Old School In The New Digital World
Today marketers have an embarrassment of riches. It wasn’t that long ago that the old saying “I know half of my advertising works well. I just don’t know which half.” was not all that far from the truth. With digital campaigns the mainstay and almost instant metrics only a click away savvy marketers can tell what is working in real time and adjust their creative and advertising buys to maximize their returns. Advertising can now follow a person around the internet like a personal assistant until perhaps out of defense they take action. The fact is now reaching a particular audience segment may not be the challenge. The issue now may be what should I be using to compel a faster more meaningful action and when does perpetual marketing become a deterrent to a conversion.
Like many marketing dilemmas this isn’t an age old question. Marketers, especially small businesses, are in a new world that is more complex and changing almost every week. Besides revolutionary technology breakthroughs, audiences have more choices than ever on how they receive what they want where they want it and when. What hasn’t changed is the most effective way to provoke an action is to reach audiences consistently and at exactly the right time of the buying cycle. The drawback is too many messages can turn even the most loyal customer sour.
Traditional marketing was much easier. Print could reach a broad audience or placed in the right publication to be targeted. Direct mail was the most targeted and eventually became known for the easiest to track success. Public relations was valuable as a support tool or a weapon to increase brand awareness…and so on. Today, the principle is still as valid but the disciplines have changed. Success relied on engagement of the customer and that has not changed today.
Websites: Your brand’s website has become the replacement for the traditional print catalog. It quickly tells customers who you are and what you do. The best websites also make taking an action easy, quick and meaningful. You can track your activity and easily change the content at will.
Facebook: This was the first and still is one of the most important tools for engagement. It allows for two-way communication instead of companies talking at customers. It is a way to find out what works and what doesn’t along with instant feedback on how the products and company is performing. It single invented a process-driven way to drive commerce through grass roots channels.
Twitter: Twitter is probably the most misunderstood and misused tool by marketers. The novice marketer thinks this is only for gossip, rants and immature jokes by younger demographics. The truth is that the average Twitter user is over 37 years old and female. Surprised? Most are. Twitter’s value is directional. You can direct potential users to engaging areas like Facebook, websites or God forbid direct contact with the company or brand. Twitter can organically enhance awareness and ultimately ring the cash register.
YouTube: Easily one of the most powerful tools today and severely overlooked by many marketers. Did you know it is the second largest search engine? People laughed when it sold to Google in 2006 for $1.65 Billion. Now only Google is laughing. Videos increase posts on all social media by an average of 32 %. YouTube helps people enhance their daily lives and is used more than 50 million times a day. Developing a YouTube channel and subscription base, especially if you have a complicated or technical product can mean the difference in double digit growth and staying up nights to make payroll.
There are dozens of other legitimate social media outlets for major brands and small businesses alike. Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn are all valuable tools used correctly. To ignore any one of these tools is like stacking the deck in your competitor’s favor. Don’t know how to use them? Then call us. We do.