, you can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your campaigns, including clicks, views and engagement (i.e. reactions, shares and comments).
To gain a better understanding of how paid social media marketing can work for your business, here’s a quick example. Suppose you’re a fashion brand and you observe that a large number of your target audience are already participating on social media platforms like Instagram and you want to encourage them to go further and engage with your brand. In this case, you could create a contest where you give away a jacket or pair of sunglasses to the best-dressed Instagrammer with a hashtag related to your brand. You can also ask your audience questions about fashion or the weather and get their opinions on new products and trends. To tie the whole thing together, you might choose to feature a guest blogger from the fashion industry who can provide authentic insights into fashion.
As you can see, there are many ways that digital marketing can serve your business. Not only does it provide you with the ability to advertise and market your business for free, but it also gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers on a personal level and learn more about their needs and expectations.