Few people question the importance of digital marketing in our present day and age. Countless articles have been written on the topic, and a lot of them are based around providing practical advice on how to implement some particular digital marketing strategy. These guides are for the most part written with small businesses in mind, as they are perceived to be the prime audience for this sort of content.
Unfortunately, the topic that usually gets glossed over in these articles is why exactly is digital marketing is so essential for small businesses. It is customary to pay lip service to the idea that digital marketing is good for business, without elaborating on why exactly this is the case. This only serves to create more confusion online about what digital marketing is all about, and how it can benefit businesses that try to implement it.
So in order to bring some clarity to the matter, we have decided to create a guide that is primarily focused on explaining why digital marketing is so important in our current epoch.
It Is Flexible Enough to Suit Any Business Operation
“Digital marketing” is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of different online marketing strategies and practices. In fact, digital marketing alone has more variety than the rest of marketing combined. This makes it extremely flexible in terms of implementation – every company can find an approach that works for their particular line of business.
For example, businesses that rely on a steady influx of site visitors can benefit greatly from improved organic reach that SEO offers. Ecommerce outfits stand much to gain from CRO-based strategies. Retailers can leverage the power of influencers and social media marketing to spread positive word of mouth. No matter what your company does, chance are good that you will find a digital marketing approach that is tailor-made for your niche.
It Is Actually Useful To The Consumer
Traditional marketing campaigns are usually designed with the biggest possible audience in mind. However, trying to appeal to everyone at the same time has forced companies to create promotional content that is too generic to be of any use to individual consumers. With the advent of digital marketing, it became possible to create content that actually provided some form of additional value.
Some small businesses opt to write articles related to their expertise to establish themselves as an authority in a given field. Others create video to educate their customers on how to best use their products and services. Some companies even offer perks, such early product demos or event invites, to select brand advocates in exchange for spreading positive word of mouth
It is Both Precise and Wide-Reaching
For the better part of history, marketing strategies had significant limitations in terms of reach. It was hard for local businesses to spread the word about themselves beyond their locale. The widespread usage of the internet has changed all of this. Companies now have the ability to get in touch with audiences all across the globe.
Digital marketing also gave businesses the ability to pinpoint their target audience with much greater accuracy. Companies no longer have to use the “buckshot approach” when distributing promotional material. Digital marketing campaigns can be executed with surgical precision, with drastically improves their effectiveness in converting your target audience.
It Is Fully Scalable
One of the major advantages of digital marketing over its analogue counterparts is how well it is suited for scaling. Many strategies remain effective independent of company size, so once you find one the works, you can continue using it as your business grows.
You can use more elaborate strategies within a given digital marketing discipline, or you can broaden your approach to include other disciplines as well. For instance, you can start with on-site SEO, expand to link-building, and then add SEM to the equation to fully utilize the marketing potential of search engines.
It Is Extremely Cost-Effective
The main reason why small businesses have embraced digital marketing is because how budget-friendly it is. You can have a digital marketing campaign up and running at practically zero cost, and every additional dollar you put in will significantly improve your ROI. With plenty of free tools available, and an abundance of information online, it is easy to get a marketing operation up and running for businesses of all sizes.
This low barrier to entry has also enabled smaller companies to go toe to toe with big players in the industry, and sometimes even come out ahead. A finely crafted digital marketing campaign can easily go viral thanks to word of mouth alone, which is something large companies often fail to accomplish with millions invested in marketing departments.
It Is Easily Quantifiable
Analyzing the success rate of a traditional marketing campaign used to involve a lot of guesswork. However, once marketing migrated to the digital realm, it became possible to track all sorts of relevant consumer data, which made it possible to assess how well your campaigns are performing. This opened up a whole new era of data-driven marketing.
Small business can now keep a close eye on key performance indicators such as click-through rate, customer lifetime value, time spent on page, etc. to determine what works and what doesn’t, allowing them to make adjustments on the fly. And with the emergence of consumer-grade AI-powered analytical engines, marketing data is set to become even more important in the future.
It Is a Necessity
On a more sobering note, digital marketing is important because it is no longer something optional. Once the internet became the communication platform of choice for the majority of consumers world-wide, it simply became necessary to have some form of presence online. Without a website, a blog, or a social media profile, small businesses have little means at their disposal to attract consumer attention.
Even if a company somehow manages to get by without a digital marketing strategy in place, it is not likely to last long in today’s competitive business environment. Simply put, if all of your competitors are using digital marketing, you have to follow suit, or risk getting left behind.
Whether we like it or not, digital marketing has become the new norm. Small businesses have two options: either they will adapt to the dominant paradigm, or they will perish in obscurity. Fortunately, the benefits of using digital marketing would make it worth using anyways, so there is little to lose by embracing it.
Author: Meaghan Yorke is a content writer for DesignRush, specialized in package design. These days she is all about researching various IT related topics. When she is not working she enjoys dancing classical ballet.