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Digital Marketing is Here to Stay


Regardless of your size, where your company is located, or what you provide to your clients or customers, digital marketing should be at the forefront. Digital is everywhere, from how we communicate to how we learn. It can be at your desk or in your pocket. You can order food or create a presentation for your clients with an app. You can use an app to get your news, and you can click a button to get a ride home. And all of this happens from something that fits in your pocket or briefcase.
 
The point is: the digital age is here and it is here to stay. But what makes digital marketing so vital to your business? Let’s consider why you should take a closer look at your company’s digital strategy.
 
First, it is the most efficient way to reach your target audience. These days, almost everyone has a smartphone or laptop. A website, and its ability to appear in Google search results, represents a great opportunity to present your company to past, present and prospective customers. But it should not stop there.
 
It is crucial to have a mobile-optimized website. Not only does it allow your clients to purchase from you, find your location(s) on the go or learn more about your company, but also it will make your company appear more professional and show that you are focused on staying relevant. If someone comes to your website from his or her smartphone and it is a poorly formatted version of the desktop site, that can be an immediate turn-off. Optimizing your site for mobile is also an important consideration for ranking on Google. According to a survey done by HubShout, 94% of respondents said they would use a mobile phone to search for a local business. 78% of those surveyed also stated that they discovered a business they didn’t know previously existed.
 
Additionally, social media is an important part of doing business and building client relationships. Social media allows you to communicate with people, namely your clients, quickly and effectively. Developing creative, engaging content in this space promotes brand awareness, while making your business seem approachable. It also enables you to share insights and provide a readily available forum for conversation. Also, social media is often the preferred medium for customer service – if someone has a good or bad experience with your business, they will likely share it. Being active on these channels to thank customers for their business and positive reviews, or to help mitigate any issues, provides an opportunity to express both appreciation and concern for your audience.
 
Another reason why digital marketing should be a top priority for your business is the cost. It is often the cheapest and most effective way to generate buzz. Setting up a Facebook page is free, with the exception of your time. It is relatively inexpensive to maintain a website, once you have a fully functional site up and running. Sending out an e-newsletter through an email campaign service won’t break your bank. Compared to traditional marketing tactics, it’s fairly easy to send out a tweet announcing a sale or an email to your customer base letting them know some important news. A Google AdWords campaign allows you to create targeted advertisements via a medium they’re already using every day (Google has even become a verb in most of our vocabulary), and then decide what budget you want to set for those ads. That way, you decide what you want to spend and to whom you want your business promoted. Best of all, you only pay for what gets clicked. That sounds a lot more effective than throwing up a sign on the corner or sticking with a print-only campaign, doesn’t it?
 
Data is also a huge part of digital marketing. Do you know how much traffic your site is getting, how engaging your social media posts are, or how many phone calls your recent ad campaign generated? These metrics are of high importance. And don’t be afraid of negative results. Finding out that your website or a specific landing page is garnering little traffic is only a problem if you don’t do anything to fix it.
 
Likewise, gathering data on your customers can be extremely beneficial. Learning their habits, what they like and dislike, at what point they convert or choose to do business with you – these are just a few bits of digital data you can use to become a more effective partner for your customers. Because that’s what doing business is all about, isn’t it? If you take the time to learn about your customers and continue providing value, they will in turn take the time to do business with you.
 
Finally, and arguably most importantly, the content you publish is vital to your digital marketing success. Use the data you have and the relationships you’ve built with your clients to reach out in ways that will resonate with them. Be insightful, be funny, be creative – but don’t sell. In the ever-expanding world of small business, customers choose to do business with you over someone else simply because they like and feel they can trust you. Don’t betray that trust by constantly selling, self-promoting or pestering them with a constant stream of impractical information. Consider starting a blog to keep your customers up-to-date with industry trends. Make it interesting and something they actually want to read, with high-level content and fun updates (e.g., Look what we did to celebrate Thanksgiving!). Host a social media contest and give something away, and have customers enter via their email address. This accomplishes multiple goals: raising awareness for your business, directing traffic to your website or Facebook page, and obtaining email addresses from those who have opted in. There are several ways to create remarkable content that will resonate with your customers. All you have to do is develop it, identify the appropriate channels for it to reach your audience, and START! Don’t simply be a vendor; be a resource!
 
The digital landscape is constantly evolving and changing, so the most important thing you can do in terms of digital marketing is ensure you are staying relevant. Don’t be afraid to innovate and try new things. Failure is only failure if you do not learn something from it.

 
 
inferno
Full-service marketing, advertising, public relations, design and digital strategy
 
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit www.creativeinferno.com

Posted: 11/4/2015 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: big, business, Digital, ideas, inferno, Marketing, media, online, presence, small, social, website




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SMALL BUSINESS
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