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The first online ad appeared nearly 30 years ago and reportedly generated a click-through rate of 44%. Not bad, right?

benefits of digital marketing - the first online ad ever was a simple banner ad

This was the first online ad ever! Would you have clicked on it?

Much in digital marketing has changed since 1994, but its ability to engage consumers certainly has not. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Today, we’re going to look at expert-backed proof of the top 10 benefits of digital marketing.


10 benefits of digital marketing for small businesses

Here’s a closer look at the top 10 benefits of digital marketing in 2024:

1. It’s cost-effective

One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is clearly the price tag.

“Businesses can market themselves via email, social media, and SEO-driven content marketing for a fraction of the cost of manufacturing and distributing print ads or developing and putting commercials on major radio and television stations,” said Veronica Miller, digital marketing and growth director at VPNoverview.

Jason Ball, director at Considered Content, noted this lower cost helps small businesses in particular, who can then better compete with bigger companies with bigger budgets.

Michael Hess, e-commerce strategy lead at Code Signing Store, agreed.

“Because of the enormous reach provided by digital marketing, the prices are comparably low and not a hardship,” he added. “This also enables small enterprises and startups to make the best use of digital marketing without putting a strain on their budgets.”

Or, as Shane Liuw, SEO expert at First Page Digital, put it, digital marketing “equalizes the playing field for all firms.”

2. It’s targeted

Of course, digital marketing helps small businesses target specific customers instead of using the spray-and-pray tactic of traditional advertising.

By monitoring consumers’ online activity and demographic data, Liuw noted businesses can reach users with relevant products and services.

“For example, once a visitor clicks on a brand’s display advertisement, whether on social media or via a search engine, the brand can target the visitor with subsequent and related advertisements,” he said. “If the content a visitor sees is tailored to their interests and online behaviors, this creates positive reinforcement and simplifies and enriches the shopping experience.

Businesses can even target content and offers based on where a consumer is in their buyer’s journey.

benefits of digital marketing - example of how the buyer's journey online has evolved

Digital marketing helps brands target around the evolving buyer’s journey.

“By tracking online user actions, digital marketing makes it much easier to separate and target consumers and potential customers,” said Daniel Akins, writer and editor at The Yardable. “Traditional media waste is decreased since businesses may now target consumers who are interested in their products and services within certain demographics and target areas.”

Related: Unsure who to target? These target market examples just might help!

This also allows brands to segment customers into “smaller, more precise groups based on certain classifications,” said Max Whiteside, SEO and content lead at Breaking Muscle.

“You’ll be able to fine-tune your specific marketing message to match what the recipient is looking for,” he added. “As a result, more customers will be inclined to make a purchase when they find exactly what they’ve been looking for, resulting in an increase in revenue.”

“And by targeting a specific demographic that is most likely to be interested in a brand’s products or services, that brand ultimately spends less to gain those customers than with conventional marketing.” Added Adam Wood, co-founder of RevenueGeeks.

3. It’s personalized (for a better user experience!)

The precise targeting and tracking inherent in digital marketing also enables more personalized advertising, which helps increase the odds of converting prospects into customers.

This includes customized offers that reflect genuine customer needs and interests, along with potential cross-selling initiatives to boost the value of sales, said Corrigan Duffy, owner of Corrie Cooks.

“Personalization is the key to capturing a consumer’s attention and assisting him in remembering your company,” added Anthony Mixides, managing director at Bond Media.

What’s more, Cody Candee, CEO of Bounce, noted the latest information acquisition software can provide the data necessary to “hyper-personalize current and future promotions.”

benefits of digital marketing - example of a personalized landing page

An example of how digital marketing strategies can personally speak to a customer’s current situation.

4. It provides valuable data

Unlike traditional advertising, digital ads yield valuable data.

According to Chris Walker, CEO of Superstar SEO, this makes it easier to determine the effectiveness of strategies and campaigns.

“Also, you can evaluate detailed information that you can use with your website configuration and marketing campaigns,” he added. “It helps you know more about your target audience and respond to their needs.”

“It also helps advertisers keep track of how they’re doing to meet their own objectives.” Said Alex Constantinou, managing director at The Fitness Circle.

benefits of digital marketing - screenshot of localiq reporting dashboard

An example of in-depth digital marketing data that can be tracked for you automatically.

5. It yields measurement and analytics to help businesses improve

Naturally, measurement and analysis come along with this data, which is another important benefit of digital marketing.

“Monitoring ads and assessing how each one performs is of utmost importance in the development of a company’s marketing efforts,” said Ling Ling Fung, CEO of Metro Baby. “Competition among businesses across all fields is getting tougher year after year and the only way to stay afloat is to adapt to the modern ways. Growth follows when there is concrete data on areas to work on.”

In fact, Sumit Bansal, CEO of TrumpExcel, called measurement “one of the most important advantages of a digital marketing plan”—and Samuel DeCroes, president of Stock Trend Alerts, said any strategy that cannot be measured is “a waste of time.”

That’s because businesses are otherwise “making attempts in the dark,” DeCroes added.

“Creating a solid strategy and putting it into action is only half the battle,” he said. “The ultimate purpose is to track your performance, measure your success/failure, and take corrective action.”

6. It can be optimized for better conversion rates and ROI

Digital marketing allows advertisers to optimize performance, which ultimately yields better results.

That’s in part because every interaction with a digital ad can be tracked.

“You can tell right away how many people are seeing your advertisement and what activities they are taking,” said Josh Pelletier, chief marketing officer of BarBend. “In most cases, internet advertising platforms provide some amount of reporting, which you may use to fine-tune your ad targeting, copywriting, and design strategies.”

That’s unlike traditional marketing in which it is difficult to determine where a lead came from and brands can end up wasting their time on the wrong targets.

“By tracking performance, we can determine where our highest sales came from and properly target consumers,” said Rameez Usmani, chief marketing officer of WebHostingAdvices. “As a result, it means that we will have higher conversion rates since we will be spending where there is a need.”

And, added Mark Valderrama, CEO of Aquarium Store Depot, this helps maximize return on investment (ROI).

“With more intelligent and profitable sales measurements, marketing metrics can deliver a higher ROI than traditional sales,” he said. “Results can be assessed with suitable monitoring procedures. This enables enterprises to take the appropriate action as quickly as feasible.”

benefits of digital marketing - screenshot of the dashboard view inside the localiq website grader

Free tools, like LOCALiQ’s website grader, can provide opportunities for digital marketing optimization to help maximize your ROI.

7. It allows for A/B testing to reveal the best ads

Digital marketing also offers the opportunity to A/B test ads to figure out which version resonates best with your target audience and to drive the best possible outcome.

“When you publish a print ad, you only have one chance to get it right,” said Savannah Cherry, director of marketing and new business at Slingshot. “When you create a digital ad, there’s options for A/B testing as well as stopping an ad that doesn’t work as expected.”

This allows for “super quick pivoting,” she added.

Tiffany Payne, head of marketing at Replace Your Docs, called this ability to test different ideas “one of the most powerful aspects of digital marketing.”

“Assume you are operating a digital marketing campaign and are perplexed by the campaign’s creatives,” she said. “With A/B testing, you may test both creatives on a 50/50 split of your target demographic to determine which one performs better.”

This in turn can help businesses scale faster.

“Consider the following scenario: You have a banner ad that is seen by 100 people and one of them becomes a customer. That suggests the banner ad has a 1% conversion rate,” said Dan Close, CEO of We Buy Houses in Kentucky. “If you change the ad and boost the conversion rate to 2%, you’ve just doubled your earnings.”

benefits of digital marketing - an ad with full color to be ab tested

benefits of digital marketing - display ad without color to be tested

An example of how digital marketing makes it easy to A/B test creative.

8. It can be optimized using AI for better results (without tons of time investment)

Digital marketers can also enhance campaigns via AI-enabled optimization.

“AI helps brands not only evaluate user data and personalize the customer journey, but learn how to best target those consumers.”Said Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO of DiscountReactor.

“AI also provides a more personalized experience for users, providing them with tailored support at each stage of the purchasing process,” he said. “Businesses can create this customer experience by employing programmatic advertising to automate adverts to specific audiences.”

This also helps digital advertisers make adjustments as they go.

“Online marketing gives you the freedom to make changes at any time,” said William Westerlund, co-founder of Almvest. “You can make changes to your PPC campaigns, social media ads, SEO efforts and even your website’s content as needed. This allows you to tailor your campaign to achieve the greatest results.”

9. It provides audience intel

Another way small businesses can keep their fingers on the pulse of what consumers want is through passive listening.

Mike Perez, head of growth marketing at spacelift.io, called it “one underrated advantage of digital marketing.”

That’s because they can “listen to what your audience is talking about, doing and expecting from the market” without having to “put effort into building content.”

He added, “Every industry and its audience is on the internet—and they all are talking. You just have to be in the same room to listen.”

This is “the easiest and most inexpensive way to do market research,” Perez said.

benefits of digital marketing - conversation on twitter about brand with consumer feedback and brand interaction

An example of how a brand was “listening in” on an industry conversation.

10. It can generate leads constantly

And unlike a billboard that can only be seen by consumers who are nearby or a newspaper ad that is only seen by readers, a benefit of digital advertising is that it’s always on and constantly generating leads.

Online sales funnels, which are used by digital marketers to help convert visitors into customers, are “created with the goal of generating leads on a continuous basis,” Whiteside said. It’s like the difference between a lawyer relying on an office location to generate walk-ins versus proactively pursuing potential clients seeking legal help.

“Internet marketing allows you to keep your business open 24 hours a day, seven days a week without having to worry about overtime payments or opening hours,” added James Angel, co-founder of DYL. “Customers will also appreciate how handy it is to shop for your services and products on the Internet at their leisure. They can browse your ecommerce store at any time of day and place orders when it is convenient for them.”


Get the benefits of digital marketing for your business

Clearly, the benefits of digital marketing are can’t-miss opportunities for your business. Start taking advantage of these digital marketing benefits by assessing your current strategy. Are there additional channels that could help you grow? If you need help finding that out, we’re here to help. Plus, check out our awesome resources, like our free digital marketing planning template.

Here are those top benefits of digital marketing:

  1. It’s cost-effective
  2. It’s targeted
  3. It’s personalized (for a better user experience!)
  4. It provides valuable data
  5. It’s easily tracked
  6. It can be optimized for better ROI
  7. It allows for A/B testing
  8. It can be optimized using AI for better results
  9. It provides audience intel
  10. It can generate leads constantly

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