We now live in a World where technology is growing at such an exponential rate, that consumers are connected and online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
With this constant connectivity has come an increased demand for SMEs, large or small, to engage with customers online – with digital marketing playing a key role in increasing brand awareness and driving web traffic.
If you think about, what is the first thing you do when you are looking for a product or service? You Google – and without the support of digital marketing, businesses or brands will struggle to be heard above the noise.
Websites are shop windows
A recent report has revealed that over 50% of UK micro-businesses do not have a website, as confirmed by the Office of National Statistics.
Today, Google is the high street, with each website representing individual shop windows. Without a shop presence, how can a business expect to engage with new customers, sell products or receive sign ups to a new service?
The same report advised this alarming statistic is a result of a digital skills gap – with many small business owners lacking the technical capability for developing and designing a website and, thereafter, driving traffic to it.
Enter Digital Marketers.
As Google Guru, Matt Cutts, says: “One of the great things about the web is that it still offers up-and-coming businesses opportunities to build their own reputation online.”
Page 2 is far worse than second place
A business could have the best website in the World, but if no-one can find it, what is the point in its existence?
Without digital marketing, and predominantly Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] and Pay-Per-Click advertising – businesses should not expect their website to receive high volumes of traffic or perform well within the Search Engine Results Pages [SERPs].
As the saying goes, the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.
Social media = engagement
Starbucks, ASOS and Nike all have something in common – and it isn’t just their impressive turnovers! They all boast an excellent social media presence, with millions of followers per brand.
The secret? They have taken the time to select the right channels for their target audiences, and utilise innovative ideas to engage with their potential customers, away from just the hard sell.
Like Google, one of the first things consumers do when finding out about a brand or business is to search for them on social media. Without digital marketing support, many businesses fail at social media and wonder why it remains ineffective.
According to an article by Forbes, the majority of people who feel social media doesn’t work is due to the fact they aren’t using it correctly. In most, they haven’t correctly identified their target audiences, and fail to develop an effective social media strategy, with relevant and engaging messaging.
Sales and digital marketing go hand in hand
Sales and marketing come hand in hand. Fact. And in recent years, digital marketing has been key to sales success in driving customers online. Take the retail sector as a prime example – in December 2016 ONS retail statistics revealed high street figures fell to the lowest level seen in the past four years, with online sales increasing 21.3%.
Without an online presence that is supported by effective digital marketing, businesses and brands cannot expect to achieve sales growth year on year – particularly as consumers become more engulfed in technology, where creative mobile marketing strategies is now a top priority for businesses across all industry sectors.
Keep pace with industry trends
Whether it’s changing Google algorithms, the introduction of new social media platforms or advancing technologies, digital marketing changes regularly - and quickly – requiring industry professionals to keep pace with industry trends to ensure businesses can continue to engage effectively with their target audiences.
Recent examples include mobile marketing strategies, voice search, artificial intelligence and video content just to name a few.
The great thing about digital marketing is that aside from helping businesses develop and achieve their growth objectives, there is always something new to be learnt, a course to be taken or a blog to be read. It is one of the most exciting and fast-paced industries to work in, and right now, there is increasing demand for professionals as businesses continue to make sense of the advancing digital landscape and their place within it.
Are you a small business owner, looking to brush up on your digital marketing skills? Or have you always liked the idea of helping businesses grow through effective digital marketing? e-Careers offer a Digital Marketing Diagnostic for you to sink your teeth in to - gauge where your skillset is and then embark on one of our digital marketing courses to build a career in this exciting industry!
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