Think 2023 Is Too Late to Get Started with Digital Marketing? Think Again

Published on July 14, 2023

“Isn’t Twitter kind of dying as a platform?”

“Does anyone actually even read content anymore?”

“I just don’t see how I’ll have the time to focus on a new website, let alone content.”

“Digital marketing sounds great! But I think I’ve missed my shot at it…”

We hear thoughts like these from business owners here in Chicago and around the country all the time. For some, digital marketing still seems like an unattainable pipe dream that they’ll never get a chance to reach.

For others, even those who recognize the incredible value of digital marketing, there’s another belief — that the best days of the web are already in the past. That SEO, social media, email, and other digital marketing channels have already passed their expiration date.

To both of those groups, we have one thing to say: Digital marketing success is always within grasp, and it’s never too late to get started.

In particular, it’s important to realize that digital marketing isn’t going anywhere. The concepts behind it and the platforms on which it operates may be changing, or in a state of flux — but if you look at the history of email, social media, or search engines, you’ll see that this has always been the case. Indeed, you could say that, on the internet, the only real constant is change.

This is a very auspicious time to take advantage of technological advances and harness the immense potential of a digital approach to scaling your business. Let’s delve into how you can reach an increasingly online audience without spending a fortune.  

Embrace a Digital Mindset

Your online presence builds trust, a good reputation, and a relationship with your potential customers. And it all starts with a stunning website. If you don’t have one, people question your legitimacy as a business. 

A user-friendly and appealing website drives organic traffic, which helps generate more leads. Organic traffic expands your footprint through unpaid efforts, like using SEO on your site to land top search engine rankings.

Search engine behemoth Google offers an array of free tools for fledgling firms that can help you learn about the importance of analytics and explore the digital horizon.  

Google is also the go-to for paid digital advertising. While we’re in the midst of a relatively uncertain economy, the ad market continues to grow, if a bit more slowly than in past years. Vincent Létang, an expert in global market research, reveals that the huge growth is due to “a large, diversified landscape of digital advertising formats.”

Platforms like the Meta Audience Network and LinkedIn Advertising offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to target their ads and expand their online network with the power of AI. Meta lets entrepreneurs grow their business sustainably and extend the reach of their paid ad campaigns. LinkedIn is the ideal way to reach the coveted and lucrative B2B audience while building brand awareness. 

But what if your marketing budget is minuscule compared to your competitors? Don’t give up hope. The ease and affordability of going digital can help level the playing field. 

Content is King But Engagement is Queen

It’s a common saying these days, but what does it actually mean? 

Simply put, great content — like honest and authentic blogs and videos — attracts prospects, creates awareness, and skillfully addresses your target audience’s pain points

Once you’ve established your virtual storefront via a well-designed website that’s optimized for mobile use, it’s time to leverage technology to pinpoint consumer goals and problems so you can position your brand to deliver the answers they need. 

Surveys, online reviews, keyword research, and real-world face time with your current customers will give you the information you need to build your content pillars. This serves as the essential support structure for your messaging and helps send your search engine ranking to the stratosphere.

Is content marketing truly effective? Studies show that 96% of B2B buyers review ‘thought leadership’ content before making a purchasing decision. 73% of businesses use organic social media channels to promote their products with success, and 27% of those companies spend less than $1,000 doing it.

Today’s shoppers rely heavily on the internet to research products and services before buying. 50% of Millennials check in with their favorite online influencers when looking for recommendations.

The most important thing to focus on is creating and delivering relevant content consistently. This drives engagement which builds brand loyalty and converts leads into revenue.

What the Future Holds

Times may be changing, but our strategies are changing with them. With that in mind, it is important to stay active and engaged and to consider what the year(s) ahead may have in store for SEO, social media, email, and the other moving pieces of any successful digital marketing campaign.

So, what advances can we look forward to in the digital marketing realm? Here are a few ideas:

Paid Social Advertising Will Continue to Grow In Importance
While the bar to entry with social media is still quite low, the reality is that getting these platforms to work takes time, skill, and, yes, money. Organic reach on social has declined precipitously over the past few years; at the same time, more and more businesses have begun to carry out paid promotions using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter’s in-house Ads features.

What can you do to keep up? Research the science and artistry behind creating great ad content for the Meta Audience Network (Facebook & Instagram). Consult with a marketing firm that can help you understand and implement bidding, targeting, and creative strategies tailored to the social media platforms of your choice.

Thinking Will Shift From Desktop-First to Mobile-First
The reality is that most marketers and digital publishers have been emphasizing a mobile-first mentality for some time now. More and more, people are consuming content, shopping, researching, and living their digital lives on phones and tablets, and our online ecosystem is adapting to reflect that. For instance, Google has altered search rankings to promote mobile-friendly sites over less responsive ones, and social media platforms are consistently unveiling features that emphasize mobile over computer use.

The action items you should consider? Update your website to ensure that it’s totally responsive and beautiful on mobile. Rethink your social media imagery. Consider creating more “portrait”-style videos and images. Make sure your digital newsletter works on mobile devices.

Visual Content Will Continue to Diversify
You may have heard that “video” is the word to watch in the years ahead, and that’s certainly true – consumers are watching more video content online than ever before. But don’t sleep on other types of visual content, which are also experiencing booms of their own.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences may increase in importance for some brands, given the increasing accessibility of powerful operating systems and key hardware. Similarly, Instagram and Snapchat Stories have already proven to be powerful tools for marketers, as have infographics, slideshows, and personalized email content.

The hottest digital marketing tool right now is short-form video distributed via platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube. Did you know the average user watches 19 hours of video content each week?

Threads is a new text-based social media app created by Facebook’s parent company Meta. Just launched, it already has over 30 million users, including brands, celebrities, and prominent influencers.

Keep it Human

Another big trend is creating an empathetic and relatable voice that resonates with your customers. Nearly 95% of consumers say they’d rather support a company that is transparent and genuine, so ditch the hard sales pitch in favor of building relationships. 

As more brands pump out more and more content, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and offer your audience exceptional value and a unique user experience.

This is especially true with the rise of ChatGPT and other much-touted AI text and image generators. There are many AI-powered tools for small businesses that make it easier to streamline your daily tasks, manage your customer relationships, and analyze mountains of data to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. While robo-crafted copy and art can save time, your audience will more deeply appreciate genuine and authentic content with a human touch.

Ready to talk shop and see what a successful digital marketing campaign might look like for your business? Curious about what kinds of benefits you’ll see? Want to build a content strategy resilient enough to weather any change in the digital tides? The Geek team is here and always excited to help!

You don’t have to go it alone. Geek Chicago is here to help you shine with SEO services, website building, content creation, social media, and more. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!

Stay up today on the latest Tech and Digital Marketing Trends with our newsletter.