In my last post I addressed the overall definition of digital marketing and some of the ways companies use it to promote their brand and communicate with other businesses. This time, I’ll drill down into the “why” — the big reasons for making digital marketing an integral part of your brand and marketing strategy as a whole.
Reach Your Target Audience
Digital access to information online is everywhere. People use their laptops, smart phones, smart watches, tablets and even their televisions to connect to the world and find all kinds of information. It’s smart planning to include specific digital marketing efforts that will reach your intended customers through a variety of platforms and technologies.
In order to reach your target audience, you first have to know exactly who that is. First do some basic research to determine:
- Demographics (qualities of your desired customers, such as location, type of business, income, etc.)
- Likes, wants and needs (what products and/or services they are likely to purchase)
- How they gather information (search engines, websites, word of mouth, social media)
Did You Know? 57% of senior executives use mobile devices to conduct deeper research, and one-third reference information from their smart phones during decision-making.
Once you’ve determined who it is you want to reach, you can then create a marketing plan that is tailored to reach that particular audience through their preferred methods of accessing information.
Harness the Power of Data
There’s no denying that data play a very important role in marketing. A recent study conducted by Media Math found that companies around the globe are significantly increasing their spending on data-driven marketing in order to make their communications more relevant to customers.
Why? Because data give you insight into what’s working for you and what’s not when it comes to reaching the people who buy your goods and services.
Marketing analytics are measurements based on data collected from consumers. These measurements can be gleaned from a variety of digital resources, such as traffic on your website and clicks on various links and tabs there or Facebook likes or re-tweets on Twitter. For these analytics to have meaning, though, it’s important to track your data so that you can compare measurements over time, giving you a bigger picture of customer trends and allowing you to make adjustments in your marketing plans.
Word of caution: too much data is, well, too much. There is only so much data that can be truly useful, so make sure that your IT and social media folks are putting analytics in place that will gather and measure the kind of information that will be helpful to you in defining consumer needs and trends.
Be the “Thought Leader”
Digital marketing allows you to position yourself as the expert, the trusted resource in your field. In other words, you can leverage your digital resources to share your knowledge and information, effectively making you a “thought leader” in your field.
And nowhere does this work as well as on your website and social media. You could, say, start a blog that shares timely information about your field. For example, a power company might regularly blog about topics like its efforts toward recyclable and renewable energy resources. Or a medical practice could promote community health by publishing wellness tips and notices about events like health fairs on its Facebook page. A financial services company might form a discussion group on LinkedIn, where interested parties could ask questions and receive information about investing.
The possibilities for creating value for your brand through digital marketing are endless.The possibilities for creating value for your brand through digital marketing are endless. Click To Tweet
Cast a Wide Net
Your website is a great tool for telling the world about your company. But what if some of your target audience doesn’t find your website? Digital marketing opens up a whole host of new avenues for reaching the businesses and individuals you desire most.
So, maybe not every person you want to reach is using Facebook, but you can bet a lot of them are. Same for LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Many of your customers are searching for information and how-to videos on YouTube. Email marketing, including e-newsletters, is another avenue for telling your company’s story to current and potential customers.
As executives, you know that to stay ahead of the competition, you must think one step ahead. Digital marketing offers you the opportunity to be different, think big, and go beyond your website.