Why is Digital Marketing Important?
Updated: Feb 18
Today’s internet users spend nearly three hours on the internet! We are all attached to our phones for many reasons: playing games, conducting business, research, educational purposes, shopping, social activities, etc. Oddly enough, when working with some of the most prominent digital marketing providers, I hear from small business owners that they don’t need to engage with customers digitally.
First, if you’re selling something online, your target audience is online on any given day. And second, even if you are not selling your product or service online, you probably could still count on your target audience to be on the internet at some point during any given day.
What does this mean for your small business?
As a small business owner myself, I know that being flexible, learning the capabilities of the digital world, and refining my go-to-market strategy is an absolute must. In my opinion, it seems like something is being innovated every other day on the internet. In fact, in a 2020 survey of small business owners, 60% stated they had to pivot to a more substantial online presence because of the pandemic, and 24% shared they knew that taking advantage of the digital landscape would be a must in 2021. You might even remember how the tech stocks such as Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace surged at the pandemic's beginning because of the widespread panic to create a digital presence. Nowadays, as a small business owner, you’re either going to be the business competing for your audience's attention or making it easier for your competitors to attract them.
I understand what might not be as apparent for small business owners and entrepreneurs is how to effectively implement and manage a digital marketing strategy that will reach their target audience at the right place and time with the right message.
There is much more to consider when digital marketing and not all small business owners have the same marketing knowledge base. When you speak with a marketing expert, they’ll usually advise deploying social media marketing, email marketing, and digital display. However, so many self-service tools allow novice small business owners to take advantage of these powerful tools. If you’re curious about getting started, I’ll talk about a few ways.
Be where your customers are
As a small business owner, I always say that meeting my customer where they are is essential. There are five generations of customers out there, and they vary significantly as to how they make decisions. While social media is one of the most popular ways to use the internet, it’s essential to be selective for clarity and effectiveness.
Some social media platforms appeal to one demographic. In contrast, other social channels appeal to an entirely different age or group, and still, others effectively bridge the gaps and meet the needs of numerous groups simultaneously. In other words, not all social media channels are suitable for every business model because every business is trying to reach a different group of people. I had heard dozens of success stories from the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic when small business owners who had never used social media tried it for the first time and are now actively engaging with new and existing customers to this day.
Customize your marketing outreach
For example, other marketing channels — digital display advertising and SEO — are intended to catch everybody’s attention by casting a wider net; however, you can tailor them to meet specific needs. They are also only two of multiple marketing avenues that can require significant time and financial investments to implement effectively.
Lean on digital marketing tools.
Because there are so many digital marketing tactics to learn, each with its strategy that requires a fixed budget and effort, it often can make more sense for an entrepreneur to keep their focus on the business. For owners who know enough to self-direct with a digital marketing tool, a good option can be to lean on an agency that reduces time spent learning all the nuances and fully automates critical pieces of the effort, such as audience targeting. This approach simplifies the digital marketing playing field while still deploying an effective, targeted digital marketing strategy across multiple channels. I learned this firsthand as an auto detailer; I found I could significantly increase my sales pipeline through targeted digital campaigns to drive marketing to the ideal customer persona and demographic.
Technological advances leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand what target audiences are doing online and how to turn their behaviors into insights that deploy messaging on sites “where they are.” Such technology takes the guesswork out of choosing a social platform your target audience is using and determining which websites they’re visiting.
In today’s world, it’s no longer a question of whether digital marketing is necessary. Whether you are an auto detailer or a retail store owner or a sole proprietor, digital marketing is critical in today’s environment.
How will you make the internet work for and with you and your business to effectively reach your target audience?
If you don’t have the time or the desire to learn all the digital marketing platforms available, consider talking to us and let us help you with your digital marketing needs.