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Marketing and business blogs across the web have been hailing the power of blogs and social media over the past few years as the be-all, end-all of the way for businesses to connect with current and future clients. But is there more to the marketing game than Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs?
Don’t Forget Traditional Media
Lisa Barone, co-founder and Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media Inc., suggests that branding and marketing professionals need to look beyond the computer screen to familiarize themselves with their clients’ traditional marketing carried out through radio and television advertising, email campaigns, and print and direct-mail marketing.
It’s easy to think that online outreach is the single best way to reach our client’s audience, but depending on their product or service, that might not be the case. Sometimes, getting back to basics might be the answer to figuring out how to specialize our marketing efforts to get through the noise of our clients’ competitors.
However, the easiest way to make sure that you’re consistently focusing on driving potential clients to your website — the hub of the action for any business these days — is to make sure that social media and website information is prominent in whatever advertising avenue your client uses.
Steer Traditional to the Web
We’ve all seen the ends of TV ads with a Facebook or Twitter icon, but will people watching an ad be able to find these without the actual link? Unless you were a very early adopter to Facebook’s “vanity” URLs, chances are your business wasn’t able to land the best URL. Tom’s 24-Hour Carwash might have ended up with www.facebook.com/Tom24Wash, and it might take a lot of searches to end up there. People are impatient, and they’re not going to want to dig around for your business. People want to be handed information. So how do you blend tried-and-true marketing with internet marketing?
Print to Web
With print advertising, you can use QR codes to track how people are getting to your website, or develop custom URLs using Google’s URL Builder so you know when someone is coming to you from a print ad. You’ll have a firm control of your website’s analytics if you make sure to include social media URLs and track user entry points. These tips also work well with direct-mail marketing campaigns.
Email to Web
For email marketing campaigns, make sure to include social buttons to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other social sites you use. The more links in an e-mail newsletter, the higher the click-through rate overall, so be sure to include lots of link options to drive people to your website.
Promotional Items to Web
A smart new trend, even for traditional “bricks and mortar” businesses it to incorporate the company website (or a specific landing page) into brand imagery where the logo is used. This isn’t just for mugs and pens. Consider including your website address on shirts, banners, event tents, even your company’s doormats. If promotional items used to be about “brand awareness” they are now becoming about “web awareness.” The more you put your site address out there with your logo, the more customer will think to find you online.
Radio to Web
When it comes to radio, it can seem more complicated. How can you include a website or social media URL in a quick radio spot? Again, use custom URLs that are shortened so people can easily remember them. Make sure you include the business name in the custom URL in the simplest, shortest way possible. Website discount codes also entice people to check out your website, and they also allow you to easily track where your clients are coming from.
TV to Web
TV spots, much like radio, are short and sweet. But statistics show that people are 50 percent more likely to buy or use a product when TV ads work together with Internet marketing. Encouraging TV viewers to head to your website or Facebook page to interact with a specific directive will garner website hits and new clients. Include social media links, and in the age of the DVR, you could even include a QR code on your TV spot.
Because QR codes are not widely used yet on TV, the pure original nature of its use on TV will get curious viewers pausing and snapping a picture. Some businesses are using custom campaigns with popular smartphone app Shazam to deliver targeted messages tied to the musical content in the TV spot. Since younger audiences are often using their apps while watching TV, this can be an effective way to get your customers directly to the sales pitch online.
When it comes to marketing and branding, make sure not to forget the traditional methods that have worked for generations. There are still those who prefer the tactile experience of reading a direct mail postcard, but increasingly, many folks throw everything that resembles direct-mail advertising into the recycling bin. It’s important to cover all of your bases when branding and marketing your businesses, because the more places you advertise and promote your business, the better your brand exposure, and the more likely you are to obtain new clients and keep the ones you already have.
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