Advertising, promotion, and marketing are ever-changing fields. For decades, businesses and brands have evolved their strategies as new channels and platforms have emerged. That said, within the last generation, marketers have seen the most seismic change since televisions entered homes in the 1950s: the rise of digital marketing. Advertisers who ignore it do so at their peril. Those that embrace it can reap a huge potential upside, but only if they know how to utilize it properly. Here are some tips to do just that.

Understand Targeting and Its Benefits

The most revolutionary concept digital marketing brings to the table is its ability to target potential customers more specifically than any other medium. Whether you’re purchasing pay-per-click (PPC) search engine ads, sponsored Facebook posts, or geofencing banners, you can pinpoint your target audience by location, age, or income level.

Contrast this to buying a traditional television or radio schedule. While a certain program or daypart may rate highly in a certain demo, you’re often placing your ad buy and hoping for the best. When you post your buys, the analytics are broad and the methodology to gather them is antiquated.

On the other hand, digital marketing can provide real-time data that shows who is seeing your ads, if they are watching them in their entirety (in the case of video), and if they are motivated to click through to your site after seeing them. This not only affirms what you are doing well but exposes where you may be falling short, allowing you to adjust your messaging.

Engage with Customers

In the digital age, customers expect brands to have voices, and they want them to interact. A massive part of a successful digital marketing strategy is maintaining a social media presence that engages and responds to your customers. While not every comment requires a response, it is important to address concerns and encourage activity on your social platforms.

Beyond social media, content marketing can help you connect with your customer base. A how-to video or behind the scenes slideshow can give them a look at how your operation works and earn you lots of goodwill.

Make it Easy to Buy

The immediate nature of digital marketing lends itself to strong, urgent calls to action. That’s great if you’ve set up your banner and video ads with easy click-throughs to make purchases. If you confuse or complicate the process, however, you risk losing people at the critical moments of decision.

Embrace digital marketing but understand it and use it smartly!