9 benefits of digital marketing
Digital marketing is the leading marketing strategy of the 21st century — in fact, the industry will be worth $786.2 billion worldwide by 2026. But not every business has bought into this marketing strategy. In spite of the ubiquity of digital marketing, some organizations are still doubling-down on traditional marketing strategies, or dipping their toes into digital marketing without investing enough time or resources into it to make a lasting impact.
Failing to understand the benefits of digital marketing could lessen its impact on your business — and ultimately, that can result in missed opportunities for growth. When you understand the most common advantages of digital marketing, you’ll be well-positioned to develop a winning strategy and invest strategically in effective digital marketing campaigns.
In this article, we’ll explain the most common benefits of digital marketing for businesses today and why it’s so important to create a thoughtful strategy. Whether you’re starting from scratch or refining your existing strategy, it’s a good time to review your plan and make sure it’s designed to maximize the key benefits.
This post will discuss nine of the most common benefits of digital marketing, including:
- Global reach
- Cost efficiency
- Measurable results
- Effective targeting
- Increased engagement
- Improved conversion rate
- Social currency
- Greater ROI
1. Global reach
Traditional marketing strategies like billboards, TV ads, and cold sales calls are limited by geography. But with digital marketing, businesses can access a global audience across locations and time zones. Instead of limiting your reach to people in your community, you can target potential customers in your state, country, and even globally.
Traditional marketing tactics could cost a fortune for companies to promote themselves across multiple different markets. Digital media strategies like social media, content marketing, and email marketing make it easy for businesses to reach potential customers around the world. With a larger pool of potential customers, you can easily scale up your efforts to build your brand and increase sales.
2. Cost efficiency
Marketers succeed when they’re good stewards of their budgets. Fortunately, investing in digital marketing can make the most of even a modest budget.
For example, a typical print ad can cost upward of $2,000 — and it’s also difficult to measure the precise number of sales generated as a result of a print ad, even with tactics like unique tracking links or QR codes. Modern strategies like email marketing can help businesses generate an average of $42 for every $1 spent.
Most digital marketing strategies have a low startup cost. For example, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and content marketing are some of the most effective ways to promote your business online, and they cost nothing but your time and talent.
Even on the paid marketing front, digital channels don’t usually have minimum budget requirements for social media ad buys or search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. Whatever your budget, you can create a campaign that’s perfectly targeted to your potential customers and set a spending limit so you don’t spend more than your budget allows.
3. Measurable results
Not only is digital marketing more affordable than offline marketing tactics — it’s also highly measurable. Traditional channels like print, TV, and radio ads can be effective, but it’s very challenging to track who responds to your messages.
With digital marketing, you can track nearly every touchpoint users have with your brand. Whether it’s social media views, ad clicks, email opens, or organic page views, every aspect of digital marketing is highly trackable. It’s much easier to prove the return on investment (ROI) of your digital marketing efforts as a result, which helps you better understand the results you’re generating and where to keep investing.
4. Effective targeting
With traditional marketing, you have little control over who sees your content. Even if you pay for a targeted ad in a niche magazine, you can’t guarantee that everyone reading that magazine is your ideal customer.
However, digital marketing allows you to pinpoint the best audience for your messages using online audience and targeting information. You can also collect data from your digital campaigns to see which content works best for certain types of customers. If you’re still learning about your customers’ preferences, these insights can help you refine your campaigns over time.
5. Increased engagement
Traditional marketing methods only allow for one-way interactions. Your business can communicate a message to your audience — but there’s no clear pathway for the audience to respond or take action directly. This puts a barrier between your brand and the people you’re trying to reach, which can reduce engagement.
Digital marketing presents you with the opportunity to have real conversations with your customers. Whether through email, SMS, social media, or blog comments, you can get feedback from your customers every step of the way. This gives you more opportunities to delight customers, answer questions, and fine-tune your campaigns based on their input. It doesn’t hurt that these conversations also provide you with more customer touchpoints, which can increase conversions and sales.
Digital marketing gives you the flexibility to choose from different channels and strategies. It’s also flexible enough that you can adjust your approach over time as you learn more about what works for your audience and business.
There are several types of digital marketing strategies to choose from, including:
- Search engine marketing. Search engine marketing (SEM) includes paid search efforts, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With SEM, you pay to show ads to relevant audiences searching for popular terms on search engines, and these ads drive traffic to a webpage of your choice.
- Social paid ads. Paid ads on leading social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even TikTok — help businesses put themselves in front of millions of potential customers. Many social platforms put a premium on paid ads, prioritizing them above organic content.
- Video marketing. Video content is a great way to pack a lot of information into a short visual format, which can help you make a bigger impression on your audience. Sharing videos on YouTube or TikTok allows you to target specific people with your content, and it’s cheaper than paying for a traditional TV spot.
- Forum engagement. Brands can monitor common questions on forums like Quora or industry boards and provide helpful answers to users’ questions. This positions you as an expert while subtly promoting your brand.
- Social media marketing. Find out which social channels your customers use and create profiles on those platforms. Invest in regularly sharing quality content, replying to user comments, and building relationships with your target audience as you engage with them online.
- Email marketing. Email is a great way to send regular updates to customers and potential customers who are subscribed to your list. With an email marketing platform, it’s easy to automate messages to send at a regular cadence while creating granular, personalized experiences based on audience behavior or demographics.
- Local search. This is a popular tactic for brick-and-mortar businesses. Local search allows you to optimize your website and business listings to appeal to local customers looking for products and services near them.
- Remarketing. This digital marketing strategy targets past leads or customers and encourages them to re-engage with your brand. Paid social, display ads, email, and SMS are all popular remarketing channels.
- Influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is popular for both B2C and B2B organizations. Businesses essentially rent an influencer’s clout to promote themselves to an audience that might otherwise ignore branded messaging. You can pay content creators to promote your products or services to their followers on various digital channels, including social media, personal websites, and podcasts.
Once you choose a handful of online marketing strategies, it’s time to select the types of content you’ll create. Content can take various forms, including:
- Blogs. Post blogs either on your website or as a guest contributor on other sites. This boosts authority and provides expert guidance to your audience, which can increase brand trust.
- Podcasts. There are over 464 million podcast listeners in the world. More people are embracing audio-first content, so podcasting is a great way to reach more people.
- Emails. Email marketing is an easy way to stay in contact with your most engaged and loyal followers. Send newsletters, coupons, exclusive content, or welcome messages to stay in touch with your customers regularly.
- Ebooks. Ebooks are more common in B2B marketing. In fact, this is the most-requested form of content for B2B marketers. With an eBook, you create in-depth content about helpful industry trends, tips, or other helpful information. Many businesses gate eBook content as a way to add more subscribers to their email lists.
- Visual content. Visual content, like infographics or memes, helps your brand stand out on social media. It can also help you rank well in image search results.
- Guides. Guides are more common in B2B marketing because business buyers need to back up their purchasing decisions with data and evidence. This type of content is highly educational and quantitative, so it’s ideal for building industry authority.
- Quizzes. Quizzes are an often overlooked marketing strategy, but they can generate a lot of attention online. Create quizzes to help shoppers pick the best products, or create a fun personality quiz to engage with your social media followers.
- Social media posts. Posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and countless other social media platforms puts your brand in front of hundreds of potential customers.
- Webinars. Webinars are informational online events that are more common in B2B campaigns because they give brands an opportunity to continue conversations during the long B2B buying process. Webinars might touch on industry trends, how-tos, expert interviews, or product demos.
7. Improved conversion rate
When a customer converts, they take a desired action. That might be subscribing to your email newsletter or making a purchase. Your conversion rate measures the percentage of customers who take that desired action. Generally speaking, the higher your conversion rates, the more successful your marketing efforts.
Traditional marketing methods have just a 1.7% lead-to-close rate, which means fewer than 2% of all leads become customers. However, digital marketing has a 9.9% lead-to-close rate, which is nearly six times higher than traditional marketing. If you want to convert more prospects into customers, digital marketing is the way to go.
8. Social currency
Social currency is what happens when content passes from user to user, eventually becoming viral and making a name for your brand. In the past, social currency happened largely through word-of-mouth recommendations. Today, thanks to the power of digital strategies like social media marketing, your business can build social currency by creating content that’s highly relevant, entertaining, and timely. Social currency keeps the conversation going long after your brand’s posts go live and can keep your business top of mind with consumers.
9. Greater ROI
Digital marketing gives businesses more value for their investment — and it’s easier to prove ROI because you can easily attribute sales and conversions to specific campaigns and touchpoints. In an age where marketers increasingly need to do more with fewer resources, digital channels empower businesses to market themselves in the most cost-effective way.
Digital marketing that makes an impact
Understanding the advantages of digital marketing can help your business prioritize digital programs and dial in your marketing strategies to amplify winning tactics.
When you’re ready to invest in digital marketing, the right platform can help you execute an effective strategy. Adobe Marketo Engage helps businesses master account-based marketing, lead management, and multi-touch attribution to improve each step of their digital marketing strategy.