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Why is digital marketing important for business?

Explore the importance of digital marketing for your business. Learn how to attract new customers, engage your audience and build a strong brand online.

Woman who owned her business gets digital marketing tips

Marketing has always been about utilising tools to connect with your audience at the right place and time. While traditional marketing methods are still relevant in our modern age, the sheer amount of time we spend and rely on the internet has meant that digital marketing has boomed.

The global digital advertising and marketing market is estimated to reach $786.2 billion by 2026, which indicates why digital marketing is so important for businesses of all sizes. 

Digital marketing is very much the norm for successful businesses these days, and if you don’t have an adequate digital marketing strategy, then your company is unlikely to grow.

In this article, we will look at why digital marketing is important, what it means for businesses and the different types of marketing tools available to you. If you want to understand how digital marketing can lead to improvements in your sales and business growth, then you’ve come to the right place.

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What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves using online channels to sell or promote a product or service. These channels can come in many forms, from social media and content marketing to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 

In terms of your business, digital marketing allows you to connect with prospective and existing customers, which is vital for business and brand awareness. 

Digital marketing is important because it allows you to get creative and stand out from your competitors in congested markets. Not only is it essential for businesses, but customers also now heavily rely on it as a way of finding out about companies. 

A digital marketing strategy’s ultimate aim is to deliver campaigns that support the company’s wider goals and ambitions, using the numerous digital tactics and channels you have at your disposal.

What are the different types of digital marketing?

Before we get into why digital marketing is important for business, you need to know about the different types of digital marketing you can use. 

1. SEO 

In simple terms, Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is all about using keywords on a website in order to improve its ranking on search engines and increase traffic. The higher placed your website is on Google’s search results, the better your brand’s chances of being recognised. 

As well as keywords, good SEO practice relies on internal linking, authoritative content, good website navigation, and other important factors.

2. Content 

Content marketing focuses on providing additional value to customers through expert-driven articles, blogs, videos, and other resources like whitepapers. 

The aim of content marketing is to create and promote content that generates brand awareness, lead generation, and traffic growth. Ultimately, you must create engaging, informative content that hooks the customer and attracts them to your brand.

3. Social media

Fast becoming one of the most important digital marketing tools for a business, social media is a great way of promoting your brand and expanding your reach. It allows you to communicate with customers in an engaging way and helps to make them feel part of the brand. 

Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, you need to consider which platform works the best for your business and which channel is used the most by your target audience. 

Social media helps you reach your customers organically but also gives you the option to boost posts and promote content through paid advertising

This allows your content to reach a much wider audience, increases the level of engagement on your posts and gives you the opportunity to specifically target individual interests and demographics. 

4. PPC 

PPC helps to drive traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your advert gets clicked. Types of PPC include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and sponsored LinkedIn content. 

While it may not be as organic as other types of digital marketing, it’s still a key component of any successful digital marketing strategy.

5. Email 

While it may be seen by many marketers as a bit old school, email marketing is still an essential digital marketing tool. It allows you to send personalised emails to your customers and helps you to reach all age demographics within your target audience. 

Email marketing can be used to promote content, discounts, events, news, and competitions. Plus, it’s a great way of redirecting customers to your website.

6. Influencer

Influencer marketing is a proven way of promoting your brand using an engaging and modern approach. It allows businesses to collaborate with individuals who have a big online presence, which will ultimately help a brand’s exposure. 

Influencer marketing comes in many different forms, but usually, an influencer will be asked to publish social media content that promotes the brand. It goes without saying, but it’s essential that the influencer is well-known among your target audience and a good face for your business.

Why digital marketing is important for business

Why is digital marketing important? Well, there are a whole host of reasons that we will explore in this section, but in simple terms, it allows you to reach a larger audience and boost brand awareness. 

All of the reasons we list here, if applied correctly, should help you to attract customers new and old and drive future sales.

Good for brand growth and awareness

Digital marketing levels the playing field and allows you to compete with bigger brands in your sector that otherwise wouldn’t be achievable. 

The internet is home to a huge source of potential customers, so by marketing your brand using the above techniques we discussed, you’re able to target a lot more people than you would normally.

Using these different digital marketing channels, your brand will grow and become more widely recognised, helping to raise awareness about what you do and the products or services you sell.

Targets online customers

As of January 2023, there were 5.16 billion internet users worldwide, which means there are quite literally billions of people out there that may be interested in your brand. 

Your customers are online waiting to discover your brand and a good digital marketing strategy will be able to tap into this potential. The more exposure your brand receives, the more likely you’ll attract new customers.

The majority of people now use the internet to find out about businesses, so you’d be crazy to not have an online presence and be involved in the conversation. If people can’t find your business online, then the chances are that they’ll choose a competitor and you’ll lose a potential customer.

Affordable

Digital marketing is a lot more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, which is ideal for businesses that have limited funds and resources. You also have complete control over how you spend your money, targeting certain marketing streams depending on your needs. For example, using Google Ads or commissioning some time with a videographer. 

It also allows you to be flexible with your money, pivoting to different marketing strategies when required. This reduces the risk of wasting precious finances and ensures money gets allocated effectively.

Measurable

Another great reason why digital marketing is important and superior to traditional marketing tools is that it’s measurable. With digital marketing, you’ll have access to a huge source of data and metrics, whether that’s impressions, views, time on a page, click rate, and so on. This means you can see accurate data in real-time.

This is invaluable when it comes to evaluating how well your brand’s digital marketing strategy is performing and allows you to reallocate time and money to other areas if a particular campaign is underperforming. 

Not only will you be able to learn from your mistakes, but you’ll also be able to see how and why a campaign has been successful – using this knowledge to help move the business forward in the future.

Faster and more efficient 

Implementing digital marketing strategies can also be a lot quicker and more efficient, as you’ll be able to start the process immediately. 

Even if money or resources are a little tight, there are still things you can do to get the ball rolling and help improve your brand’s online presence, such as increasing social media post frequency and implementing some basic SEO on your website.

Some of the traditional marketing techniques can also be incredibly time-consuming, whereas digital marketing helps to free up precious time and reallocate it accordingly.

Good return on investment

Digital marketing allows you to track day-to-day campaign performance, ensuring you know what channels are performing and which are struggling. This helps you to optimise campaign budgets for high return on investment (ROI). 

It is widely recognised that businesses that invest in online advertisements and marketing have a better ROI. Here are some statistics to support this from Website Builder Expert:

  • Email marketing has the best average ROI at 3,600%
  • SEO marketing has an average ROI ratio of 22:1, equating to 2,200%
  • Marketers who regularly calculate their ROI are 1.6 times more likely to secure budget increases for their marketing activities.

Put simply, the more customers that view your brand online, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be. Digital marketing is all about trying to convert your leads into customers.

Reaches out to mobile users

There are approximately 6.84 billion smartphones in the world, with 4.76 billion people using social media globally. A well-crafted digital marketing strategy is your best chance of reaching this massive audience and failure to do so will mean you’re missing out on a huge amount of customer potential.

As a society, we are glued to our mobile phones, relying on them to communicate, shop, manage finances, and more importantly, search the internet for brands that resonate with us. You need to ensure your website is compatible with mobiles and the user journey is well-suited for smartphone users. 

Allows you to stand out from your competitors 

Trust us when we say that your competitors are already using effective digital marketing tools to further their business. So, if you’re not doing it yet, then it’s essential that you make a start now. 

There are countless reasons why digital marketing is important for businesses, but staying ahead of the competition is certainly one of the best.

It’s always work checking in with your competitors to see what they are doing and assessing how you can do things better. Ultimately, you want to have a better digital marketing strategy that drives more traffic to your brand and attracts a larger share of customers.

Digital marketing for business: next steps

Now you know why digital marketing is important for business, it’s time to further your learning and start to put some of this newfound knowledge into practice. 

FutureLearn offers a variety of digital marketing courses for people of all levels and businesses of varying sizes, so you can find a learning solution that meets your needs.

If you want digital marketing for business advice and guidance, then we will ensure you feel empowered to help grow your business and utilise the various types of online marketing tools we have discussed in this article. 

Below, you can find some courses that will help you on your journey to successfully marketing your business digitally.

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