Making Digital Media Work for You

fEdmiston Group Digital MarketingDigital media is a form of advertising for small businesses and deserves the same level of respect and expectations as print media. Let’s pretend you have an upcoming event or sale and you are placing an advertisement in the newspaper. You likely either want to raise awareness and/or provide a coupon or promotional code to increase sales by a specified percent. This is your objective. You will have strict deadlines and specifications to abide by for placing your print ad. If you miss the deadline, your ad will not run.

Chances are that after creating an engaging print ad, perhaps working with a graphics specialist, you check and double check your ad for errors. You may even enlist others to review the ad. This is serious business after all. Your print ad is going to be in the paper and viewed by customers, potential customers, and members of the community. You want this to be perfect, so you go through things like the Guide to How to Manage Your Digital Photo and Video Assets too. It represents your business.

After the print ad runs, you are prepared to recognize signs that a sale is the result of the ad. You might ask people how they knew about the event or sale. If you offered a promotion, they might bring that coupon in or mention the offer. If you are a retail store, your POS system might track the incoming coupon code for you so that you can easily measure the success of the promotion.

Digital media, including social media and email marketing, is no different! For each campaign or promotion, you should have an objective for which you then create an engaging ‘ad’ with a call to action that you can then measure. In the case of digital marketing, your ‘ad’ might be an email newsletter, an email promotion, a blog on your website, or a campaign on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn or any other social media platform you happen to be using.

However, digital media provides much more flexibility, allowing you to more easily target specific audiences and to act and react more easily. Digital media turns a one-way print ad into a two way conversation with your audience. It also allows you to measure your audience engagement with much more precision.

When creating your digital promotion, there are several steps to take into consideration:

Creating the Promotion: When creating a promotion, first align it with your objective, and then be creative! A coupon is great, but it is not your only option. You can also give away a white paper or special offer, such as a free thirty minute consultation. Do include an expiration date and promo code for coupons and offers.

Engage Your Audience: Digital media provides the ground work for engagement. How will you engage your audience? If a contest is appropriate, keep it simple and fun. When using images, review the specifications for images to ensure they display perfectly. Interact with your audience and encourage your audience to share your content.

Call to Action: What do you want the reader to do? Make it clear. Do you want the reader to print a coupon, download a white paper, share a contest with their friends, write a review, or comment on your post? Make it a point to drive action with your marketing offers and promotions.

Measuring the Success:
Just like print advertising, the more you can measure your impact, the more you can learn from and benefit from each promotion. If you offered a coupon, you can measure the results of your promotion the exact same way as you would for a print ad coupon. However, you can measure so much more with digital media.

For email marketing, who is opening your emails? Who is more engaged and clicking on links? Email marketing allows you to manage your audience by lists. For those engaged, send a separate, more targeted promotion. Keep an eye on your bounces. If someone left the company, reach out, introduce yourself and see if someone new is in their place.

For Facebook, what is the age and gender of your fans and when are they online? If you are using paid ads or boosts, how many impressions and clicks are you receiving? How many people are engaged? Each digital media platform provides a way to look at metrics, whether it be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Email Marketing or your website. It’s up to you to look at those metrics, repeat what is working, and tweak what isn’t working. After all, it is your business!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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