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Christa Sterling

February 7th, 2017

Digital marketing may seem like a brand new way of advertising to those who have been in business a long time, but for brand new businesses, it is a way of life. As more and more consumers find direct market mail pieces annoying and intrusive, they look to the internet, including email, websites, and social media, to give them the information they need.

Digital marketing is less expensive, easier, and can even be more effective than direct mail, depending on how you do it. Some forms of digital marketing, like a website, do require a substantial financial investment unless you have the professional skills needed to do the work, but others, like social media pages and even some types of email marketing, only require time.

The Necessity of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is necessary for all companies today for one major reason: if you don’t have an online marketing plan, your competitors will attract those customers, and you won’t. Because most companies do have a web presence and market to customers digitally, and because most customers seek out products and services online, you will miss a major part of the current market if you don’t have a digital component to your marketing.

There are many other benefits to digital marketing in addition to holding onto market share, however. Most digital marketing software collects data about who responds to your ads, website, and emails, and you need to use that data to build a customer model so you can personalize your message.

Having a relevant, personalized message will allow you to reach out to customers where they are and offer them products they will want to buy, in real-time. Amazon and other companies do this by suggesting additional products whenever anyone searches their sites, and there are many tools available to make it possible for smaller companies to do the same thing with their customers.

Basics of Digital Marketing

A professional website. Consumers who search for a product in your area or to purchase online want to see a website that looks professional and has information about your company, products, and a way to contact you.

An email list. There are various ways to build an email list, from buying one that you think dovetails with your target market to offering opt-ins on your website and blog pages as well as when a customer makes a purchase. You don’t want to overwhelm consumers with emails, but having some regular email contact is a good way to keep your products and services in front of consumers so they don’t forget about you, as well as inform them about specials they may want to take advantage of.

A social media presence. You don’t have to try to have a page on all of the social media sites (there are many), but having some sort of social media presence is one of the best ways to interact with your customer base and spread the word about your company. Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest social media sites, but some businesses do well on the smaller niche sites too.

Learn more about digital marketing through CCSU continuing education courses.  Sign up for our Digital Marketing Certificate! View open courses to see all learning opportunities.