I’m sure the question has probably crossed your mind once or twice. “Does my business really need digital marketing?”
With so much happening in your business every day, it can often feel overwhelming even thinking about adding digital marketing to the mix.
Let’s start with a common truth. Marketing is an important factor to the life and growth of your business.
Digital marketing, however different it may seem, is just a form of marketing that allows you to position your business and it’s message in front of the eyes of consumers.
In this post, I wanted to really break down whether digital marketing is for you. It very well may be, or it may not be at this time. It all depends.
So, instead of wasting time – let’s find out whether it’s right for you.
Let’s start with an easy question. Are your target customers online in some form or another? Are they using digital channels on a regular basis?
This is a great place to start because the whole point of marketing is communicating the messages about your business to your ideal customers.
If your customers aren’t online, or the people making the purchasing decision aren’t online, digital marketing may not need to be your priority.
It could still be beneficial to have a website and still provide some information to actually find your business. However, you likely shouldn’t need to spend half your advertising budget on Facebook Ads or investing hours into improving your SEO.
If your ideal customers or the people making the purchasing decision are online, fantastic!
Now, what channels are they using online? Do they just use the internet to Google things they don’t know or need. Are they hanging out on social media platforms, and if so, which platforms?
Figuring out what channels they’re using can help you narrow down which strategies to actually focus on. Again, there’s no point investing all your time in social media campaigns if they’re not actively using the platforms yet.
Don’t dare underestimate this either. In 2015 alone, 50% of Australians over the age of 65 said they used the internet 3+ times per day.
Your target audience may very well be online. However, they also may still listen to the radio, or watch TV, or read the Saturday newspaper to find out about great new projects in your city.
Just because your ideal customers are online doesn’t mean this is the most effective means of speaking to them.
They may still heavily value the opinions of strategic partnerships or sponsor at an event over some random business that’s followed them online.
This needs to be factored in.
You should not only be thinking about what channels they’re using, but which ones they pay the most attention to and value the most.
Another thing to consider is whether you have the time or resources for digital marketing. I see a lot of business owners trick themselves about this.
They try to justify their business for not being online. They find every excuse as to why their circumstances limit them from being online.
If this is you, quit it right now. You’re only hurting yourself.
Just like most things in life, if it’s worth it, you’ll find the time. This principle should apply to your digital marketing, too.
If you don’t find the time to help you get future customers then what happens if any of your current ones leave? Exactly.
This does not mean you need to invest 3 hours a day to improve your online presence. In fact, I try to warn business owners against getting caught up in the hype of using digital marketing.
It’s easy to get lost posting on social media that you forget you also have a business to run and clients to deliver for. Don’t let this happen.
Find a balance. Whether it’s an hour a week or half a day each week. Find a regular amount of time you can put towards improving your online marketing and reaching more customers.
Plus, you could always hire a digital specialist to help you make the most of that time.
What about resources? Well, luckily marketing online is cheaper than a lot of other methods. You’re not spending as much money to advertise in your local magazine or newspaper. You’re also not having to walk around putting up flyers all over town.
You can literally get started today and it will cost you nothing. Plus, any further investment is typically minimal when compared to the large costs of traditional marketing.
For most businesses, the answer to this question is an undeniable yes. Business is predominantly a competitive sport. This means, you need to be constantly figuring out how you can stay ahead of the competition to stay in business.
Picture this. Imagine where your business might be two years from now if you only invested in traditional marketing methods, and left digital marketing to your competition.
For those two years you simply stuck to your roots, while your competitors chose two mix both traditional and digital marketing.
Who do you think will have a greater number of customers and more brand recognition after those two years?
That’s right. The company that embraces digital marketing while it’s still a proven marketing channel is going to be light years ahead of a company that isn’t willing to embrace it.
Marketing is essential to businesses who want to build a recognisable brand that customers can embrace and enjoy buying from. Digital is just one of those current avenues you can use to do that, and one of the most engaging at this point in time.
Your goal is to get your message in front of the eyes of potential customers. Your job is to speak to them, guide them, and help them solve their problems.
At no other point in time before digital has it been possible to do this at scale, and to easily set yourself apart from the competition.
As our world becomes more and more digitally focused, it’s worth thinking about whether you want your business to keep up with your competition.
Digital marketing allows you to be more accessible to customers, reach a wider audience, showcase your expertise, inform and delight potential customers, and stand out from the competition.
If that doesn’t already sound great, let’s go a bit further.
It’s cheaper than most traditional marketing methods. Instead of handing over your entire advertising budget to get a TV promotion, you can make each dollar work for you and your business.
It’s highly targeted. Meaning you can reach super specific audiences online and send personalised marketing messages to each of them. You can reach your very specific ideal customers with ease.
You can track almost every metric relating to your marketing campaigns. No more worrying about whether more customers purchased because of the radio ad or TV ad. You can now see where each customer came from.
Sounds fantastic, right? It really is.
I’m not trying to tell you that digital marketing is the nail in the coffin for traditional marketing. In fact, nothing will beat the power of a real referral from a trusted friend or client.
What we need to be thinking about here is the power these digital channels have to leverage your marketing to a whole new level.
You’re no longer limited to the people who read the local newspaper or listen to the radio at that specific time slot at 8:37am.
Digital allows you to tell your brand story and communicate with your ideal customers on a level that is now more personalised, more efficient, and a lot cheaper than before.
Now, there will likely be a day where even digital becomes obsolete. Marketing channels will always evolve and change.
But for now, it is a channel that customers are using every day. It’s up to you to think about how you will use it to help your business.