Why should businesses increase their investment in digital marketing? The answer is not unlike the reply the notorious Willie Sutton allegedly gave when asked why he robbed banks: “That’s where the money is.” Similarly, businesses increasingly understand that the digital world is the most effective way to reach the most customers.
“That’s where people spend their time,” said Jeremy Greenberg founder of web design and digital marketing agency 97 Switch“ Even walking down the street, people aren’t looking at billboards, or checking newspapers – they’re staring at their phones,” said Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism a digital marketing agency in New Orleans. “The first step of marketing is being where your customer is, and there’s no better way to do that than using a variety of digital marketing strategies.”
Around two-fifths of these businesses – 41 percent – are already investing more than $500,000 in digital marketing every year.
1. Businesses Value Social Media
The digital marketing channel that is expected to see the largest growth is social media marketing. Nearly two-thirds of businesses (64 percent) plan to spend more money on social media in the coming year, according to the survey.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter “can be used to build a community of engaged users,” said Aylin Cook, head of content marketing at digital marketing agency Single Grain
Clothing retailers, for example, can encourage customers to post photographs of themselves on Facebook or Instagram wearing items they purchased. Pink Lily Boutique, a women’s fashion retailer, built a 250,000-person Instagram following by offering photo contests and gift card giveaways, featuring customers’ photos on their site and regularly seeking feedback from followers.
2. Businesses Will Invest More in Websites
Businesses see investment in websites as the second-highest priority for their digital marketing, with 55 percent expecting to spend more money in that area.
“Websites are still the mainstay of having a digital presence and seen as essential in promoting your business online,” said Zaiger.
Even smaller companies that might have felt they could not afford a fancy website in the past can now have one due to cheap options available in the market
3. Email Marketing Is Also Important to Businesses
Reports of the death of email marketing have been greatly exaggerated.
“Love it or hate it, email marketing is the cockroach of the digital marketing world,” said Zaiger. “It’ll survive long past [when] every other strategy is over and done with.”
Though 15 percent of businesses in the survey expect to reduce the amount of money they spend on email marketing in the coming year, another 43 percent plan to increase their spending.
“I think one reason is that email still gets results,” said Jon Borg-Breen, co-founder and head of sales at B2B lead generation agency Symbiont Group. “It’s been around forever. . .. Even if your inbox is flooded with a ton of other information, people still love that approach.”
A survey by the Direct Marketing Association in June 2016 found that email marketing had a median return on investment of 122 percent, four times higher than other channels studied, including social media, direct mail and paid search.
Email marketing and websites may seem old school compared to social media platforms, but their effectiveness remains formidable.
“Websites and email marketing are the highest-impact channels for the resources invested,” said Cook.
4. Telling a Story
A common thread links social media, websites and email marketing – the three digital marketing channels where businesses direct the most investment.
“Those three avenues are where people are able to tell their story,” Greenberg said. “The biggest value to digital marketers today is highlighting what the company is all about. Other platforms are not able to fully grasp that image.”
Social media works well with websites. A well-crafted social media campaign on Twitter or Instagram engages potential customers and creates a dialogue that can drive traffic to a company’s website. Companies can follow up on email with addresses collected from visitors.
5. Businesses Will Invest Less in Display/Banner and Paid Search Advertisements
By contrast, businesses expect to reduce their investment in display/banner advertisements and paid search advertisements in 2019, with planned reductions of 19 percent for the former and 18 percent for the latter, according to survey respondents.
These channels can be expensive and difficult to control, and the results are difficult to track.
“You don’t always actually know where they’re going to be placed because they’re going all over the place,” Greenberg said. “If you’re Coca-Cola, you want to really control the whole experience. If you’re Apple, you want to control the whole experience to tell your story. If you want to control the whole narrative, it’s hard being on other channels like online ads.”
But Greenberg cautioned that companies should not automatically assume that online advertisements are not worthwhile. On popular websites such as Amazon, ads can reach an enormous audience of potential customers.
6. Outside Help for Digital Marketing
Looking for new ideas and perspectives in their digital marketing efforts, many companies expect to rely more on outsourcing in the coming year. Most companies – 69 percent – presently use in-house staff to meet at least some of their needs, while 50 percent use a digital marketing agency and 32 percent use freelancers or consultants.
But nearly one-third of businesses (32 percent) that do not currently use a digital marketing agency and/or a freelancer/consultant plan to outsource at least a portion of their digital marketing work in the next year.
“I think you get an outside perspective,” Borg-Breen said. “You’re typically working with people who have a mix of experiences across the spectrum of companies that maybe are competitors or even different industries. That input is super important since digital marketing is still maturing over time.”
7. The Internet Will Continue To Expand
The average spends more than 6 hours a day on the internet, and this is going to increase year after year. The internet is an extraordinary platform to spread information.
Today, it overshadows any other media and we’re expecting its reach to keep on growing exponentially Traditional marketing hopes to generate reach and visibility, but the internet does it better. It’s more persuasive and much more effective.
It gives the client total control over their experience.
Prospects can assess a product, review its specifications and others’ opinions on that product. One thing is clear: the internet is like nothing else if someone wants to search for information on your product or service.
8. A Much More Precise Audience
Traditional marketing media has a very limited impact on consumers.
This is because marketers using traditional means can’t segment audiences nearly as effectively as digital marketers can.
There are multiple digital tools you can use to find out who your ideal target audience is so you can focus on them and get great results.
These tools analyze diverse factors— geographic location, demographics, interests, etc., so you can finally address the audience you’re interested in.
8. Its Reach Is Practically Unlimited
Not long ago, the distance and the size of audiences posed a real problem when it came to advertising.
Geographic location was one of the greatest barriers to making the sale for SMBs, and it was very difficult to get access to audiences that weren’t local or national.
But the internet is available in most parts of the world, so you don’t need to worry about reach with digital marketing.
No wonder digital strategies are now the preferred advertising method for many businesses.
“Viralization” is one of the most effective ways to get your brand out there.
Of course, to get to that point, a lot of hard work is needed (and a bit of luck as well).
You need to update your content constantly, post useful and relevant information, and make the experience worthwhile for the user.
If you manage to capture a customer’s attention and he or she promotes your work, you broaden your reach and impact a lot more prospects, with minimum effort.
9. It will allow you to boost your creativity
This is one of the main advantages of digital marketing.
With all the available options, you can turn your most ambitious projects into a reality.
You will develop concepts and ideas like never before.
You don’t longer have to follow boring and monotonous rules to obtain great results.
Now, you can use the most innovative formats to better impact your audience, making you more memorable and strengthening your brand identity.
By making the most out of each of the digital platforms available today, you’re sure to get better results.
In addition to this, the variety of formats supported in the online world is enormous, so there really need be no limit to your creativity!
10. Measuring Your Digital Marketing Results Is Much Easier
Following up your advertising or digital marketing actions is incredibly simple thanks to the precise digital tools that exist today.
All your digital strategies can be monitored with precision in real time.
These digital tools use digital marketing metrics to help you judge how effective your strategy is and tell you whether you’re on your way to achieving your projected ROI.
There are innovative tools which uses AI to automate the optimization of all your digital campaigns. These audience management tools apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to digital advertising and finds the best audience or demographic group for an ad, and they currently achieve an average of +83% more conversions than any other human,
11. Its Speed Is Unbeatable
The speed offered by digital media is unrivaled.
Its coverage is instantaneous. There are no barriers. Negotiations happen much faster.
You’ll notice results right away, thanks to direct and immediate communication with clients and partners.
Everything also happens in the same place. Your brand, the consumer and the media you advertise on are all online. And you can analyze the whole process and all of them simultaneously.
12. 80% of today’s video consumption is video-based. Print media, while still relevant, is a less potent force than it once was. Today’s hunger for visual content is inherently digital and to connect with your target audience you have to provide engaging marketing materials that are video-based. Digital channels and touchpoints are the best way to deliver such communications.
13. 61% of smartphone users admit to regularly sleeping with their smartphone under their pillow or next to their bed. A staggering insight that is a testament to today’s mobile-centric mindset. By investing in your mobile offerings, from applications to mobile-optimized landing pages and social media content, you stand to accelerate your business success in an increasingly digital age.
14. 76% of companies feel their relationship with technology and digital transformation is on the whole, average or above average. The vast majority of companies across sectors are on the path to digital transformation. If you fail to embrace the digital age and all it has to offer, you could fall behind the pack and risk becoming obsolete in the long run.
15. Around 70% of companies feel their CEOs’ practical understanding of emerging digital technologies to be solid or above average. If you feel that your understanding of digital methodologies and technologies in the digital age is lacking, now is the time to upskill.
2020 will be a digital year outperforming the outgoing 2019, many firms will leverage the platforms for doubled successes stories but for a firm to get results in the coming year; initiatives must start now, I mean the last three months of 2019.
If you are one of those guys that need to start initiatives at the beginning of 2020, I warn you as digital marketing though is the most effective in delivering results it takes time to materialize going up to six month time which will be the half of 2020 already
Do not wait for the failure, choose to start now and see the magic
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WELCOME TO TANZANIA DIGITAL CARE
William Luguga, CEO