Tips to Integrate Traditional and Digital Marketing

For all the doom-saying about traditional marketing and media, it’s not dead—not even close. A Nielsen survey conducted last year shows Americans still watch over three hours of live television every day—not counting DVR or online programming where it’s possible to block or fast-forward through commercials. And while subscriptions are declining, about a quarter of Americans still read a print newspaper every day.

This buffet-style media environment demands a new approach—both traditional and digital media are still too big to ignore—so here are a few ways you can cover all your bases without duplicating effort.

1. Use traditional networks to publicize your digital content

It’s easy to overlook this step, but make sure customers see your website URL on every billboard, sign, flyer, ad, or business card you distribute. Traditional media is now cheaper than ever, and if you can grab users’ attention that way, it’s a great tool to increase your online presence. Give users a reason to visit your site. Offer online discounts, and maintain an interesting and valuable social network presence—for instance, repair or home improvement contractors might publish simple tips or did-you-know factoids periodically.

2. Put QR codes on every scrap of marketing material

The marriage of the QR code and the smart phone was made in marketing heaven. With a flyer, newspaper ad, or sign, you can engage customers with your digital content with the snap of a photo. Use some kind of “hook” to draw viewers, like a question, an enigmatic statement, or even a discount offer, to spur curiosity. Some businesses even print out a giant QR for the side of the company van, or incorporate them on Tyvek bands at entertainment events—it’s eye-catching and novel, and people want to find out more.

3. Throw your traditional campaigns online

With the typical small-business budget, your local TV commercials aren’t likely to be “high art”—but that isn’t always a bad thing. If you’ve put in the work to create a commercial that’s funny (intentionally or otherwise), post it on Reddit, Youtube, Tumblr, and anywhere else it’s likely to get a laugh. A small California taxidermist with the help of a local marketing agency created the “Nope, Chuck Testa!” ad, which got 14,000,000 views and made the company an internet sensation. That means they’ve earned $42,000 just for posting the ad, and it cost them nothing more than an ordinary TV commercial. Also, any fundraisers, trade shows, or traditional marketing events should go up on your social networks for customers to see.

4. Involve your online audience in trade shows

Trade shows are great for B2B networking—but keeping the party to yourself is becoming less and less feasible. Get the most out of trade shows by letting your customer base see you with your best foot forward, too. If you’re speaking, post surveys and questions to get users talking—then include them in your creative process. This strategy increases your viewers’ engagement, as well as demonstrating your responsiveness to the opinions of customers and clients. Record insights, snap photos, and involve your online audience as much as possible.

5. Apply online analytical tools to traditional campaigns

The unique advantage of online marketing is how measurable everything is—it’s possible to know exactly where your customers are coming from, what caught their eye, and what they’re looking for, in a way that simply couldn’t be done in the era of TV and print advertising. By pointing the QR codes and URLs on your promotional materials to different landing pages, you can find out who is reading them, what’s catching their attention, and more importantly, who is going on to patronize your business.

Tara Wagner is a staff writer for TechBreach. She has worked from home for over a decade, and loves sharing news and advice with fellow telecommuting moms and dads. She’s fascinated by new tech and new ideas; and when she finds time to unplug, she enjoys long hikes in the mountains near her home. She lives in Denver.

Jump on Pinterest to Promote Your eBusiness

Do you run an eBusiness that specializes in a particular niche? Are you interested in promoting and marketing your website to a massive audience, which can translate to increased traffic and revenue? You may already understand the importance of promotion through social media in the world we live in today. A hugely popular social networking tool that can help propel your eBusiness to new heights is Pinterest, the fastest growing website of all time, according to Fortune magazine. Take a minute to digest that fact. Pinterest has exhibited a rate of growth and expansion that surpasses the likes of social networking powerhouses Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Image, Logo: Pinterest is beating Google+ and is now the 3rd largest social network © by MRBECK

So, what exactly is this Pinterest? It is virtual photo-sharing community that allows its users to organize, share and disseminate fascinating and appealing multimedia content. Pinterest users can create their own virtual pinboards that are organized by various categories, such as beauty, fitness and inspiration, for example. “Pinners,” as they are called, can then “pin” images to their various boards. If a user sees a truly inspirational image either on Pinterest or anywhere on the Internet, he or she can pin this image to their inspiration board. Pinterest deserves a great deal of credit in that it has created a virtual community atmosphere. Pinners can follow other users who share similar interests and tastes to keep track of their boards and content. It is possible to leave comments on boards, which can initiate a dialogue among users. The most popular content themes on Pinterest include beauty, fashion, fitness, recipes, home decor, arts and crafts and inspiration.

Now, let’s get to the part that will interest you. How can you tap into Pinterest to promote your eBusiness? Read on, brave explorer…

Dig Deep into the Heart of Your Niche

In order to develop an understanding of whether or not your eBusiness can truly tap into the full potential of Pinterest, you must consider your niche. Does any aspect of your eBusiness appeal primarily to women? The reality of Pinterest is that 80 percent of its users are female, which should make sense given the most popular content themes on this photo-sharing tool. If your eBusiness involves selling beauty products or quality women’s clothing, for example, you can absolutely utilize Pinterest for marketing and promotional purposes. It is easy to create a company or brand profile on Pinterest and you can get started right away.

Variety is Key on Pinterest

If you do reach the conclusion that Pinterest is an appropriate tool for you to use and have created a profile for your eBusiness, it will be highly important that you follow and connect with a variety of other users who are interested in the niche you are targeting. If your eBusiness is selling a fitness product, you can easily connect with other pinners who are fitness enthusiasts. As you imagine, this can help generate sales. You should also connect with other companies on Pinterest that are targeting the same general niche as you.

Additionally, variety will be key in terms of the multimedia content you choose to add to promote your products or services. It may be in your best interest to hire an expert digital graphics designer who can help create eye-candy images for you that can then be shared on Pinterest. These types of visually appealing pins tend to dominate Pinterest. Also, you can even create video and text-based pins to share. You may want to consider create a video pin that features a satisfied customer using one of your products. You could even convert a positive customer testimonial into a text pin. Pretty cool, huh?

Add a “Pin-It” Button to Your Website

As your eBusiness develops a strong presence on Pinterest, you should add a “Pin-It” button to your website, which can be done easily especially if you have a WordPress-based website. This will allow pinners who frequent your site to have the ability to easily pin images to their own boards. This is excellent for you because it increases the chances that your images will be re-pinned on Pinterest. As you can imagine, this “Pin-It” button will begin to work for itself in no time.

Closely Monitor Analytics

If you are running an eBusiness, chances are good that you have a strong business mind and understand the importance of analytics and number-crunching. You can easily track where your traffic is coming from through Pinterest by using such tools as Google Analytics. This can help you adjust your strategies as you understand key metrics. Of course, you should do more of what seems to be working for you.

Your ability to successfully tap into Pinterest for marketing and promotional purposes will depend largely on your niche and the quality of your pins. Pinterest drives more sale than any other network. It is in your best interest to seriously consider adding this powerful networking tool to your social networking arsenal.

Jamie Bush is a freelance writer, web content coordinator for BabyChangingStation.com. Jamie is also an avid “pinner” who enjoys using Pinterest to find recipes and home decor tips.

Why Your Company Should be Using Surveys

Want to find the perfect niche market? Can’t quite define your target market? Do you know that your products or services need improvements, but don’t know where to start? Start by sending out some surveys. Or better yet, have someone do it for you.

For business owners, consumer information is priceless. Consumer information provides insight into market trends, into needed product and service improvements, and into the demographics of interested customers. With great consumer information, your company can more accurately plan for growth and expansion as a business plan will be able to be more easily developed and become more structured. Milestones and goals are easier to set, and marketing will be streamlined.

However, obtaining information like this is often difficult proving both time consuming and expensive. No one wants to spend time sending out numerous emails containing surveys only to potentially be marked as spam or stand on the street corner passing out surveys. These methods are inefficient and outdated anyway.

To avoid wasting both time and money, many companies are turning to the internet to receive adequate feedback regarding their products and services. In particular, many are turning to survey databases to write, distribute, and return Surveys Online that will provide them with the type of feedback needed.

Not only do survey sites provide you with the information your company needs to move forward in the right direction, but it also aids in the marketing of your products or services. Most survey companies offer free or discounted products to those who take surveys. By providing a survey company with your products, it allows you to reach potential customers who would have otherwise not known your products existed while also receiving beneficial information. Also, only people who want to fill out surveys visit these sites, and are more likely to give adequate and unbiased responses – especially since they are being rewarded for their feedback.

Hiring a survey service is relatively inexpensive too. In addition to supplying products, most companies only have to pay a nominal subscription fee to have their surveys distributed. The more detailed a survey is or the more information your company is hoping to gain may cost a little more, but benefit the information of surveys provides far outweighs the cost.

Not having great feedback about your products or services is just like inviting your competition to pass you by. While there are numerous ways to gain great info regarding your industry, products, or services, online surveys are an efficient and hands-free way to do so.

SEO and Marketing are Like Dating: 5 Reasons Why

Everybody has ’em.  Little relationship nuggets that they swear by that lead to happiness and utopia.  (Nevermind that they are invariably flawed.)  And just like dating, SEO and marketing have some rules that are better lived by.

  • The Grass is Always Greener: Remember that hot twitter star (@lisabarone) that you had your eye on?  How your infatuation got in the way of your relationship?  Then, when the relationship was over, that star wasn’t so bright?  Sometimes it’s better to be focused on what you’ve got rather than the hot new thing.
  • It Still Pays to be Nice: Unless you really are the leather wearing, Harley riding, Marlboro Red smoking, bad boy of marketing, it still pays to be the nice guy on the block.  Nobody likes an a$$hat.  No doubt, there is money in blackhat, but white/gray hat is still the right thing and will get you further.  Besides, do you want to be looking over your shoulder all the time for the father with the shotgun?
  • Chocolate Helps: Just because you’re the nice guy doesn’t mean that a little bribery isn’t in order now and again.
  • Cut Your Losses: Sometimes the relationship is just doomed. Sometimes, no matter what you do, the two of you are just not meant to be together.  And, while it probably is a bit taboo in dating, selling your site is an option.
  • Pay Attention: Sitting at your PC and gaming all the time is a surefire way to get dumped.  It’s also a good way to not get anywhere, and not sell anything.

Treat your business like a good date and you’ll have success most of the time.  Remember though;  Sometimes it just isn’t a match.  Until you decide that, put your full effort into the relationship and make it bloom!