It’s the fastest growing marketing channel with no signs of slowing down. More advertising dollars are spent on Digital Marketing now than last year. And the year before that. In fact, most companies spent more on digital marketing in 2017 than they did in 2016, and plan to increase spending in 2019. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—marketing has always been about three things: location, location, location. And today, your target market is largely online. Marketers are focusing more and more resources on meeting people there, and it’s working out well for them and their customers.
The digital marketplace has put a lot of buying power back into the hands of buyers and consumers, forcing many marketers to get more creative, more genuine, and more helpful. Consumers today jump from channel to channel, seamlessly throughout the day and increasingly those channels are digital. Today, the average consumer does research on products, solutions, and companies before making a purchase. Digital technology is giving marketers a breadth of new tools, allowing them to be more focused and strategic. Digital advertising simply makes sense if you want to get your message, campaign, or promotion in front of your audience.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of Digital Marketing: The Superman of All Marketing Efforts:
1. Digital Advertising is Targeted
What if each ad you create is always only seen by qualified prospects and target audience members? Sterling Cooper would have made you a partner in no time with that kind of guarantee, but today this is becoming the norm.
Traditional advertising is hit-or-miss, but digital platforms are changing the game. SEO and PPC can put your brand name and your content marketing in front of customers at every stage of the buying cycle. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn offer flexible ad options that allow you to segment by geographic location, demographics, interests, and more.
Finally, since many forms of digital advertising are “opt-in”—from customers who follow your blog and social media accounts, to those who receive your emails—you know your outreach is going to people who want your information.
2. Digital Advertising Provides Flexibility Across Channels
The keyword for success in digital advertising is “multi-channel.” With digital advertising, a piece of content can be shared across a variety of platforms, which means that you are no longer confined to one page, 30 seconds, or whatever format your traditional ad was designed for.
Cisco’s new campaign is a great example of how to capitalize on multiple platforms. The company is distilling complex tech topics into six-second videos on the social network Vine, and then augmenting that snippet with corresponding content, such as links to articles about security and analytics. This multi-platform strategy is allowing their customers to consume content the way they want to—as a quick snack or a full meal.
This can work for any marketer. Take a short Vine video and develop it into a vlog to offer more in-depth information. Reimagine long-form content by transforming key data points or statistics into an infographic or a SlideShare presentation. Repurposing existing content is a win for both your strategy and your budget.
3. Digital Advertising Invites Mobile Engagement
Digital and mobile marketing go hand-in-hand. Digital advertising allows you to reach your audience on the go, wherever they are, whenever they are online. Especially now with mobile phone usage (compared to desktops and laptops) are more popular among the Gen Z and Millennial demographic, it’s the place they are most likely to see relevant ads. Even better, nearly half of all typical smartphone users have taken action based on seeing relevant ads on their mobile phones.
With responsive sites and apps, the best part is that this does not mean you need yet another unique campaign. With your content automatically optimizes for whatever device it is viewed on, you can start maximizing mobile engagement just by making sure that your emails, landing pages, and content pieces translate smoothly from desktop to smartphone.
4. Digital Advertising is Faster to Market
Market conditions and trends change quickly, and that requires nimble marketing. Lead times for traditional advertising methods are so 1990’s. Between the time it takes to create an ad, to the long lead times required to buy time or space, your message and your budget suffer from being locked into a design that was created months before it will see the light of day.
Digital campaigns can be executed much more quickly, and they can be modified on the fly if needed. A prime example is when a new ad campaign comes out with a beloved spokesman, and then a news story comes out to discredit that spokesman… how fast can a company distance themselves from the scandal? Whether you’re trying to capitalize on the news or distance yourself from it, big brands are wise to retain as much pivot power as possible.
This ability to modify also comes in handy when considering fluctuating budgets. Companies that have an unexpectedly low quarter can cut back without incurring cancellation fees, and those with an unexpected windfall can bump up their buying power with ease.
5. Digital Advertising is Easily Measurable
Every department needs to show how it is adding value, and with a digital campaign the metrics are built right in. You know exactly who clicked on your content, opened it, referred it, shared it, etc. You also can trace the source of your traffic from entry to the shopping cart and eventual purchase. This will help you determine which platforms and strategies yield the best results, and which deserve more investment.
The key reason for tracking metrics is to speak the same language that your CEO and your CFO do. While soft metrics like brand awareness, impressions, organic search rankings, and reach are important, their real value lies in how they can be quantifiably connected to hard metrics like pipeline, revenue, and profit. Because digital advertising is quick to measure—often with real-time results and metrics—marketers may find that it helps them make their campaigns more cost effective. It’s easy to quickly adjust your program to ensure that your budget is spent well and offers a strong ROI.
6. Digital Advertising Maintains Top-of-Mind Awareness
Does your customer like that sweater? Maybe she does, but maybe not enough to buy it. A recent study revealed that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is over 65%. And that’s where digital advertising has a major advantage. While it would be creepy and desperate to waylay that customer outside your store in the mall and beg her to come back to make a purchase, with digital advertising you can reach out to her again without seeming like a stalker.
Through remarketing and retargeting, you can stay in front of her to suggest one more time that she purchase that sweater. Retargeting means that the sweater will up in her Facebook sidebar the next time she logs in or appears in an ad spot on her favorite blog that uses Google ads. With remarketing, you can ping her again with an email to remind her of that lonely shopping cart. In fact, abandoned shopping carts can be recoverable by retailers who use marketing automation software to offer a sweet deal, like a discount or free shipping. Digital advertising can keep that sale from slipping away.
7. Digital Advertising Can Go Viral
With a strong digital advertising component, you, too, could become the next viral sensation.
There’s no magic formula for how or why something goes viral, but, in general, the content should speak to our emotions. When Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” featured real women contemplating themselves through another’s eyes, people chose to share it on social media sites, garnering Dove with more than 114 million views the first month alone. When you consider that 114 million is about the same number who see the average Super Bowl commercial (according to NBC Sports), the power of viral content becomes obvious. Without the millions spent for 30 second Super Bowl commercial.
Content that makes people laugh or feel good about themselves is very shareable. Beyond that, it’s hard to predict what will make something take off, but once it does it can take on a life of its own.
Take a chance on Digital Marketing and you won’t be taking a gamble at all. Digital Marketing is here to stay and growing every day. So it’s easy to see why big brands continue to utilize all forms of digital advertising platforms as an integral part of their marketing plan. But it isn’t just for big brands. Jump onboard and start implementing these tried-and-true strategies for you, too.