The days of a singular ad campaign – print, broadcast, billboard, etc. – are over. As the interests of Americans continue to expand, it is the creative marketers that will succeed. The average U.S. consumer listens to 20 hours of radio, watches 19 hours of cable and satellite TV, listens to 3 hours of recorded music, spends 2 hours reading magazines, newspapers and books, and surfs the internet for a remarkable 13 hours (excluding email) every week.
The average number of hours that people spend online each week has grown over the years, from 7 hours/week from 1999-2002, to 8 or 9 hours/week from 2003-2006, and 11 hours/week in 2007, to 13 hours/week in 2011. So it is no surprise that companies need to include online marketing in their efforts.
Here is a list, put together by Ad Age Digital, of the top marketing blogs, those companies who have taken advantage of the online revolution and have benefited greatly. What makes them successful and why is it appealing to marketers?
Online marketing offers cost-effective support to traditional campaigns. Perhaps just as appealing as its price tag is online marketing’s improved measurability, ability to make changes on-the-fly, and its near real-time exposure tracking and analytics, allowing company’s increased flexibility and instant feedback. If someone clicks your ad, goes to your Facebook page or visits your blog, you know about it.
As Google and other search engines change their SEO methods, digital branding has increased importance. It’s no longer effective to only have a website. Digital branding is about building equity through the online marketing channels and online visibility. These channels include: social media, blogging, search engine optimization, and online advertising.
Digital branding is critical, as 90% of searches never make it to the second page. So how can you increase your visibility?
Quick Tips for Building Online Visibility
- Targeting – Your communications need to appeal to the demographic and psychographic composition of your target audience. As you know, Market research ensures your messages and creative are compelling. Then, be certain your placement is appropriate for your target audience.
- Consistency — Online messaging and creative should jive with your traditional brand communications and support your brand’s essence. It’s important to remember that effectiveness in number of exposures in an online environment differ from those of traditional media. A wise rule of thumb for advertising consistency is: when you’re tired of seeing your creative, it’s just beginning to be recognized or penetrate with your audience. Changing creative too often can result in ineffective advertising, no matter the medium.
- Social Media – Find the medium that suits your image and where your customers visit. Be sure to garner your brand name as a username for the bigger sites like youtube, facebook, twitter, flickr, technorati, ning, delicious, yelp, scribd, and others.
- Reputation Management – Staying on top of your ranking and the conversations around your brand allows you to stay a step ahead, and possibly avoid putting out fires later. If you were to google your brand name, do any of the top ten listings have negative impact? Are you monitoring the dialogue around your brand in social media? If you see negative results in the top 10 listings when searching for your brand, you’ll want to address it before too many customers come across it.
- Search Marketing – If you run an affiliate program and pay for leads, you might consider taking over bids on your brand name in Google Adwords. Why pay more for leads if you own the trademark to your brand name? Run your own campaign for those searching your brand to retain control.
- Search Engine Optimization – Companies searching for your brand name obviously know of you already, but what about the ones searching for the products or services your offer? These targeted prospects are often in buying mode. The SEO game has changed and being synonymous with a phrase strengthens top-of-mind awareness and can launch you to online branding on steroids. In online searches, research shows 42% click the first link, and 74% of the results clicked are in the top 5 positions. In a recent study, SEO proves the best ROI over all other forms of online marketing.
Like it or not, online marketing and branding is now mainstream. We can help you make the transition into the digital world. For more information, contact The Research Group at 410-332-0400.
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Observation Baltimore: Facebook, Twitter and ObservationBaltimore.com
AdAge.com, Ad Age Power 150
News.Cnet.com, Average Net user now online 13 hours per week http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10421016-93.html
Reactorr .com, Social Media, SEO, and Advertising – A Digital Dilemma http://www.reactorr.com/blog/index.php/category/advertising/
Reactorr.com, Digital Branding – The Marketing Shift http://www.reactorr.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/digital-branding-marketing-shift/
Reactorr.com, 5 Quick Tips for Online Branding http://www.reactorr.com/blog/index.php/2010/05/5-quick-tips-for-online-branding/