Before the advent of digital marketing, businesses were spending millions of dollars on print, TV and radio ads, billboard placements and sponsorships. Then, the Internet changed everything. The access to marketing opened up to smaller brands as the cost of advertising significantly dropped over the years. The Financial Times defines digital marketing as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.” Today, social media is further expanding digital marketing by making customer interaction easier.
A digital marketing strategy has one purpose: to promote a brand via various forms of digital media. The most widely-used forms of digital media are social media, video marketing, and link building. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, limitations and proper methods of execution depending on the type of brand.
Understanding return on investment
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Regardless of the type of business you’re in, it’s important that you understand the concept of return on investment (ROI). According to Investopedia, ROI “measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost.” Although most digital marketing tools are cheaper than traditional print and TV ads, these still involve costs in ads placement or on the salary of people running your digital marketing group. The ROI will answer one compelling question: “Is this marketing initiative worth it?”
Know your ROI
The simplest way of computing your ROI is by dividing the benefit of an investment by the cost of such investment. The benefit of an investment is derived from the gain from such investment less the cost. The ROI, which is in percentage or ratio, is the efficiency of an investment. This measure will guide you in deciding which investments to accelerate and which to let go.
Putting numbers on marketing
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Digital marketing is putting the math on a traditionally qualitative concept. During the birth of marketing in the early 1900s, businesses and marketers knew they were wasting about 50 percent of their marketing budget though they were clueless on the details of such a fact. They didn’t know which marketing initiative were working and which were not. Over the years, marketers developed methods of better understanding the effectiveness of their efforts. Most would conduct surveys and run statistical studies. This was relatively easy for those operating in a given territory. For those exporting their products or who have grown tremendously, surveys pre-Internet were almost an impossible task. Digital marketing, with the use of analytics, made the impossible possible.
Marketing and analytics
In a nutshell, analytics captures, analyzes and interprets data. The efficiency of a promotional drive on social media can be examined thoroughly with the help of analytics. The power of this tool cannot be understated as a business can save up to 50 percent of its marketing budget. It’s no wonder that about one-third of companies surveyed said they’re in dire need of people with serious skills in data analysis.
How digital marketing can lead to your desired revenue
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Once you have a grasp of the ROI on your existing marketing initiatives, digital or not, you can decide which to retain. Will you divert resources from print ads to promotions for social media influencers? Is revamping your old website worth the cost, or would you rather have your team develop a new app? Monitor the efficiency of your initiatives with analytics. This will enable you to identify your target audience, know their needs, and produce content that matters to them. Stop shooting in the dark. Streamline your efforts.
Digital marketing trends: videos
A new Nielsen study suggests that 64 percent of marketers expect an increase in video production and distribution in the near future. Video traffic is expected to make up 80 percent of all consumer traffic in 2019, according to a Cisco white paper. YouTube dominates the video sharing market with more than one billion unique visitors every month. Recently, Facebook has introduced new video sharing and live streaming features. For 2017, invest in the production of video clips. The challenge is in delivering a compelling message and triggering action with a less-than-one-minute video.
Digital marketing trends: mobile
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Mobile is the future. Cisco projects that traffic from wireless and mobile devices will account for 34 percent of global Internet traffic by 2020. Moreover, Smartphone traffic is expected to exceed PC traffic in the next four years. If your brand has not yet adapted its marketing initiatives to mobile platforms, you’re lagging behind in the competition. Make sure your website, campaign strategies, and online content are optimized for mobile users. Adopt a mobile-centric mindset from here on.
Digital marketing trends: social media marketing
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Currently, there are 2.3 billion active social media users worldwide. The four core social networks, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+, are most popular in Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, India and Brazil. How will you stand out from the millions of brands on social media? What content should you produce to get the attention of your target audience? How will you engage your potential and existing customers to meaningful interactions? How do you improve customer experience with the help of social media? A brand planning to target cash-rich millennials, for instance, should consider working with a social media marketing agency with the right technical knowledge.
Twenty years ago, no one could have predicted how the Internet would change our society. No one could have imagined that a social media platform can help topple dictatorships, change governments, and start revolutions. Technology, as we have witnessed, knows no boundaries. Today, people are talking about terraforming Mars.
We are moving forward. Slowly, but forward, nonetheless. Your business, regardless of industry, should learn to adapt to changing trends. Digital marketing has been here for more than 15 years, but it’s only with the social media explosion that it’s gaining the attention it deserves. For 2017, revisit your marketing efforts, reassess your ROI, and ask yourself, “Where should I invest more in order to accelerate my growth?”
John Anderson is a Web developer, creative content director, social media specialist and commissioned artist. He is particular in watching Web and social media changes and uses. He is also a commissioned artist and cartoonist. He is interested with various Internet trends.
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