Most of our customers hire us to help them with their digital marketing, and they often begin with an updated or completely new website. The aim for all businesses, though, should be to make sure their marketing is a reliable investment rather than a cost. Digital marketing, in various forms, is often the best way to achieve that.
So, what do you think of when you hear the phrase “digital marketing”? Is it
- social media?
- photo sharing?
- mobile marketing?
- something else?
The truth is, all those things are digital-based. But whether they can be called “marketing” depends very much on how you use them. There’s many a website that generates zero business for its owner and therefore can’t really be said to be marketing anything. There are email newsletters that never sell a bean and there are millions, in fact billions, of social media accounts that are little more than sharing platforms for personal opinions and cat videos.
Photo sharing is nice, especially when people like what you share and the same goes for video. But who’s buying your photos and videos?
True, most people aren’t trying to sell anything (or aren’t trying very hard) but if you are in business and want digital marketing to work for you and either repay you for all the time you spend on it already or reward you for getting involved from now on, you do need more than Likes, Shares and Retweets or an impressive open rate on your emails.
What you’re actually after is sales or an action that leads to a sale, and you need to get it at a price that will make you a profit. The good news is that all the above methods of digital marketing are free or as good as free. The bad news is that your time isn’t, and when you build in that cost, most digital marketing suddenly looks less like a free lunch. So, you need to make your time count, and the best way to start is to schedule it carefully and/or measure it truthfully.
Social media, in particular, can absorb huge amounts of your time and achieve next to nothing, but it can be cost-effective, too. Especially, we’ve found, for local services and businesses.
Email marketing is generally claimed to be the most cost-effective method when done well. Done badly, though, it can be as much a waste of time as anything else.
Of course, every business should have a website, and one that gets found by potential customers and leads a to good percentage of them taking the desired action – buying, subscribing or at least getting in touch.
Mobile marketing has been flavour of the month for some time now, without replacing established methods to the extent its keenest proponents suggested it would. Mobile marketing has many varieties, though, and some aspects of it (especially mobile-ready websites) have become the norm.
In future posts, we’ll be looking at the various forms of digital marketing in more detail. Meanwhile, if you need help or advice about any aspect of your marketing (digital or otherwise), please contact us.