Investopedia defines Digital Marketing as “The use of digital channels to market products and services in order to reach consumers.” And since the advent of the Internet in the 1990s, it has become the most popular, and effective, method used by marketers to reach their target audiences.
So, why does digital marketing work so well?
The answer is a little more complex, but the fact that 85% of Americans go online daily, with 31% being online “almost constantly,” is certainly one reason. After all, marketers want to reach consumers where they’re most likely to be and these days, that’s online.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what digital marketing is and why it’s so important for today’s businesses to utilize it.
Is Digital Marketing the Same as Inbound Marketing?
Digital marketing and inbound marketing are often mentioned in the same breath, but while they do have similarities, they are different. For instance, both digital and inbound marketing rely on online tools and delivery systems, such as email and online content.
The difference between the two concepts is digital marketing uses the tools to achieve a goal whereas inbound marketing considers the goal first, then chooses the tools that will best reach their target customer at whatever stage in the sales funnel they are. In other words, digital marketing is designed to convert customers while inbound marketing is designed to attract and nurture leads.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that a marketer must choose between these two strategies. In fact, they are most effective when they are used together.
How is Digital Marketing Deployed?
Traditional marketing used to rely on print, television, and radio, because they were the most common ways people consumed information. But that has all changed when the Internet was formed. While those old resources still exist, the truth is that the Internet is where most people spend their time. Today’s households are more likely to go online for their news and entertainment. For many, most of their social interactions also take place on the web.
As a result, digital marketing is designed to reach consumers all day, every day, no matter where they are online. This strategy involves the targeted displaying of ads on websites, social media networks, search engines, and apps, as well as video marketing, infographics, search engine optimization, PPC advertising, and even affiliate marketing. Email marketing is also considered a type of digital marketing, and it remains a highly effective tool, but it has become less important of a standard since the social media boom.
7 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Essential for Today’s Business
Digital marketing offers a wide range of benefits that other, more traditional marketing methods can’t compete with. Here are seven reasons why today’s businesses need to include digital marketing in their marketing strategies.
- It’s more affordable than traditional marketing
- It has a wider scope, which allows a business to acquire a global audience’s attention
- It can be hyper-targeted, so ads only reach the desired demographic
- Results are measurable, and changes can be implemented in real time
- It levels the playing field, so small businesses can compete with bigger brands
- It improves sales conversion rates and lead quality
- It allows businesses to engage instantly with their audiences at every stage
Challenges of Digital Marketing
Despite the benefits, there remain some challenges to digital marketing that businesses need to be aware of. One of the most common is ad blocker technology. Some Internet users use ad blockers, so they don’t have to see pop-ups or banner ads. Another common issue is paid premium services, in which the user can avoid seeing ads by paying the app or service a premium fee.
While these certainly are challenges for the digital marketer, the truth is that new technology and trends emerge so frequently that the tactics being employed by a digital marketer need to be continually evaluated and reevaluated for effectiveness anyway. In this world, what works well one day may not be as effective the next. The good thing is that having a strong foundation in digital marketing enables a marketer to make the changes in their strategy quickly and easily, so they can best optimize their results based on the current environment.
Differences Between B2C and B2B Digital Marketing
The same digital marketing tactics are effective for both B2C and B2B marketers, but how the tactics are used should differ depending on who your target customer is. Here’s why.
B2B clients take longer to make their purchasing decisions. They tend to do a lot of research before buying and as a result, their sales funnel is longer than a B2C customer, who tends to respond better to short-term offers.
B2C customers are more likely to buy based on their emotions and how attractive an offer is, whereas B2B transactions are based more on logic and evidence. Content created for B2C customers should inspire an emotional response and an urge to buy. Content created for B2B clients should be evidentiary in nature and sharable, especially since most B2B purchasing decisions involve more than one person’s input.
Of course, there are exceptions to these general rules. Regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, you need to look at your target audience and create well-informed online marketing campaigns that speak directly to them and their needs. Doing so ensures your digital marketing efforts are effective and you can capture the attention of the audience you’re trying to reach.
Want to learn more about how digital marketing can transform your business and increase your sales?
Contact Moore Tech Solutions today at 205-414-1902, or click here to schedule a free consultation.