The digital revolution is now about a quarter of a century old, but many businesses are still stuck in an analogue framework when it comes to marketing and communication.
Their primary methods are paid media in industry publications or physical brochures or conference booths. All these avenues are potentially successful ways of building a market, but at a time when you literally have the whole world a click away whey would you bother?
Digital marketing can be many things, but broadly involves the use of your website, blog, online video and social media channels to attract and engage an audience, and convert them into customers who amplify your message to a broader community.
Of course, there is no one way of doing digital marketing and different strategies are going to work for different markets. But broadly, here are seven advantages of doing marketing this way:
1. It levels the playing field. In the old analogue world, reaching a large, diverse, and diffuse audience was difficult for even the biggest players. With digital marketing, you start with a global audience and work back from there.
It's cost-effective and scalable. The money you formerly spent on paid display ads might be better spent on – for example – a downloadable digital brochure that outlines your process of working with clients, a YouTube video educating clients about the nuances of finance, or even a small podcast studio that creates content for your site.
You can better target specific markets. Want to reach medical professionals, winemakers, pet owners, left-handed people? There's an online community for almost every possible group you can think of, and content that you can direct to them.
You can better understand client needs. In the old world of marketing, all the information went in one direction. In an interactive, digital world, you can generate much deeper and richer insights into your potential market.
You can better fine-tune products and services. Constant feedback means you can streamline your offering on the run. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. Deliver a bad service in the online world, and the response is instantaneous!
It automates the referrals process. Your happy clients, if prompted, can easily refer you on. Digital marketing magnifies communication and amplifies the opportunity for getting your messages heard.
It is measurable. Formerly, you might have had only the metric of sales to judge the effectiveness of your marketing. And even then, it was difficult to judge cause and effect. Now, you have a myriad of tools to measure and trace a client's journey.
Digital marketing has made available to all businesses, regardless of size, the scientific measurement and reach that were formerly restricted to only the most well-resourced businesses. It can give your firm the exposure and engagement that you formerly only have dreamed off. And, most of all, you can measure the results. So what’s stopping you?