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As the Internet becomes entwined with everything we do, the importance of digital marketing is becoming crystal clear. Let’s continue from where we stopped at why your business needs digital marketing to grow and thrive.

6. Easy to Scale & Adapt: As with any marketing, there’s initial investment required to get traffic flowing. But the importance of digital marketing to small businesses becomes very clear when you see how easy it is to scale and adapt as your business grows. For example, with social media campaigns, display ads and search ads you can choose a daily budget. You know exactly how much that campaign will cost you. Now you begin to see amazing results. You don’t have to go in and renegotiate an ad spot to keep the ad running. Your ad continues uninterrupted. As you continue to convert that traffic, you just increase your daily spend and revenues with it. If you got a massive order in from a customer and need to scale back to avoid getting backlogged, it’s just as easy to do that. If something isn’t working in your marketing, you don’t have to wait for the ad contract to run out. You don’t have to start from scratch. You’ve got the power. Just make that small change and re-launch the ad. The importance of digital marketing lies in the fact that you can get instant results. Analyze data and make changes fast to reduce wasted ad spend and lost revenues. This leads us to just how cost-effective digital marketing is for a small business.

7. Best ROI: Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing method period. It can get a whopping 3800% return. That’s $38 in revenue for every $1 you spend. About 20% of companies are seeing an ROI of $70 to $1 spent.

Email segmentation: Email marketing is a conversion machine. But you do need a way to build your email list with quality subscribers. Then deliver highly relevant content to a subscriber’s inbox. This is most often accomplished through a combination of social media marketing and content marketing. But these marketing methods have an impressive ROI of their own. Content marketing can generate 3X the leads for about 62% less than traditional marketing. Of course, when we say “lead” we’re not just talking about website traffic. These are people who are very likely to buy your product and become loyal customers as you nurture that relationship. Social media’s ROI can be indirect at times. But a Forbes study found that companies using social media outsell 78% of businesses who don’t use social media. IBM found that a lead that comes in through social media is 7X more likely to become a paying customer. More likely to convert also means you’re spending less money trying to convert people who will never become paying customers. As a small business, cost-effectiveness is your ultimate priority. You have to be able to stretch those dollars as you grow your business. Every dollar you spend matters. You need to know it’s going to provide you an ROI. That’s the importance of digital marketing to small business.

8. Aligns with How People Today Shop: 88% of people consider online reviews an important part of the buying decision. 23% of people visit your business after reading a good review. The average American spends over 24 hours a week online. For millennials and gen Z, 10 hours a day is the norm. This includes Internet time at work and school. 47% of millennials and Gen X don’t watch traditional TV. And 22 million people had canceled their cable by the end of last year. Magazine and newspaper sales continue to decline at a rate of about 16% a year. But on the other side of this, over 1 trillion online searches are performed each year. Google holds the monster share with 3.5 billion of these queries. 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook each day, most of them from businesses. Indeed, most consumers now tend to look for products, services or anything they want online. Most of them are also impatient and won’t go beyond the first 5 pages of the search results. So, you shouldn’t stop with just having an online presence. You have to be ahead of your competitors. This is how SEO works for your business. If your website is well optimized, then it will easily be discovered by users whenever they search a keyword relevant to your brand. From restaurants to doctors to bookkeeping software to commodities, the modern sales process starts online. Whether it’s something a friend shared on social media, the result of a search query, or an email newsletter that they received in their inbox, it all starts here. The more integrated your business is with the customer’s online experience, the most easily you grow your business. You need an online presence to be relevant to the vast majority of customers. The importance of digital marketing is that it gives you that presence.

How to Be Relevant Online

To be relevant online today you need to: Have a user-friendly website. Invest in SEO so that you appear in search results from some keywords. Have at least one active social media profile where you engage with customers. Some paid advertising like AdWords, Instagram or Promoted Tweets. It’s impossible to get found online without some paid media. Reputation management. Know what people are saying about you. Solicit more reviews. When asked to review, most people write a positive review. When not asked, only unhappy people tend to write reviews. Integrated touch points. All of the places that you’re online should work together. Engage your target customers both online and in your physical shop if you’re a brick and mortar business.

9. How People Prefer that Businesses Reach Them: People are tired of traditional advertising. They learned that they have a choice. 20% of 16 to 34 year olds use an ad blocker online. Overwhelmingly, people flee websites that pop up annoying invites and ads when they first land on the page. They’re choosing to consume media that doesn’t force them to sit through commercials. It seems cliche. But people want respect. They want someone to provide them with information that helps them make informed decisions. They want to buy from brands that value what they value. They want you to be part of their conversations. The importance of digital marketing is that it allows you to market to people in ways that show you respect them and value them as human beings.

10. Integrates Marketing with Mobile Technology: According to research by IBM, mobile transactions are increasing at the lightning fast speed of 35% year over year. But it’s not just the actual buying and selling happening on mobile. People are increasingly using their mobile phones as a kind of augmented reality layered over a business. They’re looking at reviews and product information while in your store. They may be ordering online or communicating with customer care en route. A selfie they take in your store becomes a promotional opportunity for you. They may write a review for you before they even leave your office. Integrate the mobile experience with the physical experience. As you do, the better your business will take advantage of these opportunities. Send an alert to let someone to let them know something they were interested in is on sale as they walk down that aisle. Use physical store behavior as tracked by their phone (with permission, of course).With it, send more relevant offers. Invite someone to visit the store when geo-location shows that they’re in the area. The Importance of Digital Marketing for Your Business It’s clear. Businesses in the modern economy need digital marketing to compete. Online is where the customers are. It’s where they prefer that you reach them. Online is where the modern buying process begins.

Victor Inwang

Copy writer, content creator and brand influencer.

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