Promote yourself in this digital era

Wealth of advertising tools can make you poor

With each new social media platform released comes a new way for you to promote your product or service. On top of the traditional methods (billboards, TV or radio ads, flyers, etc) you now have the choice between a number of online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn to name the main ones).

With so many options it is easy to be confused about where to put your effort. One could be tempted to appear on every platform hoping to reach some people on each channel. However, for SMEs and their limited resources, going on more channels means doing less on each. This could turn your message, which should be a loud BANG, into just a whisper in the ears of prospective customers.

So how do you decide where to put your marketing effort? And in this ocean of promotional messages how are you supposed to stand out to grab the attention you want?

Digital or not Digital?

Reality is that if your message is seen by your target market and is relevant to them it is likely to (yet may not) have the desired effect. On the other hand, if it is NOT seen by your target market, it WILL fail. Basic marketing.

So what it comes down to is the relationship between your customers, your product and your business. Then the media chosen to reach the customer, the message used, and how it reinforces the product or business. Think of a new local cafe, which is more likely to gain more new customers from a sign on the sidewalk pointing to its location than it would from an ad on Facebook.

Whatever you do…

Be creative. Ads are being ignored because they are predictable. If you want your ad to stand out, break the rules. Make them disruptive.

Although they required large resources, the Real Angry Birds in Barcelona and the Coke Happiness Machine are great examples of how to be disruptive. They were also highly relevant to their respective target markets and were therefore broadly shared on social media.

The Opel ad on text-drivingA great example of using an ad to allow people to relate to a particular issue

A great example of trying to increase your reach is Facebook working on drones to provide an internet connection to areas that still have none. Simply because it is also a clever way to overcome the main barrier to further growing the Facebook user base. Most of the world still has no access to the internet, and this could be “sponsored by Facebook”.

Another example for capturing attention and allowing people to relate to a product is the Opel ad (on the right). It shows the danger of text driving which for many people is very abstract. Typos however are tangible, and this ad allows both to be connected in the viewer’s mind, allowing people to relate to the issue more easily.

Closer to home

EmpireOne wanted a chance to share a bit of IT-wisdom with pedestrians of William Street, Sydney. But how do you get to people to listen to you on their way to work? Is sending them pokes on Facebook going to do the trick? Likely not.

Instead, we decided we’d invite them in and created the Morning Tech-Talks, where people are able to come in and grab a free coffee whilst discovering new things about the web, apps and whatnot. A street sign is used to let foot traffic walking by every day know about the value they could get in exchange for 15 minutes of their time. Of course anyone can register their interest for these short discussions!

Think “customer”

So in the end, Facebook and other social media are great tools to promote a product, but what really matters is being where your customers are and doing everything there to capture their attention. Following trends and trying to be everywhere will only lead to confusion and possibly frustration to get very little results despite putting in a lot of effort.

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