“Hey, Traditional Media…If you can’t beat ‘em…join ‘em”

After working 6 years at the largest daily newspaper in Palm Beach County, I have first-hand witness of what technology can do. I actually saw the same thing happen in the recording industry, when I managed the sales and marketing for a record label in New York.

When I started in the music business, vinyl or ‘records’ as it is commonly known, was still the preferred method of choice for DJ’s throughout the world. In less than a 5 year span we saw a huge shift to CD’s, which created a whole new generation of sophisticated CD players and all the sales that came with it. It hence moved to MP3’s and the use of laptops. Now, many world-renowned DJ’s play their entire set using sophisticated Apps that cost only $24.99 on their iPads.

Technology proves again, you either adapt or get out of the way. Well, I’ve added one more option, if you can’t beat the technology, join it. I’m talking specifically to traditional media, such as TV, Radio and Newspapers.

Again, my experience with Newspapers saw Craigslist sweep across the nation, from West Coat to East, slowly destroying the holy grail of newspaper income, the Classifieds! Once Craigslist added your city to its list, you can rest assured that income was going to go away.

THERE’S NO NEED FOR THIS TO HAPPEN:

To me, although there are many complexities, there is one glaring and obvious solution. Traditional media needs to facilitate the ease of access to the internet by providing more content and features of what’s going on online.

For example, if the newspaper created a ‘Found it on Facebook’ section, which could even be ‘advertorial’ or ‘pay for play’, I believe it would be very successful. Why, because it’s much easier to look through a daily paper, and read this section, and find new and wonderful pages on Facebook, that are local and relevant, then it is to go on Facebook and search all over. Beyond that, the feature could alert you to things you may not have ever even thought to search for, and expose new opportunities you would have never found looking online.

I’ve heard rumors of TV commercials being more interactive. Featuring a few buttons you can press on your remote to ‘respond’ to the ad. This technology seems way behind to me, and needs to be fully developed and implemented soon. With all of the internet TV’s already on the market, the world is begging for commercials with coupons you can redeem with the push of your remote, as long as say you’re logged in to your Facebook account – now who’s old fashioned?!?

Radio is not as easy, but bottom line, effective radio ads have proven to drive more targeted traffic to a website than any other form of mass media. Unlike other forms of mass media, you listen to the radio, as you do other things. Vanity URL’s have replaced Vanity phone numbers, and most of the audience prefers to respond to ads online, on their own time. When was the last time you picked up a phone after you heard an ad on the radio?

Yet, most commercials do and say the same thing that they always have, and results are weakening. If traditional media featured the ‘digital world’ in such a way that people would find value in reading, watching and listening to the messages again, mass media would be much more relevant again, and our plugged in world would benefit tremendously.

Vol III – The new role of traditional media

In the last two blogs we introduced the Four Pillars of Social Media, and then gave you a ‘big-picture’ overview to set the right expectations and mind-frame when it comes to integrating digital strategies.
In this blog we are going to show you how to use traditional media, such as radio and TV to quickly drive up your audience on your website or social networking sites.

 

Despite all the talk about social networking, a new study has found that “Traditional media advertising remains a more effective driver of online traffic than the social networking equivalent,” reportsWARC.COM.

 
What this means is that, while to many, social media is still in it’s infancy, traditional media has very large footprints and thus can deliver a message to a large audience. This audience however is less interested in being forced to listen to an offer they don’t care about, and more interested in an opportunity to engage with or take the message one step further.

 
For example, rather than tell everyone about your great ‘one-day sale’ you are going to tell them to “Like” your Fan page where you can receive exclusive offers every day. Your goal now with mass media is to drive them to your social networking pages (or landing page, website, etc) so that you can build your own audience. We call this strategy ‘tradigital’ using traditional outlets to drive traffic online.
Looking at 2012, you may consider these two inverted triangles.

The Orange triangle signifies the amount of your budget being allocated to ‘outbound’ efforts. This will initially encompass about 80% to 90% of your allocation. Remember, the key difference is that you are now using this medium to drive traffic to your digital space.

 
By the time you reach the start of the 3rd quarter, you will see nearly a 50/50 split of ‘outbound’ efforts to ‘inbound’ efforts. By this time you will have built up a significant following, and you need to increase your efforts to keep your audience engaged and in return, talking about you.


By the end of the year, your allocation has completely flipped, and you are now driving the majority of your sales efforts via social media. This will be a very exciting time for you as you have learned to rely less on traditional media outlets and now have a built-in audience of loyal customers.

 
Sounds too good to be true, but we’ve seen it happen many times, and for some it has even outperformed our expectations. There are also times when it may take more than one year to reach the scenario above, but one thing is for sure, if you don’t start looking at it like this, you will never get there.

 
And let me close with this: You may be able to still get away with a 100% outbound strategy, but once the teens and twenty-somethings of the world become ‘old-enough’ to make a difference in your bottom line, how are you going to reach them, and the generation after that? Will you be relevant or irrelevant?

The quicker you adapt the quicker you grow.

It amazes me as a small business owner myself, why there is so much resistance among the business community in general to grasp the need to evolve.

 

I understand the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and that may have worked well, for a long time. However, business in today’s world requires constantly challenging even the successful status quo or some ‘new jack’ will run you off the road.

 

No one can argue that for most Americans the ‘digital’ world is just as real as the ‘traditional’ world and the lines continue to blur. Think about it, most of your office workday, you spend it with a computer (digital) send an email (digital), print something (traditional), text someone (digital) call someone, (tra-digital), and so on.

 

If you need to know something right away you drive down to your local library and pull out the most current encyclopedia. I’m just kidding of course, you probably head over to your counter and open up your yellow pages to look up the phone number to call…

Sorry, I couldn’t resist throwing in a little irony. You Google it, you search online, you go to YouTube, or you use that tiny little search bar on Facebook. So now you find the information you think you’re looking for, go to the website and it’s useless. What a letdown; that visitor will most likely never visit your site again.

 
Yet, most websites are built by friends of friends, or cousins or worse. I understand companies on a shoe-string budget, but cutting corners on what essentially is your 24hour business partner is a very risky way to budget.

 
The same thought process goes behind where you advertise. I believe traditional media remains a very effective medium to promote your message, but that message has to change! The same way you would never run to the library or open the yellow pages, you will most likely not hear a commercial and call immediately, or rush to the store to participate in a sale for items you’re not in the market for.

 
A ‘tradigital’ strategy uses mass-media to drive the audience to respond online. It’s not a revolutionary concept at all, but until now, most advertisers feel like that’s a strategy only for e-commerce enabled companies, and that’s just not true.

 
For example, If I’m selling tires, and I have a great buy 3 get 1 free sale this weekend, at best, only those drivers who need tires will respond. Yet, everyone who drives a car will need tires at some point. Why not offer your audience an opportunity to respond online…’go to www.onefreetire.com and sign up online. We understand you may not need tires now, so you can use the coupon whenever you’re ready!’

 
Imagine that, well why not? Now you have their name and email address, and whenever they’re in the market for tires, you’ll be top of mind, especially if you incorporated your Facebook/Twitter page and keep this prospect in the loop with an email drip campaign. That is ‘tradigital’ – let us show you how to get there and increase the results of your advertising no matter where you choose to advertise.

Three Essential steps to start using Facebook for Business

If you haven’t started using Facebook for business, here are a few tips to getting started.

1) Make sure it’s a Fan Page!
This may seem too obvious to note, however we are still often encountering business fan pages that are actually personal ‘friend’ pages. Luckily for them, we are still able to convert these pages to ‘Fan’ pages, and convert all of your friends instantly to fans. If you do need to convert your page, don’t wait any longer. You can’t effectively market on a ‘friend’ page and it shows your lack of professionalism when it comes to Facebook. It will reset your timeline, and lose the pictures you have posted, so make sure you have a back-up of everything, but you will be able to keep all your ‘friends’ who will now be Fans as if they already ‘liked’ your business page.

 
2) Customize a ‘Welcome Page’.
Nothing drives up “Likes” the way a well-crafted welcome page does. When we set up a Welcome Page for clients, it funnels all ‘non-fans’ to this page first (instead of directly to your wall). On this page you can create what is called a ‘Like-Gate’ which basically teases the visitor with a unique promotion or offer that will only be revealed after you ‘Like’ the page. This shows you really appreciate the visitor liking the page, and will dramatically drive up the number of ‘likes’.

 
3) Advertise on Facebook.We here at b digital agency are big fans of using both outbound and inbound marketing efforts, or as we like to call it ‘tradigital’ strategy. Facebook is both in one! Placing a well-crafted ad on Facebook, aimed at your specific Demo and even geographical location, is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your page (or website). Best part is you can allocate as little as $2.00 per day and set up a pay per click campaign that can average as little as .30 cents per click or less. Another amazing effect of Facebook advertising is the amount of people who respond to your ad within 24 hour of seeing it (and not clicking on it). In advertising world this is called ‘value beyond the click’ and can often be up to 3 times as high as the number of actual clicks you pay for. Here is an actual snapshot of our campaign for the last 7 days. Believe me this works!

 

How to be ‘tradigital’.

If you advertise in the newspaper, on television or radio, use direct mail, billboards or any other ‘traditional’ advertising medium and are not incorporating a ‘tradigital’ strategy you are not maximizing your results.

What is Tradigital? It is using traditional media to drive traffic to a digital destination, whether it is a website, landing page or social media page.

Basically, the new ‘call today’ is ‘visit out site’, and the new ‘visit our site’ is ‘visit our landing page or Facebook page’ for increased recognition. A landing page is simply a web page that is customized specifically for converting traffic responding to a very specific offer or promotion.

If you send traffic to a home page that does not reflect the details of the advertised offer, or does not have easy data capture and follow-up, it will result in a very low conversion rate, and is a poor strategy. The reason is this, whenever you advertise, no matter how many people you reach, only a small percentage of that audience is actually in the market for your goods and services.

For example, if you sell tires, everyone who owns a vehicle, at one point or another, will require new tires. If you can get that person to engage with your message regardless of whether or not they are currently in the market for new tires, you do not limit your potential return.

In this scenario, your radio ad says ‘visit tirestogo.com and sign up for our buy one get one tire free promotion, and take advantage of our offer whenever you need new tires’. A message like this, does not limit the audience, or the offer. Now you have a new email address, and can create an email drip-campaign that sends offers on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, that keeps pulling leads forward. The ‘tirestogo.com’ landing page also has links to your Facebook page which says ‘Like’ us on Facebook and shares our coupon with friends and family.

This takes guts, this takes vision, but this is what people expect not only from business, but from the messages their hearing and seeing every day. The world of ‘call today, this is a limited time offer’ just does not resonate anymore. People have too many resources at their hand and don’t need to feel pushed or forced to react.

Allow those people to engage with your brand, be exposed to your products and service, and take advantage of offers and promotions on their timetable and you have a winning ‘tradigital’ strategy.

If you want to learn how to move from a traditional strategy to a tradigital strategy, please contact us for a free consultation.

I know what I don’t know

Lately I have been coming across well-established advertising agencies with a long list of loyal clients. While they have proven themselves to deliver results in traditional media, most continue to struggle with the dynamics of digital marketing, and how to deliver the same results.

I can appreciate that no agency wants to turn away a new account, or not be able to offer an existing account a continued one-stop shop service, however, at what point are they doing more harm than good? The best agencies know what they don’t know, and at the very least hire vendors or small digital agencies to service the growing marketing needs of their accounts.

But how do you know if ABC Advertising has gone through these lengths to insure quality or if they’re just learning as they go and using you as the guinea pig? And as a follow up, can you really afford to find out the latter is the case?

When a ‘traditional’ agency all of a sudden adds ‘Digital Services’ to their list, I recommend you have a candid conversation and find out if they are doing this ‘in-house’ or if they have partnered with a reputable digital marketer that understands what’s at stake. A second post on this topic will feature a list of questions you should ask before hiring any agency that offers digital services, for now lets focus on the basics.

The problem I’ve found most often is that the ‘soft-sell’ of social media or inbound marketing has a disarming effect and many advertisers are lured into a false sense of security. By that I mean, advertisers are ‘sold’ on the long term process that it takes for social media to deliver results, as compared to an aggressive direct-marketing campaign through traditional channels.

I have seen enough examples to insure you that’s not the case. A strong social media campaign can deliver impactful results in short amount of time. I am a big fan of Michael Stelzner writer of the Social Media Examiner blog and a new book called Launch. His blog is already over 90,000 opt-in email subscribers in just about a year!

I have met with hundreds of businesses, even the very Newspaper where I work, which is the largest newspaper in 5 counties, that do not have a list of 90,000 email subscribers. Can you imagine what that would do for your business?

This kind of success takes dedicated individuals who have a yearning to learn something new everyday, and write about it. Successful digital agencies understand the true meaning of inbound marketing, which is often very polarizing to traditional marketing messages and efforts.

The digital landscape has created a new form of interaction between client and customer. In the digital space the client is first a student of sorts, that with the right type of content will lure that student in and out of his own free will want to be exposed to more.

We realize the old tendencies of ‘doing business’ will continue to rear it’s ugly head, and traditional agencies will more than welcome the opportunity to ‘print another coupon’. The point is the approach to the digital audience is very different than the approach to the traditional audience, but the lines are starting to blur quickly.

In fact, I am a big fan of using traditional media, be it newspaper, radio, tv or billboards to drive traffic to the digital space. The key is in the message…it must appeal to the audiences appetite for information, and not to push the agenda/product/service, etc. of the advertiser.

This is a conversation not easily had with most advertisers and most advertising agenceis for that matter. If you want to be successful in the digital space I suggest you partner with an agency that understands the inbound marketing philosophy and can work with traditional media to get the best results.

Knowing what you don’t know, can often be just as valuable as what you do know!

John Garcia
Digitally Inclined