There may have been a few years there when only the savviest businesses were interacting with customers on social media or using their website as a blogging platform.
But now it's painfully clear that having a strong presence online is a major component of success.
Whether you're a local coffee shop or a huge B2B corporation, it's necessary to invest in digital marketing - and here are a few powerful statistics that prove just how true that is:
- 97% Of Consumers Use The Internet to Research Products or Services In Their Area
Said simply, all but a few of your potential customers head to the web to identify and assess you and your competitors before making a decision about who to give their business to. And to the company with the best online presence go the spoils.
Users may be doing Google searches, checking out your desktop or mobile website, visiting your social media pages, finding reviews and reading your blogs at any given moment. If that stuff isn't up to snuff, there's no doubt that you're losing business to your competitors with more web marketing savvy. You may be better at what you do, but that doesn't matter - customers use all of these digital indicators to determine who's best.
- Only 6% of Internet Users Go Beyond Page 1 of Google Search Results
If you have ever done a Google search, you know full well that you rarely (if ever) click on page 2 of the search results. Why would you? Google has gotten so good at intuiting what we want based on the words we use to search that they almost always deliver exactly what you want in the first 10 results.
There's a funny saying in the internet marketing world: The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. You may laugh, but it's not much of an exaggeration. In fact, the first 5 results on page 1 get the lion's share of all clicks: 73.5% to be exact. So, if you're not ranking on the first page for the most popular and profitable search terms, you might as well not exist to a customer who's never heard of you
- Blogging Increases Web Traffic By 55% for Brands
In case you hadn't heard, content marketing is the new everything. Savvy brands are paying beaucoup bucks to get high quality content created for their own website and for featured guest blogs on other industry-leading sites.
The line between marketing/advertising and journalism is becoming more blurred every day, and smart business owners are taking advantage of this by creating excellent content that doesn't just toot the company's own horn, but offers real value to customers in the form of entertaining and informative blogs. And those who are doing it well are reaping the benefit of dramatically increased website traffic and business.
- 72% Of All Internet Users Are Now Active On Social Media
Stop for a second and try to make a list of everyone you know who doesn't participate in any social media at allâ€¦ you can probably count them on one hand. Everyone from your grandmother to your teenaged cousin probably visits at least one social media site a couple times a day, some much more than that.
To ignore this and not use these free opportunities to reach staggeringly huge audiences is paramount to self-sabotage. It's important to be findable on social media when potential clients are shopping around online, and it's also hugely beneficial to have a direct, daily pipeline to your past and current clients. Forming relationships this way inspires loyalty, increases word of mouth exposure and keeps customers coming back by reminding them of what makes you unique.
- 47% of Americans Say Facebook Is Their #1 Influencer of Purchases
Not only do an overwhelming majority of people use social media, but they actually use it to influence their purchasing decisions. As a business owner, you might be thinking, "That's ridiculous, why would a Facebook page demonstrate whether my business is good or not?"
But think about it a momentâ€¦ your company's page is one face of your business, so it's natural that potential customers form opinions of you based on that face. If you and your biggest competitor were in side-by-side storefronts and one of them was modern, clean and attractive and the other was rundown and covered in graffiti, which would you expect to win the customer?
These are just a few of the many statistics that speak to the incredible power of digital marketing.
The numbers change a bit year to year based on who you ask, but there is one thing that's true no matter where you go for your information: having a strong web presence is crucial and it's only becoming more important with every passing year.