In recent years, entrepreneurs have shifted their attention to online marketing and have implemented various strategies to attract potential customers (PPC, SEO, and content marketing). The benefits from these efforts have been clear: more open doors and increased web traffic. But exactly how can digital marketing help your business grow? Let’s take a look.
More Open Doors
When you have an internet connection, you have access to a potentially limitless audience. Even if you’re a small business with just a few employees, you can put up a website and start marketing your products online. The key is to find the right platform and to build a solid foundation of content that will attract, engage, and delight your audience. When someone finds your website and wants to learn more about your products or services, they typically will click on your online marketing materials (such as a product catalog, white paper, or FAQs) and learn about what you offer. This is called “door-opening” or “opener” marketing and it can be a powerful tool for small businesses.
Door-opening doesn’t mean you have to market your business entirely online. You can use traditional marketing techniques, such as TV ads, print ads, and phone books, to reach potential customers. But you must use digital marketing to sustain and grow your business. Why? Traditional marketing is largely dependent on the decisions and actions of a single individual – the marketer. While you might get lucky and find the perfect dress for your special day, you probably won’t get the same level of service when you’re buying a couch or a side table. In the digital marketing world, your decisions are automated and are based on algorithms and data that can scale as you grow – meaning you won’t have to worry about running out of names for your newsletter lists or struggle with shrinking mailing lists as you grow.
Increased Web Traffic
If you’re wondering why your website traffic is increasing even though you haven’t changed anything about the way you offer your products or services, it might be because you’re using online marketing effectively. Having a solid foundation of content that provides value to your audience is crucial for driving traffic and converting that traffic into paying customers. Ideally, you’ll want to build a community of users who are interested in your product or service – that means creating compelling content that will keep them coming back for more. You can use various platforms to gain traction, including blogs, Twitter, Medium, and LinkedIn.
Blogs are still one of the most popular and effective platforms for online marketing. If you run a blog, you’ll most likely have noticed that the number of views and the amount of engagement, such as comments, increases as you post more frequently. Having a consistent stream of content is also important to establish yourself as an expert in your field and to encourage other businesses to reach out to you for advice or assistance (which is exactly what you’re looking for if you want to grow your business).
Lower Cost Per Acquisition
Thanks to increasing competition and growing customer expectations, the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for online marketing has steadily increased over the past few years. When you compare it to the cost of traditional marketing, such as print ads or TV commercials, you’ll quickly see how digital marketing can be a more affordable option.
Since the costs associated with digital marketing are mostly fixed (you’re paying for a website, and you’ll most likely use the same platform to gain traction for your business), it’s easy to see how you can save money in the long run compared to traditional marketing. The key is to develop a marketing budget and stick to it. Once you do that, you’ll start seeing the returns on your investment in online marketing very quickly.
Improved Brand Awareness
Do you have a brand identity you’re working hard to ensure is recognizable? One small business owner told me that creating a strong brand awareness among customers is the best way to go – if they know what your brand is, they’ll have a better understanding of what you offer, and you’ll have a better chance of them buying your product or service. You’ll want to create a consistent brand voice throughout your marketing materials (such as a website, email marketing, and social media campaigns) to ensure that all your marketing materials are recognizable as being from the same brand. Doing this will not only make it easy for customers to find your business online, but it will also make them feel more confident in doing business with you.
Now, all businesses, big or small, can use some form of online marketing to grow their business. But if you want to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to consider the various platforms and methods available to gain the most traction. When you combine the power of SEO, content marketing, and PPC, you’ll have the perfect storm for a healthy business.