This a guest post by Sarah Gotheridge. Enjoy 🙂
Despite the obvious popularity of the internet and the rising prominence of small devices like tablets and smartphones, some companies remain a bit apprehensive when it comes to taking on digital marketing in a big way. That’s because most companies are established in the ways of the 20th century, when things like print materials and billboards could effectively sway consumers to choose their product or service over the competition. It goes without saying, though, that the 20th century is over and times have changed.
Businesses that are looking to effectively reach out to new customers, and inspire existing ones to come back for more products or services, absolutely need to be using digital marketing to accomplish these goals. Digital marketing is more memorable, more personal, and actually more affordable, than the vast majority of “outbound” marketing techniques used by most businesses in an era before social media, mobile devices, and a world full of Wi-Fi.
To get a greater understanding of how this approach can change your business, ask a few quick questions:
When is the last time you remembered a billboard and used it to buy something new?
There’s no shortage of billboards along the world’s highways, even as marketing and advertisements move solidly into the online universe and away from offline posts. The problem, though, is that billboards have become an uninspired and static known quantity. Customers no longer pay them as much mind as they used to, even when they come in the form of an illuminated LCD screen full of animated messages.
So, ask yourself a question: When is the last time that a billboard captured your attention, drew you to a product, and inspired you to buy that product as soon as you got out of your car? If the answer is something like, “I don’t remember,” then your opinion aligns with the majority of the Internet-connected world.
Digital marketing is not a billboard. It does not need customers to come to the product. Instead, digital marketing brings customers in by going right to their screens. From smartphones and tablets to desktop and laptop computers, social media advertisements and other digital promotions reach customers where they spend most of their time. Those messages are transmitted by trusted sources of value, not cold and metallic billboard posts. Businesses who advertise online increase the popularity of their brand, their website, and their point of view, just by going digital.
When is the last time you trusted something or someone you had never heard of before?
Another common scenario in the offline world of marketing is that a product will be presented on the side of a bus, or a logo will be featured on someone’s clothing, as a way of inspiring new customers to check out the product. That worked in the past, but it doesn’t work in an era when consumers are skeptical of everything from telemarketers and spam emails to “junk” brands and high prices.
In the present economy, consumers need to know that they can trust a brand before they go ahead and spend their money on its products. That’s where digital marketing comes in. This new approach to marketing actually gets friends to recommend products to their loves ones, largely without thinking about it. Smart brands offer up their products on Facebook via the site’s pages, and they create Twitter accounts that reach out to new and existing customers. When their friends and family members like or tweet a brand, trust is communicated almost instantly.
In a pre-Internet world, the best endorsement a product could have, was “I’ve used that, and I enjoyed it.” Today, that has been shifted into a “like” on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, or a “plus one” on Google+. Consumers are spending an increasing amount of time online, and it’s time to start using their favorite websites to recommend new products and encourage their business.
When is the last time you weren’t excited to read a text message?
Digital marketing is more than just social media websites and online advertisements. It’s also increasingly a field that employs mobile devices and smartphones to get customers to buy new products and return to their favorite brands. One such method of doing this is by sending promotional text messages to the phones of a brand’s most enthusiastic customers. Studies have shown that consumers like to receive text messages, and they consider texts to be a trusted form of communication.
Digital marketing via text message takes a brand into consumer’s hands effortlessly and for very little cost. Consumers are excited to read the message, and they trust what it has to say. The company benefits by looking forward thinking and connected, as well as trustworthy, and sales increase from that point.
Some Surprising Answers to Very Common Questions
The marketing world is one that seems to change very slowly, day-by-day, but is all of a sudden very different than it used to be. Businesses that are serious about competing in the information age need to drop the billboards and pick up the smartphones. They need to focus less on communicating via transit advertisements and more on communicating via social networks that people read while they’re taking transit.
With a forward-thinking approach to digital promotion and marketing, businesses of all kinds can smoothly transition into a world dominated by things like social media, text messages, and 10-inch tablets in every set of hands.
Sarah represents a site called Monetise.co.uk. She enjoys writing about online marketing and likes to give advice for new businesses. Feel free to visit her site for more information on a lead generation company.