Sticking Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn logos on your website, offline adverts and email signatures does not make your business any more digitally relevant than us sticking an image of Batman riding an elephant on this article, for example.
Digital relevance is an aspect of digital or web marketing that many businesses are missing. There is a dramatic difference between plastering up generic social media profiles with generic low interest content and engaging actively in an effective web strategy.
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Today’s consumer is much more informed about general marketing trends than in the past, and they are exacting in their requirements on how they want to interact with your brand online. This is drawn from an initial interest in seeing an advert, through to making a purchase on your website or evangelising your brand through social media.
The billboard pictured above is a great example of how a digital campaign can work well, produced by Cheryl Cole’s record label and its advertisers. The advert asked people to check in with Facebook Places when they walked/drove past the billboard. Once they checked in, they were then taken to her Facebook page where they stood the chance to win two tickets (including travel and hotel accommodation) to see her perform on The X-Factor UK.
This worked for a few reasons:
- It gave her fans a way of interacting with her.
- This was done just as Facebook Places was launched and more and more people were jumping on and experimenting with how it worked, so great timing.
- It was an excellent way to track the effectiveness of the billboard itself as people needed to check in. Based on the number of check-ins received at this address, they could work out how effective this stalwart of offline brand advertising really was.
No longer can you just throw a social media icon on your website and hope to be considered web savvy. Consumers are expecting more. But what are they expecting?
If you are going to use digital/web, then use it. Don’t just dabble!
Going online means more than just having a presence and some generic content lifted from an old brochure. The content needs to be compelling and worthy of being read. This will engage your audience and inspire conversation.
Speak their language
This is trickier than it sounds and we are not talking about English, French, Spanish, or Zulu. Standard offline copy writing rules do not apply online. Simply put, online readers are lazy and impatient by definition. If they do not get what you are trying to say within a few seconds, they are already clicking away to your competitors.
They care less about you than themselves
Talking about your business and how you do thing constantly is a recipe for a very small social following. People are far more interested in the industry you operate in and the servicing of their needs than in how awesome your recruiting process is. Talk about what your audience is listening for, be relevant to them, and engage them in discussion to find out what they want.
A digitally relevant brand incorporates an entire online personality and user experience of that brand, which is important. The real sweet spot to find is when your offline and online marketing initiatives are integrated across all channels and platforms to really ensure that your brand is working optimally.