- Consumers have gone digital. They browse, research, shop, work, and share content online.
- Digital marketing is important because it connects brands with consumers when they’re most receptive.
- Digital marketing strategies increase awareness, leads, and revenue in a scalable yet cost-effective way.
Technology changed the way consumers discover, evaluate, and purchase products and services, which has amplified the importance of digital marketing.
Over the last 30 years, marketing has become much less Don Draper and much more Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Rihanna. Online ads are the new billboards, podcasts are the new radio, and everything is powered by AI.
We live, work, connect, relax, learn, and buy online.
Effective digital marketing is now non-negotiable for brands that want to be where their customers are.
Read on to learn about the importance of digital marketing strategies and how they can lead to the ultimate success of your brand.
1. Increased brand awareness
To acquire new customers, it‘s essential to first expand your reach and increase brand awareness. A robust digital marketing strategy helps you reach a larger audience more quickly and efficiently than traditional marketing methods. You can use multiple digital marketing channels to expand your brand’s online presence, including:
- Search engines
- Influencer marketing
- Social media marketing
- Programmatic advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
Perhaps most importantly, digital marketing reduces overall marketing costs and strengthens your brand awareness.
If your primary marketing strategy is TV and print advertising, the only way to increase awareness is to increase your ad spend.
However, you can reach new audiences with multiple free or low-cost channels if you use digital marketing. You can also run A/B tests to determine which channels are most effective. After you determine the channels with the highest return on investment (ROI), you can allocate a greater share of your budget accordingly.
2. Lower Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
A crucial benefit of digital marketing is that it allows you to acquire new customers at a lower cost than traditional marketing. Customer acquisition cost (CAC) represents the total amount of money your business spends on average to acquire a new customer.
Lower CAC translates into a higher profit margin and reduced marketing costs. This, in turn, generates greater ROI for your marketing activities.
Online marketing lowers acquisition costs in the following ways, enabling you to:
- Target the most relevant audiences
- Craft messaging that resonates effectively
- Generate high-quality leads
- Improve website conversion rates
- Activate retargeting campaigns
- Track and optimize campaigns in real time
- Automate repetitive marketing tasks
Bottom line: a well-executed digital marketing strategy helps you acquire customers while lowering your overall acquisition costs.
3. Automate marketing activities
Another reason digital marketing is important is that it allows you to automate many of your marketing activities. This helps you execute your marketing campaigns faster. It also enables you to increase marketing efficiencies and save on effort, resources, and costs. All this contributes to the lower CAC described above.
Marketing automation enables you to nurture more leads consistently. At the same time, it helps you free up resources so you can spend time on marketing efforts most likely to produce conversions, sales, and repeat purchases. Overall, marketing automation is a building block for scaling your marketing.
Some ways you can automate your digital marketing activities include:
- Schedule your social media posts in advance
- Automate the delivery of email sequences
- Salvage abandoned shopping carts
- Create workflows to automate lead scoring, lead nurturing, customer follow-up, etc.
4. Easy personalization and customization
Digital marketing allows you to personalize and customize your marketing campaigns to target specific audience segments as well as individual customers. Rather than targeting broad, vague, generic audiences, you can focus your marketing efforts on the demographics and groups most interested in your messaging.
Use customer data to segment audiences and create specific content for each group. In addition to your own data, you can also leverage third-party data or a hybrid of the two.
After you gather the data, create granular audiences and build customized marketing campaigns for each audience. Then, personalize your campaigns further based on each individual’s expressed interests or online behavior. As a result, each customer feels like they receive a tailored and relevant message.
All this customization and personalization typically leads to higher conversion rates.
For example, a beauty brand that serves multiple audiences could use digital marketing to create separate email and content marketing campaigns for each target audience.
One campaign might focus on skincare products for women in their 20s. Another may focus on makeup products for women in their 30s.
Each segment of the audience receives digital media that is relevant to them, leading to increased interest, engagement, conversions, and sales.
5. Improved lead generation
Digital marketing offers an important advantage when it comes to lead generation. Going digital makes it easier for potential customers to find your brand, learn about your products or services, and ultimately become a lead in your pipeline.
For example, through effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, you can significantly increase the odds that your website appears near the top of the SERPs for relevant keywords. This cost-effectively puts your brand in front of customers who are actively searching for what you offer — increasing the likelihood that they will become a lead.
53% of US buyers conduct research in a search engine before deciding whether to make a purchase.Google
The higher your website pages appear in relevant searches, the greater the odds your visitors will convert to leads and ultimately customers.
Digital marketing campaigns are also an excellent way to generate leads by ensuring the right people see your message at the right time. You can use multiple digital marketing channels to accomplish this, including SEO, content marketing, digital ads, email marketing, and more.
6. Improved brand reputation
Few things are more important than your brand’s reputation. Approximately 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand with positive online reviews. Meanwhile, 82% confirm they’re less likely to purchase from an organization with negative reviews.
In today’s digital-first environment, a few bad reviews or some negative press can cost a brand millions in sales. For example, 85% of customers treat online the same way they treat word-of-mouth recommendations.
91% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a brand with positive online reviews.brightlocal
85% of customers treat online reviews the same way they treat personal recommendations.brightlocal
82% of consumers say they’re less likely to purchase from an organization with negative reviews.brightlocal
A bad online reputation is difficult to overcome. In 2017, a video of a passenger being violently and forcibly taken off a United Airlines flight was posted to social media. This essentially broke the internet, quickly getting over 100 million views. The internet was then flooded with memes and dark humor, attacking the airline. The fallout caused United Airlines to lose over one billion dollars in market value.
One of the key benefits of digital marketing is that it can be used to positively impact your brand’s reputation. For example, effective SEO enables you to control the front page of Google for critical brand keywords, balancing any negativity that may be present online.
Marketing tools that enable social media monitoring allow you to track mentions of your brand or keywords. You can then quickly respond to any negative mentions before anything gets out of hand.
You can also use digital assets and content marketing to provide your audience with many positive online experiences across channels. Then, guide customers to leave positive online reviews.
7. Target the entire marketing funnel
With digital marketing, you can target every stage of the marketing funnel (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) far more easily than with offline marketing.
For top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), run campaigns that capture the interest of specific audiences. Your market mix could include SEO, digital PR, and content marketing.
If your goal is to nurture interested prospects to until they’re ready to buy from you, a middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) campaign can help you do just that. Include webinars, white papers, email marketing, and lead nurturing workflows as well as retargeting ad campaigns in your MOFU mix.
And if you want to increase conversion rates, customer loyalty, and repeat purchases, bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) marketing can help there. Your BOFU market mix might include online calculators, ads, coupons, loyalty programs, upsells, cross-sells, and post-purchase emails.
8. Reach customers who are ready to act
Digital marketing puts you in a position to reach customers who are ready to act. Depending on where they are in the customer journey, they might want to sign up for a free trial or request more information. Or, perhaps they already purchased and might want to refer a friend in exchange for a discount.
No matter what stage they are in, online marketing convinces potential customers to take the actions you want.
To reach customers who are ready to buy, you can:
- Target BOFU keywords
- Offer free trials or discounts
- Offer product demos or consultations
- Include calls-to-action (CTAs) in your email marketing
- Use social media ads to target lookalike audiences
To reach customers who are looking for more information, you can:
- Answer common questions in blog posts or on social media
- Create helpful guides, e-books, webinars, or other resources
- Produce helpful videos
- Use SEO to target TOFU and MOFU keywords
With traditional marketing, there is often a significant gap between the time a customer sees your message and when they act. Digital marketing uniquely allows you to reach customers who are ready to act now, in real time.
Digital marketing campaigns improve lead generation by ensuring the right message is seen by the right people at the right time.
9. Sophisticated tracking and measurement
To achieve positive marketing ROI, establish key metrics and track performance. This allows you to determine which campaigns and channels are most effective so you can improve your overall marketing plan.
Unlike traditional advertising (radio, print ads, billboards, etc.), digital marketing allows you to track every single aspect of your marketing.
For example, you can see how many internet users saw or clicked on a digital ad. You can identify which types of digital marketing convert best, and whether your audience favors smartphones or desktop computers. With all this data, calculate the ROI of different channels and identify which campaigns are the highest performing.
With digital marketing, you’re able to adjust your campaigns in real time to improve results. If a particular ad performs poorly, then run an a/b test with alternate versions. Or if a landing page doesn’t convert well, then test different versions of the page until you find one that resonates with visitors.
There are countless tools to track and measure user behavior, engagement, and conversion pathways. For example, Google Analytics can assign dollar values to visitors based on ecommerce sales figures. And behavioral analysis software like Mouseflow can reveal granular details about on-page engagement or conversion funnels.
10. Adapt to changing customer behavior
Customer behavior is always changing, and that means your marketing strategies should evolve as well. If you don’t keep up with consumer preferences, then your marketing activities could become outdated and ineffective.
Digital marketing lets you adapt to these changes with behavioral marketing strategies.
For example, with the pandemic, many consumers shifted their buying behavior to digital-first. This meant marketers in certain product categories needed to shift budgets away from offline marketing and towards digital marketing.
Or you may notice a particular channel, like PPC advertising, is becoming less effective. With online marketing, you can quickly adjust your strategy and start investing more in content marketing, for example.
11. Scale your marketing
One significant benefit of digital marketing is that it evens the playing field and allows you to scale your efforts as you grow. In fact, even savvy small business owners and startups can find the means to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon with the right digital marketing plan in place.
On the other hand, traditional marketing such as TV, radio, or print ads can be difficult and expensive to scale. Furthermore, if you operate multiple brick-and-mortar locations, there’s simply a physical obstacle to scaling quickly.
With digital marketing, though, you can expand your marketing efforts in a much more seamless and cost-effective way.
For example, you can create powerful SEO strategies to rank in new areas, or for new keywords, and launch ads on social media platforms to target previously unreached audiences.
Or, atomize your content for greater audience reach and double down on your email marketing efforts. You can also use online marketing to break into new geographical markets and attract new customers from different parts of the world.
Because a significant portion of digital marketing can be automated, you can scale with less time and effort than you would otherwise. All this underlines the importance of digital marketing in today’s world and enables you to achieve more with lower CAC. Quite a powerful combination for your brand!
Digital marketing is important because it allows brands to target their audience throughout the entire funnel, automate marketing activities, and measure absolutely everything.
The top benefits of digital marketing are measurement, personalization, automation, and targeting.