With the rise of social media marketing dominating the industry over the past five years, brands are struggling more than ever as they decide how to spend their ad dollars.
Your brand is not just a logo, a website, or a marketing campaign. It is your culture and who you are as a business. Without this leading as your primary marketing message, your vision fails and ultimately the targeting of your customers or clients fails with it. With that in mind, let’s examine some avenues for your marketing dollars.
Television, radio and static marketing
Television and radio are typically more expensive marketing venues. Because of the expense, be sure they are the correct venue for the message you need to deliver. They work best when you need to create immediacy--such as a Labor Day sale at a local car dealership. Or a store sale that will last only a few hours or couple of days.
Static marketing such as billboards are also pricey. The common denominator for television, radio and billboards is that, in addition to the expense, your message is broadcast without discernment for a target audience. You’re likely spending a ton of money to reach a demographic that is not even related to your customer base. Most small businesses will need to use these venues sparingly and wisely.
Social and interactive content
Depending on your target demographic, social media is a viable consideration for where you should spend the bulk of your ad dollars. Here are 3 benefits of social media advertising:
- This is where your customers and clients are.
- It's targeted, and this means you can directly point where every penny of your ad budget goes and what type of customer or client you want to attract.
- The results can be tracked. Your social media site tracks the reach and interactions with visitors--who likes, who shares, who comments.
Interactive web content offers the same advantages. Browsers such as Google know the history of every visitor to your website. Today’s web developers can capture that advantage by supplying content specific to the interests of each visitor to your site. Analytics reports supply valuable information that tracks web audience--to the very pages of interest to the page where interest is lost.
Print is not dead
Contrary to what you may have heard, print is not dead. Print, in essence, is timeless. There is something special about seeing your brand in a beautifully crafted magazine or news article. When designed properly, these ads can be dramatic and elicit a direct call to action. As human beings we are tactile creatures. Print satisfies that inner need for “touch.” The millennial generation, now more than ever, is turning to print for inspiration.
Video is king
Curated video content is sweeping the internet among many top brands throughout the world. So what does this look like? It could be something as simple as a weekly Facebook Live video of what's coming up, weekly specials, or what's new with your business. It could also mean a very specific content piece like a fashion video or commercial posted on Facebook. From the simple to the complex, video content is everything.
Brand advocacy and influencer marketing
When someone shares or writes a testimony about your brand online, this is brand advocacy. You're creating brand ambassadors who are spreading your culture to their followers. This simple yet organic share can generate big sales if it's done right - and through the right people.
This is also utilizing what is known as influencer marketing.
Some may say this is a fancy word for throwing a party, others might use this as a way to connect their customers or clients with a new product or service offering. However you look at it, creating an activation (or event) is partnering your business with an opportunity for your customers or clients to have an additional touchpoint and drive the culture of your brand home.
Effective marketing takes a lot of careful consideration as well as planning. If you’re unsure of the best avenue for your advertising expenditures, consult with a professional. Not only will it save time and money, but it can help you optimize your options and identify a strategy that produces the best return on your marketing investment.
By Mason Kesner
Mason Kesner, a Ft. Smith native studied under many industry leaders before opening his first company in 2010. In early 2015 he worked for the U.S. Marshals Museum as their media developer. He left the Museum in late 2016 to open his own company Baseline Collective. Baseline Collective is a full service creative partner that exists to market emerging culture. He is currently very active with several downtown projects and has a passion to see Fort Smith thrive in every aspect.