There’s no question your money goes further with digital marketing than with traditional marketing. Between the constant advancements in technology and access to millions of buyers online, you can reach more people in more ways than ever. You don’t even have to shell out thousands for airtime and ad space.

That said, digital marketing still isn’t free. You’re going to pay for tools, clicks, subscriptions, ads, and execution, not to mention the expense of your own time and attention. As a business owner, you may still be thinking, “It’s great that it’s cheaper, but is it still effective enough to be worth it? Will digital marketing actually grow my business?”

Having helped hundreds of companies grow their business online, we can tell you straight-up that digital marketing is incredibly effective. The return on investment can be massive, and you will see customer engagement and conversions grow faster than ever before . . .

. . . if you have a strategy.

We’ll get in to the many reasons why digital marketing is a powerful tool for business growth. But first, let’s address the most important aspect of truly effective digital marketing.

Your Digital Marketing ROI

If you’ve tried marketing your company online, but you’re still not sure if digital marketing can grow your business, one thing is certain:

You don’t have an actual strategy in place.

But don’t worry; it’s not just you. A lot of businesses get into digital marketing with a vague plan to toy around with AdWords and some social media posts . . . maybe even a blog or email campaign. The problem with this approach is that it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate sense of how far your marketing dollars are actually going. Plus, it’s harder to evaluate and switch courses on an ineffective marketing approach if there wasn’t much strategy behind your approach to begin with.

In order to make the most of what the digital age has to offer, you need to draw up a digital marketing strategy. Research your past performance online. Research your competitors. Define your customer persona and figure out how best to engage with that audience—where you find them, what they think about, and what type of content resonates with them. Set clear objectives and a plan for how your strategy helps your business usher buyers through the marketing funnel—from awareness to consideration to conversion.

Most importantly, you need to have a system for monitoring your success. There are countless tools at your disposal for monitoring everything from social media to video to your overall online presence. These tools are absolutely essential, because they give you a crystal clear view of which tactics don’t work and which don’t. They are invaluable for optimizing your strategy so you can continuously improve your digital presence and—as a result—drive more conversions.

The best thing about digital marketing is that you have more insights than ever. Which means you are in charge of whether or not digital marketing can grow your business.

Now, assuming you’re working with a carefully planned strategy, here are some of the major ways digital marketing can be a game-changer for your enterprise.

Target and Retarget Buyers

If you’re wondering about business growth, you probably want some numbers. Here are some things to think about:

Why is digital advertising so effective?

Well, digital marketing allows you to pinpoint the people most likely to buy from you and target them directly.

You can target ads to customers who have certain behaviors, advertise on websites your buyers are likely to visit, and hone in your audience’s preferences and opinions based on how they engage (or don’t engage) with your social media content. Facebook advertising in particular allows you to show your ads to an extremely specific audience. On this platform, you can narrow your audience down to details such as income, interests, and hobbies.

And influencer marketing allows you to tap into the pre-existing fanbase of a popular social media figure whose image and values align with your brand. This not only gives you immediate access to buyers who are highly likely to be interested in what you’re selling; it also supports your brand with all-powerful social proof.

Plus, your digital marketing strategy can (and should) include automated systems to retarget buyers. You can create increasingly personalized ads to guide visitors to your site through the marketing funnel.

Digital Content Guides Decision-Making

Digital marketing gives you way, way more opportunities to make a compelling case for your product or service. Consider this:

  • On average, buyers consume 11.4 pieces of content prior to actually making a purchase.
  • 98% of Internet users have consulted an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 77% of consumers have decided to make a purchase after watching a video.

As a business owner in the digital age, you are in a powerful position to establish trust between your brand and your customers. You can use digital content such as social media posts, blog posts, and video to inform, assure, and inspire buyers.

Not to mention, as technology charges forward, customers have more and more information at their fingertips. They expect easy access to the answers they seek. If they can’t find the information they need about your business through a simple Google search, they’re increasingly likely to turn their focus to a competitor.

Create a Personal Connection with Buyers

As business owners, we like to think a quality product speaks for itself. We like to imagine that consumers make a purchase based solely on the merit of the goods or services we offer.

But as a business owner, you’ve likely learned that customers’ buying decisions are deeply tied to their emotions. Fortunately, digital marketing facilitates an increasingly personal connection between your audience and your brand.

Everything can be a factor in humanizing your business for buyers, from the voice of your email campaigns to the tone of your banner ads. However, two major tactics that have no traditional marketing equivalent are social media outreach and video marketing.

Whether through paid advertising or posts on your business page, social media enables you to become another voice in the buyer’s social circle online. Your brand is right there, between baby pictures and mountain top selfies. And because social media is all about engagement, your buyers can feel especially seen and connected to your brand as they “like,” comment, and share.

Video marketing gives you an opportunity to trigger an emotional response in your audience, whether it’s envy, motivation, or humor. Video also help create a sense of “voice” for your business. Not to mention, video is easily consumed and shared, with a whopping 70% of users saying they’ve shared branded video on social media or among friends.

Competitive Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can definitely grow your business. But the heavier truth is that your business needs digital marketing to survive . . . especially long-term.

Times are changing fast. More and more people are turning to the Internet to learn about brands, seek out recommendations, and make purchases. One especially important statistic to know is this:

54% of all e-commerce sales are projected to be made via mobile device by 2021.

Thanks to the digital era, businesses have the power to literally be in the buyer’s pocket. You no longer have to coax customers into a brick-and-mortar store. They can find you any time, anywhere, as long as you have a strong digital presence and a website that’s optimized for mobile. Even if you’re not in e-commerce, you should still know that 81% of smartphone users turn to their mobile device to research products or services.

Very soon, digital marketing won’t just be a method to thrive. It will be imperative for your company’s survival.

Lower Digital Marketing Budget for High ROI

Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing offers a lot more versatility, budget-wise. Thanks to new tools and easy access to literally millions of consumers through social media platforms, even small businesses have more opportunities to expand on a limited budget. While digital marketing is like anything else—the businesses with more to spend will always have a leg up—the digital world is the closest thing we’ve seen to a level playing field.

And because costs are lower than ever, your potential return on investment is higher than ever.

One area with a particularly high ROI is email marketing. The investment for an email campaign is relatively low, and it’s a tactic that connects with buyers directly in a format that facilitates easy engagement (and compelling CTAs, ideally). Statistics demonstrate that the average ROI for email is 122%. Not too shabby.

Hopefully, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the most important question to ask is not if digital marketing can grow your business. It’s how digital marketing can grow your business.

The tools are there. The access to buyers is there. The potential is there.

The only ingredient you have to ad is a carefully designed strategy to ensure your efforts pay off the way they should. And remember to keep monitoring and keep optimizing to see ongoing growth. This especially important as both technology and culture evolve at a faster-than-ever rate. You have to keep your eyes open to stay relevant to your buyers.We know creating a digital marketing strategy is no small task. If there’s anything we can do to help, let us know.