Taking Your Campaign Online: Making the Digital Space Work
When putting together a marketing campaign many tools and ideas may be at your fingertips. Whether or not you’d like to keep your message with traditional outlets, like TV, newspapers, billboards, magazines or blend in an online presence, like websites, email marketing or social media sites, you should certainly identify where your audience is and what they are doing. Don’t throw marketing dollars into places “just because everyone is doing it.” What may work for a friend’s business might not work for yours. Consumers today have so much information coming at them from all angles. Your marketing message needs to hit your audience at the right time, on the right mediums, in a clear and concise way. Feeding them easily digestible nuggets about why your company or product is what they need now and how to find out more information is the key to an integrated marketing approach. Offline and online marketing can easily dance together to create an impactful campaign for you.
And while you might not want to use the latest social media tool if you’re trying to reach the Silent Generation (those who are before the “Baby Boomers”), there are certainly benefits to bringing your marketing online.
- Marketing online can reach niche audiences, often for less money.
Whether you are thinking about venturing into pay-per-click, SEO or social media buys, you can target a specific individual. By filtering demographics, interests and locale, you can use your marketing dollars wisely to target individuals or companies who would be interested in your products or services based on their behaviors and click interests.
- Online avenues allow a two-way conversation with potential customers.
When you run an ad campaign in traditional outlets, the conversation is one-sided. You tell the audience your message and often, it’s up to them to take the initiative to reach out to you to start a conversation or to come in to buy your product. When you bring your message online, it’s easier to engage in a two-way conversation with a potential customer. For example, a clothing retailer has an ad in a magazine. A potential customer sees the ad, may rip out the coupon, but has a question about the sale and puts it in the back of their mind. If they saw a similar ad on Facebook they might write their question in the comments, save it in their feed, bookmark the idea to come back to, or even share it with their network of friends. When using traditional mediums, be sure the audience has a simple way of knowing how to reach you.
- Everything is in real-time.
With traditional campaigns, you might be locked into a contract that leaves your campaign in a space for a particular timeframe and you are unable to change the messaging or adjust things if you aren’t getting results. Online campaigns are in real time. So, if you find that your initial strategy unit isn’t working, you can always tweak it. And if something pops up last minute that you’d like to promote, you can still have the opportunity to leverage it due to the flexibility of web marketing.
- Space is not necessarily an issue.
In traditional advertising venues, you might need to stick with a word count for copy, a certain number of images, and may be forced to leave things out due to space restrictions. The benefit of online marketing is that although you might have some limitations in place, you can easily redirect a viewer to a website or social media site for more information, photos or details.
By figuring out where your audience is, what they are reading and what they are doing, you will be able to create an impactful campaign.
When using offline mediums, adding an online component can bring your campaign to a whole new level:
- Always include your website for consumers to quickly find more information about you.
- If you are on social media, be sure to add their handles to any advertising, collateral and packaging so viewers know exactly where to find you to engage in conversation with your company.
- Make sure that your offline and online messaging, images and overall feel are complementary so it’s recognizable to the audience to create a stronger sense of branding.
- Create a hashtag that’s unique to you that can be used online… and offline. This way customers and potential customers can easily all be a part of the same conversation… and you can, too.
- Always monitor what others are saying about you online, whether on review sites, your social media platforms or in chat rooms. This information can be used to tweak your formula, give you new ideas, or even give you content for an offline marketing campaign.
It’s exciting where the world is headed as we unravel more layers of the online world and the tools available to market a product or service. It’s up to us to add the valuable tactics that technology brings into our toolbox and continue to stay abreast of everything new so that we can continue to reach our audiences in fresh new ways.