Is It Possible to Use Digital Marketing without Spending Money on Ads?
Marketing has always been an industry that has to remain on the cutting edge of change. With digital media and the internet becoming the most popular source of information, marketing strategies and the platforms they’re based on change rapidly.
One of the things that any business struggles with is finding a profitable model. Social media in particular struggles with appealing to consumers in a way that they can still make money – especially now that Facebook and other major platforms have set up the expectation that sign-up should be free to users.
Why Digital Marketing is Important
As consumers continue to spend more time on the internet and getting information from there, digital marketing has become essential for businesses. Traditional advertisements and marketing methods are no longer adequate, especially if they’re aiming to reach younger audiences.
A recent study showed that consumers spent roughly 24 hours a week online in 2017 – over double the amount of time per week spent in 2000. These numbers are all self-reported and so in actuality may be higher, especially when you consider another study reported that users spent 5 hours a day on mobile devices. People are spending more and more time on the internet and consuming digital media and that trend is only expected to continue.
The struggles of organic digital marketing
Of course, platforms have figured out that digital marketing is essential to all companies and therefore have made it more difficult to get an organic foothold on their platform. By changing up the algorithms and placing an emphasis on paid placement, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are able to leverage their massive userbases into a reason for companies to pay for ads.
Organic reach is dependent on a complex algorithm that isn’t fully understood. We know that posts with higher engagement are shown higher on newsfeeds, however this creates a loop – the posts are shown because they have high engagement, which means they’ll have more engagement. The few hold-outs have caved in recent years, taking on a model of “best stuff first” rather than a linear feed – despite users becoming increasingly frustrated with this and finding workarounds to force a linear progression. Even if users use extensions to change the order of the newsfeed, it doesn’t help if your post doesn’t show up in their feed at all – which is happening more and more.
The benefits of having an ad budget for digital marketing
With organic social media marketing becoming more and more difficult everyday, makes it important to designate a budget geared towards social media advertising. Social media is a great way to reach your target audience and through their advertising platforms, you can get pretty specific on the kind of audience you’re targeting. With even just a little bit of money, you can also reach people outside of your immediate circles and grow your audience through targeted advertising.
While you can reach people without investing any money on ads, you’re critically hampering your reach. Having an ad budget is absolutely crucial to being able to grow and draw in consumers. But the good news is that with modern algorithms, your ads can be targeted so they only reach your desired audience, ensuring that your ad budget is well-spent.