Is Digital Marketing Important? 7 Reasons Why You Need It

Digital marketing allows your business to target potential customers from all walks of life in a way that was unimaginable 20 years ago.

November 25, 2021
Is digital marketing important?

The difficult times brought upon us by COVID-19 have shown that technology is a significant part of any business. And many business owners are beginning to wonder, "Is digital marketing important?"

Digital marketing is important because it connects businesses with their customers and helps build a community of members in your niche.

There is no question that the internet has changed the way we do business. Consumers can now order a product, reserve a table, or schedule an appointment from the comfort of their bedroom.

paying online through digital marketing

Yet, many businesses are still hesitant to jump into the world of digital marketing.

It is understandable why business owners have doubts. However, we are reaching a point where digital marketing is no longer considered a new service.

Digital marketing has been around since the early 90s. And since then, many different online marketing tactics have been tested and improved upon. The services which were ineffective and unprofitable are no longer being used.

We are now in an era where small businesses can market online with guaranteed success.

1. Digital Marketing Offers Precise Online Targeting

The days of paying for a print ad in the local newspaper and hoping that a qualified customer will view it are long gone. Every form of online advertising offers a multitude of ways to precisely target the type of consumer that will buy from you.

digital marketing targeting map

Social media sites provide ways of refining your audience (the people who will see your ad) based on:

  • Location: Focus your ads toward everyone in the country or just those living within three miles of your business.
  • Age: Are most of your clients above the age of 60? Target only that age group. Do you struggle with bringing in millennials? This feature will help you show ads made specifically for them.
  • Sex: It’s no secret that certain ads will appeal to men and women differently. Do you own a small boutique selling women’s clothes? Then don’t waste half of your money showing ads to men.
  • Occupation: As a manufacturer of work boots, do you need to show ads to programmers? Probably not. Use this feature to select employees of specific companies or entire occupational fields.
  • Interests: It may be difficult for a library to target readers based solely on the other criteria mentioned. Readers come from all walks of life. Which is why this feature is so useful. Show advertisements to people interested in everything from reading to guinea pig breeding.
  • Behaviors: Did someone view the services page on your website without filling out the contact form? Show them an ad to remind them about your business. This tool can be modified to track many different behavior patterns on your website.
digital marketing targets diverse people

2. Digital Marketing Has A High ROI

As mentioned above, new web technologies have given us the ability to target ads towards very specific groups of people. Which means that you are not wasting money by showing your ads to everyone.

You are targeting people who already have an interest in your business. But paid ads are not the only form of digital marketing.

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Much of your online marketing strategy will be made up of free tools and services. Posting to social media sites is one of the most effective ways to build your brand. And it comes at no cost to you.

Optimizing your website for SEO is also free. Even email marketing is free if you use a service like MailChimp. And email marketing has the highest ROI out of any digital marketing tactics.

Many of you may be thinking, “Are any of these really free if I have to pay a digital marketing agency to manage them?” And you would be correct. You will need to hire a digital marketing agency.

However, the fact that agencies can use many of these free services means that they don’t have to charge you extra for them. Even the services which do need to be paid for are relatively cheap.

3. Digital Marketing Lets You Instantly Analyze Results

One of the most important benefits of digital marketing is having the ability to track exactly how your money is being spent. And this is true across all forms of digital media.

Websites

Website analytics and search engine optimization tools allow you to track a wide array of data points.

Track the number of visitors to each page. Determine what buttons they clicked. See how far down a blog post they read. Find out what they searched on Google to find you.

google search console timeline

Online Ads

See how many people clicked your ad. Compare this with the number of people who saw it but took no action, this is known as the click-through rate. Then compare the people who clicked your ad with the ones who went on to fill out a form on your site, this is known as the conversion rate.

Social Media

Look at how many people have liked your page or individual posts. This one is obvious since we all use social media. But a business can use the tracking tools provided by social media sites to analyze and improve the effectiveness of their posts over time.

facebook page likes timeline

4. Digital Marketing Allows You to Compete With Large Companies

It used to take many years of strategic planning (and a significant amount of money) to reach the kind of audience needed to compete with large companies.

But our world has changed and the companies that used to dominate the market are now afraid of small businesses. You have the potential to reach just as many people as any company regardless of size.

The reason for this change is due to the new surge of viral content.

Large companies cannot throw money at a professional film studio and expect the video to go viral.

trying to make a viral video for digital marketing

The beauty of virality is that there is no formula for creating content that is guaranteed to be liked and shared millions of times. We can make educated guesses. But the ability to share a post is in the hands of viewers.

Here are two great examples of small businesses creating viral content:

  • Blendtec: This small blender company became viral when they posted five videos to YouTube in 2006. These videos demonstrated the strength of their blender by blending everything from marbles to iPads. They received six million views within six days of being uploaded. All of this was done on a $50 budget. Today, Blendtec is a thriving business and they continue to post “Will It Blend?” videos. Their YouTube channel has over 250 million views.
  • Dominique Ansel Bakery: One customer of this New York City bakery pointed out that their menu did not have donuts. This is because the owner, Dominique Ansel, was not a fan of the pastry. So, he invented the cronut. A crispy donut-like pastry made from croissant dough and topped with different kinds of icing. This dessert rose to fame after a food blogger reviewed it and fell in love. To this day, you can expect to find ridiculously long lines outside the bakery before the shop even opens.

5. Digital Marketing Helps You Build Your Brand

Building your brand is a very important part of any marketing strategy. But many businesses see themselves as too small to have a “brand”. This is due to a misconception about what it means to have a brand.

Many people think of branding as slapping your logo on a shirt and selling it. But this is not the case at all.

Jeff Bezos explained it best, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”

Having your logo on a product that is seen by many people can help to grow awareness for your brand. But if your business is not built on a message that people care for then what’s the point?

A business without a core message is equivalent to building a mansion with nothing inside. Just four walls that look stunning from the outside.

empty house is digital marketing without brand

So how does digital marketing help build your brand? Because the internet is built on the idea that anyone can share information with everyone.

If someone has ever left a great review for your business on Yelp, they have contributed to building your brand. If someone has Tweeted that your cashier made their day by complimenting their shoes, they have contributed to building your brand.

But brand building is not completely out of your control. There are many things you can do which will alter and improve consumers view of your business. And the internet has made this process easier.

Marketing agencies used to create different messages for every medium before the internet. Magazine ads, TV commercials, and radio ads all had messages which were curated for that specific platform.

There is a concept known as integrated marketing communications. And while the name may seem technical, all it means is that you have one unified message for every single platform.

This infographic by the Oxford College of Marketing visualizes integrated marketing communications well.

integrated marketing communications infographic

Is your business built on making a product faster and more efficiently than any of your competitors? Then develop this into your brand and shout it out for the whole world to hear.

6. Digital Marketing Helps You Make a Difference in the Community

When most of us think about helping our community, we immediately think of charity work. Taking part in charity programs is very important. And I hope all businesses strive to reach a point where they can donate their time and money to charities.

But this is not the only way to make a difference.

You have already helped your community tremendously by owning a business. The benefits that small businesses bring to the local economy is immeasurable. But digital marketing can help in many other ways.

Let us start by breaking our definition of the word community into two parts.

Local Community

First, there is your local community. This is the town, city, or state that you live in and all the people within it.

volunteering in local community

Here are a few ways you can help your local community:

  • Create and promote local events: If you own a pizzeria, give people a discount for dressing in a costume on Halloween. If you run a kid’s toy store, take after Target and make one hour each weekend autism friendly. Events like these help to bring the local community together. It shows that you care for the town you do business in. And digital marketing helps you promote these events before, during, and after.
  • Respond to customers in real, personable ways: Social media has connected all of us together in a way which was unimaginable 20 years ago. Today, customers want to know that you hear them. If you receive a positive review, thank them for their business and add your own personal touch! If you receive a negative review, let them know that you have read it and are working to resolve the issue (assuming it’s a valid problem).

Niche Community

There is also your niche community. This includes all the people who are involved in your business’s field of work.

Do you own a café? Then your niche could include other café owners, coffee enthusiasts, and freelancers who enjoy doing their work in cafés.

importance of volunteering for niche community

How you can help your niche community:

  • Post content people can learn from: You need to be sharing valuable information that benefits those in your niche. Start thinking about what valuable information you have learned over the years. What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out? What did you learn last month that drastically changed the way you do business? Share this online and watch your business grow!
  • Create your own sub-community: Many businesses are starting to create their own niche communities. This is extremely easy with the help of Facebook Groups. Make it private and give people a sense of exclusivity. Release great content on your blog for everyone to read. But save the best content for your private groups. This will solidify your business as a leader in your niche and customers will be eager to do business with you.

7. Digital Marketing Ensures Your Business Will Survive and Thrive

If you are a business owner, then you have probably heard the statistic that almost 50% of businesses fail within the first five years.

But when you heard this, the entrepreneur in you probably thought, “I only have to be better than half of the new businesses around me in order to survive five years? That’s easy!” And I agree with you! But the problem is that this is short-term thinking.

If you think about your business as a lifelong career, which I’m sure most of you do, then that five-year statistic means virtually nothing.

Did you know that almost 80% of businesses fail within twenty years?

Take a moment to let that sink in.

If five people start a business at the age of 40, the odds are that only one of them will make it to retirement. This is a terrifying statistic. And you need to ensure that you and your business don’t become another statistic.

Conclusion - Is Digital Marketing Important?

So, back to the question... Is digital marketing important?

I am not going to lie and tell you that your business is guaranteed to fail without a strong digital marketing strategy in place. Many businesses do just fine with a very limited amount of online marketing. But nobody starts a business with the hopes of doing “just fine”.

If you are like most business owners, then you don’t want to survive. You want to thrive. You want an asset that can be left to your children. And your business will have a much better chance of thriving if you dive headfirst into the world of digital marketing.

The decision to start digital marketing today can drastically alter the future of your business.



Nathan Moore is the owner of Moore Web Marketing. His passions include creating businesses, reading, listening to music, and of course, designing websites. Nathan attended Wentworth Institute of Technology for Computer Science. In 2020, he founded Moore Web Marketing while still in school because his passion for designing websites had made it clear that this was the correct path for him.


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We are a Boston digital marketing agency founded on the idea that small businesses can, and should, be competitive on the web. Our services include everything from web design and development to SEO, social media marketing, and more. If your small business is looking for a long-term growth strategy through digital marketing then we are the right agency for you.
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