Marketing operations have undergone sea change after the invention of digital and social media and with their unprecedented popularity. With more and more people joining social media every day it has turned out to be a breeding ground for potential customers whom the companies can tap to grow their businesses. The best way to understand the importance of applying social media in marketing is to realize the importance of social media in the everyday life of people and the time spent on social media. Since the social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon, there are ample reasons why businesses should take advantage of the opportunity not only to survive the changing consumer behavior but also to flourish in the evolving marketing landscape. Therefore, social media marketing has become a necessity.
Why did the traditional marketing strategies lose to digital marketing?
The traditional marketing strategies like billboards, television advertisements, newspaper, radio, magazines, catalogs, direct mail were quite effective in the absence of social media. But with the emergence of social media, these traditional modes of marketing fell flat on the ground. The question is why? Reasons are aplenty. There are certain core advantages of social media that are overpowering the traditional marketing tools.
First, is the cost. It is still an expensive affair to get an advertising slot on the television or to book an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine or to prepare billboard and hoarding. While social media advertising comes much cheaper. There are two types of online advertising: search advertising and display advertising. Companies can spend the minimum budget to reach a maximum targeted audience. For example, in order to reach 200 target users, you should spend $1-$3 on search advertising & $5-$10 on display advertising respectively. Thus, using digital marketing medium and small-scale businesses can reach the maximum number of target audience within their tight budget.
Second, nowadays people are spending more time on social and digital media than reading the newspaper or magazines. According to researchers, in an average human spends more than 9 hours per day on the internet like Social media, YouTube, Blogs, Emails, E-commerce, research etc. Hence, the reachability of social and digital media is far higher compared to traditional media. Approaching them through digital marketing is the more effective mode of marketing as in 2014 according to Hubspot, almost 92% of the marketers told that social media took a major role in enhancing their business 80% more aggressive by increasing their website traffic.
Third, the digital marketing is more flexible than traditional marketing in the sense that companies can set their advertising budget according to the business requirement. Contrarily, traditional media determines the advertisement cost of a business.
Lastly, in the case of digital media, the effect of marketing operations can be seen through the informative, understandable segmented data analytics. There are some tools like Google Analytics, which enables the marketers to access the advertisement insights. Through these insights, they can pull the demographic data like a number of the audience engaged with the ad, location, type, language, gender, age, title, etc. These insights help to understand the effectiveness of the campaign and take informed business decisions. However, traditional marketing tools do not allow to pull analytics data. Moreover, it’s very hard to understand the reachability. For example, if a company advertise on newspaper. Next day, they can’t get the analytics data like the reach of audience, ROI etc.
How is spending on digital marketing increasing over the years?
In a recent survey by GetResponse, just 2 percent of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) will decrease their digital marketing budget, and only 28 percent expect their digital marketing budgets to stay the same. Instead, SMBs will be upping their digital marketing spending substantially. Some seven in 10 SMBs say their digital/web-based marketing budgets will increase in 2018; of those, 30 percent expect their budgets to “increase considerably.”
According to the GetResponse survey, 59 percent say they will increase marketing spending on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter this year; 50 percent will spend more on mobile marketing, and 42 percent say they will spend more on email marketing this year. Nor is this a one-time surge in the digital marketing budget. Recent data from The CMO Survey predicts marketers will increase social media marketing spending by a whopping 90 percent and mobile marketing spending by 118 percent over the next 5 years.
Why is digital marketing so lucrative?
Building a loyal community
Ability to create a community of people who are loyal to the brand and to foster this relationship is what makes social networks such a perfect place for modern businesses. The companies are now able to gather those who are interested in their business or area of expertise by building an online community. In addition, they are able to broadcast their message, to promote their company by introducing it to the community of loyal followers. Working on engagement and creating an authentic and valuable environment, they can make the most out of that community, which will result in multiple benefits for their business.
Learning from the community feedback
The feeling of community allows the companies to create an atmosphere from which they learn about their customers and about their products as well. Interaction with buyers helps them explore their motives and needs. Interaction with potential buyers allows them to discover dilemmas they might have, as well as what drives them to make a decision to buy or not to buy.
The online community helps the business to learn about its target audience, how they feel, how they react, what they expect, etc. This kind of feedback is valuable information, as it will affect other aspects of its business in a positive way.
Working on product development
Having learned from the community, the business integrates the knowledge into improving its products, refining packaging or perhaps its relationship with the clients. Learning what buyers like and do not like, they work on developing products even further, in order to adapt to the demanding market.
Furthermore, a business must keep up with the trends in the global market. Companies stay competitive in the market with digital marketing, which helps them understand the market demand condition, identify any change in the consumer behavior, and exert a tremendous impact on sales. Besides product development and improvement, they use social media to introduce new products.
Another major benefit of social media marketing, which results in an increased profit of the company, is improving sales, regardless if it owns an online shop or they want to encourage people to visit their business on a specific location.
When it comes to online shopping, social media help business to drive traffic to their online store, where they can convert the social followers into buyers. Their goal is to maximize the click-through rate, which will ensure that the visitors are actually visiting the online store. As a result, they are more likely to buy from the company.
Local businesses also benefit from social media, as they can ask users to share images, to check in to the location, which will increase the visibility of a business on social networks.
In both of these cases, social media is good for working on branding and establishing a loyal relationship with the customers, which is something that helps business improve sales in the future.
The digital platforms can be used in a varied way to promote business and expand it. The traditional marketing tools which have a single purpose cannot offer such a benefit. Facebook can be used for acquiring customers, Twitter for brand awareness, YouTube for gathering eyeballs, Google for advertising for targeted customer outreach and LinkedIn for talent acquisition.
In the world with over 70% of internet users active on social networks, who spend at least one hour a day on average on those social networks, it can be concluded that social networks have become a sort of reality in which people communicate, interact, and obviously trust. Another noteworthy fact is that over 60% of those users access social networks via mobile devices, with strong indicators that this percentage will only increase in the future years.
In such a world, social networks are a new dimension of reality that has become a part of the business world as well. Over 90% of marketers report they are or will be using social networks for business, while over 60% of them claim to have acquired new customers over social networks.
Countries which have got internet exposure have also become avid users of social media and therefore are most suitable for digital marketing.
The findings published by business professional and marketers support the fact that businesses have reaped a lot of benefits from using social networks, which is why the implementation of digital marketing has become a part of business practice. In this increasingly interconnected digital world, the modern corporation has to adapt and position themselves intelligently in the new digital marketplace. Their motto must be: Adapt, survive, thrive or else … perish.