Numbers Don’t Lie: The Value of an Integrated Digital Marketing Presence
Let’s pretend for the sake of this article that your performance at work has been off the charts and you’ve been offered the promotion of a lifetime. The only catch is that you have to relocate from, let’s say, Denver, Colorado to Boston, Massachusetts. You love where you’re at now, but this promotion is another step closer to your dream job. So, after some careful consideration, you decide that you’re going to accept the offer and make the move. Congratulations, fictional character!
Just a few days after your move, you receive a text from your mom bright and early in the morning, “Your father and I are coming to visit you today, make some dinner reservations for the three of us! XOXO – Mom.” Immediately, the panic sets in…
What’s your first move? I bet you go online to look up “the best restaurants in Boston.” I also bet you pick one that showed up early and often during your research. You want to know why? Because you trust the restaurant that has the best online presence. That restaurant is likely bringing in more customers and revenue than those with a less salient online presence, and especially more than those not online at all.
While this scenario is quite specific, the premise can be used for almost any business. When people are looking to buy something, odds are they check the Internet before deciding. What they find online ultimately leads them to their purchase. Therefore, businesses that invest in digital marketing tend to bring in more customers than those that don’t. Trust me, the numbers don’t lie.
When I bet that you would go online to find a restaurant, I didn’t bet blindly. About 92% of consumers searched for restaurants through a web browser in the last six months.1 Those are pretty good odds.
For other businesses, the statistics are quite similar. Data from an omnichannel shopping study indicated that 88% of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in store.2 Imagine missing out on that potential income because you didn’t take the time and effort to set up a website.
Your website is often the first point of contact between your business and its prospective customers. If set up correctly, it will leave a positive impression that could convert into a sale.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Directly related to your website is search engine optimization (SEO). When people do an online search for the types of products and services your business provides, you want them to find you first, right? Right.
It’s been reported that 93% of all website traffic is driven by search engines.3 That means only 7% of people are going directly to a specific website when they get online. You’ll need to rank high in organic search results to be credible and visible.
Incidentally, Hubspot found that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. If your business isn’t on that first page, chances are it’s not going to be found. There are even memes about how the second page of a google search is a desolate place where few dare to go. Make sure to rank well and reap the benefits.
In addition to having a great website and SEO strategy, there are other digital marketing outlets that bring attention to your business and, in turn, paying customers. One of those outlets is email. It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing tactics like direct mail or print media, and it produces higher conversion rates.
For example, a large majority of U.S. adults, roughly 72%, prefer communication with companies to happen through email.4 The next highest is postal mail, which is only about 48%. Think about it, how often do you check your email every day between work and leisure? It makes sense that placing your brand in a heavily visited area is an effective way to engage your target audience.
If it’s relatively cheap to use and is the preferred method to receive marketing communications, it’s not surprising that it produces a great return on investment (ROI). Campaign monitor reports that there is a $44 return for every $1 spent with email marketing.5 This is a $6 increase from 2015 when it was a $38 return for every $1 spent, and a $19 increase from 2013 when it was a $25 return for every $1 spent.6 Seems to be a rising trend.
Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at social media. The battleground for businesses to produce the most engaging content. And the stakes are high, considering there are about 2.34 billion social media users in the U.S. alone. With this many people on social media, it’s advisable to have a least one platform set up for your business. Start with one that’s most in line with your target audience and add others as you feel comfortable. The number of channels you pursue really depends upon where your audience is active and what channels they prefer. The time and personnel you have for actually managing the platforms plays a role as well.
Don’t forget, having a social media account for your business comes with responsibility. It isn’t going to do you any good without regularly posting and responding to users. It’s called “social” media for a reason. In fact, 73% of consumers are likely to buy from a brand that responds to them on social media.7 Even if someone leaves a nasty comment, likely not leading to a purchase, it’s best to reply. Thank them for their feedback and let them know you have a remedial plan in place.
Again, with that responsibility comes results. It’s been noted that 78% of people say a business’ social media posts influence their purchasing decisions, and about 50% of businesses that have been using social media for at least 3 years source increased sales and revenue to social media.7 Yet another digital marketing outlet bringing in customers.
What Did You Decide?
Although these various digital marketing assets are great for businesses looking to grow, they mean nothing if not in unison. Your business website, SEO strategy, email marketing and social media should have a consistent brand identity. Let the world know what your business is made of and stick to it.
Oh, I almost forgot ask. Where did you end up going for dinner?
- Constant Contact (https://blogs.constantcontact.com/restaurants-most-searched-industry-by-consumers-on-mobile-devices-and-other-hot-topics/)
- PYMNTS (https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/omichannel-ecommerce-consumer-habits/)
- seotribunal (https://seotribunal.com/blog/stats-to-understand-seo/)
- marketingsherpa (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/customer-communication-by-channel)
- Campaign Monitor (https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/infographics/24-email-marketing-stats-need-know/)
- emailmonday (https://www.emailmonday.com/dma-national-client-email-report-2015/)
- SocialMediaToday (https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/2015-02-23/10-stats-prove-your-work-has-social-media-roi)
Joe is an account executive and digital marketing specialist at Granite Creative Group. His passion for transparency in business and life has led him to a career in marketing after graduating from Temple University.