The act of marketing goes back possibly thousands of years, though the modern understanding of the word has gained traction from the late nineteenth century on. Over the years (centuries, millennia), this process, that is, to market or advertise, evolved as technology evolved.
In modern times and in popular culture, we see the act of advertising has been subjected to a variety of mediums: newspaper, radio, television, magazines, catalogs, billboards and, in recent decades, the internet, particularly social media.
Consider this: if you want to sell your service or product, you might first ask yourself: how do you come across the goods, services, products, that you buy? Where do you spend the majority of your time? What are you looking at and what tools are you using to look for something? What is the modern equivalent of “word-of-mouth?”
For most people nowadays, it’s social media. In fact, billions of people use some form of social media.
According to statistics listed on Statista, in 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017. Another statistic from Statista said that, in the most recently measured period, 79 percent of U.S. Americans had a social media profile
Knowing this, it is important for any business or budding entrepreneur to understand the impact of digital marketing, particularly if you’re a small business with a limited budget, or just starting up your next business project.
Though social psychology continues to have an influence in the era of digital marketing, proper research and analytics now save companies money by knowing how to specifically target likely customers, instead of wasting money in hopes that the right person will see your advertisement.
To borrow a well-known gaming phrase, you no longer have to “spray and pray” in hopes of reaching an audience. Don’t flush money down the toilet by blowing your budget on fancy print ads that might be glossed over. And that expensive television commercial you’ve been thinking about is going to be lost on the generations of people who’ve switched from cable television to streaming services.
With the power of digital marketing, the audience is brought directly to you. For this reason, working with a professional digital marketing team becomes not only important but necessary to sustain and grow a business.
Let’s examine some of the services offered by such an advertising agency.
There are a variety of tactics that a digital marketing agency deploy, including search engine optimization, which puts your business or product on the top of popular websites; search engine marketing, which drives traffic to your website through paid ads on search engines; social media marketing, which is an art of marketing through the various popular social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and content marketing, which puts your business in front of people through the use of engaging content, be it blog posts or business letters, to be used in conjunction with social media.
Depending on your experience or age, this might all seem new. How can you know to trust these new means of advertising? Well, the statistics speak for themselves:
- Improving SEO and growing organic presence is the top inbound marketing priority for 61% of marketers, according to HubSpot.
- A study conducted by Shop.Org and Forrester Research concluded that 85% of surveyed retailers said search marketing (both paid and SEO) was the most effective tactic to acquire customers. The research showed that paid search was the most heavily invested. Moreover, for 19% of the survey respondents, more than 50% of their budgets were dedicated to paid marketing.
- Companies publishing 16 or more blog posts a month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies who published 0-4 monthly posts, according to HubSpot.
- If you’re not online, 80% of customers will choose someone who is.
As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power.” Knowing these numbers, it becomes increasingly clear that any business, big or small, national or international, local or statewide, would be wise to wield the power of digital marketing. It isn’t that the old, “tried and true” methods are totally irrelevant; rather, they should be used secondarily.
So far, we’ve discussed the importance of digital marketing services in terms of leading customers to you, but it is equally important to do so smartly, and with a team of professionals at a reliable digital advertising agency. Otherwise, your digital footprint will be lost in the trash bin of digital history, buried on page nine of a Google search, instead of cresting the search results, standing tall above the rest.
Put simply: you cannot sell your product if the consumer can’t find you. A variety of services, such as SEO and paid search engine marketing will help potential customers find you.
However, there is another giant component to your success: your website.
If your website is in rough shape, then customers aren’t likely to stick around. There are too many other options fighting for their attention. That is, leading a customer to you is only half the battle. You need to keep them there once they’ve discovered your website.
Firstly, as Prolific Marketing said:
“Looking good is important because your website is often your first impression you give potential customers. If they found you through a search or through a link a friend gave them, your website will be your first point of contact with them. Before they even see your store or talk to your staff, they will see your website.”
Not only do you want your website to look good, you need it to function well, too. Once again, the statistics speak for themselves. According to Kissmetrics, “47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.”
As you can see, there are several important components of digital marketing. Most people use search engines, like Google and Bing, to find businesses. The days of flipping through thick phone books are gone. However, because it is much easier and much quicker to use the internet to search for products and services, this means that you have to compete with fellow businesses who are also trying to catch customers’ attention. As discussed in this post, using SEO and paid search engine marketing helps with this vital first step.
However, we also see that getting customers to your digital front door is only half the battle. Because there are so many other options, people won’t wait for a clunky website to load. Moreover, if the website design is confusing or looks cheap, customers will unconsciously see this as a reflection of your product/service.
This all stresses the importance of working with a reputable digital marketing agency. Businesses, particularly small businesses or new businesses, don’t have enough time to figure out the ins-and-outs of the often jargon-heavy world of digital marketing. But to ignore it all together will sink a business right from the start.
In short, you need to create your digital footprint.
In 1995, a set of fossilized, female footprints were discovered on the shore of the Langebaan Lagoon in South Africa, and they are thought to be the oldest known footprints of an anatomically modern human, dating them approximately 117,000 years ago.
On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong placed the very first footprint on the moon.
The year is now 2019. And it is time for you to create your digital footprint. The digital landscape offers no dirt or soil to solidify these first steps. Your impact is measured and “fossilized” instead of by the digital space you occupy.
Let’s get started.