As an entrepreneur, are you still emotionally stuck to the old ways of doing business?
Now think as a consumer; how often have you made your purchase decisions simply based on radio, TV, or newspaper ads in the last few years? Not many, right?
Gone are the days when people relied on other people (primarily salesmen) to help them buy smartly.
Or when your only competitors were a few blocks away from your store’s location.
Or when you simply needed hard work, determination, and advertisement spots on TV, radio, and newspaper to drive hefty profits to your business.
Call it boon or bane, the internet (being easily accessible) has made people self-reliant and converted the world into a small playground. As rightly worded by Bill Gates— “The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”
This applies to every business regardless of their industry.
Did we convince you halfway there? Well, then let’s move ahead and talk numbers to prove how digital marketing helps entrepreneurs up their game.
Some Staggering Numbers to Look at
- Out of 7.83 billion people worldwide, 4.66 billion use the internet as of January 2021, increasing the global internet penetration to 59.5% (whereas India’s internet penetration stands at 45.0% in January 2021). Source, Data Reportal
- 93% of consumers find a local business using the internet. (Oh, the power of Local SEO) – Source, Bright Local
- The significant Indian population discovers new brands via the internet (search engines, social media, ads, and websites combined). See the image below.
Imagine the opportunities you are missing out on!
For all we know, your competitors are probably marketing their business digitally.
Now that you are caught up with the basics let’s look at some advantages of exactly how digital marketing helps entrepreneurs!
How Digital Marketing Helps Entrepreneurs
1. Gives an Edge Over Competitors
Perhaps this is one of the most significant advantages of how digital marketing helps entrepreneurs.
People worldwide are increasingly relying on their online mobile searches to find services like yours. If you aren’t there, someone else will be to serve them.
Seize the opportunity!
Let’s consider two scenarios:
- Your competitors aren’t aware of digital marketing.
- Your competitors are proficient at digital marketing.
If it’s the former, you can easily get to the top with little effort and ace your digital marketing game.
Make it easier for people to reach you through multiple channels like websites, social media, Google Business Listings, and beyond.
However, if it’s the latter, you will need all the help and knowledge to build your digital authority.
Although digital marketing is getting competitive by the minute, and there are multiple challenges, your focus should be to leverage your strength and deliver quality.
By any means, the crux is to start as early as possible.
In that sense, it is similar to financial investment.
“The best time to invest was 20 years ago. The next best is now.”
2. Builds Brand Awareness
The power of branding lies in how the product itself becomes the industry.
Didn’t understand? Consider the example of Xerox.
Xerox launched its photocopy machine. However, gradually people started using the word Xerox for photocopy interchangeably to the extent that Xerox replaced photocopy.
While we aren’t saying that television and newspaper ads don’t work anymore (they have helped build many brands), they aren’t as affordable as digital marketing, especially for small businesses.
Moreover, it’s not that digital marketing will transform your company into the next Netflix.
But you don’t stand a chance without it.
So how Digital marketing helps entrepreneurs to build or increase their brand awareness?
Well, digital marketing is a broad concept that is further segmented into multiple categories, namely Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), social media marketing, and beyond.
In a nutshell, digital marketing covers every corner and cranny of the internet where your audience is.
Thus, making it possible to help build your brand efficiently without denting your pocket.
Moreover, customers are more likely to share their post-purchase experiences online. This will help you track their stories, leverage word-of-mouth advertising, perhaps the most potent form of advertising from time immemorial, and lastly, even go viral!
3. Markets You 24/7
Whether you are on a vacation or sleeping, online marketing has your back throughout.
Consider your website as a repository of your business’ information. Hence, even during off-hours, your consumer can continue to access the information they are looking for related to your services.
Similarly, the ad campaigns you run (on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) will keep educating your audience and promoting your service for as long as you want.
After all, as Paul Cookson says
“Websites promote you 24/7; no employee will do that.”
This holds for every digital marketing campaign.
4. Gets Higher Conversions
Google states that companies using digital marketing have 2.8 times better growth revenue expectancy.
This is primarily because you have multiple digital marketing options to reach your targeted audience, in contrast to traditional marketing, where personalised reach is impossible.
Moreover, you can keep track of your marketing campaigns.
You get access to various analytics and data that help you understand your efforts’ potential and optimise them accordingly and well, instantly.
It is simple, effective, and helps you make an informed decision for the way ahead.
5. Builds Long-Lasting Connections
It’s no more about helping customers find the right product; the Internet has empowered them to do it.
What matters is the customer experience and relationship you build with them to ensure they turn into loyal customers. Probably the biggest drawback of traditional advertising is that it doesn’t offer two-way communication.
Digital marketing helps humanise your brand through meaningful and straightforward campaigns, engage in conversation with your audience, and enhance their post-purchase experience.
Let’s look at OLX’s Independence Day campaign #Daastaan.
The campaign encouraged people to share their memories and possessions they left behind during the partition with a promise to find them.
OLX’s Facebook post says, “Presenting OLX #Daastaan. An initiative to bring back lost memories.” It further adds, “OLX Dastaan will pursue the search for your belongings from across the border.”
This campaign not only helped them build an online image but also helped connect with consumers emotionally, and in turn, build brand loyalty and more revenue.
It all depends on how you leverage the digital channels to your benefit.
6. Caters to the Mobile Audience
With the increasing number of mobile users, that’s where your focus should be.
Mobile phones have evolved from being a luxury to an influencer for purchasing decisions. Almost every purchase today starts with the mobile internet.
Digital marketing empowers you to reach your on-the-go audience, especially if your target audience is young. It includes optimising everything from content to website and email campaigns for mobile users. Given that mobile users are growing every day, this sounds the most logical way to go.
Now that you understand how digital marketing helps entrepreneurs let’s learn in brief how to excel at it.
How to Go Digital: Essentials For Digital Presence
1. Website or Blog
Whether you are a one-person army looking to build a personal brand, a start-up, or a well-established company, you need a website. There’s no alternative to a website to reciprocate the information that your audience is looking for.
You can go with a blog (or a video blog) if you want to impart information related to a niche or a full-fledged eCommerce website to sell a service or a product.
It isn’t free. You must buy a domain name and web hosting service, to begin with.
2. Social Presence
According to Statista, people spend an average of 145 minutes on social media every day (up from 142 in the previous year). This trend is only scaling with the new features that social media platforms introduce now and then to keep their users glued.
You must select the right platform based on your service and product and buyer’s persona to reach them efficiently.
3. Knowledge of Various Digital Marketing Tools
As mentioned above, digital marketing in itself is a broad term that covers the technicalities of the internet. While there are multiple guides available online for free, it makes sense to invest a little and go with a professional. Mainly because they have the experience, they know the field’s ins and outs, and they live for it.
Before You Go
COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for many. It taught us the importance of never relying on one source.
To survive the competitive business landscape, entrepreneurs must move with the evolving technology and embrace the power of digital marketing to build their brand.
Hence, how digital marketing helps entrepreneurs is no more a question. The real question now is whether you successfully use digital marketing and reap its benefits.
If you are looking to explore the complex realms of digital marketing, check out this PG Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication by upGrad and MICA. It will help you master the art and science of digital marketing.