If you haven't noticed the world of marketing has evolved since the days of traditional marketing. Costly print and radio advertising, over abundance of printed collateral (i.e. brochures, sales tools), and even yellow page listings are becoming obsolete. Decision makers are just not able to measure the success of such marketing mediums when compared to new, non-traditional marketing. And, in today's fickle economy if it doesn't show some return on investment than the question of whether it is working simply results in canceling such efforts or wasting money when such efforts are not being evaluated and then canceled for ineffectiveness.
So, what is new non-traditional marketing? And, why are such strategies taking the hot seat? Put differently, what two words are driving the success of marketing today? DIGITAL MEDIA! And, what one word makes digital media successful? CONTENT! CONTENT IS KING! Content is what search engines are looking for to continually rank information. Content is what drives consumer's interest towards a product or service because of blog entries, YouTube videos, social media posts, mobile messages, and even e-mail messages (despite that people feel email doesn't work anymore). How many e-mails did you receive from well known businesses for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If e-mail is dead, then why would big businesses still be spending money on e-mail marketing? Here's a thought as to why...Because e-mail marketing has a relatively low cost and is 100% measurable when done properly. But I digress. Overall, today's business decision makers find digitial media to be more measurable and effective towards a company's bottom line.
If we look at the way the average consumer does their homework on products and services we can say that research is primarily done via the Internet. What is it about a company or brand that keeps them in the running when you are making a decision? How easily they can be found on the Internet? How do you feel when you get to their web site? Is there information on their site that educates you? Would you come back to their site to get additional information? Do they entice you with a welcome video? Do they play in the social media game? If so, isn't it convenient to LIKE them and get their updates while your checking in with your friends and family anyway on the same platform? So, is it or is it not that the content that is being used, whether it's 140 characters or longer, is the contributing factor? Well, branding and identity are at the top of the list of what attracts a consumer too, but that is a different blog post. Besides, looks are not everything. And, if your business is built on referrals, GREAT! But, I would also add that as a business owner, you can only be in contact with so many people in a given week. You need the digital media tools I am referring to in place so that your business can go to work for you 24/7, even though your day is a 9 to 5.
Here are some tips to consider:
1) BLOG. Add new content to your website on a regular basis. This keeps the visitor coming back. Do this via a blog so you can easily manage individual posts via categories, as well as tag each post with keywords unique to the post. Individual posts can be more searchable than the website as a whole. Lastly, keep the posts short...start with a goal of 2-3 paragraphs, but I bet your will find that you have much to say about your industry. It's all in your head. So why not get it into a blog post so you can be seen as an expert by your audience.
2) LANDING PAGES. If you have more to say and your writing equates to 2-3 pages, then build and promote a landing page attached to your web site that requires the visitor to enter their contact information in order to get the "2-3 page white paper". This lets you grow your e-mail database too.
3) SEO. Make sure that the pages of your web site are optimized with page titles, descriptions, and keywords. This helps attract search engine algorithms, especially when your audience is typing in the same keywords and finds you. The more people find you using the same keywords, the higher your placement will be in searches. And by the way, there are about 250 things you can do for SEO but this is a good place to start.
4) WEBSITE PAGES. Make sure that the content of your pages works together with the keywords you have chosen. This effort will also attract search engine algorithms.
5) VIDEO. Create video messages. Keep them short. Add them to your site, but also make sure your YouTube channel is public. YouTube has become the next best search engine behind Google, which means a link to your video is more likely to get found before a link to your web site does.
6) SOCIAL MEDIA - THEIR CONTENT. It's great to have social media pages in place, but their useless if you don't post very frequently. It's great to share others content that you find on the Internet because it eleviates people from doing the searches themselves. They will come to know that you will have pulled in and endorsed good content, so why not come to your page first.
7) SOCIAL MEDIA - YOUR CONTENT. Having said that, the real goal of your social media pages is to lead them back to your web site where they will be able to stay longer than 3 seconds and become completely involved with the information they find on your site. So, push those blog posts out on your social media pages as soon as they are on your web site. Oh, and don't forget to embed some call to action within your rich content. In other words, what product or service can you offer (almost like a commercial) while they are reading your content.
8) E-MAIL. Let's say you blog once a week. Then, at the end of the month you will have four articles to share within an e-newsletter. And, they all lead back to your site. It's likely that your e-mail distribution list consists of different people than your social media followers. But, seeing something more than once can never hurt.
9) MOBILE SITE. Have you looked at your web site from your smart phone, from an iPad or another mobile device? Does it appear exactly as it does when viewing it on your computer screen? If so, great. If not, did you know that the number of people who do most of their searching on their smart phones is growing quickly? What if they get to your flashy site and cannot access information easily? They'll keep moving on to the next. (NOTE: Apply products do not support FLASH.) Consider a mobile site which is a simple version of your current site but easily allows visitors to see the content you decide is most relevant on your site. Don't worry, it is identified as a mobile site so they know that there is a greater web site with all of the bells and whistles that they can look at later.
10) MOBILE MESSAGES. Do you collect your customers cell phone numbers? If not, why not? Create an incentive, such as better deals and savings, that they get only by signing up to receive text messages. Again, their is a craft in content shorter than 140 characters. What better way to grab your audience then while there phone is in their hands! BING!
Hopefully this information has inspired you to get in the digital media game for 2013. Sure, there are a lot of unknowns for you within the content of this information. Some you can figure out on your own and some with which you may need advice and assistance from a marketing expert. Let us know if you have any questions. We promise these strategies will make your marketing work harder to bring your business more customers, hence greater profit!