The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Online Marketing Efforts
I have a tip-of-the-day today, courtesy of Colleen DeCourcy of Socialistic. This is a tip she shared at Women in Digital Media's Great Ideas Luncheon last month, and in DeCourcy's view it is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to make your social media more effective:
Use offline marketing to support the marketing you do online. And take that a step further—tie your online marketing efforts with your offline efforts.
One of the most effective things you can do in social media is to support everything you do with offline marketing. Take Facebook behavior, DeCourcy advised, and give it physicality in the real world. How? Use social gaming or location-based social media. Give your audience an opportunity to take action physically as well as virtually.
What do people do on Facebook? They check in; they comment; they talk to each other, check each other's news feeds, post status updates. Give them the opportunity to do these things, not just in cyberspace, but at specific points in time and space—at places they visit in the course of their day.
One example: suppose you have audience members commuting into the city every day. You could buy a billboard location and ask them to check in on Foursquare, Facebook Places, or other location-based social media. As they check in daily while passing the site, give them rewards in the form of points, coupons, or exclusive purchasing opportunities.
Another: print cards or flyers with hashtags that audience members can pick up at an event or store; suggest they use these hashtags to join a conversation of significance to you and them.
Create event-oriented loyalty programs based on what your audience has purchased, but not only that: on where they have been, who they have spoken with, what they have seen and done. Ask them to share their location, their observations, their reactions, and their tips.
Of course QR codes, which "hardlink" physical and virtual reality, offer many opportunities for this kind of convergence. While location-based social media, QR codes, and hashtags are all being explored by publishers in their marketing efforts, bringing them together in a coherent marketing effort with reference to a publisher's overarching goals will make audience development and advertising partnerships more powerful and effective.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.