There was a time when getting “internet money” was simple. Digital marketing mainly meant stuffing keywords into a few pieces of content, then duplicating that content everywhere online. It wasn’t long before Google revved up its search engine to stop this practice, yet the digital advertising landscape still gives the perception of unlimited growth.
In many cases, it does still offer the lowest barrier to entry. But search engines have grown much smarter, and you can no longer game the system into ranking your brand at the top.
Still, some companies view digital strategies as the be-all and end-all of their marketing efforts, and they leave traditional marketing spaces behind. The problem here is that though they’re able to generate efficient digital acquisition costs, the early success blinds them to scaling challenges.
Pulling Back the Veil on Digital Numbers
Though digital traffic may be cost-effective, it’s not necessarily high quality. If you’re a local retailer and all your visitors are from different countries, for example, they’re not likely to become customers. If most of the traffic to your site is just bots crawling it, it’s similarly useless.
Click-through rates deceive many marketers. The cost of generating traffic isn’t the key to success — the quality of the traffic you generate is. Cost per acquisition should be the ultimate decision maker, and in many cases, offline media can bring in greater acquisition at lower costs.
Where Do TV and Radio Stand?
When combined with digital and other marketing efforts, TV still holds a valuable position in advertising strategies. Consider that people can now watch TV on-demand — both at home and on their phones. Placing ads on the right stations means you can reach a pre-established audience while the members of that audience are at home or out and about.
A report from Accenture estimates that 18% of ROI that’s typically attributed to search, display, and short-form video advertising in strategically integrated campaigns should actually go to multiplatform TV, which has a significant halo effect.
In the third quarter of 2018, Nielsen reported that consumers aged 18 and up spent 40% of their everyday media consumption time watching live and on-demand TV, 17% on radio, and 21% on their internet browsers. Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2018, live and time-shifted TV viewing reached 88% of adults over the age of 18, while radio reached more than 90% of them. Even print advertising still holds weight, with 41% of consumers holding active magazine or newspaper subscriptions.
Contrary to popular belief, consumers don’t spend all of their time on the internet, so why pour all of your efforts into digital-only marketing?
Give Your Digital Messaging Real-World Support
With all the hubbub about digital marketing, it’s become easier for marketers to forget about traditional media. This leaves several gaps in your marketing strategy — gaps that you won’t be able to fill by deploying more digital content.
Instead of focusing on building an all-digital strategy, try these tips for tying in traditional media to boost returns and efficiency overall.
- Pay attention to offline numbers. If you believe that TV and radio are dead-end marketing avenues, the numbers above will surprise you. Per Nielsen, people over the age of 35 still spend more time engaging with traditional media than digital media, and ignoring an offline strategy will limit your reach to that audience.
Identify the specific age groups and demographics within your audience, and strategize how to use offline media to reach each group more effectively. Like your digital strategy, you can use your vast amounts of customer data to pinpoint when each group will be most receptive offline.
- Work with experts who understand offline media. In some ways, it seems like the digital revolution happened yesterday. In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. In any case, it’s been long enough that not every marketing agency today has experience working with and buying offline media time.
Choosing a marketing agency to partner with instead of handling it in-house will give you the advantage of experience. An agency with offline media experience will improve your chances of successfully integrating your offline strategy into your digital one.
- Be the same, both offline and online. If you break them down, there’s an offline equivalent to virtually every digital media strategy you use. If you’re successful with online influencers, look into host-endorsement radio. News content working for you? Check out cable news. Native ads are the digital equivalent of advertorial print ads — and so on.
The point is, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make your offline strategy work. Simply be true to your brand in every medium you appear in.
An effective advertising campaign should include media platforms that complement one another to drive sales. The real goal is to get your message in front of as many people in your target demographic as possible, and you won’t get there with a digital-only strategy.
Written by Brian Bos.
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