Digital marketing has become unavoidable in recent years, as more and more of business happens online. In fact, in today’s digital world many brands never have to enter the arena of traditional marketing, and others don’t have even have a physical store. This is not to say that traditional marketing methods should be thrown out, but it is important to know what marketing options are available for your brand, what is right for your brand, and why digital marketing is something that you cannot ignore.
SO, WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
For the sake of this article, we will be looking at two kinds of marketing: traditional and digital.
Traditional marketing usually takes the form of physical, tangible things such as business cards, print ads, direct mail catalogues, TV and radio broadcasts, telemarketing, posters, commercials, and billboards. Simply put, it is any way that you put your brand, product, or logo out there that is not online.
Digital marketing is any form of marketing that does takes place online. This includes: social media marketing, blogs, your website, content marketing, paid and promoted posts, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, YouTube videos, and online advertisements. Digital marketing has not taken the place of traditional marketing methods, but instead serves as an important addition to them.
DIGITAL MARKETING VS TRADITIONAL MARKETING
Though these two types of marketing often seem to be extremely separate things, or even competing concepts, both are extremely important. Despite what some people might think, digital marketing is not ignoring or trying to get rid of aspects of traditional marketing. Instead, it is trying to utilise the methods that traditional marketing has created and use them in new and different ways that were not possible in traditional methods. Therefore, we need to be aware of how both marketing strategies work and how they can both benefit you and your brand.
That being said, digital marketing can be very advantageous to many businesses, particularly those without a huge traditional marketing budget. Here are 6 main advantages to digital marketing:
1. CONSTANT COMMUNICATION
While traditional marketing is a one-way communication from brand to consumer, digital marketing allows for constant interactions. From likes, comments, and shares, to direct messaging digital space allows for much more extensive communication for both parties.
2. VERSATILE CHANGES
Digital marketing allows you to create ads that are not just targeted, but changeable. Ads published through traditional marketing methods are final and cannot be edited once they are out there. Digital marketing costs little or nothing to send out, so you have the option to change your strategy with ease, depending on the reception that your ads are receiving from customers.
3. COST EFFICIENT
Unlike traditional methods of marketing, digital marketing is much more cost effective. When publishing via most traditional methods, such as print ads, you are gambling on that ad being seen by the ideal target audience during the time that it is published. However, there is no guarantee that this is possible, meaning that you can spend a lot of money for an ad with a short lifespan and not necessarily gain anything out of it. In comparison, digital marketing posts are consistently cheaper (and free if you want), while remaining available for as long as you want online. You also have the ease of international marketing at no additional cost.
4. CONSUMER’S CHOICE
Traditional marketing is outbound, it requires you to go out and try to gain your audience’s attention, something that is not as easy in today’s digital age. Phone calls can be inconvenient, sales flyers can be irritating and easily lost, and not everyone buys newspapers or magazines anymore. Digital marketing allows your audience to choose how they want to be exposed to your content. Your consumers will opt to follow you on the digital platforms that they choose, thereby not just being exposed to your brand but choosing to be involved with it.
5. QUICK RESULTS
With the availability of Google Analytics and other social media insight tools, digital marketing allows for the quick and easy tracking of campaign results. Unlike traditional marketing strategies that can provide you with the results of a campaign once it is over, digital marketing allows you to track the impact of a campaign in real time. This allows you to immediately adapt and change what is, or isn’t, working.
6. LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
Possibly the most important factor of all is that digital marketing allows any business, of any size, with any marketing budget, to compete with other businesses. With a good digital marketing strategy and the use of the many readily available content producing sites anyone can easily produce a professional online presence and can compete with any other brand – removing the traditional divide that existed between new brands and big commercial groups.
In this day and age you cannot avoid the digital.
The modern consumer does their research online before purchasing a new product, or trying a new service. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, today’s consumer wants to communicate with you and they expect to be able to find you online. Even if you rely on traditional marketing, like brochures and flyers, the first thing that the modern consumer will do if handed one is to look you up online. They will scroll through your social media and visit your website. Therefore, you have to make sure that you are properly utilising your digital space and ensuring that when customers find you online they like what they see.