Marketing and Advertising Archives - TAB Corporate

Outbound Marketing Isn’t Dead: The Golden Age Of Multichannel Advertising

Outbound Marketing Diagram

Advertising is the one outbound marketing tactic that the majority of businesses still use, including those outbound marketing nay-sayers. One reason advertising is still so widely used is that it has evolved easily in the digital age. There are still traditional forms of advertising, such as print and broadcast, that have lost popularity, but can still be highly beneficial to your integrated marketing plan.

Print Advertising:
Over the last decade or so, print advertising has fallen from favor, being replaced by cheaper (and easier to track) digital advertising. On the plus side, printed media in the form of magazines are still wildly popular, and are becoming ever more segmented and targeted. The benefit of this segmentation is higher confidence that you are reaching your target market with greater efficiency than ever before. This is true of both B2C and B2B print media.

Broadcast Advertising:
Broadcast advertising refers to ads that are aired on television and radio. These media channels have also begun to fall out of favor with small businesses with limited advertising budgets. Keep in mind, though, that a successful ad campaign does not need to be run during the Super Bowl. Your local TV channels sell far more affordable ad spots, and can be highly effective depending on your target market. The same can be said for radio advertising, specifically when you are running hyper-local marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind that broadcast advertising has also made a leap into the digital arena, with websites such as Hulu and Pandora offering free services with advertisements, you should also be considering these channels if it makes sense for your target market.

Online/Digital Advertising:
Yes, we all know that online advertising has become the crown jewel of the advertising world in the digital age. Just like all forms of advertising, do your research and understand how you can best reach your target audience through targeted web site ad placements. You can also consider running search ad campaigns on search platforms such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! Social media and remarketing (also referred to as retargeting) advertising are other very popular options to consider when creating your marketing plan.

Advertising Best Practices:

  1. Create a “sticky” headline. Your headline has about 2 seconds to grab the reader’s attention and stop them long enough to read the rest of your ad. Your headline should be simple, yet unexpected. Also try asking a question. Made to Stick is a great book to help you think in terms of “sticky” messages and ideas for advertising, sales meetings and beyond.
  2. Focus on the audience. Your message is not about you, it’s about the customer. It is important to understand what it is your ideal client needs in order to reach them with your message. Our business tips from the top blog article provides best practices for understanding your ideal client.
  3. Focus your message. Once you have grabbed the reader’s attention, you still only have a few seconds to keep it. Focus on one message, one call to action. What is the ONE THING you want your audience to do? Stick to that one thing and do not stray from it.
  4. Make your offer clear. Don’t make your audience guess what it is that you want them to do after reading your ad.
  5. Include visuals. Include pictures or graphics that visualize your message.
  6. Keep it short. People don’t read like they used to. Keep your copy short and concise. Make sure you have plenty of white space to balance out the ad visually.
  7. Coordinate. One thing that will always help any ad campaign is to coordinate the message and branding with your other tactics. Consider running your ad campaigns in conjunction with other outbound marketing tactics, such as direct mail and/or telemarketing activities.
  8. Track it. Develop a method to track how your print ad is performing. This can be a bit more tricky than with digital ads. One suggestion is to include an ad-only offer (i.e. “mention this ad to receive a 20% discount).

No matter what advertising channel you decide to invest in, this outbound marketing tactic is not likely to go away anytime soon. Take careful consideration of your business needs, your budget, target market, and expectations when deciding what ad spaces to purchase for your campaign.

This is just a short list of advertising best practices. What advice and options have you explored with success to integrate advertising into your marketing plan?

 

Maximize Social Media to Increase Brand Awareness & Website Traffic

Social media concept

Business leaders of any size company all benefit from practical business tips and advice from other
business owners, CEOs and leaders just like them. That is why TAB members and business coaches submit business tips to help create our Tips from the Top newsletter. This edition of business tips from the top focuses on how social media is used to promote products and services, increase brand awareness and drive website traffic.

Social media marketing is long past it’s “infancy” stage as a viable marketing and relationship management resource. Unless your target marketing is squarely in the 80+ age range, if your company does not have some level of social media presence, you are way behind the curve.

If this is the case, one option is to hire a social media & PR firm (or freelance professional) to help you get set up. They can provide you with recommendations for which platforms you should focus on—given your target market—and set up your accounts for you. You may also decide to let them run your social media accounts for you for several months until you are ready to delegate the activity to employees on your internal team.

Post updates to your social media accounts daily—several times a day. This can be managed using a service, such as Hootsuite, to schedule posts in advance to all your social media accounts. This will allow whoever is managing your social media accounts to schedule posts for the week all at once, without interrupting their work throughout the day to post regular updates.

Pro Business Tip: Does your company also produce an email newsletter and/or blog? Repurpose this existing content into social media posts. This will save time as well as increase visibility of your other important marketing assets.

You can also use your social media connections to collect client testimonials. Keep an eye out for positive customer reviews on your accounts, taking advantage of these testimonials in other channels such as on your website or in printed materials. Take it a step further by reaching out to your client connections on LinkedIn and asking for a Recommendation. If you have provided your clients with a positive experience, they should be more than happy to post a quick recommendation. This text can also be repurposed in other marketing channels such as your website.

Above all, engage with your social network. Remember, social media is a platform for conversations. You should participate in conversations that others in your network start, as well as encourage others to engage with your content.

Easily track what people are saying about you on social media (and other digital platforms) by signing up for Google Alerts, Social Mention or Addictomatic. These will alert you when your company (and other keywords you select) are being mentioned on social media.

Pro Business Tip: Set up alerts for your competitor’s brand names in your Google Alerts account so you can easily keep current with their social networks and trends as well!

To many, social media marketing can seem overwhelming, with a low return on time-investment. When executed correctly, this could not be further from the truth. Accessibility and engagement on social media has become the standard, and is not about to go away any time soon!

TAB’s Tips from the Top series is all about sharing advice. So, tell us, how are you using social media to promote your business? What works well, and what have you found to not work for you?

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