Digital Marketing has changed the shape of business forever
The rise of access to the internet has changed the way that consumers think, act, and buy – and businesses around the world have been forced to changed with them, allocating time and resources to their digital marketing efforts. In an effort to remain connected to their customers, and the places that they spend their time, brands have started elevating the importance of being visible online. A well-maintained website, social media pages, and online engagement with customers is no longer seen as being an innovative business move, rather, the lack there of has threatened a factor critical to the success of a brand – its credibility.
Today, most people have experienced this principle in action. The time comes for you to purchase something big, and without a second thought, you take to the internet for some form of guidance. Whether it is asking friends and family for recommendations on Facebook, performing a Google search, or browsing an online marketplace like Gumtree – facts show that 89% of all consumers will perform online research before even thinking of buying. (interbrand)
Unfortunately, the growth in demand for businesses to be online has also really upped the competition. You are no longer just competing with businesses on your street – but with businesses in your city, country, and potentially, throughout the world. It is no longer enough to settle for a free listing on a business directory, or for a Facebook page with no active strategy. Even if you have a brilliant product or an outstanding service that leads to great word-of-mouth marketing, that 89% are going to be looking for you online – and if you don’t hold up digitally, the chances are that they are going to go with one of the many business who do.
While it is vital for businesses to have a digital presence, remember that carrying yourself poorly on these platforms can seriously back fire. Poorly designed websites, a lack of engagement on social platforms, and erratic, uncoordinated communication could tarnish the image of your brand – which is why it is so important to invest in the right people, structures, and strategies when marketing your business online. Although some businesses may struggle to allocate this spend, due to the lack of an immediate, tangible outcome – managing your ROI is possible with strong reporting structures, tracking, and patience.
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense to hire an expert in a time when ‘DIY’ culture is certainly favoured, remember that throwing budget into your digital marketing without a clear, expert strategy is the fastest way to lose money. A good strategy will help you to measure your success through metrics detailing conversion, acquisition, exposure, and other key performance indicators. It will also create a strong overflow into offline business – facts show that 56% of money spent in an offline store is influenced by a digital interaction. (Deloitte)
The world of digital will only continue to streamline the consumer experience, and in doing so, will create opportunity for businesses to increase exposure, gain influence, and grow profits. Stay ahead and leverage these opportunities by taking control of your digital marketing strategy and creating exposure that matters.