Anyone running a business knows how tight money is. Every brand decision has to be analyzed, looked at and weighed.
- Risk versus reward
- Long-term versus Short-term
- Immediate need versus “Are you serious? We have bigger things to worry about”.
Marketing is no different. We have all heard about the 3 dreaded letters – ROI. Let’s leave that for another discussion on another day. Today, we are talking about investing in the future of your brand and how to maximize the long-term effectiveness of your marketing dollars.
I am not anti-paid media. Any solid media plan and marketing strategy should include a mix of traditional and “newer” media. However, I do think that traditional paid media is under attack and for good reason. Traditional media tactics are very successful, usually for the ones creating or selling the media. If you are a big brand, with huge marketing budgets that have enough to spread around to every type of media from TV, Radio, Print, etc, then keep on spending!
Do you stay awake at night wondering if your target audience saw or heard your advertising message?
If you are a small business or one that has a modest marketing budget to work with, I suggest you look hard at investing in digital. One of my favorite arguments for digital is that your investment can pay dividends months if not years down the line. When you run a print ad in a newspaper, where do those ad dollars go after the day that ad runs? What about after that radio spot runs its rotation and the media buy expires?
It’s all about Search Engines
With an optimized website, blogging and social media engagement you have the ability to reap the rewards of your time and investment well after the day that content is shared with on the web. Thanks in part to search engines such as Google and Bing, your content can and will be found for those looking for what it is you are selling, promoting or talking about. Understand that I am not over simplifying this process. It requires what I call sweat equity, strategy and a strong digital foundation.
Make Yourself Search-able
5 steps to get you started:
- Build an SEO friendly, optimized website. I am a fan of WordPress myself. Stay Away from Flash! – it’s bad for search and it’s not mobile friendly.
- Use Google’s resources; Google Ad Words, Google Alerts, Google Analytics and even Google+. Go ahead and play in Google’s sand box, you will be rewarded with better search results.
- Be Targeted and Consistent with your content, use key words consistently to tie together your content and website.
- Start a Blog to help your customers understand who you are, what you do and how they can benefit as a customer.
- Get active in Social – set-up profiles to build RELATIONSHIPS with your audience.
Bonus: Read this helpful post about Bare Minimum SEO: 3 Things You Must Do
Analyze and Adjust
One of the things that I love best about marketing by way of new media is that you have the opportunity to adjust and evolve. This is the real beauty of the social web and digital media. Brands are living, breathing things and like all living things brands need to continue to grow. Sometimes that means changing how they communicate. Unlike that TV spot or that billboard, it is much easier to edit and tweak digital content.
Create Your Own Content
Yes, creating your own content takes time, but so does coming up with your next advertising campaign. When brands create their own content, they provide the PR message for Sociable Butterflies, Brand Ambassadors and Loyal Fans to share to their audience as Brand Influencers. This is what the new marketing machine looks like. Who better to talk on your behalf than your own loyal customer? This is about giving a brand a voice and letting that voice to share your story.
Today, consumers trust peer recommendations before they trust advertising. Have you ever searched for a brand or company to learn more about hem or see what people are saying about hem? You are not alone. This is the world we live in, so you might as well plan for the future.
If you haven’t already invested in a strong digital foundation, the time is now to get started.
How do you use the digital space for your brand? Please leave a comment below!