Digital Marketing: You’re Doing It Wrong

Think back to the great advertising campaigns of the past. There was an evocative sense of community that arose around the work from agencies representing Coca-Cola, American Express, and Energizer. We still connect the bunny to the battery and when someone tells you, “Don’t leave home without it,” you know exactly what to remember. And Coke is ubiquitous around Christmas time in America, despite wanting a warm beverage in the cold climate.

Our attachment to brands is equal parts nostalgia and quality of product. If something is well-advertised but of low quality, it generally doesn’t stick around.

We’ll likely never see the ubiquitous market domination of the past, there are still lessons to be taken on the way we’re operating today.

Let’s Get Visual

Think back to the Coke polar bear campaign.

If created today, this campaign would go viral on multiple platforms. It’s an emotionally-resonant, evocative advertisement that works because of the story that it tells. It’s easy to write blogs and text-based social media statuses, but you should build a story with your marketing that represents your brand and product in a positive light.

Polar bears are to Coke as Geckos are to car insurance: it’s about creating a meaningful, memorable message that your audience will remember. As a bonus, Facebook and LinkedIn prioritise images in their respective algorithms so you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not using these content forms.

For Those About to Blog…

Like internet video, blogging is almost ubiquitous. And yet just over 30% of Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing blog.

It’s not just about owning that content. There are a variety of publishing platforms like LinkedIn that allow you to build your personal and professional profiles. By sharing stories about what you’re doing, without sharing proprietary information, you can build connections with existing clients and build your reputation with new prospects.

If you’re worried about being a good writer, don’t. Sure, there are structural things to consider—you don’t want this to look like a rambling manifesto—like providing value and being succinct, but as long as you’re being honest then people are willing to take a look at what you’re writing.

Anyone today can be perceived as a titan of industry if they simply put themselves out there. The traditional media gatekeepers are gone: make yourself whoever you want to be. Just make a thing.

Be Social (not just at the pub)

It doesn’t matter what you sell—there’s a market on social media that you are not tapping. Share content (and be visual!) on those channels that is interesting to your customers.

Some brands chose not to be on social because they 1. don’t see value and 2. haven’t seen results from it in the past.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: putting an ad in the paper is not going to pull in the traffic it once did. You need to engage with people both inside and outside of your store to be top-of-mind. Share interesting links, create pictures, and talk with people, not at them.

Building interpersonal connections is a great strategy and will never fall out of fashion. What you need, however, is to be planning out your engagements in advance based on data you receive through hosting platforms like Buffer or Hootsuite. I’ve seen far too many accidental posts at the bar on an official company account that could be prevented by having everything centralised.

While businesses are adapting to digital technology, they’re also forgetting the lessons learned over the last century of advertising.

What is your business doing to change from traditional marketing to digital? Where have you seen successes or setbacks? Sound off in the comments below.

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