Traditional + Social Integration Tips

As we talked about last blog, having a balanced marketing mix of social media and traditional advertising is important to the health of your company. Bringing your audience online allows them to interact, increasing the impact of your message and branding. In order for this to work, both traditional advertising and social media channels need to work together.

Before we start with some guidelines on integration, make sure your social media channels are well put together and convey your brand’s image.

likeus An effortless way to integrate is to include a social media call to action (CTA) on your traditional media. A successful call to actions is clear, simple, and minimal; not to overwhelm the consumer. “Visit us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Follow our Instagram, Add us on MySpace, Follow us on Pinterest” all on one print ad is way too much. Focus on what audience you are specifically reaching with that advertising and use a specific call to action that will truly speak to them. For example, if you are advertising in a craft magazine, a Pinterest call to action would be perfect.

Show your customers that you are the same company on social media that you are in traditional media. Place a Facebook logo in your print ad with a call-to-action such as “Like Us on Facebook for Exclusive Coupons!” Or, share your TV commercial on Twitter and other social media the same day it hits the airwaves. Make sure it is loaded on your website or YouTube channel as well. If you have a product that requires directions, how-to videos are great. You can advertise your YouTube channel on your packaging and ads to direct people for instructional videos.

In essence, social and traditional media should be used to assist each other. My advice is to consider every other aspect of the marketing mix first and to plan your social media campaign as a complement to existing communications. It is important to interlace your traditional advertising and social media to help further communicate your branding message to the consumer.

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Traditional Advertising Meets Social Networking

Where do you, as a consumer, obtain credible information? In the US, the majority of people say friends and family (word of mouth), publications in general, newspapers, and TV. If you notice, these are all traditional forms of media. While recently, all the talk has been all about social media, websites, and blogs. In this wave of ‘new’ media, I think some businesses have forgotten that traditional media is just as important. The key is to take an integrated marketing approach. Let me explain why.

When you know who you are trying to reach (your target market), you should know what shows they watch, publications they read, events they go to, websites they visit, apps they use, etc.

wom In order for consumers to be educated about and have a connection to your business and products you need to inform them and tell your unique story. It is important that your advertising and marketing stand out from your competition, and a story is the best way to do this. People love stories, and the best stories are told across various platforms such as TV or radio, on your website, in print, and with social media (adding photos and videos).

Word of mouth, which is considered the most credible form of advertising, is well supported by social media. Social media is essentially word of mouth in the fast lane. Facebook allows us to show our friends what companies or brands we “like” and to share news with our followers; Linked In provides an excellent platform to spotlight particular skills and experience; Twitter allows users to share experiences (whether good or bad) in real time and for businesses to share news; and blogs provide an opportunity to write more in-depth stories and to provide a real service to consumers by sharing your expertise.

In these scenarios, social media can work together with your traditional marketing. Integrating your online/social marketing efforts to fully support your traditional marketing effort is the best use of new media. Check back next week to get more tips on how to do this.

Promote Your Social Media: 7 Steps You Can Do Right Now

call to action

The key is making it simple — simple, simple, simple … and easy for your consumers to follow and interact with you using social media. Here are seven tips to get started:

1. Blast an e-mail or e-newsletter using your consumer database. Make it easy for them to click and ‘Like’ you on Facebook, etc.

2. Use social media buttons and plug-ins on your website and blog.

3. Include social media links on your business cards.

4. Include social media links in your e-mail signature.

5. Include social media info on invoices and receipts.

6. Since radio spots are easy to update on a moment’s notice, update your social media CTA’s frequently so listeners are encouraged to join your different networks.

7. Add a ‘Like,’ +1, or Share button on your website’s content to enable and encourage your visitors to distribute your content with their friends.

Encourage consumers to act on your social media call to action (CTA) by inciting them; have exclusive offers or information for people who follow you in Twitter or ‘Like’ you on Facebook. Make it beneficial for consumers to follow and interact.

Importance of Media in Marketing

Marketing is the action of promoting and selling products or services. As simple as this may sound, it takes a lot of research, analysis and planning to get it right. In order to get the most out of your marketing you must develop a cohesive marketing plan using both traditional and non-traditional media. Selecting the right media is essential; the correct communication channels can mean reaching your target market or at the opposite end, wasting a great deal of money.

 

The key to developing a solid marketing plan to is to first do the research necessary to learn all about your customers. Ask questions like, what is important to them, what they want and need, where they hang out, what they like to do, how they like to communicate and/or receive communication. Once you determine your target audience, you can select the appropriate medium to deliver the message. This is imperative especially when marketing budgets are tight because more focused marketing can bring you a better return on your investment.

 

After looking at your target market, consider the buying cycle and where your consumers are in the cycle. Different media appeals to people who are in different stages. A simple way to look at the buying cycle is to break it into three stages:

  •  Awareness – when a customer first becomes aware of your product or when a customer first becomes aware of a need that they want to fulfill. Use radio, T.V., print advertising, banner ads, and editorials. When using these mediums provide information for further contact including your website.
  • Consideration – when a customer starts evaluating solutions to their need. Use websites, informative sales pieces, press releases, social media, and videos. This is helpful for people who are in the information-gathering stage of the buying process. Make sure your website and sales material contain the information consumers need to make a buying decision.
  • Purchase. Use e-commerce websites, coupons, special deals and events. These help aid in final decision-making.

 

While many media outlets provide services at low cost, putting your brand in the hands of so many different people is not recommended. A huge part of your marketing plan is developing your brand identity and applying it consistently across all of your marketing efforts. Your brand identity is your brand’s personality; it should help get you noticed. It is well worth the investment to work with an agency or a designer to bring consistency in messaging and visuals across all media platforms. Consistent marketing gets everything working together thus your social media, website, ads and materials reinforce and amplify one another. The sum is greater than the parts. Only then will consumers experience a unified, consistent, and powerful sense of your brand far beyond the actual dollars you spend.

 

Bottom line, marketing is a long term investment. You will not create a recognizable brand, a stable, growing business or a company that has obvious value to a potential buyer without it.  Having a marketing plan and using the right media will not only help increase sales, it will lead to the creation of a more valuable asset – a RECOGNIZED BRAND.

Connect, Exchange and Relate: Humanize Your Dealership

Landing a customer is important, but keeping that customer is critical – especially if you own an auto dealership.

The dealership, at its core, is built on personal relationships, since the purchase from an individual customer is infrequent. People are more willing to spend their money generously if you have built a relationship with them.

Typically, dealerships advertise extreme, short-lived sales. That ‘SELL, SELL, SELL’ advertising will only get you so far. Emphasizing discounts may entice the consumer to enter a store, but the personal touch of humanizing your brand will keep them coming back. For me it starts with defining who your audience is, defining their needs, and connecting with them along those lines.

How would most people describe their association with your company? Hopefully it is beyond just transactional. If not, you need to extract a more personal and genuine position. For starters, exchange and communicate through comments, messages, and social updates that matter to people.

The truth is, people do business with people they like and trust, and it’s really, really hard to trust a company. What can make it easier? When your audience is reminded there are humans working behind the scenes. If your company comes off as cold, corporate, or faceless, it might be time to find a way to humanize your brand a little more. You must truly value and relate to your consumer.

Online Retailers: Beat the Slowest Week

The week of July 23rd is the slowest week for online summer sales. In Will the Summer Sun make your Sales Shine or Fade Away blog, I talked about some tips for brick-and-mortar stores to help with the summer slump. For you online retailers, most of those tips are not going to work, so I am going to talk about measures you can take that will work.

Shoppers will occasionally spend big bucks online throughout the summer; the key is to catch them at the right time. One simple factor that can help increase your revenue and help you focus your marketing efforts is considering what day of the week it is.

Fridays are the slowest when it comes to sales; the average dollar spent goes down by $6! People go away for the weekend and aren’t worried with spending the big bucks before they depart. They don’t have the time or concern. Don’t waste your efforts trying to reel customers in on these days.

When people get back from vacation they are thinking about the stuff they forgot to get over the weekend. Mondays account for buyers purchasing the most expensive items. The average dollar spent goes up by $4. This might also have to do with the ‘Monday Blues;’ shopping is seen as a ‘cure’. Wednesdays are the top sales days; meaning the overall total of purchases is higher this days.

Draw consumers in by adding sales incentives. For example, free shipping for orders of $100 or more on Mondays would help push consumers to make higher-value orders since they are already purchasing costly items. As an online retailer, online marketing is imperative- more than 50% of people with a social networking account check it daily. Take advantage of this by posting updates about new products, a special events and sales.

Instagram vs. Facebook Camera

There has been a lot of fuss about Facebook’s newest application, Facebook Camera. Facebook Camera lets you rapidly pick one or more photos, apply filters, tag friends and locations, add a description and then post. It has fourteen different camera filters and is coincidentally very similar to what the application known as Instagram does. What is even stranger, Facebook recently acquired Instagram for one billion dollars.
Instagram has no revenue, but what it does have is 30 million users. That wasn’t the only upside to buying Instagram. Facebook so quickly spent one billion dollars because of user data. Instagram is far more targeted than Facebook. Facebook certainly knows how to target ads to its audience’s interests, but as we all know by now, Facebook users post any number of boring, self-interested or otherwise forgettable updates. Instagram photos are simpler and frequently brilliant, especially for brands. You can find out more of a user’s interest on Instagram. A food lover takes photos of dining out and fancy dishes, a skier takes pictures of the slopes and the resort. Facebook can optimize this data and create advertisements with even more of a focus.
Another factor is that Facebook has had difficulty finding a way to keep up with mobile technology. Instagram really knows mobile. They do not have a website; it is just an application where you can follow people and see others photos by scrolling on there page. When you upload a photo, you can choose to share it via Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr as well. Instagram looks nice and simple and has an easy interface. The Facebook mobile app can really learn from this.
The beauty of Instagram, and Facebook Camera, is that people love photos. People go on Facebook to look at photos of friends, family, and things that interest them. Half of Facebook users comment on photos at least twice a week.

As a business, how does this affect you? Both applications will display photos on your Facebook Business Page. They might seem like competing apps, but except for minor differences in editing tools, they are essentially the same. It is up to you to choose how you want to interact with your fans. So choose one and use it! Photos get attention.