Even in a decade that so far has seen the internet transform our daily lives and revolutionise the way in which we communicate with one another, many businesses still underestimate the power of digital. As a consequence they miss out on reaching their full potential, cut out the majority of their target market, and risk falling behind (or into obscurity) at the hands of tech-savvy competitors. So how can companies new to online marketing claim their rightful share of their chosen market?
In the first of our ‘Beginners’ Guide to the Web’ series, we take a look at how consumers are using the web, and why understanding each element is key. We also explore why these aspects of digital marketing are so important – and how implementing each could help your business to reach more customers and compete more effectively on a local, national or global scale.
The internet is rapidly becoming your sole valuable form of connection with clients – and its usage is growing year on year
In 2000, around 360 million people worldwide were online. By 2014 that number had risen to 3 billion, with no sign of growth slowing any time soon. When you consider your target market and apply those numbers to your business, it’s clear to see why your online presence can be so influential over their buying decisions – positively or negatively. In Europe in particular over 75% of the population have internet access – possessing contracts on more than one mobile device each. What this means for UK-based businesses is that digital marketing and a responsive website viewable across a range of mediums are essential elements – rather than additional aspects – of their success.
Now consumers do (and buy) as much as possible online
With an average of 1,900 minutes or 30 hours spent online per person per month, how much of that time could your business expect to receive? With 364 billion euros spent over the internet for both goods and services in 2013 alone, it’s reasonable to suggest that your business can claim its slice of the action. However this can only be achieved with a strong web presence – a website that appeals both to search engines and your clients, and a varied portfolio of SEO and online marketing techniques.
Video has grown in popularity and continues to develop and dominate
Video sharing sites such as YouTube and online TV channels including Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon Prime are changing the way users watch moving media – and in turn are revolutionising the manner in which businesses market to their clients. Video is engaging, humanistic – it requires little effort to view, yet its multisensory delivery aids quick appreciation and understanding of a brand, product or service. Short and snappy videos shared on social media sites are better for some businesses, whilst others find that longer tutorials and documentaries garner more interest. Crucially, good video marketing enables brands to make a connection with their clients – and helps them to occupy more of users’ internet time. Partnership with a specialist digital marketing company who know how to produce and employ effective video media is your first step to exploiting the growing online video market.
In digital marketing social media cannot be ignored
Almost a third of the time users spend online is occupied by on social media. But why is such a key aspect of a modern company’s digital presence often neglected or half-heartedly employed as a marketing method? Confusion is usually a key factor in the under-usage of social media as a promotional tool – but so is time. It takes time to grasp the intricacies of each network – the etiquette, the optimum posting times – the art of crafting compelling content. Employing social media experts as part of a wider digital strategy takes away this headache – giving you peace of mind knowing that it is being taken care of by professionals who can secure results for your business quickly.