The most asked question we hear from our prospective clients is, “What should I be doing with digital media?” Prior to the great recession, many businesses were already beginning to test the internet marketing waters, if only one toe. During the recession, when nothing else seemed to work, more waded in to explore the possibilities. The early adopters (the pioneers) are developing as leaders in many facets of digital media marketing. Some are still determined to wait on the shore to see who sinks… or swims on to the new promised land of success in “new media marketing”.
In tomorrow’s (and today’s for that matter) business environment, it is imperative to have a web marketing strategy. Those who choose not to take the plunge will be left behind wondering what happened.That strategy has to begin with an intelligent web interface, a marketing program capable of delivering traffic, and personnel capable of understanding how to maximize all the above. It is also important to understand how web marketing differs from traditional advertising methods. In years past advertising seemed simpler because we had been doing the same things for so long. Ad dollars were usually spread among, radio, television, newspaper, billboards (for some)…and let’s not forget the yellow pages. Those methods are less effective today for multiple reasons.
To better understand how to make the transition to new media, one must first know the target has moved. Folks are listing to internet radio and iPods for convenience and to avoid the spots, busy families have embraced the DVR to be able to watch TV on their schedule and avoid the commercials, newspaper reads continue to fall, it isn’t possible to drive, text and read a billboard (joking), and search engines have all but replaced the yellow pages for all but the older generations. Our prospective customers are looking for whatever they want on the web…at their convenience. We can no longer depend on them to be in front of a TV, in earshot of a radio, or reading a newspaper when an when our messages are presented.
The challenge we all face is to make our message available and findable (is that a word?) to those searching the web for relevant content. That requires an overall understanding of search marketing. Unfortunately there are many who have preyed on unknowing and unsuspecting web clients by producing search engine optimization practices that have ultimately hurt the client. Beware of any who come calling with a message that promises to put your message to the top of the search engines page listings.
The main ingredient that will produce long-term search marketing success is fresh, relative content about your message along with a solid search marketing strategy.
That brings us to the, “What should I be doing with social media?” question. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Squidoo, and a growing number of other social media platforms are very effective for some who understand how to make them work. Let’s “face” it, facebook is not the answer for everyone. Every business should have a social media strategy, but every situation is different. A common misconception regarding social media is that is cheap. While it make appear to be inexpensive on the surface, it still requires manpower to interact and engage on a regular basis.
To summarize possible answers to the “What should I be doing?” questions, we offer the following:
1.) Take the plunge NOW! If you wait, you’re just going to be farther (or further) behind.
2.) Get your web interface up to speed. If you don’t have a website…GET ONE!
3.) Take the time to learn and understand how marketing today and tomorrow differ from yesterday.
4.) Don’t abandon anything that is working! But know we are in a period on transition..expect change and evolution.
5.) Finally, seek professional advice when necessary.
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