19 mins TO READ
Digital marketing is an essential survival skill for Swiss SMEs.
After reading this article you’ll understand what it is and why it matters. And, most important of all, you’ll understand how it will help your SME grow and make more money online.
Fact is that to reach your customers, you’ve got to go where they spend the most time.
The Bundesamt für Statistik found that 93% of Swiss households have access to the internet. This is well above the European average. Furthermore, research by the University of Zürich reveals that the majority of Swiss spend 25.5 hours per week on the internet.
In light of the facts above, that means reaching out to your customers on the internet.
And to make that outreach easy, this article will cover the following topics to help get you started:
- What is the purpose of Digital Marketing?
- Why does Digital Marketing matter for Swiss SMEs?
- Does Digital Marketing work for SMEs?
- How quickly will Digital Marketing get results for my business?
- And more…
Before We Continue…
Digital marketing like any complex machine has a lot of moving parts. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of individual components, i.e. marketing methods. While it’s important to understand the parts, it’s the whole that matters most.
This is why we’ll share the #1 secret to digital marketing success for Swiss SMEs towards the end of this article.
PS: If you’re already familiar with digital marketing and need help, book a workshop with us. If not, read on and find out why you should be using digital marketing starting from today.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing Defined + Channels
Digital marketing is the act of marketing on the internet. It’s using the Internet to promote your brand or sell more products or services. Simple, right?
Modern customers form their buying intentions online. They research and gather information on the internet.
A survey by EY found that 77% of Swiss consumers start their search for new products and services online. Also, 42% of Swiss would rather order and buy goods through the internet.
This means that your online presence can’t just be a passive brochure of your business. It has to be a living, breathing part of your marketing that gets results.
There’s a variety of digital marketing channels you can use to engage your customers online. Examples of which include:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising like Google AdWords & Facebook Ads
Email Marketing through mailing lists
Social Media Marketing
What Is The Purpose of Digital Marketing?
The purpose of digital marketing is the same as that of traditional marketing. It’s there to create awareness and interest in your brand. It helps you connect with your target audience and move them towards action.
But in the digital world there are three other reasons for digital marketing:
Good digital marketing drives more traffic. Traffic increases the number of potential customers you can market to. And, through this, you’ll get more prospects into your conversion funnel.
Generating traffic is the first step in online lead generation.
The more traffic you have, the more people are exposed to your brand and sales messages. The more people engage with your brand and messages, the more new leads you’ll get. Simple.
Here’s where digital marketing gets even more interesting. Every aspect of your digital marketing is measurable.
This means you’ll know exactly what kind of Return-On-Investment (ROI) you’re getting. And that from every digital marketing channel you use. Traditional marketing is never this accountable.
Why This Matters For Swiss SMEs (Statistics & Facts)
The three purposes of digital marketing outline above don’t just matter to us. They’re vital for the marketing success of Swiss SMEs.
Let’s look at the annual ‘State of Inbound’ study run by our colleagues at Hubspot to make this a little clearer. They found that 61% of companies feel that generating more traffic and leads is their top priority.
And 42% went on to say that proving the ROI of their marketing activities would be another top priority for them.
The world’s top brands and marketers focus on more leads, more online traffic, and better ROI. Can your SME afford to ignore digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Methods & Examples
Good digital marketing combines the right strategy & channels to get results.
Based on this, you can develop a targeted campaign that reaches out to your target audience. With the best messaging for both free and paid channels.
Each of these methods is closely linked to one another. They work together to achieve your business goals. Each is carried out by separate professionals who specialize in that particular field.
For example. A copywriter produces the text for your website, social media accounts, and email list.
This text is then shared with a content marketer, social media manager, and email marketer. They, in turn, present the text in the most audience-appropriate manner.
This gives you an idea of how involved digital marketing is. Below we’ve got a breakdown of some of the main digital marketing methods you’ll run across.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a core component of digital marketing. It’s the act of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic you get through search engines.
*(Organic search results are search results that are not ads)
Content marketing is the creation of digital content. This content increases awareness and interest in your brand. Content is also used to increase traffic, generate leads online, and close more sales.
There are many different ways you can share content. Examples include your blog, social media or messenger apps.
Email is the oldest form of digital marketing. Companies use email to communicate with their customers. Email can make customers aware of promotions, news, and events that affect them.
There’s a lot that can be done with email marketing. Examples include newsletters and customer nurturing campaigns that turn prospects into paying customers.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing (SMM) has been in the news a lot over the last couple of years. And it’s the most common type of digital marketing people know about.
SMM is the act of promoting your brand and products on social media. To create awareness and interest, as well as generate traffic and leads for your business.
Channels that can be used for social media marketing include:
Pay-Per-Click (Facebook Ads & Google AdWords)
PPC is good old-fashioned online advertising. It’s used to drive traffic to your website by paying a site/blog/app every time someone clicks your ad.
Two of the most common PPC networks include Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. When you search on Google, the ads above the organic results are part of the AdWords network. Every ad you see in Facebook’s sidebar is placed through PPC advertising.
Other examples of PPC ads include sponsored messages on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Is There A Difference Between Online Marketing and Digital Marketing?
Yes, good catch. Digital marketing includes every form of marketing that uses digital devices and channels. Regardless of whether they are online or offline.
For example, when we send out a marketing SMS to our clients, that’s digital marketing. But SMS doesn’t use the internet, so it’s not online marketing.
Now don’t let this confuse you, there is a reason why we’ve been talking about digital marketing all along.
At SDM, when we talk about digital marketing we are talking about online marketing. In 99% of cases, digital marketing equals online marketing.
Does Digital Marketing Work For SMEs?
The majority of Swiss spend a significant amount of their time on the internet. That’s why digital marketing is important for SMEs.
According to PwC, Swiss businesses spent over CHF 2.3 billion on online advertising in 2017.
The online advertising market has grown in Switzerland every year since 2013.
Why? Because it gets results!
There are many good reasons why you should market your business online, including:
- Digital marketing lets you reach out to a huge local or national audience. In the most cost-effective way possible.
- You can convert leads into prospects and prospects into paying customers systematically. All at a much lower cost than with traditional marketing methods.
- You’re able to reach out to a global audience and connect with customers in every corner of the world.
- You can track the response and ROI on your marketing efforts and respond immediately.
- You engage with your customers and understand exactly what they are looking for.
- Your competitors are online. They are connecting with and pitching their products and services to your customers. You can’t afford to be left out.
Here’s the great thing about digital marketing. It makes it easy for your customers to reach out and buy your products and services.
How Quickly Will Digital Marketing Get My Business Results?
It depends on how effective and large your digital marketing strategy is.
It’s very easy to measure your Return-On-Investment (ROI). This means you’ll be able to check your results much quicker than with traditional methods.
If you’ve done all your homework, you could see good results within 6 to 9 months.
But, if you’re using paid advertising like PPC to drive traffic, you’re likely to see results even faster.
Please keep in mind that you actually need to build a client acquisition system to thrive online.
This means you’ve got to build the right mix of all the different digital marketing methods. Based on a sound strategy and delivered through an organized process.
What Kind of Budget Do I Need For Digital Marketing?
Again this wholly depends on your business, target market, goals, and budget. What will also affect your budget is whether you’ll outsource the work or handle it yourself.
Well, research articles, quality videos, and good graphics cost both time and money.
But with the right help, they can be delivered on any reasonable marketing budget. The key is to focus on quality over quantity and go for high impact pieces.
With other techniques, e.g. PPC, there will definitely be greater upfront costs. The actual cost comes down to what kind of visibility and results you’d like to get.
Again smart use of content, strategy, and skill can achieve great results on a modest budget.
The real trick is using different channels to complement each other and scale.
If you’re interested in this approach, check out our article about growth hacking.
PS: The Secret Of Digital Marketing Success For Swiss SMEs
Earlier in this article, we promised you the #1 secret to digital marketing success.
Now you now know what digital marketing is and why it’s important for your business.
You’ve also got an idea about its methods and channels as well as when you can expect to see results from it.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, that’s OK. There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re dealing with digital marketing.
The easiest way to keep everything straight is to think about digital marketing as a toolbox. A toolbox that will help you build your client acquisition system.
Digital marketing methods like SEO and PPC are only tools. What delivers more customers and sales, is your client acquisition system. The power is in the system, not the method.
Don’t get stuck on the tools. Focus your energy on the system that helps your business grow online.
BONUS: I’m Ready to Try Out Digital Marketing, What Do I Do Next?
(How We Can Help You)
You don’t have to build up your digital marketing by yourself. Join SDM’s strategic workshop and we’ll help you put together a clear digital marketing plan.
Together we’ll plan out how to automate your lead generation, close more sales and grow your business. All in one, half-day workshop.
When it’s done, the plan is 100% yours – unique to your business needs and goals. You can use it to get started with digital marketing right away.