According to a 2017 industry report by Smart Insights, 49 percent of companies don’t have a detailed digital marketing strategy. This is an incredible statistic considering 84 percent of customers say they use the internet as a part of their typical buying process. If you fall in that 49 percent, this article is for you. When it comes to why digital marketing is important, the simple answer is today’s marketplace is increasingly digital. No matter your niche, your customer is looking at your internet presence to learn more about your company before they decide to buy. Digital marketing includes all efforts to increase revenue through internet channels. Such channels include:

  • Company website
  • Social media profiles
  • Email newsletter
  • Mobile apps
  • Paid and organic search marketing

First, we’re going to cover why digital marketing is important for business, and then we’ll get into how to use these digital marketing channels to increase your bottom line. The article will conclude with an explanation of what a digital marketing agency does, which will help you decide if you would rather outsource your digital marketing efforts.

Why Digital Marketing is Important for Businesses

Digital marketing is important for businesses because today’s customer is digital. Without a focused digital marketing strategy, you are leaving revenue on the table. The following are some ways digital marketing helps improve your bottom line.

Digital Marketing is Important for Knowing Your Customer

Today’s customer wants to be able to think of a brand’s digital presence as a person. They get a mental image of this person from the voice of your digital content. Every word on your website, in your emails, and on your social media profiles need to align with your brand values.

A big part of why digital marketing is important is it allows you to get insights into the behaviors of your target customers at a depth not possible with traditional marketing. Social listening and keyword research tools allow you to build accurate customer profiles based on concrete data. This data shows you what questions they need to be answered, so you can create content to answer these questions. When you know your customer on this level, you can be much more targeted in your marketing efforts.

Digital Marketing Establishes You as an Authority in Your Industry

If you aren’t investing in digital marketing, you are likely relatively unknown in your industry. A strong digital marketing strategy showcases your expertise through educational content tailored to your target audience. This content serves two purposes. The first is it helps increase your search engine ranking for keywords relative to your target customer’s buying process. The second is it helps build your personal reputation in your industry, which can lead to speaking engagements and other opportunities.

Digital Marketing Increases the Efficiency of Each Stage of Your Marketing Funnel

Finally, digital marketing is important for business because it allows strategies targeted towards each stage of the marketing funnel to be measured and tweaked. In the digital world, every single behavior is trackable. Companies can get much more bang for their buck through digital marketing campaigns.

Now let’s talk about how to use digital marketing for your business.

How to Use Digital Marketing for Your Business

Creating and executing a digital marketing strategy isn’t easy. There are several moving parts involved, and most entrepreneurs don’t have the time it takes to become a digital marketing expert. The following is a simplified framework of how to create and execute a digital marketing strategy for your business. Even if you decide to outsource to a digital marketing agency, it is still good to know what a good digital marketing strategy looks like.

Audit Your Digital Presence to Identify Areas of Improvement

Even if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, there is a good chance you have at least some digital presence. Do a Google search of your business name and see what comes up. Identify any negative reviews or press, as addressing negative results is one of the primary focuses of a good search engine optimization strategy.

Create a List of Core Keywords Based on Questions Your Customer Asks During Their Buying Process

Keyword research is the core of your digital marketing strategy. All of your content ideas stem from a list of keywords your target audience is using in queries during their buying journey. The idea is to provide the information your customers are looking for in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Take a minute to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Make a list of questions you would ask before you were ready to buy your product or service.

Use Your Keyword List to Create Helpful Content on a Consistent Basis

Each piece of content you create revolves around answering one or more questions on your keyword list. The type of content you create depends on your audience. Some people prefer written content, while others prefer video and infographics. What matters most is consistency. By posting new content on a consistent basis, you send signals to Google that your site is active and authoritative.

Build Relationships With Industry Publications and Influencers to Amplify Your Content

Getting links back to your site from high-authority sources is an important part of your SEO strategy. These links come from building relationships with editorial staff at industry publications. In the digital world, you need these sites to create content that mentions your brand and links back to a page on your site. You can also benefit from popular influencers sharing your content on their social media profiles.

Use Analytics to Measure Results

Analyzing data is the last, but most important, aspect of how to use digital marketing for your business. Choose your metrics based on the digital marketing channels used in the campaign. They need to tell you where you are in relation to your marketing objectives.

This is by no means a complete breakdown of everything involved with a successful digital marketing strategy. Let’s look at how a digital marketing agency creates and executes a digital marketing strategy.

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

A digital marketing agency uses proven digital marketing tools and techniques to build custom digital marketing strategies for their clients. Some agencies specialize in a single aspect of digital marketing, such as search engine marketing or social media management. Others are full-service digital marketing agencies, which means they handle every single component of a digital marketing strategy. The following is a list of what to expect when you hire a full-service digital marketing agency.

Social Listening and Audience Analysis Tools are used to Identify Your Core Customer

The first thing a digital marketing agency does is collect data on your target audience. One way they do this is through keyword research tools, which show how often a keyword shows up in search queries. People turn to search engines to find information about the products and services companies sell. A digital marketing agency uses this information to build a persona for your core customer. Social listening tools are also used during this process, as they allow users to find real people on social media who fit their core customer persona.

Once a digital marketing agency establishes a clear persona of their core customer, everything else falls into place.

SEO Experts Use a Suite of Tools to Build a Targeted SEO Strategy

A targeted SEO strategy revolves around core customer personas. As mentioned above, creating an SEO strategy starts with keyword research. A digital marketing agency has a team of SEO experts who analyze hundreds of keywords options to come up with a final list of hyper-relevant keywords designed to turn visitors into customers.

The SEO experts also use site crawling and page speed analysis tools to make sure everything behind-the-scenes is running as smoothly as possible. They have an intuitive understanding of creating a smooth user experience that amateur digital marketers simply don’t have.

Content Creators Turn your Expertise into High-Quality Content

Content quality and consistency are probably the two biggest differences between hiring a digital marketing agency and using a DIY digital marketing strategy. As a successful entrepreneur, you are an expert in at least one area. Content creators use this expertise to create articles, infographics, and videos that provide high value to customers while also executing the client SEO strategy.

Social Media is used as an Effective PR Tool

Digital marketing agencies know social media is a powerful PR tool that can generate revenue for businesses when used correctly. They know how to use social media to show you off as the face of your business, which works towards establishing lasting trust with your target customers.

Digital agencies also know how to create targeted social media ad campaigns and build relationships with influencers in your niche. These efforts amplify your brand and get more qualified leads moving through your funnel.

Success is Measured Using the Right Analytical Tools and Metrics

Lastly, a digital marketing agency knows how to measure success using advanced metrics and analytical tools. They know exactly which metrics to choose to best measure each aspect of a digital marketing campaign. Using this data, agencies make real-time tweaks to their techniques as a part of their quest for perfection.

Understanding why digital marketing is important and how to use digital marketing for your business gives you an advantage over less digitally-savvy competitors in your niche. If you want to skip the trial and error phase to reap the benefits of digital marketing as quickly as possible, bring in a digital marketing agency. Contact us if you want to learn more about how a full-service digital agency meets all of your digital marketing needs.

Further Reading:

The Role of Digital Marketing in Brand Experience

10 Reasons You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy in 2018