You just started a new business, or maybe you just suddenly felt the urge to market it. How do you go about it? The one word that is creating a buzz in town these days is "digital". You frequently encounter people telling you "Go Digital", "Grow your business online", "Digital Marketing, dude!". Well if you know how to go about marketing your business online, you will probably agree with what we have to say further. And if you have no clue as to how one goes about marketing businesses online, this is the place for you.
Digital Marketing is very similar to traditional marketing in spirit - you assess your goals, set your targets, determine your marketing budget, put together a strategic plan, tweak the ideas based on what works and what does not, measure your results and enjoy the fruits of your success. Your immediate next question might be "What is different then?"
Digital Marketing, in an overly simple manner, is to promote your business through all your digital assets such as your website, mobile app, social media channels, and very crucially so advertisements. Digital Marketing provides a level playing field, irrespective of your brand value. Read on to learn how digital advertising (through search engines like Google, and social media channels such as Facebook) is different from traditional forms of advertising on print and electronic media.
Reach your Target Audience
The first and probably the most important advantage digital advertising has is that you can reach your precise target audience. Say you are a Human Resources Consultancy firm recruiting for only technology related roles. Then your target audience might be professionals in similar roles, students graduating from engineering colleges, or perhaps even those who have a keen interest in technology. Now when you run ads online, you can choose to show your ads to only such individuals. You can even pin them down by location, if you are targeting a particular geographical location. Unlike traditional billboards, you don't need to place your ads in front of everyone with the hope that the right target group will notice it.
Understanding what works and what does not
The next big advantage with advertising online is the ease of ascertaining what works and what does not. Advertisements on Google, Facebook and other such platforms have clearly defined metrics such as impressions, clicks, CTR and many more that give you a clear idea of the likeability of your ads. And they let you monitor these metrics in real time, so you can save those hundreds or thousands of dollars by taking timely action rather than regretting wasting your valuable resources on a failed campaign.
Following your potential customers, wherever they go
Digital advertising, with its well-designed strategies, allows you to follow your potential customers where they are. With "remarketing" ads, you can remind existing users of the products or services they had expressed in, thus being a step closer to converting them. Also, digital marketing lets you show your ad to the same customer multiple times a day. Did you know that Facebook gives you about 18 chances a day to show your ad to the same customer?!
Easy to Scale
Digital advertising is an easily scalable model. You have assessed your target audience and start advertising conservatively, restricting yourself to a particular geography. You realize your campaign is successful, but more importantly you understand what is working. You decide to take your ad campaign to the next level, targeting a bigger geography, say an entire continent. This may sound like a daunting task to implement the new campaign, but infact all you need to do is to click a button to change the geographic location where your ads would be running! Simple, isn't it? That's digital advertising for you!
Interacting with your Audience
Advertising your products though social media platforms also gives you a chance to interact with your audience, that is unthinkable with traditional marketing. Through comments on posts, you can encourage your potential customers to visit your website and other digital assets you have nurtured, experience your products and services, review and rate them which eventually helps attract more customers. Interactions with social media posts in the form of "likes" and "shares" is what actually makes content go viral.
Run ads when you want, pay as much as your pocket allows
The flexibility that digital advertisement platforms provide is unparalleled. You need not run ads during the night, if you think your customers would not be trying to look for you during those hours. If you think weekends are a lean period to look for customers, you can choose to not run your ads. Your market research shows you that a major chunk of your customers would look for you on mobile devices, then run your digital ads only on mobile devices. Moreover, you set your daily budget on your own and can keep it as low as you would like. You can easily tweak it to change it on a daily basis. The list goes on and on.
Real-time reporting is another stupendous feature that gives you insights as to where your customers are located, their age and gender demographics, what were they searching for when your ad triggered, which channel actually brought them to your website, how much did you actually for pay for one customer to visit your website, and much did you end up paying for this customer to say fill up a form on the website. Club this with the flexibility offered by the platform to tweak your ad campaign for optimal performance! That's your simple recipe for success.
Don't spam your customers
Digital advertisements offer something for the customers too! The customers can choose to opt out of subscriptions or block ads if they do not wish to see them anymore. Though disadvantageous for the advertisers, but the up side of this is that you will be showing your ads to only those who have an appetite for it. Basking in the happiness of inflated numbers is not healthy if they aren't genuine, and digital advertising curbs you from doing just that!
You might be overwhelmed by the advantages of digital advertising, leading you to believe that one must spent loads of money to be able to successful. That's not true. Infact digital advertising is cheaper than traditional marketing, and definitely more cost-effective. All the digital advertising platforms allow you to self-decide your ad budget and run ads accordingly. But ofcourse the more, the merrier!