Highly targeted campaigns with budget flexibility for small and medium businesses
By Kevin Ketels, President, Kyrris Marketing
Since 2012, the amount of time per day people consume media on their cell phones has doubled. “Traditional” media consumption (newspapers, magazines, broadcast radio and TV) is experiencing a slow but steady decline. But these aren’t the only reasons you should consider digital marketing. Unlike traditional advertising, your digital marketing options offer the benefit of sophisticated targeting, audience interactivity and tools to measure performance.
Small and medium businesses can make these investments without large budgets, and with greater control than ever. To select the best channels, consider your target audience, marketing message, consumer purchase process and desired outcome.
Here are my top ten digital marketing options:
1. Search engine advertising
If you’re looking for efficiency, search engine advertising (SEA) delivers to an audience that is actively looking for information about your product or service through an internet search. SEA allows you to bid for keywords (such as “Italian restaurant” or “tax accountant”) and place your marketing message within those search results. You can define your search engine marketing campaigns by key word, geographic location, devices, day, time and budget. Consider Google AdWords as well as Bing and Yahoo as secondary options.
2. Social media “organic” messaging
Social media is an opportunity to interact with your audience in a way you cannot with traditional one-way advertising. Through online interactions, you can build a relationship, familiarity and trust. Your social media channels are a window into the soul of your company. Your messaging should reflect the values and passion of those who work at your company. Consider Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
3. Social media advertising
With the exploding number of social media users, there is heavy competition to place your messaging in the social media news feed of your customers or prospects. Advertising is necessary to ensure that your message reaches the largest and most relevant possible audience. Many platforms allow you to define your campaign by location, behavior, gender, age and/or interests. You can spend as little or as much as you like.
Email campaigns that reach out to customers or prospects who have consented to receive email can be an effective tool in sharing new product launches, special offers or new product uses. Limit frequency so customers don’t feel they are being spammed. Make sure your email content offers value. Consider Mail Chimp, Campaigner or Constant Contact.
Remarketing is a paid option whereby a prospective customer has visited your website or used your mobile app. Google grabs some identifying info and offers up display advertising whenever that computer user visits a website that runs Google advertising. These ads have more efficiency than normal display advertising, because the user has demonstrated an interest in your product or service by visiting your website. Consider Google AdWords Remarketing.
6. Live streaming
Several social media apps offer the ability to live stream video. This is a unique opportunity to interact with your audience – answer questions, demonstrate a product/service or provide coverage of an interesting event. Consider Facebook, Instagram or Periscope.
7. Search engine optimization
Search engines such as Google want to deliver the most relevant search results to users so that those users keep using their search program. Search engine optimization is the process of structuring your website and content in such a way that search engines understand that relevance, which improves your position in the organic search results.
When dealing with a complex business, product or industry, blogging can be a way to provide customers value by offering information, analysis or recommendations. Blogs can also be entertaining. They are a more compelling incentive for consumers to click on your digital content and visit your website, opening the door to a higher level of engagement.
A video shoot does not require high quality video cameras or professional editing. Consumers appreciate authenticity. Capture short videos with your cell phone of the people, events and special moments taking place at your company. These videos should be one minute or less. If light editing is absolutely necessary, consider downloading iMovie or PowerDirector to your smart phone.
10. Content Marketing Platforms
Several online media sites offer opportunities to place sponsored content in designated positions on their news pages. These spots are usually located below or to the right of their original content. Sponsored content is used by the advertiser to promote their product, service or cause. Consider Outbrain or Taboola.
Digital marketing offers a myriad of options and tools that small/medium businesses can use to promote a brand, generate goodwill, educate potential consumers, close a sale and/or retain loyal customers. There is a budget to fit every business and the performance of digital marketing efforts is more quantifiable than ever.
Kevin Ketels is president of Kyrris Marketing and an adjunct professor of marketing in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.
By Comcast Spotlight, sponsor of the Chamber's Sales and Marketing Conference on March 24. Register Now!
Customers enjoy more video in more places than ever. Reach them when and where they watch with Comcast Spotlight.
Comcast Spotlight is an advertising sales company providing video solutions to local, regional and national businesses through television and digital advertising. Comcast Spotlight provides local market coverage across multiple platforms (cable TV, satellite, telco, online, VOD) and can target customers geographically, demographically and by message to more efficiently and effectively reach specific audience segments.
To achieve our goal of being trusted media partners for our customers and to help their businesses grow, we focus on these key areas:
One-Stop Media Buying
Comcast Spotlight partners with other cable companies and television providers (like satellite and telephone companies) in many markets to form interconnects that make buying local advertising easier. Advertisers can now reach most “pay TV” homes in a market with one-stop shopping and a standardized, consistent buying experience across multiple markets.
Standardized Network Offerings
With a consistent lineup of more than 50 networks across our markets, Comcast Spotlight makes it easy for regional and national advertisers to buy the same demographically targeted television and digital networks across multiple markets.
Comprehensive Research and Analytics
Comcast Spotlight works with the top names in research to help our clients understand how their target audiences consume media. The process begins with a custom needs analysis for each advertiser, serving as the foundation for a media plan designed specifically to achieve that advertiser’s goals.
Comcast Spotlight offers our clients the ability to deliver targeted video advertising based on geographic and demographic criteria, and to engage audiences with interactive capabilities. Our geographic segmentation tools reach the sub-DMA level, presenting more relevant messages to distinct audiences, while interactive applications offer opportunities to capture actionable leads and invite consumers to learn more about a product or service.
Promotional and Marketing Opportunities
Cable television brands are incredibly valuable and highly recognizable. Our clients can take advantage of the great affinity viewers have for cable networks and shows to create customized marketing initiatives leveraging the strong connection between viewers and their favorite programs.
By Joe Rice, Marketing Instructor, Macomb Community College
Want to connect with the most technologically-connected (for now) and socially-minded generation? Well, grabbing the attention of millennials can be tough – in fact, if they’re reading this blog right now, they are probably listening to music on Spotify, Snapchatting, and looking for a deal on Airbnb at the same time!
Who are these folks?
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Keep it real: Many millennials are choosing Chipotle over McDonald’s and a local craft brew over a Bud Light. Why? The companies that are telling their stories up front are having more success with this generation. Millennials are a socially responsible group, spending hours giving back and volunteering. They are connecting with companies that have a purpose and a background that resonate with these core values.
Connections count: Millennials are ready to find you… and share on social media, but where will they do their sharing? A recent study showed that Facebook is still popular, but could lead to depression or anxiety (all of that social comparison is getting to us). Who knows how much this impacts millennials, but we do know that they are a “quick to cool” generation, so it’s more important to keep tabs on all of the different, trending types of social media, rather than focusing on just one.
Let them discover: When Wrigley’s 5 Gum was launched (with millennials squarely in their target market), they learned through consumer research that this group wanted excitement and intrigue, but they didn’t want to be told about it – this group wanted to find out on their own. That’s what led 5 Gum to name their flavors Flare (instead of cinnamon) or Cobalt (instead of peppermint). Millennials like digging deeper into something – just don’t make them spend a lot of time looking as they might head onto the next big thing!
By Alana Nicol, Sandler Training
The world of social media is often overwhelming and misunderstood for a lot of sales people. The biggest mistake I see is not maximizing the abilities within LinkedIn®. LinkedIn® should be used as a powerful branding, research and prospecting tool. In preparation for a recent LinkedIn® session, I put together a list of some of my favorite LinkedIn® Strategies to use for growing your business.
1. Talk to your audience, not about yourself- Your profile is the foundation for building your social selling platform. Ensure your profile description contains a solid 30 second commercial that resonates to ideal prospects in your specific industry. Make your message relevant to them, not all about you.
2. Enhance Your Visibility- Complete your profile to 90% or above and keep it current. LinkedIn® makes it easy to know what to eliminate or add to ensure you are at least at 90%.
3. Call your prospect to action- When your page receives visitors that are interested in learning more about how you can help them, there should be a direct and focused call to action. Invite your reader to reach out, download a free report or special offer that would resonate for them. The call to action should be directly linked to a problem you can solve and the value you or your organization bring.
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4. The Power of Third-Party Endorsements- Pro-actively request some of your best clients or referral partners to leave a brief but meaningful recommendation for you. Genuine recommendations and endorsements are required for the “social proof” potential buyers will be looking for when viewing your profile.
5. Keep it Professional- LinkedIn® is not Facebook or Twitter. Keep your tone and correspondence professional at all times. This is a business social network, and your associates will judge how you portray yourself on LinkedIn®.
6. No Spam Messages- An important aspect of using LinkedIn® is talking to a potential customer one-on-one...but not contacting them with spam. Personalize your message and make sure you are asking relevant questions and providing information that is exclusive to their business demands.
7. Respond Promptly- When someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn®, it is important to respond quickly. They took action in contacting you for a reason. The sooner you can respond, the better they will remember why; and the more you raise your credibility by being responsive.
8. The Right LinkedIn® Groups- LinkedIn® groups that focus on your job category can keep you current and visible. Information is constantly adapting and evolving. Industry relevant groups help you stay relevant in your workplace. Participate in the discussions as an industry expert sharing pertinent information, not as a sales pitch.
9. Make smart connections- You should consistently be building your connections to quality people that you know or fit the demographic of someone you would want to know. Quality over quantity is the best tool for using your connections for leads and introductions.
10. Focus on 2nd connections- Anyone who shows up as a second connection to you, you should have a warm introduction opportunity. If you are connected to quality connections they are your best source to get introduced to those 2nd connections you are trying to meet.
11. Search your connections- Search who your connections are connected to by using key demographics that fit your ideal target prospect profile. (Ex: CEO, Director of Sales, HR director etc.)
12. Advanced Search- You can run and save searches using the advanced search function. Type in the key ideal target prospect demographics for you (geography, title, company size, industry etc.) Use the searches to focus on second connections to start the introduction.
13. Add value to your network- On a regular basis you should be sharing relevant information (not selling to your connections.) Examples can include items from your homepage, relevant industry or topic news shared by others on LinkedIn® or the internet, and tips and trends for your target industries.
14. Commit to the behavior during off hours- Be sure to block out time, outside normal regular working hours to search your connections and build your prospecting lists. Block the time early in the morning, on the weekend or at night while you are watching your favorite TV show.
15. Give more to receive more- My favorite Sandler rule – “To get more give more” is especially relevant to LinkedIn®. Give recommendations and endorsements proactively, offer to connect key people together for referrals and introductions….you will be amazed and how it comes back to you.