The days of billboards and direct mail are fading. Today, companies need to invest in digital marketing to stand out online. One recent survey found that 99% of marketers planned to invest more in digital marketing in 2019.
According to HubSpot, digital marketing includes all marketing activities that occur online. This ranges from social media to email marketing. When done well, digital marketing can strengthen customer relationships and drive conversions.
But which digital marketing solutions live up to the hype? Read on to explore four areas where digital marketing tools can take your business to the next level.
Digital Marketing Solution #1: Social Media Marketing
Social media is intertwined with your customers' lives. That's why social media marketing tools offer such valuable digital marketing solutions.
Recent statistics on social media usage demonstrate the importance of maintaining your profiles:
- 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
- 1.6 billion Facebook users follow small businesses.
- 85% of small and medium-sized businesses view Twitter as a customer service tool.
- 83% of Pinterest users end up buying something a brand posts.
Other popular social media platforms include YouTube, LinkedIn and Snapchat. The platforms you focus on will depend on where your audience is most present.
It goes without saying that social media can help you hone your brand voice and engage customers. But what's even more valuable is the way social media marketing tools can enhance your analytics.
Social media marketing tools provide deeper insight into factors such as clicks and impressions. You can also create UTM codes to better understand how web traffic converts on your website.
Rather than going with your gut, these tools can help you formulate smart solutions.
Digital Marketing Solution #2: Messaging Tools
No matter where customers contact you, you should be ready to reply. Today, businesses must navigate new and changing messaging channels. That's why messaging tools are digital marketing solutions you should know about.
Among emerging trends, two stand out: SMS and chatbots.
First, let's take a closer look at SMS, which stands for "short message service." Most people simply refer to this by its more common name: Texting.
The main benefit of using SMS is that it provides a direct line to your customers' smartphones. In fact, open rates are has high as 98%.
You can use SMS for a variety of business functions. Salons, dentists and doctors' offices often use SMS to send appointment reminders. Airlines often use SMS to announce delays and updates. You can even use SMS to share coupons and promotions. Just be careful not to overwhelm customers with frequent messages.
Next, let's dive into chatbots. Customers are increasingly familiar with chatbots. In fact, 67% contacted a chatbot within the past year.
Chatbots are helpful for a variety of reasons. Most businesses use them as an extension of customer service. They can field FAQs, answer product questions and recommend resources to customers. They can even gather information to help live customer service agents provide assistance.
With time, chatbots' technology can grow more sophisticated. Machine learning and artificial intelligence teach chatbots about your customers and business, leading to better results with time.
By embracing these messaging tools, you can enhance your digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Solution #3: Customer Relationship Management Software
The number of businesses that use CRM software is growing. CRM stands for "customer relationship management." Today, 87% of businesses rely on cloud-based CRM software—up from just 12% in 2008.
The easiest way to understand the benefits of CRM software is to consider an example. Imagine two company representatives working in silos. They might send the same customer redundant—or even contradictory—messages. You may not know which customers open your marketing emails, or who's likely to make a purchase.
That's why CRM software stands out among other digital marketing solutions. Cloud-based software allows your staff to share a digital workspace where everyone can see the latest updates. This allows you to reap benefits such as:
- Deeper customer relationships
- A holistic view of your audience
- The ability to track your performance
CRM software is a must-have for any company that wants to upgrade their communications with customers.
Digital Marketing Solution #4: Online Reputation Management
Warren Buffet once said, "It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." In other words, building a good reputation takes time and effort. Online and off, your brand reputation is your company's most valuable asset.
If you want to nurture your business' reputation, online reputation management tools can help. According to a study by BrightLocal, these tools first took off in 2012 and have steadily grown since. Today, 97% of business owners agree that online reputation management is important.
These tools make it easier to keep tabs on what people are posting about your business. In particular, they help you manage online reviews.
Today, dozens of platforms collect online reviews, ranging from Google to Facebook. Customers rely on these reviews to decide which companies to trust and where to spend their money.
Instead of keeping tabs on dozens of sites, an online reputation management dashboard can show you updates in real time. This helps you react, solve problems and engage with customers in a timely manner, no matter where reviews appear.
Overall, online reputation management tools can help you guard your reputation online. Among digital marketing solutions, online reputation management is well worth the investment.
Want to see how simple online reputation management can be? Check out our Reviews tool, and never miss another update!