What is Digital Marketing?

A whopping 4.66 billion people use the internet worldwide which is almost 60% of the world’s population. And the number is still rising as more people switch to the internet to seek information. The investment in digital marketing is increasing with the same trend.


Because marketers know the importance of reaching their target audience and being there where your ideal customers are. Today, digital marketing spend has surpassed traditional marketing spend by a huge margin. Forrester predicted that businesses will invest more than $140 billion in digital marketing by 2023:

digital marketing vs traditional marketing

So, what is digital marketing, why it is important, and why you should be investing in it?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is marketing that’s done on the internet using online channels such as websites, social media, email, search engines, and others. It is also known as online marketing or internet marketing. It includes the use of online technologies to reach your target audience:

online marketing channels

For example, when you create a Facebook page to connect with your target audience, you are doing digital marketing and the channel you are using is social media.

Online marketing has several channels including:

Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business

So, what makes digital marketing crucial for today’s businesses? Why do you need to invest in online marketing?

It offers a lot of benefits that traditional marketing fails to deliver. It has turned out to be a better choice than traditional marketing for all the following reasons:

1. High Interaction and Engagement with Audience

Online marketing lets you interact with your target audience at an individual level. This isn’t possible with traditional marketing. As much as 50% of marketers report that the biggest drawback of traditional marketing is that it has little or no interaction with your audience:

drawbacks of traditional marketing

You can interact and engage with your audience and customers at a personal level. Here is an example:

online marketing example

You can’t do this with a TV ad. Your ad runs on TV, radio, or newspaper and there isn’t any interaction with the audience. Digital marketing transforms the way you interact with your audience.

2. Improved Targeting

One of the most important reasons why you must use digital marketing is its laser targeting. You can reach and show your ad or content to the most appropriate people who are most likely to convert and buy.

Google Ads, for example, lets you target people based on their location, demographics, interests, buying behavior, devices, etc. You can even target people in a specific zip code. Your ads will be shown to people who are present in your target zip:

Improved Targeting

Email marketing takes targeting to a whole new level where you send highly personalized emails to your subscribers. Here is an example:

email personalization example

This type of laser targeting is available with all the online marketing channels making it super easy to reach your target audience at the right place.

This feature isn’t available with traditional marketing. Consider a billboard. It isn’t targeting a specific group of people rather it is seen by everyone irrespective of whether someone is your target audience or not.

3. Cost-Effective

Online marketing is cost-effective. In fact, it is very cheap as compared to traditional marketing.

It will cost you a minimum of $150 to reach 2,000 people with traditional advertising while it will cost you $50 minimum to reach the same 2,000 people via online marketing:

traditional vs online marketing cost stats

Generally, it costs between $500 to $12,000 per month to run a digital marketing campaign while it only costs $8 million to set up a traditional marketing campaign on TV, radio, and print.

This pricing difference makes a lot of difference. Small businesses with a limited marketing budget can easily run digital marketing campaigns while they can’t even think of running a traditional marketing campaign.

The cost-effectiveness of online marketing makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes.

4. High ROI

Digital marketing has better ROI. You are already paying less than traditional marketing and you get a high return on investment, what’s better?

The top three marketing channels with the highest ROI are email, SEO, and direct mail. The email has an ROI of $6.5 that’s way more than the second-highest channel that has $2.75 ROI:

marketing channel roi statistics

Digital marketing channels have generally higher ROI because:

  • Online marketing is cheap. When you are paying less for marketing, you will naturally have a high ROI (ROI = Net Profit / Total Investment * 100)
  • You target the right audience that is most likely to convert. Improved targeting increases conversion and sales leading to a high net profit that improves ROI
  • The cost to set up and run a digital marketing campaign is minimal.

5. Easy-to-Use

You can create, run, and manage a digital marketing campaign yourself without any agency’s help. For example, you can run ads on Facebook yourself without anyone’s help and you can create a video for YouTube from your smartphone without any special equipment.

This isn’t the case with traditional marketing. You can’t create a TV commercial yourself. In fact, you’ll need to contact an advertising agency for all types of traditional marketing.

The ease of use of digital marketing is the best feature. You can create your website, write and publish content yourself, and manage your website easily.

6. Measurable

This is the best thing about digital marketing.

Everything is trackable. You can track clicks, conversions, sales, and complete customer journey with simple tracking tools. You’ll know what ad generated the lead.

The ability to measure and track your marketing campaigns is critical for two main reasons:

  1. You can measure ROI
  2. Identify the best marketing collateral and channels with extreme precision.

You can’t measure traditional marketing with accuracy. For example, you can’t tell how many people visited your store after seeing a billboard. This makes it hard to measure ROI and find the best marketing channels for replication.

Final Words

If you aren’t using digital marketing to reach your target audience in 2021, you are making a big mistake. It is the best way to reach your ideal customers irrespective of their geographical location. It has a global reach with minimal cost.

What else do you need?

Featured Image: Pexels

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