Digital Marketing – giving your offline business an online presence

hand draws the big idea

 

Digital Marketing is Growing

A recent report from the Digital Marketing Institute highlighted –

“Irish consumer online spending is up 51% year on year, meaning the digital economy is growing 25 times faster than the general economy, but over 60% of online Irish consumer spend (€3.6bn of €5.9bn) is being lost to overseas companies. It is essential that Irish businesses arm themselves with the skills to market and sell successfully online to halt this revenue drain.”

A digital presence and strategy will become increasingly important to compete as the Irish consumer and economy evolve.

Digital Marketing offers more than just sales

For lots of businesses digital marketing is crucial in the lead generation process. Consumers are now using on average 10 sources of information when researching a product or service. Most and in a lot of cases all of these being online resources.

Despite the internet becoming more and more involved in the purchasing decision over 50% of Irish consumers prefer to walk into a shop or office and deal with a vendor face to face. To fully appreciate the role digital marketing can play for an offline, traditional business you need to think of the whole customer journey and not just the final transaction.

The internet has revolutionised the way people shop. Window shopping, browsing printed catalogues or running your finger down the Yellow Pages have been replaced by online research. For the majority of consumers, the journey towards the final purchase begins by grabbing a connected device. Each month there are thousands of searches by consumers in Google, even though the final transaction may take place in a shop.

Digital marketing allows you and your business to be where people are searching at the moment they pick up their device.

The Four Layers of your Digital Infrastructure

A common misconception is that social media is digital marketing. While social media is important in pushing out your messages to a wider audience, there is a lot that needs to happen before you post on Twitter or Facebook.

You need to have four layers in place to do digital marketing effectively, the last one includes social media.

  1. Your Website – This is your digital hub. All your content and activity should flow from your website. The express purpose of your content is to bring people back to look around your website for more information and to get in touch with you directly.
  2. Design and Speed – A clunky, badly laid out website that takes an age for the pages to load up is the equivalent of an unkempt sales man in a cheap suit that doesn’t answer your questions. Your website might be potential customers’ first encounter with your business. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a good first impression.
  3. Content and SEO – Your website should help customers find a solution to their problem with information about the product/service they are searching for. This is done by posting engaging content on the subject matter. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way of using keywords to make it easier to be found when someone ‘Googles’ for help.
  4. Amplification – Is when you use tools like social media to share your content around to try and draw people back to your website. You could also use paid adverts on social media or search engines. Its important your website has ‘Calls To Action’, inquiry forms or ways the customer can contact you once they’ve returned to your website.

The biggest benefit digital marketing has over traditional marketing is the ability to measure everything you do. Once someone clicks on a link data is being gathered about the potential customer. It also allows you measure what works and what doesn’t giving you the ability to change things as you learn.

‘You have nothing to fear…’

For traditional businesses the idea of digital marketing can be complicated and daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. You can implement an effective digital marketing strategy to suit your budget and manpower with relative ease. Why not give it a try. If you’d like to see how digital marketing can help your business, why not drop me an e-mail over HERE.

You can also check out a YouTube video I did on Taking Your Business Digital HERE.