As much as the online community loves to promote the effectiveness of a well-designed online strategy, it’s impossible to deny that
traditional media can be hugely effective. What get’s lost in much of the debate about online vs traditional marketing, though, is how
incredibly powerful they can be when used in tandem. Here are three ways to make it happen.
1. Play Ping Pong
In The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk explains how playing a game of ping pong between social and traditional media can launch customer
engagement through the roof.
In the book, he argues that simply including the URL of a Facebook page at the end of a TV commercial doesn’t go nearly far enough. Instead, the commercial should include a genuine call to action that encourages viewers to find out what’s happening online.
Once the users visit the social media page, they should find not an advertisement, but a genuine community of like-minded people. All the energy and excitement surrounding the community can then be harnessed and channeled. It can be used to spark new ideas that can make their way back into traditional media.
When a meme makes the leap from an online community to traditional media, the people who were involved in the creation of that meme will feel vindicated. This further improves the engagement and keeps the community coming back for more.
In the book, Vaynerchuk applauded the success of an Old Spice campaign that, in many ways, accomplished just that. The character from the commercials was placed into the social media realm, where he interacted directly with the audience. Taking things a step further, he responded to requests from the audience by recording new videos that incorporated their ideas. This resulted in an incredibly successful campaign.
But Vaynerchuk also had some harsh words for Old Spice, because they failed to keep the game going. They eventually stopped engaging with
their audience, treating the social media phenomenon as though it were a TV advertising campaign that could just end without so much as a
farewell. He feels that the campaign should have been used to develop lifetime customer value that would have kept customers coming back for
more for the foreseeable future.
2. There’s More to Social Than Marketing
Chris Brogan is one of the most widely respected voices on social media marketing, so it’s no small thing when he says that social media is about more than marketing. One of the most important changes that social media has brought about is the ability of the customer to talk about you.
What does this have to do with incorporating traditional marketing? Consider the value of actually understanding your audience. In 1998, marketers were willing to pay between four and five thousand dollars to conduct a focus group consisting of less than ten people for two hours.If people were willing to spend this much for two hours with ten potential customers to figure out how they thought and what made them tick, imagine how much they would have paid to have access to a never-ending conversation with thousands of potential customers.
The amount of data available at your fingertips is staggering if you are just willing to listen. Insights gleamed from relationships that were founded by social media can be an incredible source of traditional marketing ideas. Taking the time to really understand your audience and how they think will dramatically improve the impact of your traditional marketing efforts.
Building relationships using social media can also help expand your influence. A phone call only takes place between two people, but social media allows you to have a conversation of comparable intimacy with hundreds or thousands of people at the same time. Do not underestimate the power of influential relationships. They have always been the backbone of a strong business, and the intensity of this has only been magnified by the power of the internet..
The most important thing that social media has to offer is right in the name: social. It’s about the conversation. It’s that conversation that keeps users coming back, gets the word out, and makes things happen.
A conversation, by definition, demands more than one person. Most people are hesitant to start or join a conversation unless one has already been started. As the old saying goes, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.
This is where traditional media can be immensely powerful. By sending enough people your way, you can reach the critical mass necessary to get a conversation started. This can be accomplished without traditional marketing, but it’s often much easier to reach this point using something like traditional advertising.
Social and traditional media can amplify each other in ways that weren’t possible before. By keenly understanding the difference between the two media, it’s possible to reach a wide audience, listen to what they have to say, and appeal to them in new and powerful ways.
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