Businesses of all sizes increasingly turn to digital marketing to reach consumers as the shift to making buying decisions online continues.

No industry has experienced the revolution and disruption of innovative technology more than marketing. Digital marketing in the past decade has transformed how businesses develop and implement marketing strategy. It’s especially impactful for small businesses, particularly as more consumers than ever make online buying decisions.

Business owners who partner with a professional digital marketing agency reap the benefits of internet marketing services that leverage the latest digital marketing tools, techniques and strategies. Where once television, print, radio, billboards and direct mail dominated the industry, more businesses than ever place the marketing emphasis on online marketing.

More Consumers Than Ever Make Online Buying Decisions

Done correctly, digital marketing provides a higher return on investment than other marketing channels. It also meets consumers where they increasingly do their shopping. The number of online shoppers in the United States reached 230.5 million in 2021, making the U.S. one of the largest markets for online consumers in the world, according to Statista.

Millions more do research for products online before making a purchase in-person. The number of online buying decisions continues to increase because more people than ever have integrated technology into their lives. Also, younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z) have grown up with digital tools as part of their lives and feel comfortable with digital marketing messages and making online buying decisions.

According to a recent study from researchers in China, “Online shopping provides consumers with more information and convenience to select products and compare prices. E-commerce platforms are popular with consumers because they provide a shopping experience that is not limited by space, time, and product types.”

In Digital Marketing, Data Drives Decisions

Digital marketing levels the playing field in a competitive marketplace. Online marketing rewards focused effort, not huge budgets. Digital marketing strategies put in place correctly can help small to medium-size businesses attract attention online that equals that earned by much larger companies.

Data collection and analysis is key to online marketing success. Data is used in many different ways that can make campaigns to reach consumers more effective.

Customer segmentation. Data allows companies to create subgroups of consumers based on demographic and behavioral issues. This allows for creation of campaigns that target the most-likely buyers.

Website analytics. This data allows business leaders to know in real-time what pages visitors use most frequently to enter the site. They also provide details on conversions on landing pages and the time each visitor spends on site.

Success rates. What special deals brought in new clients? Did a rewards program lower the churn rate, leading to more retention of loyal customers? Did the targeted email campaign convert prospective customers into buyers? Analytics provides answers to these and many more questions.

The Importance of Social Media

Americans spend an average of two hours per day on social media. They average about three hours on television. But the cost of reaching them on social media is far lower, and social media also offers the chance to have conversations with customers and get immediate feedback on their level of satisfaction with products and services.

Social media gives businesses the chance to reach consumers where they spend their time, and in a way that allows interaction. While the approach is simple in concept, it requires expertise and experience to stand out on social media. Done correctly, social media marketing can lead to consumers advocating for your product or services online, a situation that every business hopes to achieve.

Reputation Management

The online world also requires staying vigilant with reputation management. Reviews on Google and Yelp can sway those making online buying decisions. It’s important to respond to reviews, both negative and positive, and also to answer any consumer questions as quickly as possible. Transparency is also critical for success, which requires being open about both business achievements and mistakes.

These are some of the areas where digital marketing is changing how businesses approach reaching consumers. In a world where online buying decisions happen by the millions every day, it’s important to partner with people who have the knowledge to get the most from digital marketing.