The Rise in Digital Media – Continued

The nights are drawing in and winter is on its way, so what better time for companies looking to boost their marketing by getting online and involved in social media on the dark and dreary afternoons that we have been experiencing lately. Following on from Joshua Spencer’s presentation on digital marketing in July, we examine some more benefits to digital media and what it can do for your business.

Digital marketing is hugely effective for connecting with consumers in an interactive and engaging way. An increasing number of people are interacting and communicating within the social media sphere, and therefore investing in an online presence for your business is very important. Effective use of social media is no longer an option for companies, it‘s now a requirement.

Last week the luxury fashion brand Burberry told the Financial Times that they were investing more of their marketing budget into the digital arena, a total of 60%, more than three times the average.  In the past, Burberry relied heavily on traditional methods of marketing, such as print advertising; however they now feel that they need to be totally connected with whomever touches their brand and engaging with their audience via social media is a means of achieving this. The shift to digital marketing highlights how quickly industries are moving away from traditional methods of marketing in order to interact with consumers globally. Reaching out to consumers on multiple channels makes it more important than ever for a business to make sense of this new ‘marketing mix’

Create a two way conversation

As we have mentioned in the past, digital media can be a valuable asset not just for larger B2C organisations but also for your everyday SME. Twitter is currently dominating the marketing landscape, used by 82% of the B2B social mix. When it comes to expanding a business, “tweeting” has real value, enabling a two way conversation with customers, as well as promotion for any organisation. It is used by small businesses, as well as global companies, facilitating customer feedback, free marketing, improved brand recognition and a stronger connection with customers. Starbucks use of social media is a brilliant example of this.  The coffeehouse giant posts new offers and participates in interactive discussions with their customers about the offers on twitter daily. Computer company ComCast also offers a friendly Twitter customer support, including a photograph of the member of staff you are talking to.

Audience participation

Video is another personal yet dynamic way to engage with consumers, allowing them to participate and interact with a brand in order to obtain more information. Google recently reported that 35% of B2B marketers already using online video will increase their video budgets in the future.   A tool which is mainstream and accessible to all, video enables businesses to accumulate larger audiences quickly and effectively. The value of video is reflected in HSBC’s recent campaign. The bank held a competition for a £15,000 student bursary last year, and the decision to keep the media interactive was integral to the success of campaign. Students uploaded a 90 second video to Facebook stating why the money would help them change the world. Response to the campaign was outstanding: there were 50,000 interactions in one month and more than 2 million impressions. Check out Sprites Zero Skate ‘n’ Splash video below and HSBC’S winning entry.

This interactive YouTube video lets you instantly skip from one segment to the next, deciding exactly what you’ll see and when you’ll see it. Using keyboard keys 4 to 9, you can replay the skateboard tricks, skip others, and create your own rhythmic masterpieces.The promotional YouTube video, dreamed up by Coca-Cola Germany for Sprite Zero, minimizes branding because it’s creators “wanted the focus to be on the content and the interactivity.” They added, “This sort of video is quite different from what we at Coca-Cola usually do, in terms of ‘edginess’ and branding.”

 ‘Likes’ are not the be all and end all

Facebook is used by 67% of B2B marketers and 200 million people access Facebook via a mobile device each day.  It is guaranteed to expand your business presence on the web. However, it is also important to be careful with the type of interaction your social media attracts.  A recent study has shown that the more “likes” a brand has on Facebook, the less participation there was to a page by consumers.  A study by L2, an organisation for digital innovation, has found that the quality and not the quantity of consumers is extremely important.  Therefore, in the fast changing social media landscape, it is important for businesses to keep their pages up to date and interactive.

Another huge advantage of social media is that it is a free or low cost marketing strategy.  It brings a new dimension to an organisation’s communication – forecasts indicate traditional marketing will represent only 30% of SMB marketing budgets by 2015.  The objective of social media marketing is to draw the customer closer to your brand. Once engaged, maintaining an effective dialogue must be a priority. It is no good collecting likes, connections and followers. The real power of social media is only realised through regular communication and relationship building. Only then can your start turning followers into customers.

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