Digital Media: Myth Vs. Reality
Studies show that 59% of small-to-medium sized retailers believe that going digital is key to their business survival. But did you know that over 46% of all businesses online do not have a digital media strategy in place?
What is a digital media strategy?
A digital media strategy is a strategy that outlines how best a company can use its digital media and web resources to:
- Find prospects
- Engage customers
- Drive sales and revenue
- Grow market share
- Build brand value
- Be socially relevant
Having a strategy in place is critical to the success of any campaign. It allows for the most efficient allocation of resources and defines what success is.
So, why don’t companies develop a digital media strategy?
Every company has certain perceptions when it comes to digital media. Unfortunately, incorrect assumptions often scare companies from using digital media as part of their marketing. This prevents companies from improving their marketing efforts and building their business. In the end, these misconceptions result in the company losing out on valuable market share and falling behind their competitors.
- Digital media implementation is extremely expensive
Many companies believe that digital marketing doesn’t fit in their budget and won’t have the same ROI as traditional media. This prevents them from investing in digital media and digital marketing.
- Only technically-smart companies experience digital media success
A very common misconception that companies have about digital media is that only companies which are technologically-savvy can successfully implement a digital media strategy. The expectation is that the company must be experts in digital and tech to be successful with digital media.
- B2B companies can’t succeed with digital media
Another common belief that plagues companies is that digital media implementation is unnecessary for B2B businesses. These companies believe that digital marketing is only successful for B2C companies and not B2B companies, given how different marketing processes are in the respective industries.
- It’s extremely difficult to measure digital media success
Many companies believe that digital marketing un-trackable and that it doesn’t yield quantitative results. They fear that digital media metrics can’t be translated to real-word results and that customer behavior can’t be shown to be influenced by digital.
- A correctly implemented digital media strategy gives immediate results
Often, companies expect immediate results from digital media campaign implementation. They are disheartened when they don’t see large and immediate growth in sales and revenue. This can lead them to believe that the investment in digital media was the wrong decision.
The truth about digital media is completely different from the myths and misconceptions people have. Understanding the reality will allow you to take the necessary actions to find success with digital media, drive revenue, and grow your business.
So, let’s address each of the misconceptions we outlined above:
- Digital media isn’t expensive
Studies show that a single full-page advertisement in a daily newspaper in the US can cost up to $15,000. If it’s a publication that’s really well-known, like the Wall Street Journal, your advertising costs can go upwards of $164,000 for a one page advertisement.
Now consider a digital ad. The average cost per click of an ad on Facebook is a mere $1.72. The average cost per click on Google Display Network is under $1. And these channels all allow you to reach people who fit your precise customer profile. With low minimums (and no minimums on many channels) businesses of any size can utilize digital media to reach customers and drive revenue growth.
- Technical knowledge isn’t needed
The digital marketing landscape does require technology. But technology isn’t the only element in digital marketing. Today, companies finding success with digital media possess a varied skill set:
- Understanding of emerging marketing trends
- Strong business acumen
- Ability to understand and interpret large amounts of data
- Expert storytelling skills
These are not technical skills. The reality is that these are core business and marketing skills that drove success long before the rise of digital media. This shows that companies can successfully implement their digital media strategy by hiring employees / contractors / agencies from both technical and non-technical backgrounds with complementary skills.
- Digital media works for B2B businesses
Studies show that B2B consumers evaluate 8-12 options online when looking for suppliers and are already 57% through their decision-making process before they speak to the sales representative for the first time.
Now, imagine if your company wasn’t present in the list of 8-12 companies your prospects looked through. Maybe your digital presence was so poor that you didn’t come up in the first or second page of the search engine. Do you think you would get their business? Of course not. This is why it’s imperative that B2B companies implement a well-thought-out digital strategy immediately.
While the B2B decision-making process is highly structured and time-consuming, it is still a dynamic process with points of influence. These days, digital tools like social media play as important a role in B2B businesses as it does in B2C. Research shows that 45% of B2B businesses generate their customers primarily from LinkedIn. 57% of B2B businesses agree that SEO is extremely important in driving leads and 68% confirm that strategic landing pages are one of the best ways to get qualified leads.
- Performance is measurable
These days, we have many digital measurement technologies which monitor a person’s actions throughout the purchasing lifecycle – across channels, devices, website, and offline. These tools allow you to chart your customers’ entire journey from start to finish, giving you a bird’s eye view of your entire digital marketing operations.
Here are some metrics that can be tracked to determine digital media success:
- The number of total website visits and page views.
- New sessions vs. on-going sessions.
- Traffic at each channel (Facebook, Blog, YouTube and so on).
- Contact rate through web forms, live chats, email, and phone.
- The number of direct visitors and referral visitors.
- The bounce rate for each website/channel.
- Lead to close ratio.
- Cost per lead.
- The total number of conversions.
- Online to store sales and vice versa.
- Customer value to the business.
- Customer retention rate.
- Expected ROI.
- Patience brings digital media success
The objective of any digital media campaign/strategy is ROI. But what companies forget is that ROI is a long-term goal, not something you can achieve in a week or a month.
In a 2016 article, social media influencer Neil Patel spoke of how a properly executed digital marketing strategy can start showing results after the 6-month mark. Research shows that low-competition industries/niches experience a small boost in visibility and website visits between the 1-3 months mark. High-competition industries/niches can take anywhere between 6-12 months to show results.
In most industries, customers don’t make a purchase immediately after seeing advertising. Most often, people need to be reached multiple times on what is called a “multi-touch conversion path” with messages customized to their mindset at that particular moment delivered via specific channels. Advertising in this sequential manner tells a story and moves people down the path to conversion.
So, what can we learn from this?
Digital media strategy is of utmost importance to a business’ success. While there may be a few hurdles along the way, they aren’t insurmountable. Here are some tips you can implement to ensure digital media success:
- Be willing dedicate some of your marketing budget to digital media campaigns. Not only are they far more inexpensive than traditional marketing, they offer a more targeted reach.
- Hire digital experts and support them with marketing and business strategists. This will ensure you have all the skills you need to create and implement super-successful digital media strategies.
- Implement comprehensive campaign measurement practices. Taking a 360-degree view will allow you to understand whether your campaign is working or not and precisely where you can improve.
- Finally, be patient and give your campaign some time. Just like anything, all good things come to those who wait.