There’s endless reasons why digital marketing makes an excellent solution for so many businesses, but if you’re just getting started, here’s the two that will have the biggest impact on the way you market and sell to your customers.
1. Reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time
The internet is your gateway to people who might one day become your customers. With an online presence, you can reach far more of the right people than you can by marketing your company solely offline. And if you do it the right way, you can get in front of the people who are likely to become your customers at the right moment in their buyer’s journey.
Direct mail and cold calling are outdated tactics. We spend an increasing amount of time on the internet, and we’re constantly using our smartphones. It’s a harsh truth: most people will miss the print ad or brochure you’re trying to put in front of them because they’re too busy looking at a digital screen. Either that, or they’ve subconsciously learned to ignore anything that looks too much like an advertisement.
2. Get measurable results to inform your strategy
Another huge benefit is that digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you’ve ever put an advert in a newspaper, you’ll know it’s impossible to measure the impact that advert has on your business. On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts using analytics software (like HubSpot).
Marketing has always been about making a connection with your target audience in the right place, at the right time. Today, they’re online, and that means digital marketing should be a primary focus for your business.
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On the surface, the two seem similar: Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content and distributing via digital channels for people to consume. So what’s the difference?
Digital marketing doesn’t differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ methods). In other words, digital outbound tactics aim to push a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible online — regardless of whether it’s relevant or welcomed. For example, the irritating, flashing banner ads you see at the top of lots of websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren’t necessarily ready to receive it.
On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by focusing on being helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms your ideal customers are searching for on Google and other search engines.
Ultimately, inbound marketing is a complete methodology that uses digital marketing assets that work together to attract, convert, close, and delight customers by focusing on being helpful and adding value. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing tactics of any kind, regardless of whether they’re considered inbound or outbound.