Digital Doesn’t Have to Compete with Traditional Marketing

One of the biggest challenges I face in trying to communicate the benefit of doing digital marketing (such as search engine optimization or pay-per-click marketing) is trying to convince businesses that have used traditional media – such as TV, print and radio – to give digital a genuine chance. In the minds of most advertisers, the budget they’ve previously allocated to traditional media is in direct conflict with the marketing budget I’m asking them to invest with me.

There’s always a disconnect with these types of advertisers. Truth be told, I get it. Traditional media is tangible. You can physically see it or hear it when you’re going about your day. It makes it easier to understand how your customers see, hear and experience it, too. The logic goes something like this: “I saw my commercial, noticed my ad or heard my radio spot. If I heard it or saw it, my customers must have as well!”

While there’s some logic in that (customers do hear and see and experience the commercials), there’s also a big misnomer; the assumption that customers who aren’t expecting to see your ad are noticing it and giving it the same relevance or importance that you are as a business owner. The simple fact is: they aren’t.

Perfect example. My wife and I watch TV nearly every evening. We have our favorite shows and we watch them live, most of the time, so we’re not able to skip over commercial breaks. The “Little Sweet” Diet Dr Pepper commercials have aired probably over 500 times over the last nine to twelve months. One came on last night and my wife turned to me and completely straight-faced said “wait, what the heck was that about?” It was the first time she’d actually noticed the commercial, even though she’s been exposed to it hundreds of times. Such is the problem with assuming that your consumers are noticing your traditional media ad the same way you do.

But fear not! There is a solution: build a correlation between your traditional media ads and your digital ads. They serve different needs, but creating a consistency between both allows you to maximize each method and improve the likelihood of catching everyone.

  1. Use Consistent Ad CopyThis seems super-simplistic, but think about it: if you’re already running a commercial, radio spot or print ad, it probably has some sort of branding and promotion attached. Something like a “Memorial Day Specials” or “20% off select items” or “Forget the Rest; Always Choose Best.”

No matter what your particular specials, taglines, or branding, the point is that there are several selling points that you’ve created for traditional media to entice your customers to buy from you. Simply put: you need to use the same verbiage and details in your digital ads as well.

For example, if you’re running a Google AdWords Search campaign, you should use some of the same specials and promotions as your ad copy. If you’re running a deal for the month on buy one-get one shoes, create an ad group that matches that. If your traditional media is all about promoting your new spring line, push that with your digital as well.

The more consistent your marketing message across multiple mediums, the more likely you are to connect with your customers.

  1. Create Landing Pages to Match Traditional Media Content

This one seems super simple, but if you’re running something on traditional media, you darn well better have the same type of products, services and content listed on your website. Otherwise, how are customers who see your ad supposed to get more information online?

Nothing – well, almost nothing – irritates me more than seeing something on a billboard, TV commercial, or print ad that catches my interest and then wanting to get more info, only to find myself unable to locate it on the business’s website.

Plus, the more content and landing pages you build out, the easier it will be for search engines to connect with your content and promote it to your customers when they’re searching. Since 80% of consumers search for products on the internet, that’s a great way to make sure you’re hitting the maximum number of potential buyers.

For example, if your traditional media ads say that you’re the home of the 365-day service money-back guarantee, you really should have a solid amount of content on your website that consistently matches that claim.

  1. Target the Same Demographics

I throw this one out with a disclaimer – there are businesses where the way the client interacts with the message determines the type of client, and they are two entirely separate groups. It can and does happen on occasion.

However, most of the time, the demographic that your print, TV or radio marketing is hitting is the same demographic you want for your digital as well. They live in the same area, match the same income parameters and make the same types of buying decisions.

Far too often, businesses treat these audiences like completely different groups of people and essentially segment the potential clients into distinct categories that don’t overlap. Creating a consistent, albeit overlapping, target audience will help you ensure that your business is not Diet Dr Pepper and consistently missing my wife just because she’s only exposed to one type of marketing from your brand.

  1. Branch Out

Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When running both campaigns simultaneously, you can get really creative on what you can do. If you’re hindered by budget in traditional media, use the digital media to create a consistent but creative twist on your message. Digital is much less restrictive and allows for more campaign styles within the same budget.

For example, if your traditional media is targeting your primary demographic, but you think there’s a subset of clients out there that can use your business, digital is a great way to test both without losing traction in your already-established market. Try a display campaign that targets a different demographic or area of town. Run a social media ad that focuses on a secondary product that you think will take off well, but can’t dedicate full-fledged traditional budget toward.

The options when pairing digital and traditional media together are nearly limitless, so don’t be afraid to get creative. The level of flexibility that digital affords can give your business a lot of wiggle room to experiment and test various theories.

So, as you can see, the question of how to spend your marketing budget does not have to come down to digital versus traditional. In fact, they can often work together in happy unison to create a more thorough, well-round marketing approach that hits more of your intended audience more consistently. By pairing the two types of marketing together, and working with a professional team like ours at Citywide SEO, you can put your business in position to see the maximum am