The Internet has made the world small. Real small.
Even two decades back, this was not so. Purchasing anything which was not part of our daily lives would need careful planning first. We had to visit a few stores, compare products there, and then buy it. If you needed something that was not available in your city, then you would have to wait for someone to travel to another city or country where the product was available. Brand and product choices were limited, and availability was a big hindrance too.
The good news is that the arrival of the Internet, especially e-commerce, has changed the world totally. If you have the Internet, you can go to an e-commerce site and buy almost anything possible legally. The purchase to delivery cycle has been drastically reduced too. The world is now truly within your hands.
If you’re an entrepreneur, I’m sure you understand what I am trying to say. To cater to such a huge base of potential customers across the globe, it is important that your business dwells online. Especially if you have a product that has international appeal, you can no longer risk your business to run from a few brick and mortar shops alone. If you do so, you will get overtaken even by a newcomer, sooner than you imagined. The potential loss of profits is mind-blowing! To avoid this, go the internet marketing way.
The statistics are startling too. As per Internet world stats, the growth in Internet users in the period 2000 to 2015 has been a phenomenal 753%! As per the State Of The Art Digital Marketing 2015 report from Smart Insights, 42.4% of the world’s population today uses the Internet. 91% of the PC owners and 80% of the mobile owners use these devices to search the Internet. Almost 71% of the marketers surveyed, have said that they are slowly shifting their focus and budgets from traditional off-line marketing to internet marketing.
Unfortunately, only 34% of the organizations today have digital marketing integrated into their overall marketing strategy. The remaining 66% either have a very vague plan or do not use digital marketing at all.
So have you started with digital marketing at all? If not, think deeper. You are losing out on sales every day!
Contrary to popular beliefs, digital marketing does not need a huge budget to get started. You can start with a small amount and slowly step up the spending once the results start coming in. Even small businesses and start-ups should integrate digital marketing in their overall marketing plan, considering the sheer reach that digital marketing will offer, at a reasonable cost.
Adoption of Digital Marketing is a step by step process, and the pace of implementation will depend on the type of business you run. For example, if you are basing your business primarily on an online model, you have to carry out digital marketing at a significantly faster pace than a company which is adopting a hybrid model of online as well as offline sales.
The following is an approach that we find suitable for most companies, especially small businesses and startups:
The starting point in digital marketing is to build a website. The website needs to be user-friendly and must feature interesting and engaging content. It should also be mobile friendly, which will allow users to seamlessly view it from any device, including tablets and smart phones.
Depending on the type of business you run, you can consider creating a mobile app too. With Google reporting recently that more searches are happening on mobile than in computers in 10 countries already, it is a great idea to strengthen your mobile presence from the word go.
Once the website goes live, you will have to then focus on getting traffic to it. After all, what’s the use of a website which is not visited by anyone at all? The following strategies can help you to get traffic:
This strategy, when executed well will make sure that your business shows up on the top of the organic search results when the user searches for a keyword related to your business on the search engines. You do not have to pay search engines to get the visibility and traffic. However, this is a highly competitive, somewhat complex and time-consuming strategy.
This is a paid advertising strategy, also called Pay Per Click (PPC). Well-known search engines like Google and Bing have their own advertising platforms which is open for anyone desirous of showing up in the premium search results. This works in an auction format, so the businesses have to bid for the ad spots. Along with the price quoted by them, certain other qualitative factors also play a role in getting the top positions in the premium searches.The benefit of PPC advertising is that you can get quick visibility. Till the time you get up the ranks on the organic search results, you can use BBC. It is also very effective during sales promotions and new product launches.
After the search engines, social media is the next biggest source of traffic. Popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others need to be taken very seriously for getting brand visibility and to get traffic directed to your website. Engage in meaningful conversations and exchange of ideas with your followers on social media to increase your sales.
Next, you should look at email marketing to strengthen your digital marketing efforts. Over 91% of the internet users access their emails at least once a day, so email is a very powerful tool to attract their attention, and have a direct one-on-one conversation. Email marketing also offers the highest return on investment among all digital marketing strategies. You may read more about email marketing in this blog post.
Of course, we understand that doing this on your own might prove to be a big challenge. Don’t let the complexities of digital marketing come in your way. You can always get in touch with us to get you started on your digital marketing quest.