When researching improving your brand, we’ve all heard the apocalyptic forecasts about the future of business that said traditional marketing is dead. Down with the billboards, long live content! This misconception shouldn’t come as a surprise as it seems everyone is online today – more than 3 billion people to be exact.
We’re consuming more digital media than ever. However, a marketer’s mindset that creates a division between the traditional and digital marketing can be harmful to one’s business.
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The key to obtaining a solid position on the market is to optimize your marketing strategy and maximize the potential effects of your campaigns. The only way to do so is by combining the best of the two worlds (i.e. digital and traditional marketing) and figuring out the answers to several questions.
Improving Your Brand
Firstly, do you know where the majority of your target audience is, offline or online? Can you afford to not include the ones that don’t fall into the biggest group? Do you know via which channels are they used to communicating? The fact is, today’s consumers need to be wooed: they want to feel important, they want to engage, and they seek personalized experiences.
The Advantages of Using Big Data
If you’re wondering where the convergence between the two forms of marketing happens, think big data. By using different analytic tools, marketers have a precious opportunity to predict future purchases of their consumers and make sure they provide them with the best user experience. It is about continuously listening to consumers’ needs and adapting accordingly. A buying journey can have interesting plot twists.
Small adjustments in the visual structure of your website, the way you handle transactions (if you own an eCommerce website, for example), or how devoted you are to providing best customer service can mean a great difference for your business. When it comes to using Big Data in the non-virtual environment, it makes perfect sense: when you gather all the necessary info about the profile of your buying persona, it’s a lot easier to get creative and craft the perfect real-life campaigns as you already know your audience’s preferences. You can even be savvy and influence their future purchases.
Consider doing market research via polls on social media: by wrapping the questions in a light, entertaining form that motivates your followers to answer, you can get precious insights about where the future direction of your offline marketing strategy.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Real Events
Whenever you get the chance to overlap the digital and traditional marketing tactics, do it. If you’re handing out flyers, add a link to your Facebook and Twitter page at the bottom. Invest an effort to constantly stay in touch with your customers, both in the real and the virtual world. You want people to perceive you as someone genuinely cares and who stands out from other brands.
Make an event on Facebook and invite your followers to a conference or meetup. Show appreciation for your loyal customers and explore the possibilities of using gift cards to promote your business: it is basically like giving away a business card with monetary value and it makes your customers feel important. Network 24/7 and initiate as many interactions and conversations as you can.
Importance of Aligning the Two Marketing Forms
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to craft completely different digital and offline campaigns. They see the possibility of playing with different marketing messages or they like trying different designs as they think another type of media offers a new chance to be creative from scratch. However, this can be very confusing to consumers.
When coming up with digital and traditional marketing strategies for improving your brand, you should keep in mind the advantages and setbacks of both forms. Let the 4C rule be your guiding star: coherence, consistency, continuity, complementary. Make sure different communication channels you’re using are logically connected and not by any chance contradictory. It’s advisable to make them consistent and complementary. This way, you’re filling in the gaps and overcoming the pitfalls of the two forms.
Embrace the Communication via Social Media
You know what they say: if it’s not on Facebook, did it ever happen? Building an effective social media campaign is the top concern of today’s marketers: as Social Media Examiner reports, around 90% of them are interested in mastering the art of online community management when it comes to improving your brand.
Here are some of the things you should think about before posting. Firstly, don’t treat all your social media profiles the same. You don’t need dozens of profiles: identify where your target audience is and understand every social network requires a different way of communicating.
You need to tailor your message so it meets customers’ expectations, i.e. adapts to the nature of a specific social network. For instance, Instagram is all about visual content and it’s great for creative industries. Facebook offers you a variety of post types and you can also track results via Page Insights. With the right use of hashtags, Twitter is great for real-time engagement and can make your content go viral.
Traditional Marketing Does its Trick
For all those doubting Thomases out there, neuroscience research showed paper marketing can actually beat digital marketing in improving your brand according to some parameters. It all comes to this: people are lazy.
Direct mail requires less cognitive strain compared to the way we consume digital media while real materials are easier to emotionally connect to. In addition to that, when we’re at the screen – we are more prone to scanning and distracted reading – which is not the case with paperback materials.
Real paper is more memorable and intimate, especially given the fact it includes tactile stimuli. On the other hand, videos are also extremely engaging: they require the least cognitive strain and are proven to be the future of digital marketing. If you’re looking for some low-investment power branding, try QR codes.
They are the easiest way of attracting your customers online and connecting real-life marketing to the virtual environment. If you lack some ideas regarding QR campaigns, check out the creative solutions Kissmetrics prepared and find your inspiration there.
Building your online presence and improving your brand is important: that’s where the magic happens. However, having in mind the ultimate goal of social media campaigns is even more important. It’s to nurture the existing relationships and build new ones, improve brand awareness, generate revenue and trigger mouth-to-mouth marketing. You shouldn’t choose between the two forms of marketing: merge them together to get the best results.
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Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.
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