Digital marketing has quickly become one of the best ways to grow a business. Over 80% of businesses that have invested in digital marketing believe their efforts are successfully rewarded by the achievement of their goal: increased revenue and sales. Building brand awareness and driving sales are the two most common priorities for businesses thriving in today’s digital world. Thus, digital marketing was created to help businesses in achieving these goals.
In order to budget for marketing effectively, you first need to have a grasp on the top digital marketing channels for business and understand how they help your business grow. Once you’ve established this understanding, you can then decide where your business should effectively allocate the digital marketing budget that will help guarantee business growth in the coming year.
If your business still doesn’t have a proper landing page or website in 2019, this should be your #1 priority for the year. Studies have shown that roughly 80% of consumers will research a company online before inquiring about services or making a purchase. Businesses build a reputation which is easily viewed online via their website. Your online presence is key to growing the business, so it’s essential to understand all the ways that you can use your website to bring in new customers and increase sales.
What A Website Does For Your Business
Advertising & Lead Generation
Compared to radio, TV, and print advertising, a website is significantly less expensive to a business when it comes to ad costs. When other websites link to you, or you share your website via social media, you’re increasing your businesses visibility and doing so without much extra cost to you. The online community heavily relies on the sharing of information and getting consumers and other businesses to share your website is a great way to advertise what you have to offer.
Back when website creation was just starting out, there weren’t many options as far as functionality was concerned. You could generate a landing page and add photos and text, but there wasn’t much else to it. Website development has advanced exponentially since then, so much so that many businesses that offer items for sale from a physical location have gone on to become completely web-based, selling products and services solely from their own website. An e-commerce website lets you reach customers across the world and doesn’t limit you to your business’ geographic location.
Statistics show that over 75% of adults in the U.S.A. own a smartphone. Smartphones allow us to conduct all sorts of business and complete daily tasks quickly and easily while we’re on-the-go. Consumers no longer need a desktop computer and steady internet connection to browse the internet and shop online. Your website is just one click away from millions of consumers across the country, even if you’re just a small business!
The generous advances in technology over the past 10-15 years have shaped us more and more into a people who can do most things from the comfort of their home. The popularity of telecommuting, food/grocery delivery services, and many other digital conveniences has led to a generation that tends to physically step into the outside world less and less. However, our human need for connection hasn’t been lost. Consumers are more loyal to brands they feel they can become familiar with. Businesses that use their website to create brand awareness are much more likely to grow their customer base by giving consumers the opportunity to be on a more personally connected level with the businesses they patronize.
When budgeting for your website, you must consider the following:
Once you have a list of specifications you want and need for your business’ website, you can begin gathering proposals from digital marketing firms. Being as thorough as possible in what you want for your website is key to receiving reasonable estimates from digital marketers. If you’ve never done any research on online marketing, you might have to take some time to do so once you receive proposals. The more functionality your website has, the more it will cost. It’s important to take the time to align your expectations with current digital marketing costs in order to budget effectively.
Search engine optimization and content marketing are services that digital marketing agencies offer to increase the visibility of and traffic to your website. Did you know? Over 90% of online experiences start with the use of a search engine and nearly 50% of people will click on one of the top three links listed in their search.
The key to increasing your visibility online is to improve your ranking in search engines like Google. The more engaging, informative, and trendy content you have on your website, the more likely you are to be seen and boosted by Google’s ranking algorithm. Not only will adding great content to your site increase your search engine ranking, but it will increase the time consumers will spend on your page as they learn about your brand and what products and services you offer. As mentioned earlier, digital consumers still want to feel a sort of connection to the businesses they purchase from, and housing inviting and engaging content on your website will encourage people to believe in your brand.
SEO itself is the strategic placement of specific keywords in the content posted on your website. Because getting SEO right can take time and practice, it’s best to let a professional digital marketer implement this business-growing strategy. One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it gives you the trust of most consumers, who tend to be more drawn to organic search results as opposed to paid search results and business advertisements.
Most of the time, the same company who builds your website will also oversee the SEO and content marketing. These are two things that are best done in concurrence with your website’s development. However, if you already have an established website, investing in an SEO strategist or content marketer is a great way to get your website the attention it deserves.
Sharing your business on social media can be done for free, however you’re not likely to reach a large enough audience to see a significant increase in interest in your business unless you take it one step further. Paid social media advertising not only lets you expand your reach, but also lets you choose a target audience. When sharing your business yourself on social media, you might not know what percentage of your audience is actually interested in or in need of the products or services you offer. When you add paid social media marketing into your budget, you can share your page with specific groups of people who are already likely to have interest in your brand.
In addition to paid social media advertising, it’s important to have your social media pages regularly updated and maintained. Social media is a great avenue for engaging with your current and potential customers, and it’s a great place to maintain a strong presence in order to effectively communicate your brand’s image and personality. There are several ways that digital marketing specialists increase brand awareness and sales via social media:
Social Media Marketing Tactics
Adding video and using social storytelling to engage customers in your market
Using Facebook Messenger as 24/7 customer service
Optimizing for voice queries, which is growing in popularity as a way to search the internet
Investing in influencer marketing
Connecting social media to your website to share blog posts and web content
Sending one-off e-mails used to be a good way to generate leads but nowadays the best strategy to use when it comes to e-mail marketing is to use targeted email workflows. Following up with customers and creating offers that they are interested in will help in moving leads through your sales pipeline. Making your e-mail marketing campaigns as personalized as possible will allow your customers to feel more familiar with your brand, thus increasing the chances that they will be loyal to you as a business.
A great advantage of e-mail marketing is the ability to track the engagement via opens, clicks, and sales conversions. Analytics are built-in to most e-mail marketing software and can give you a significant amount of data on your e-mail marketing efforts. This way, you can be sure your budget isn’t wasted on unsuccessful campaigns and you can regularly update and customize the content that is being sent out to customers.
Average companies spend anywhere from 5-40% of their revenue on digital marketing. There isn’t a set amount for how much a company should spend because there are many factors that need to be considered: company size, yearly revenue, type of business, website functionality needs, content requirements, and more. But in 2019, the most important places to allocate your budget are your website, content marketing, social media campaigns and e-mail communications.
Outlining your business priorities and objectives will give you a clear idea of what marketing opportunities you should be investing in. It’s also important to track your marketing campaigns and schedule regular check-ins with your digital marketing services provider to measure your growth and ensure that your efforts are paying off.