Whether you work in marketing or not, you’re probably familiar with traditional marketing tactics – junk mail, TV commercials, magazine ads, etc. While many companies still employ these costly strategies, more businesses are beginning to understand the value that digital marketing delivers.
So what’s the difference? Traditional marketing includes how we spread the word prior to the digital age. Direct Mail, Print Ads (Newspapers, Magazines), and TV spots (commercials, product placements).
The truth is, while traditional marketing methods are still widely used, these methods just don’t work the way they used to. Studies even show that 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. In addition, 71% of business purchase decisions are started with a search engine. With statistics like these it’s easy to see why by ignoring digital marketing, you’re effectively missing out on a MASSIVE chunk of potential customers. Your website, social media, & any other trace of your business online all effect your Search Engine Ranking – or, how close you are to the top of the list on Google.
As a digital marketer, you need to keep an open mind. Technology is constantly changing and the website everyone uses for X, may change when website Y launches. Youtube was the only place marketers were able to post video content. But with the explosion of Vine.com in early 2013, a site where people post videos that are 6 seconds or less, marketers were given an additional opportunity to market video content – just look at Dunkin Donuts. After analyzing their initial Vine campaign, they found that each #dunkinreplay Vine video produced 4 times the result as a traditional video – at a fraction of the cost.
Remember how I said to keep an open mind? Well that was 2013; less than 2 years later, the number of Vine.com users decreased significantly. So…what happened? Instagram, a widely used photo sharing site owned by Facebook, added functionality to upload short videos. Considering that Vine was still (comparatively) new and unused, former Vine.com fans all abandoned ship for the warm, familiar interface of Instagram. Never underestimate the powers of brand loyalty and, ultimately, user experience.
So how could anyone possibly know where to start? See what other digital marketers are using in your field – are they most active on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr? You must continue to use the tools that are effective for your business, while not ignoring any new ones that are on the horizon. And if you’re particularly savvy, you might just be the first business in your expertise to advertise on the next biggest website – meaning all visitors searching for ‘trademark law firm’ will be served YOUR business first.
So stay flexible, do your research, and experiment. Digital Marketing is still very much in its infancy, and there will continue to be new ways that one can market their business with technology.