When was the last time you thought about enticing customers into your store as they walked down the street reading their email on their smartphones?
As more people move to digital media and portable devices overtake the market from PCs, digital marketing will become even more important for businesses to stay competitive by capturing them where they are.
Here are five reasons why you must focus on digital marketing and what trends you can expect for 2014:
With digital marketing, you can reach many more consumers than you would with traditional marketing options. Social media has expanded the sphere of influence companies can have, and that will continue in 2014. The key to making this work will be with providing valuable information to consumers. Digital marketing makes it less about you and more about them. As more people gain access to the internet and smartphones, this benefit will only grow.
How many visitors to your Facebook page clicked on the link to your latest sale? How many followed up with a purchase? It's easier to find out these statistics with the analytics available for digital marketing. Businesses can expect it to be even more important to interact in real time with customers as technology continues to advance to make this easier.
Digital marketing is more affordable than other forms of advertising. Many options are even free such as creating a Twitter account or Facebook page, which allows small and new businesses to be on a level playing field with those companies that have a bigger advertising budget. The fact that these businesses can reach more customers with a free or low-priced ad than with a newspaper or TV ad is an extra bonus.
A trend that has developed in the last few years with the growth of smartphones and tablets is the increase in exposure to mobile ads and sites. This is only going to advance in 2014. For a business to be successful and competitive in today's market, it is going to need a mobile site. That means you can reach customers with your ad while they are shopping or deciding on which restaurant to go to for dinner. Another new trend that will continue to develop in the next year is location-based marketing. Sites like Foursquare and other applications will help consumers get information that is relevant to where they are at the time.
Digital marketing can be more targeted than other forms of advertising. This allows a business to focus on reaching their intended audience rather than creating general ads. Money that is invested in marketing will have a greater return because it is geared towards the people most likely to need the product or service or towards those already looking for help.
With wearable technology becoming more commonplace, the opportunities to reach people anytime anyplace will continue to grow.
This means that the importance of digital marketing is only going to increase and businesses that don't put enough time and money in this area will get left behind. Those that do will see the benefits with increased sales and more customers.
Digital marketing will be the difference between the leaders and those who get left behind.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and Reputation.com.