The internet provides a unique and fantastic opportunity to grow your business and reach potential customers. It is a big part of the daily lives of many. Harnessing the full potential of digital marketing can completely change the future of your business and open a host of new opportunities.
Digital marketing is, simply put, the marketing of products or services using the internet. It is available through four main channels:
- Organic search
- Paid Advertising
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
Organic search provides a means by which prospects, who are searching for a specific product or service, can find that service or product via the search engine. Businesses can take advantage of this by using search engine optimization (SEO) to reach those potential customers. When customers use a search engine (such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing) to look for a local merchant, research a product, or locate a business, the search engine uses an algorithm to present relevant results.
Through organic search, your business can gain leads that are ready to interact with your business right then and there. Appearing among these results is an important way to reach customers who are interested in what you have to offer. For instance, if someone in Houston, Texas searches for “houston seo company”, a company which provides SEO services throughout Houston would want to appear among the top results so that the prospect can find their service.
Paid advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, involves paying for an advertisement to be placed on the search engine or on a website and paying for the traffic gained through that exposure. One of the most popular avenues for this advertising is Google Ads, which displays relevant ads at the top of search results. With exceeding levels of customization available, you can create a campaign to target certain keywords and search terms, limits for your budget, and geographic areas to reach – from entire countries to cities or states.
Social Media is used to reach customers through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. These platforms offer a number of great opportunities, such as increasing brand awareness, opening a meaningful dialogue with customers who can more easily find your business, connecting with other professionals in your industry, building a customer following, and gaining exposure for your content by having an audience to share it with. Although you can reap some of these benefits by using the platform for free, paid social media marketing can bring significant traffic to your website, a product or service that you provide, or grow your following on that platform.
Email Marketing is a valuable tool to connect with past, current, and potential clients. By growing a list of email subscribers over time, you have a direct way to ensure that you’re reaching your audience: straight through their inbox. You can share content, announce news, and promote special offers quickly through sending out an email newsletter that is also consistent with your branding.
Online advertising versus offline marketing
Traditional marketing, such as print items and TV commercials have been used by businesses for decades, and many companies are hesitant to relinquish these avenues. However, digital marketing offers a very unique opportunity to reach customers. When advertising through offline media, you’re trying to reach interested clients by simply putting your services in front of as many people as possible and hoping that someone is interested. In contrast, digital marketing reaches potential clients who are already interested in what you have to offer.
For instance, a dentist who puts an ad in a magazine is hoping that someone who sees the ad is looking for a dentist. This does not guarantee, however, that the majority of viewers who see the magazine ad are even searching for a dentist. On the other hand, if that same dentist invests in SEO so that his website appears in the search engine when someone searches for “Houston dentist”, the dentist is now attracting prospects and even getting calls because his advertising audience is made up of those actively searching for a dentist.
Costs of Advertising
In addition to focusing only on customers who are interested in your business, the cost of digital marketing is also comparatively less than traditional advertising. Research indicates that the price of advertising through TV costs, on average, about $24 per 1,000 viewers reached. Print media, such as magazine ads, typically costs about $33 per 1,000 readers. Digital marketing, on the other hand, costs an average of less than $1 per 1,000 potential customers reached.
The conversion rate for digital marketing and other forms of advertising also varies greatly. This rate indicates the percentage of people who viewed the advertisement and took the desired action, whether that’s making an appointment, requesting a quote, or purchasing an item. Digital marketing yields a conversion rate of about 1.3%, which is a significant difference from the conversion rate of TV advertisement, which is about 0.0002% and print media advertisement which sees a conversion rate of 0.00625%.
How much does Internet Marketing cost?
Just like any other form of advertising, the price of digital marketing can vary greatly depending on the type, frequency, and other factors. To provide any sort of worthwhile results, however, the projected costs of organic search can range from $750 to $5,000 per month, social media can cost between $750 and $2,000 per month, and email marketing is about the same at $750 to $2,000 per month. These amounts are typically set by the advertising company providing the service and can only be altered up to a certain amount.
However, paid advertising is a little different. These campaigns allow the business to set a budget so that the price can vary depending on exactly how much the client wants to spend or how many people the client hopes to reach. These can range anywhere from $500 up to tens of thousands. More competitive keywords will cost more to appear for, so highly competitive industries, such as law, may require a significant budget to reap any benefit.
Obviously, the optimal amount spent on advertising will vary for every business. According to many marketing experts, though, businesses should be spending about 15% of the company’s income on marketing in general.
Choose Your Path Wisely
Not every marketing channel will work for every business. Depending on your location, budget, industry, and audience, your most effective strategy may be completely different from another company’s best campaign. It may take a bit of trial and error, but discovering the most beneficial strategy for your business can yield incredible results. However, it’s important to be willing to adjust your strategy if necessary. Investing in the wrong channel can be a big waste of your resources, providing little to no benefit. It’s important to keep your expectations reasonable, but if what you’re doing isn’t working – it’s time to change it!
In short, digital marketing is an invaluable tool for reaching customers. This field of advertising offers many benefits unseen by traditional means, and using it effectively can mean big growth for your business. Enlisting the services of a professional digital marketing company is the most effective way to reap the greatest rewards of your marketing dollars. If you’re ready to get started on digital marketing for your business, we’ve got all the right tools to help you here at Hyperlinks Media. Give us a call and let’s talk about enacting an effective digital marketing strategy for your business.