No matter what business you’re in, to be successful, you need to advertise. As much as 90% of what one owns—or has ever owned—was purchased because of advertising’s subconscious effects.
Unfortunately, some businesses take a haphazard approach to advertising, placing a print ad one month, a radio spot the next, with little ability to track the effectiveness of any ad or medium.
The key to effective advertising in our constantly changing, fast-paced, digital world doesn’t come from a source familiar with social networking or mobile devices. The best advertising advice is from Chinese general and philosopher, Sun Tzu, writing 2,500 years ago in The Art of War. To paraphrase, he said, “Anyone can see the tactics I use to win battles, but no one can see the strategy I use to achieve victory.” Often, a business may employ proven advertising tactics, but without an overall strategy, the outcome will be uncertain.
Using strategies and tactics isn’t complicated. We do it all the time. When you leave for work, you don’t drive around aimlessly, hoping to possibly end up at your office. You have a strategy and have developed tactics for getting to your job.
For advertising to be effective, you have to identify a goal—the strategy—and determine the steps necessary to achieve that goal—the tactics. Today, with most eyes online, having a good digital strategy can be the difference between success and failure. What’s your digital strategy and what tactics are needed to reach your goal?
Here’s a possible strategy: I would like sales to increase by 25% in the next year. Do you know how to get there? Here are some digital tactics for achieving your goal:
- Identify your target customer by location, age, level of education, and income. Know their interests, hobbies, goals, and challenges.
- Get the proper tools. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to know how to reach them. Try different messaging to see what works and what doesn’t. Everything online is quantitative, and there are tools which provide all the analytics for your website and your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. Learn about the traffic your site receives: Where is traffic coming from? What’s the bounce rate? How many page views does each page receive? How many page visits convert to sales?
- Change anything which isn’t working. The beauty of online content is that it can be changed and measured at no cost, so it can be endlessly improved upon.
- Monitor social media; it’s your company’s new customer service department. Everyone can see how you treat customers and their issues, so respond quickly and positively to comments and complaints. Ignore your customers on social media sites, and you soon won’t have any customers left to ignore.
You’ll also need tactics for outside digital resources:
- Identify and hire influencers in your field to promote your products through blogging and social media.
- Determine your budget for pay-per-click ads, and closely monitor their effectiveness. If ads aren’t working, change the keywords until you find search terms which result in click-through conversions.
- Create native ads on websites your potential customers visit.
Can you do all that? Even master strategist Sun Tzu would be daunted by that to-do list. If you need help creating and deploying a digital strategy, call McFadden/Gavender. Our full-service team of digital and social media experts can create strategies and tactics to take you where you want to go.