How Digital Marketing is Changing the Way we do Business

Like it or hate it, no one can deny the profound effects that Google has had on many aspects of our daily lives. Going from an obscure company with a decent search engine in 1998 to the huge, multinational technology company it is today, Google has hit on the formula to success.

A large part of that success has been through brand recognition and public acceptance that Google is the ‘go to’ search engine for the majority of computer users. The company’s search engine has become so prevalent that ‘googling’ something has become synonymous with looking it up on the internet. In much the same way that aspirin and dumpster went from trademarked product names to generic categories, Google has become the de facto term for using a search engine.

Online marketing comes in two flavors

With so many people using Google to find information on so many topics in their daily lives, it’s no wonder that companies try to exploit the algorithm to make their products or services reach the top of the list for searches. Exploiting the way Google conducts their searches has led to the creation on an entire industry.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) has also taken great strides over the last few years, even as it struggles to capitalize on the overwhelming mass of information available from social media users. Although this information is available for marketers, the current Google algorithm does not use social media posts to rank web searches.

What it means for businesses

This has created two parallel marketing disciplines that, although similar, are aimed at two different but overlapping groups of customers. Determining the best marketing for a specific product or company has made the market very competitive for companies that are interested in improving their online presence and sales.

Either method of marketing gives businesses a stronger online presence and gives smaller companies the ability to compete with industry giants. Online niche marketing can be aimed at incredibly specific targets for a fraction of the cost of traditional mass market advertising.

Segmented online marketing, for the above reasons, has made a significant impact on many company’s advertising goals and efforts. Many industries that have shied away from advertising because of cost or competition have started small, niche-specific marketing campaigns aimed at a specific customer base.

Determining what is best for your business

The choice between SEM and SMM comes down to where you feel your company’s customer base is. If they tend more toward social media use or information gathering. That determination will make it much easier to choose the avenue you want to explore.

For example, a real estate marketing agency would be more inclined to focus on the search engine side of advertising because many of their potential customers would be searching for properties as opposed to spreading social media posts about them. On the other hand, an edgy restaurant might see social media advertising as a better option to create buzz about their location, chefs and food.

In reality, exploring both options before choosing the one best suited to your business needs is a viable choice. Online marketing agencies are usually very good at maintaining transparency with their customers and keeping them up to date on how their marketing efforts are going. With ‘on demand’ reports or a well updated dashboard, your company can keep its finger on the pulse of your marketing efforts before committing wholeheartedly to one or the other.