Digital Trumps Traditional: A Victory for Digital Marketing

Marketing may seem like a modern development, yet it began as early as 2000 B.C. when Egyptians began posting carved public notices outside for citizens to read. From stone tablets we have transcended to electronic tablets, and with this evolution of technology we see an evolution in marketing strategies.

The discussion around the rise of digital marketing and the demise of traditional marketing began about seven years ago, in 2008. In the 2000s, we saw the birth of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While these social channels started off as a way to just share personal events and thoughts with friends, they soon became influential institutions to businesses marketing success.

The Overthrow of Traditional Marketing

Some say 2017 will be the year newsprint becomes extinct in the United States. You heard that right. In just two years, we may see the end of newspapers and magazines. In 2013, Newsweek published their last print edition, and Time magazine plans to follow soon. These newspapers and magazines have been a large part of our information institution for many years, and even they are making the move to a solely digital platform. These magazines, along with 450 of 1,380 daily newspapers, are seeing a switch from print news to mobile and tablet searches for news. It is also found that searches for news online leads to more searches and inquiries, as information readily available.

Statistics show only 6 percent of people in their 20s and 16 percent of people in their 40s read a print newspaper. Three-fourths of the newspaper reading audience is over the age of 45. With each new generation born into the world, the dependence and ease of online searches and information only increases. As the younger populations grow, so does the need for digital marketing strategies.

The Triumph of Digital Marketing

There are several advantages to the use of a digital marketing strategy. Results for digital marketing efforts are easy to follow, measure, and tweak along the way. You can target content to different audiences and in various hours of the day to see what articles or pages perform better for particular audiences. As a business, you can reach infinite audiences through shares, likes, followers, and ad budgets. You can tailor content for a global or local scale when necessary. Your unique and valuable content is available 24/7, year-round, which makes it more cost-effective and leads to more measurable results and leads. Not only is digital marketing profitable, but the content itself has longevity, making it easier to compete online with larger competitors than in traditional modes of marketing.

All these traits make digital marketing the best move for your company. There are countless studies that prove the overwhelming affect a digital marketing strategy can have on a brand. The trust in traditional marketing has gone down significantly each year. In 2013, one-third of all people stopped watching or reading a certain news outlets due to poor quality of content. Traditional news outlets cannot produce the amount of unique and valuable content for their marketing goals as quickly as a digital marketing strategy can. Their content typically lives in that one newspaper, or one newscast, while content produced and placed on the internet via website or blog lives forever. Content is forever findable by readers and searchers alike. Therefore, we have seen digital marketing strategies overtake traditional marketing such as radio and print. Digital marketing is also estimated to surpass TV, the last frontier of traditional marketing, in the near future.

The Rise of Content Marketing

When entering the world of digital marketing, it is not all about keyword rankings and search engine result pages (SERPs). Within the realm of digital marketing, content marketing has skyrocketed. There has been a blog boom surrounding digital marketing the past few years. Blogs are great resources to put unique and valuable content on a site, as well as inform audiences about certain products and services and answer any queries they may search for when visiting your site. Build strong, focused content on a site for better chances of entering the top of the SERPs. If someone searches for information that pertains to one of your specific postings they will find it quicker, as well as spend more time on page, and, hopefully, on your website overall. When people search online, they like to come across a familiar and authoritative brand. The more you build out useful, quality content, the more trustworthy your site becomes.

So, how are businesses utilizing digital marketing?

  • 79% are investing in social media (excluding blogs)
  • 78% investing in article content creation
  • 61% investing in e-newsletters
  • 51% investing in blog content creation
  • 42% investing in webinars

Social Media Success

Current research shows social networks are the No. 1 activity people engage in online. By making social media a focus of your marketing strategies, you will be able to reach more people through these social platforms. When you place an ad spend behind your social media posts, the number of people you can reach is much greater than merely friends or followers. More people reached means more clicks and site interactions, which help show a return on investment or ROI.

Top Social Media Channels for Content Distribution:

  1. Twitter - 55%
  2. Facebook - 54%
  3. LinkedIn - 51%
  4. YouTube - 38%

The Momentum of Mobile Marketing

The majority of internet searches may still be done on desktops, but mobile internet searches are steadily gaining momentum. It is pertinent in the digital marketing world to have a website that is mobile responsive, as searchers are more likely to stay on your site if it adapts to the screen size. If your website is not mobile-friendly, this can affect your search engine optimization (SEO) value as well.

How They Compare

In a January 2014 study, testers between the ages 18-34 were asked which forms of advertising were most influential to them. Here are their results:

  • 70% - TV
  • 60% - social media
  • 42% - online display
  • 39% - online video
  • 33% - mobile
  • 31% - magazine
  • 21% - billboard
  • 21% - radio

Although TV took the top spot, the succeeding four spots all belong to digital marketing efforts. It is hard to tell who the top spot will belong to in years to come, but digital marketing tactics have moved swiftly up in the race for being the ripe, young age of 20 years old.

The Budgetary Benefits

In the next 12 months alone, 51 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers plan to increase their digital marketing budget. In 2013, the digital ad spend in the U.S. was $42.5 billion. It is estimated to hit $60.4 billion by the year 2017, the ominous year of print extinction, so they say.

When we compare digital marketing and traditional marketing side-by-side it emphasizes why the world is making such a dramatic switch to digital marketing. In digital marketing, it costs 62 percent less per lead compared to traditional methods, as digital marketers only pay for results. Traditional marketing budgets have dropped over 160 percent while digital marketing budgets are steadily increasing, this year by 14 percent alone. Digital marketing is not only beneficial to brand awareness and increases in business, but companies can get more bang for their buck by using a well-planned and integrated digital marketing strategy.

Blue Compass and the University of Blue

Are you looking to learn more about how digital marketing can supplement your business' advertising? Blue Compass offers courses through the University of Blue, taught by digital marketing experts, Melissa Harden and Erin Febel. Our next course is set to take place April 9, 2015, at the Blue Compass office. Move your marketing forward today with Blue Compass and the University of Blue!


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Blue Compass is a leading team of digital experts helping brands succeed online through web design, development and digital marketing.