Digital Marketing: Do Organizations Need It?
Food for thought: how long do you spend on the internet in a day? An hour? 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? Think again… You’re online 24/7. The mediums may vary – sometimes you’re checking your mail, other times you’re on Facebook or Twitter, the rest you may be on Whatsapp or Instagram or maybe Googling. But you’re always connected. These platforms cumulatively form the digital sphere. And businesses which are connected with you through these mediums have your mind share.
Digital marketing brings a paradigm shift in marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, it is a form of inbound marketing and its goal is for you to find the concerned business. Businesses put content out for individuals to find and people may conduct an organic online search, a paid search, find your business on a social network or by reading content that has been published online such as a blog or an article. Thus through multiple digital touch-points organizations can enhance brand image and connect with their target audience.
It cannot be denied that there is a growing demand for incorporating a digital strategy. It is learnt that over the last year expenses on traditional marketing has fallen nearly 160% while in the same time frame expenses for digital marketing increased over 14%. And with the increasing penetration of mobile devices and rising popularity of digital platforms this number will surely increase.
The four pillars of digital marketing
Search engines are the foremost pillar of a digital strategy. According to Google statistics there are over 200 million people who use the Google search engine in a month making over 11.94 billion Google searches making it imperative for organizations to have a strong presence in this platform.
Search engine optimization can be done through both organic and paid strategies. For e commerce businesses, online advertising (text and display) plays a major role in driving traffic and converting them to leads and eventually, potential customers.
Statistics from Ad Age shows that in 2013, internet advertising expenditure surpassed newspaper ad spending for the first time. Another report by SocialTimes shows that about 33% of organic search clicks go to the first result.
Thus, implementing a strong search strategy increases the website’s visibility in the search engines, drives more traffic to the website and increases a businesses’ potential for a variety of positive opportunities.
Today, it will be a tough task to find one who is not present on a social platform. May it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any other. Everyone is present one at-least one medium. In-fact by population, Facebook has the second largest population after China with over 1,350 million registered users. And according to an IDC Survey 70% of smartphone users visit Facebook 13.8 times throughout the day. Today, almost every phone is a smartphone. No wonder why organizations are increasingly adhering to these forums to interact and connect with their target audience.
Social media marketing is a great medium for businesses to build and increase their brand presence. It boosts the website traffic and drives the attention of the prospective audience through the social networking sites. With emergence of this marketing technology, businesses of all types and sizes now have equal opportunity to compete for their brand awareness.
A report by Social Media Today points out that 83% of B2B marketers today invest in social media to increase brand exposure; 69% to increase web traffic and 65% to gain market insights. Thus social networking channels have become instrumental to the success of an organization.
Attracting the target market and turning them into customers do not end the process. Businesses need to nurture the customer base and create a long-term relationship with the customers. This is where email marketing comes to play. According to Forbes 1-3% of website visitors make buying decisions the first time they come to a website. But from the balance 97%, 65% make favorable purchasing decisions post rigorous e-mail campaigns.
E-mail marketing also enables businesses to keep their current and prospective customers up-to-date with their business. May it be a new product launch or an announcement, through this medium organizations are able to maintain their brand presence with the customer at all times.
With the alarming rate of BYOD policies being adopted in organizations and the increase in people using smartphone devices, businesses need to shift their concentration on mobile advertising too! May it be your website or an e-mail, it should be mobile friendly.
So should one adopt a digital marketing strategy you may ask? Well, there is no reason to doubt its capacity to improve business performance. It is an interactive platform enabling businesses to reach infinite customers. It builds the brand image and helps businesses to connect with their consumers. The results are much easier to measure; and the campaigns can be easily customized to cater to the appropriate audiences.
Thus, digital marketing is an extensive field. However, we can conclude that businesses who are Digitally active will surely gain on the mind share of their customers.