With all the talk about social media and Web 2.0, one might begin to think that advertising is dead. The industry is changing, and businesses that simply need to market themselves but aren’t in the business of marketing are just trying to keep up. No worries though. Advertising is not dead. It’s just a little more complicated these days.
We are all used to the standard “outbound” marketing system that utilizes traditional mediums such as TV, radio and newspaper to advertise our products and services. But today, consumers have figured out ways around these interruptive techniques. Tivo and DVR allow us to fast forward through commercials. Radio is competing with Satellite radio and iTunes. Blogs and online news sources are replacing newspapers and magazines.
The mediums that we use to communicate our messages have expanded, and we now have more options to choose from. More importantly, the days of lazy “Look at me! Look at me!” marketing are now over, and we are faced with the challenge of developing creative content that will speak “with” our audiences rather than “at” them. Our ability to carry on this 2-way communication has been developed through Web 2.0 technology like social media, and now Marketing 2.0 strategies have to be developed to start the conversation.
These conversations begin with “inbound” marketing techniques that pique your audience’s interest and pull them into your little corner of Cyberspace (i.e. your website) where they can and want to learn more. Blogs, webinars, and podcasts are just a few examples of user generated content you can develop that will act as magnets to pull “in” your target audience. Your goal in developing this content is for it to be shared by word-of-mouse and ultimately become a viral message that spreads like wildfire across the Internet.
The traditional outbound marketing system continues to offer an unparalleled opportunity to advertise to the masses. But the more you can contour your message with a “convergent” strategy using both traditional media and marketing 2.0 techniques, the better. The concept of 2.0 embraces 2-way communication, and it can only begin when your audience becomes aware of it.
Convergence marketing begins with a dynamic website rich with multi-media developed with content optimized for search engines. First and foremost, you want your audience to find you. Then, when they do, you want to keep them coming back to you for information that they find interesting and helpful. Teach them something with a video or webcast. Entice them to subscribe to your blog, and advertise these educational resources to the masses through traditional and social media.
Marketing in today’s Web 2.0 world does not necessarily mean we have to adopt strategies that are “out with the old and in with the new.” A good balance of both will provide an optimal solution for growing your business.