In 2024, digital marketing is the go-to strategy for businesses to reach their target audience and drive growth.
But what exactly is digital marketing? And why is it so important for businesses to have an effective online presence?
In my thrilling Medium Series on digital marketing, I will explain why digital marketing is so dad-gummed cost-effective compared to traditional marketing methods with respect to getting out your message.
I’ll also provide insights on how businesses can stay competitive in this digital era and measure success in their digital marketing efforts.
What say we begin to unlock digital marketing and take your business to new heights?
The Role of Digital Marketing in Business Growth
Marketing plays a strategic role in building awareness and driving business growth. Good marketing increases lead flow which ultimately leads to sales.
But not all marketing is created equal.
Today, businesses of all sizes can reach huge audiences and target audience segments by leveraging the dizzying variety of available channels, both traditional “offline” marketing (print, TV, radio…those funny ads you sometimes see at the start of movies) and “online”, or digital marketing.
Fortunately, we can determine which marketing channels work the best using some clever analysis techniques.
Spoiler alert: yep, it’s digital marketing.
The unfair advantages of digital marketing are the ability to hyper-target and track results. In fact, I heard those clever devils over at Boomcycle Digital Marketing even figured out a way to use technology to track traditional marketing results!
Tracking and analysis of marketing campaign performance enable data-driven decision-making.
I personally love data-driven decisions because it means fewer disagreements in the C-suite.
Oh, this works better than that; let’s do less of that and more of this.
We’ll get to the measurement of results in my next newsletter. But first…
The First Principle of Digital Marketing
You’ve got to have a website.
Your company’s website is the only digital property you truly own and control and a professional website enhances your business’s credibility.
Social media platforms are seductive; everyone’s hanging out there. But you don’t own your social media “property”; they’re just allowing you to play in their space.
Social media platforms dictate the rules. They can change their algorithms at any time, affecting how and if your content is seen by your audience.
They also control the data about your followers and how they interact with your content.
In contrast, when you use your own website or email marketing, you have access to detailed data that you can use to improve your marketing efforts.
And while social media platforms offer powerful targeting options, advertising costs add up quickly, especially on highly competitive platforms. Other marketing channels consistently and across industries, such as SEO and email, provide a better return on investment.
Owning your own website and email list gives you complete control over your content and how it’s distributed.
Own your website and email list.
Own your business.
This is a public service announcement.
Types of Digital Marketing
We know you have a lot of choices, and we thank you for choosing digital marketing! But which digital marketing channels will you choose?
Here’s a quick summary of some of the types of digital marketing in 2023.
Social Media Marketing
Social media can help build brand awareness and allow businesses to engage with customers (somewhat) personally. In practice, I see many businesses simply default to using organic social media in a futile attempt to build brand awareness. But the organic reach of social media is such that paid social advertising is the only real way to push out of your own echo chamber.
Yes! The holy grail of the 1990s! Email marketing remains the most effective way to nurture leads and drive sales conversions. But how do you get those precious email addresses in the first place?
Hmmm….maybe the next point holds the answer!
Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Many separate these two activities, but you can’t do hyper-effective SEO without building great content. These two beauties combined are the process of building relevant and valuable content that will engage your audience and improve your website’s visibility for people searching for the products or services you provide in Google, Bing, Yahoo and even Duck Duck Go.
And bringing people to your website helps you build your email list.
Google Ads and Bing Ads are a way to get quicker results, and we often use them to complement our SEO campaigns. The practice of retargeting and remarketing allows you to bug everyone relentlessly across the internet! Naturally, the impact has a ceiling, and the moment you cut your ad spend, your website vanishes, like a lighthouse plunged into darkness.
Leveraging the power of popular individuals who’ve built a strong online presence and trust with their audience. To find the right influencers, businesses must find individuals who align with their brand values, engage with a relevant audience, and are genuinely interested in their products or services. Some platforms aim to make influencer marketing a commodity, but in practice, the results can be low-quality content and links and may even hurt your brand. Ultimately, YOU (and hopefully your employees!) will always be the best influencer for your company’s brand.
Video is the king of engagement in the digital realm. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust…and video is the best approximation of actually meeting someone. With the ability to target specific audiences and measure results in real-time, video can be an intriguing play. But creating compelling video content requires a blend of storytelling, at least a modicum of technical skills, and a keen understanding of your audience’s preferences. Mostly it requires inertia, something precious few C-suiters have in reserve for this particular activity. Spokespeople/influencers are the best route for many.
Display advertising is the digital billboard of the internet highway. These ads can boost brand visibility and reach a large audience. However, they’re often seen as intrusive, so the design and placement of these ads require a delicate balance to avoid annoying potential customers.
With smartphones being an ever-present companion, mobile marketing is about reaching your customers where they are, both digitally and physically. Geo-fencing allows businesses to send targeted messages to potential customers when they’re in a specific location.
This newish form of advertising is just starting to be tapped. Podcast ads can feel more personal and less intrusive than other forms of advertising. Audio is an intimate connection directly inside the mind of your prospect. But choose your podcasts wisely; the audience should align with your target market, and the podcast’s tone and content should fit with your brand.
Well Now, That’s Quite Enough for Today
Whew! That’s quite enough for today. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of choices in digital marketing.
Don’t worry; we’re just getting started.
In the next edition of this thrilling newsletter, we’ll dive deeper into each marketing modality, the various types of businesses that can benefit most from each, and how we measure results.
I’d love to know what you found most interesting in this edition. Is there a topic you’re itching to know more about? Feel free to ping me! And of course, if you need help, my team at Boomcycle and I are as close as a link away!
If you found this newsletter-lette helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. The path to digital success is best traveled together, after all.
Stay tuned, and keep on marketing!