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Let’s face it, the life of a marketer used to be a lot simpler. Before mobile apps, social media, and online videos, there were limited ways to communicate and engage with customers. Today, however, is a different story as there are a slew of digital marketing tools at marketers’ disposal.

In fact, 71% of businesses plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year, compared to a mere 20% who plan on increasing their traditional budgets, according the 2014 Marketing Budgets report from Econsultancy and Responsys.

So what’s causing businesses to invest money in this popular marketing strategy? For starters, it’s cost effective. Companies can develop an online marketing strategy at very little cost compared to radio, magazine, and television advertisements. What’s more, it’s simple to measure and you get real-time results. Unlike traditional methods, you’re able to quickly gain insight into what’s working and what’s not, with tools like Google analytics and marketing automation software.

Now that you’re convinced digital marketing is the most effective way to capture the attention of today’s highly connected buyer, let’s explore some of the different techniques available:

Content Marketing: While content marketing might be the new kid on the digital marketing block, it’s not to be underestimated. The creation and dissemination of custom content helps spread brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, and generate leads. In fact, per dollar content marketing produces three times more leads than paid search, according to a study titled Content Marketing ROI from Eloqua and Kapost.

Online Video: With the attention span of users diminishing by the second, online video has emerged as a real player in the digital marketing realm by delivering brand messaging in an entertaining, yet effective, way. By giving your company a human touch, visitors feel more connected and engaged. In particular, when video is used in email campaigns—and then teased out in the subject lines—marketers can expect increased click through rates.

Social Media: Connecting with buyers via social media is a no-brainer, as it helps build brand affinity and boost customer engagement. However, as new social networks such as Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram ebb and flow in popularity, businesses will have to start establishing themselves on several networks to remain relevant, as opposed to focusing on just one or two.

Mobile: Mobile is quickly becoming the preferred method for online access. In fact, research shows strong growth in mobile. With more buyers using their smartphones to search and purchase products, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn’t take advantage of this digital marketing tool.

Native Advertising: Say so long to banner ads and hello to native advertising. With buyers no longer receptive to traditional advertisements, native advertising has become the new way of promoting products. A form of media that’s seamlessly built into the actual visual design, native advertising has been shown to drive customer engagement.

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