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The Business Northumberland blog

The function of marketing is to connect with your audience at the right time, and in the right place.

If digital marketing is to work for our businesses, we need to connect with our audience where they are, that is, where they choose to spend their time – on digital channels such as social media, email, blogs and websites.

While there are definite advantages to employing digital marketing to promote your business, like any other business process, it’s wise to fully understand everything there is to know before choosing the digital marketing options that will bring maximum benefit in return for all your hard work.

This knowledge will improve your chances of success as well as setting realistic expectations.

Here are some of the pros and cons of digital marketing that you need to know:


PROS

Affordable
You can develop your business digital marketing strategy and set up the platforms for minimal cost. Setting up accounts on most platforms is free, as is running campaigns on them, provided you are ready to put in the time and effort it requires.
Even when you do have to pay for digital marketing, the cost tends to be much lower compared to traditional forms of marketing.

Easy to Monitor
Unlike traditional marketing, you can monitor results in real time adapt your campaigns quickly to improve results. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics so that you can frequently analyse what is working well and what can be improved.
To monitor the visiting traffic to your website you can use Google Analytics to measure specific goals, and most email marketing applications provide excellent insights into how many people are opening, reading and converting (to sales) from your emails. You can register to Business Northumberlands Introduction to Google Analytics workshop here to learn more about how beneficial it is to your business.

Greater Engagement
Digital marketing, especially social media, is a two-way street when it comes to communicating with your customers. You can encourage your prospects, clients and followers to take actions like visiting your website, reading about your products and services, reviewing them, buying them and providing feedback which is visible to your audience.

Increased Reach
Your digital marketing activities can help you access a massive audience. Unlike traditional marketing campaigns where you must target a generalised demographic (think TV viewers, radio program listeners or magazine readers) digital marketing can, in theory, reach the entire globe. Provided the audience has an internet connection, you can potentially reach them with your digital messages.


CONS

Time
Digital marketing can consume a lot of your time and you must plan for it to do so. Consider how you’ll manage your time to get the most out of your efforts and consider using social media scheduling tools.

It’s Noisy
We’re all inundated with information every day, and it can cause many people to either skim what they are reading and seeing, or to ignore it because they are feel overwhelmed.
If your social media posts are purely sales or advertising, you might find it difficult to grab the attention of your target audience.
Focus on creating valuable content that will resonate with your audience to increase your chances of getting attention.

Exposure to Negativity
It’s best to have a process in place to deal with any negative comments and feedback you may receive. Any business with an online presence, particularly on social media, is open to adverse reactions.
Some reactions may well be from people who are genuinely disappointed by your product or service, but some may come from spammers and internet trolls.
Develop a thick skin, remember it’s not personal and consider how you’ll manage this when it happens.

Your control is limited
Digital marketing sometimes takes the power out of your hands. For example, if your efforts revolve around Twitter and it goes offline for an extended period, then your campaign will offline as well. Don’t rely on just one digital platform, use a mix!

To learn more about digital marketing, register to attend our digital workshops around Northumberland.

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