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Simply signing up for Facebook is no longer enough to connect with the modern-day customer. This year marketing strategies need to be adjusted to properly deliver your message in this content-driven world. Not only will you need to adjust to the many new social media opportunities like Instagram and Pinterest, but you will also need to focus on your company’s brick-and-mortar location. Custom interactive or digital signs allow customers a personalized and unique experience, and they give you a step above the competition.


QR Codes

QR codes, or quick response codes, give you a way to integrate your offline marketing with your online marketing. QR codes look similar to bar codes and can be read by smartphones with cameras. Each time a smartphone user scans a QR code, their smartphone will immediately display relevant information about that code. For a business, this could include a shortcut to the company website or specific information about a particular product.

L’Oreal placed QR codes inside New York’s taxi cabs during the 2012 Fashion Week. As Fashion Week attendees traveled through city, these QR codes directed the attendees to L’Oreal’s website to browse and shop. Downloads of L’Oreal’s smartphone app increased by 80 percent during that time period, and the company was able to make thousands of additional sales.

Interactive Signs

Don’t devote your entire marketing budget to your online efforts; your physical office can also benefit from modern upgrades. Interactive signs can do more than communicate information, as Build-A-Bear Workshop has discovered. The company recently redesigned their sales process for their sound-enabled stuffed animals.

Previously customers who wanted a speaking bear had to sift through bins of preselected sound files. Several pilot stores, however, have received interactive signs that allow customers to create a custom selection of sounds and songs. At these pilot locations, sales of sound files have surged thanks to these signs.

Social Media

Social media networks offer your business a way to interact directly with current and future customers. With a Facebook page, you can provide vital information about your company. You can use a Twitter feed to update your customers on new products or answer questions. However, simply creating a profile on these networks isn’t enough in today’s marketing environment.

You need to update your profiles and respond to your customers regularly to attract fresh attention. Try using Facebook or Twitter to bolster your company’s image; solving customers’ problems in a public forum can increase customer satisfaction while giving your business positive publicity.

In addition, you must embrace new social media opportunities, such as Instagram. Although many Instagram members use the service to share personal pictures, companies can find creative ways to take advantage of the network. For example, Sony recently ran a contest to promote the launch of its new SonyX headphones. The month-long contest drew more than 1,800 entries related to the new headphones and helped Sony to increase its Instagram followers by nearly 50 percent.

Mobile-Friendly Content

With the recent increase in smartphone and tablet usage, businesses need to cater their content toward these devices. If your website is difficult to use on a small screen, you could lose revenue. To adapt to your mobile users, you must either create a separate site or use responsive web design. Creating a company app is another great way to cater to your mobile customers. With an app, your customers can experience a unique shopping experience catered to the needs of their mobile devices.

Some consumers use their mobile devices as second screens while digesting other media forms, including television. You can turn this habit into profit by encouraging television viewers to use their second screen to interact with your company. Your next television advertisements should include a prominent call to action that will inspire prospective customers to immediately visit your website on their second screen.

Digital Signs

You need to upgrade your company’s exterior in 2013 as well. Traditional static signs provide little information to customers beyond the name of your company. A digital sign looks modern and can show rotating information to passing drivers and pedestrians. You can use these custom signs to advertise special deals or your website address.

Years ago, owning your own website would have put you ahead of everyone else. Today, however, you need to take your online marketing campaign in new directions without ignoring your offline marketing efforts.

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Posted by Brandon Serna

Brandon Serna is a small business writer from Denver, Colorado. In his free time he's an avid runner and business and design reader. He's working with FASTSIGNS, a visual communications company that specializes in signage and other printing solutions around the world.

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