Digital Marketing is no longer its own segment of advertising and marketing, it is integrated into the mix as a major player that has blown past it’s traditional counterparts TV, radio and print. While traditional marketing still has high value with many brands, digital marketing can help the smallest startup grow into a giant brand. Here is why:
Ability to create an experience
One of the best ways to draw a potential customer to love your brand is to create an unforgettable experience. The digital space allows you to create mobile apps that are useful for people and show them that you are helpful. It offers platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to make your followers laugh, cry and get motivated through pictures, videos and posts. The digital space has unlimited potential to create and mold unique experiences for people, bringing them to say, “Wow, this is cool, I will follow that.”
YouTube vs. TV
YouTube has 171 million American monthly visitors, and is free – plus you can embed videos on your website, Facebook, Twitter and every other social media network that you use. Your local TV station might be lucky to have 400,000 viewers a month and will probably cost you upward of $10,000 to get good coverage. You do the math.
A great way to get your brand in front of oodles of viewers is to tap into the customers of other businesses. By establishing relationships with businesses in industries that run parallel with yours, you can potentially “share” customers and cross promote. These relationships can increase brand awareness and hopefully sales for both companies. If nurtured and developed, these business relationships can result in years of fruitful earnings.
Business development from your fingertips
Digital marketing positions your brand in front of an array of different eyeballs. But an underestimated feature of social media and blogging is business development. Just as your high paid BD employees do in person, you have the ability to reach out and connect with other professionals in your industry via LinkedIn, blogs or Twitter. The first step is to research potential relationships and reach out; but for these connections to prove valuable, you need to develop them into face-to-face opportunities.
Potential for greater frequency
It is reported that it takes 7 times for a person to see an ad for it to register and potentially take action. With the hundreds of different digital platforms to show people what makes your brand special, these 7 “views” can happen a lot more often, and a lot quicker than with non-digital platforms.
You can definitely succeed without spending money on digital advertising; but if you have the budget buying ad space can be incredibly effective and low-cost. Facebook advertising can be done for a couple hundred bucks a week. Google ads are a bit more but affordable compared to traditional advertising. Paid advertising can get you space in front of the right kind of eyes. There are hundreds of different ways to buy advertising online; from sponsored content, to banner ads, to rich media ads – there is value in all of them depending on your goals. The best part is they are almost always more cost effective and efficient than traditional advertising.
Traditional advertising success such as TV, print, billboard and radio is extremely hard to measure. Most likely you will try to ask your customers where they heard of you, and log answers into your marketing spreadsheet. With digital marketing, you can track clicks, purchases, likes, shares, views and a boatload of other analytics to measure your success. And to top it off you can make instant changes based on the feedback.
You could reach 200,000 local viewers (or more) with a TV commercial. How do you know if they are looking at the TV when your commercial comes on? How do you know they are in your target demographic of 18-25 year old basket weavers? It will be tough to track sales. If you run a low-cost Facebook Promoted Post you could reach thirty 20-year-old basket weavers and get 10 sales from it; all of which you tracked with your analytics.
More agile marketing
What are the consequences if you film an entire commercial and realize the actor had a booger in his nose? Simple, you reshoot another $20,000 commercial. What happens if you put a Pinterest “pin” up that has a letter missing? Simpler, you delete, add the letter, and repost.
As stated earlier, it takes a reported 7 times for someone to view an ad before they take action. In a weekly newspaper, that means 7 weeks. For a billboard that someone drives by once a day, that means 7 days. On TV that means a sh*tload of money spent on airtime. Digitally, this could be done across 7 platforms in 1 hour. (Note: you do have to get fans on multiple networks for this to be possible, or buy ads)
Multiple levels of engagement
With social media and blogging you can target people for different levels of engagement. For instance you might want people to click on a link from a blog post to buy a product. Or maybe you just want people to see a picture with the date of an upcoming concert. Maybe you want people to share a promotion in order to get new customers. Or maybe you just want everyone to “like” your post so that more people will read it. Social media and digital marketing allows multiple levels of engagement thus giving you more control over user view-ability.
It’s up forever
This is an easy one. If you lease billboard space it’s up for a few months, then it’s gone; and who knows who has seen it. If you post a single Facebook post, it’s up forever and you can keep re-posting it periodically to engage more people.
The ability to tag
Tagging posts, tweets and messages has changed the way people search for things on the Internet. You want to know all about the hottest styles out now? Type #style, #mensstyle or #womensstyle into Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Tumblr and you will instantly get a glimpse of the hottest styles from around the globe. This ability to tag posts gives brands the opportunity to do two things: (1) nudge customers to check out services or products with branded tags (2) search existing tags to find and engage new customers.
I vote this the “most valuable player” in the game of digital marketing. The “shareability” of social media exponentially increases the viewership of your posts, allowing other peoples network’s to see them. For example, people can share pictures of your favorite restaurant, or taking your son to a game featuring his favorite team, or videos of you playing golf at a travel destination with your brand new clubs. The ability to share content serves as a testimonial for the shared brand – it says, “I like this, you should try it too”.