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In the fast-paced, interconnected world of modern marketing, companies must adopt new strategies to keep up. Many general marketing guidelines still apply, but new ones are developing each and every day. Here are some of the top factors your brand needs to consider when stepping into the digital marketing revolution.

Why Digital?

Digital marketing is absolutely essential to any modern business. The common mantra here is “If It Doesn’t Have a Website, it Doesn’t Exist”. So many consumers go to a simple google search or even a Google Maps reference that even retail businesses who aren’t online are at a disadvantage.

But more than just a website is needed for businesses, both online ones and brick-and-mortar shops, to survive. Social media presence, loyalty programs, and email subscribers all constitute significant parts of brands’ online explansion.

The increase in internet use and specifically e-commerce engagement over the last ten years has been a key part of the digital marketing expansion. Since more and more people are buying online, more and more companies are competing for that valuable market, making it harder to stand out. Without a competent digital strategy, your brand may not factor into a consumer’s e-commerce decisions at all.

The ubiquity of mobile phone use is also driving the digital trend. In 2017, more than two billion people made online purchases using their phone, and that number will only go up from there. Ad campaigns and marketing targeted towards specifically mobile users have continued to grow in response.

Social Media

Social media started as platforms for people to connect to other people, but they have since become essential for businesses to further their influence and access large potential consumer bases.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest all sport business-specific tools that are designed to integrate brands onto the platform. Users have become accustomed to ads from brands they may be interested in; some consider ultra-targeted ads creepy, others find them useful.

Influencers on social media leverage their fame and their popularity for well-paid endorsement deals, sometimes even making six figures with a single post. Similarly, brands can hire brand ambassadors to tout their product over the long term.

This is digital marketing’s “in” on the real world, partnering with people online to distribute samples and recommend the product in person. This kind of social media affiliate marketing can be much more cost-effective than many standard ad choices.

Big Data

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of digital marketing tightly coupled with social media: big data and user analytics.

You can’t keep track of someone seeing a flyer on the street or hearing a radio ad and their respective response. But if someone visits your site via an Instagram ad, then leaves, and then later returns to make a purchase? That’s fair game.

Social media services have remained free to consumers primarily because the consumers provide a valuable product: user behavior and data. Companies like Facebook and Instagram can leverage that data and sell it to businesses, giving them analytics insights on where to put their marketing dollars and how to structure their campaigns.

The leaps forward in big data technology have allowed companies to split-test their advertising effectively, market to very specific demographics, and figure out where their next potential customer may most likely be coming from.

In Summary

Any business looking to be ahead of the game in the digital marketing world needs to be on top of the latest technological advancements. The increases in e-commerce, mobile purchasing, and reliance on digital information have all changed what marketing means in the 21st century.

By embracing a strong social media presence and strategy, making use of big data and user analytics, and building a comprehensive plan from those resources, every brand has a chance to become a more effective online messenger.

For more tips and info about online marketing, head on over to our blog!

This is a contributed post by Tori Lutz.