I was thinking of skipping this article until after the new year.
You know, holiday niceties and all.
What the hell is wrong with you people advertising in traditional media?
I’m looking at the most popular local magazine that covers my region. I’m flipping through the magazine, noticing the ad ridden pages. More than usual. You can tell it’s the holiday issue.
I tabulated the first 75 advertisers in the magazine – about half way through. Only 7 of them had mention of social media. Only 1 with an actual Facebook link – the rest just displayed icons.
What the hell is wrong with local business? Read on to find out and gain access to the list of 75 businesses – maybe you can help them.
What we are learning
- Social Media is a must for marketing.
- Track ROI for traditional marketing.
- Connect with your clients.
- Beat out the competition.
- Addressing some of the 50 Reasons why your marketing sucks.
3 Ways To Stop Sucking Now
It’s almost a joke that only 10% of the local business in this magazine showed up to play ball. In a time of recession and down business markets – get up and do something.
If you’re not up on your soap box promoting yourself, beating the streets and (gasp) selling yourself – I don’t want to hear you bitching.
Very few businesses can survive without reinvesting. Your business is not one of them.
1. Connect On The Social Level
For crying out loud create a Facebook page at the bare minimum. I even suggest a LinkedIn account before Facebook.
If at the very least you’re showing up to local chamber meetings or after hour networking events, you can connect professionally. If you are afraid to connect on a personal level with your customers, LinkedIn is a great way to establish good business-to-business relationships with other entrepreneurs.
Once you have established your online professional network, start getting social with your customers. Using Facebook fan pages is one of the easiest ways you can achieve this.
Remember the magic word: PROMOTE.
Don’t fall into the same trap the 60-some-odd advertisers did when publishing their ad’s.
You must promote the links in your traditional media marketing. Just because you have signed up does not mean people will find you.
- Put it on your business cards.
- Put it in your ads.
- Plaster it on your walls and windows.
- Sync it up to your website.
- Tell your family.
- Tell your friends.
- Tell EVERYONE.
It starts somewhere. Show people who you really are and why your business, message or cause is important.
2. Don’t Let Traditional Marketing Take You For A Ride
Do you get a good measure of ROI with your radio or paper ads? Are you able to reach the same audience from past campaigns – guaranteed?
No. Traditional media sucks for measuring ROI.
So why do you keep sinking so much into it? Advertising in my local magazine is sold on perception of value. They don’t have an ad chart because it’s all negotiated on what you are willing to pay. I’ve heard from a few owners that the median price is $400 for a half page ad.
Throw $400 into the wind or gain 100+ customers?
You could take that same $400 and run a Facebook ad campaign. Reaching your local demographic to “like” your company fan page.
Let’s say you reach 100 fans. Now you have 100 people who are generally interested in you or your product. You can connect with them on levels a half-page magazine could never reach.
And guess what? Next month, they are still there. Quite possibly, they have recommended their friends to join as well. Now your $400 is no longer a pot shot but an investment.
3. Measure Your Success
All of these tools (read tools) allow you to get some really juicy statistics. With measurements from Google Analytics, Fans, Followers, Insights and other various ad graphs you can see what is really working.
- Can you do with that with your radio spot? No.
- How about your color magazine ad? Negative.
- Your direct mailers? Didn’t think so.
These analytical tools can help you shape your next ad campaign to target the right audeince and get more conversions. Putting your dollars into the right ads.
I bet your local print or radio ad sales rep isn’t helping you spend less.
Get Human. Connect And Help.
Analytics are numbers, graphs and pie charts. Don’t confuse this with social media relationships.
If your nurturing your online fan base by helping them and being human – chances are they will support you. They will also spread the word amongst their friends and family. You can measure this by watching your fan base grow, witnessing an increase of comments on your posts and reading others answer questions about your product before you do.
The best business is referral business. It’s also an awesome feeling watching your brand strengthen amongst your consumers.
Get Started And Stop Sucking
I’m not saying traditional media in itself sucks. But you can be more effective at your new media via your old media. Old media is still your platform to push to new media.
How to start
- Be more creative in your ads.
- Use the right information. Social media links etc.
- Use unique URL’s to track ROI.
- Use professional e-mail addresses.
- and plenty more
I only made it half way through the magazine and only one business did it right.
I’ll be honest. This isn’t easy.
That’s why people like me (or us – to my marketing readers) exist. The most common reason the small business folks are still sucking at new media is because they have no time. No time to sit down and learn all of the mediums and how they can benefit from it.
Business owners are also scared. Scared to open up in new social efforts that make them feel exposed.
I started Slocum Design Studio to help the small business folks who are struggling in new media. I’m also launching my new initiative 2 Weeks 2 Learn where a small business owner can get my personalized consulting free for 2 weeks along with another owner/student.
Need a hand? Let me know below. Subscribe to my blog and contact me – I’ll send you the list of the 75 small business.[Photo Credit]