Before the advent of digital media, it could have been said that advertisers and marketers had a pretty straightforward job. Or, at least, their jobs were less complicated when compared to what today’s marketers and advertisers face.
One of the biggest changes to the advertising and marketing environment in the last few decades has been the addition of the digital realm. Print used to rule the entire marketing scene, but now, digital is a huge piece of the equation and its influence only continues to grow.
“A marketing and outreach strategy that does not address both print and digital realms, or succeed in bridging the gap between them, is a lopsided one,” says Taigen Thorne, Director of Public Relations & Media at SageAge Strategies. “Consumers learn about you in a variety of ways and if their experiences across print and digital media aren’t continuous and consistent, you risk losing them.”
Think About the Many Ways We Communicate
Consider how you interact with the brands, services and products you use on a regular basis. You may see them as an advertisement in your favorite magazine, or firsthand on a shelf at a store. Later, you might come across a mention of them on Facebook, then encounter a pop-up ad on your favorite website or take a look at their Twitter or Instagram feeds on your phone.
As a senior living provider, you may have a potential customer who drives past your physical location regularly, who sees advertisements for your community in the local newspaper or passes by a flyer in their church for an event happening at your community. That same customer might also see an ad for your community online, take a look at your community’s Facebook page or read reviews about your community online.
To understand how to maintain continuity across all of these different mediums, it’s important to understand the difference between print, or traditional, and digital media.
Digital media and digital marketing revolve around more targeted messaging, often on a one-on-one basis, with a shorter life cycle. Examples include Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram photos, online advertising, remarketing and much more.
Print, or traditional, media and marketing have a longer life cycle and are often part of a larger campaign approach to marketing. Examples include direct mail efforts, print advertising, billboards and more.
In general, print media is seen as having a longer lifespan – after all, that direct mail piece you send your customer could “live” on their fridge for a week, a month, even a year or more before they are ready to actually pick up the phone and explore their options. In contrast, a tweet you send to your audience may be gone from their view in minutes, maybe even seconds, depending on how active your users are.
Tips for Keeping Your Message on Target and on Strategy
With so many different ways to get your message out there and so many opportunities for your current and potential customers to engage on a wide range of mediums, you may be wondering how to ensure that you’re bridging the gap and maintaining a consistent user experience across the board. Here are a few tips you can follow to do just that.
Know who you are speaking to and where they are. The first step in any strategically focused marketing plan is to know who your customer is and where you can find them. Today’s customers are active on a wide range of mediums, but chances are they prefer some social media platforms over others. Knowing who your customers are and their preferred platform(s) for engagement is step one.
Know your messages and make them simple. The more straightforward you are in your messaging, and the clearer you are in communicating them, the easier it will be to communicate across multiple mediums.
Use a consistent format for delivering your message. That does not mean that you must only use print, direct mail or newspaper/social media advertisements exclusively. Rather, it means that the avenue for delivering your message must be consistent. A good example is using a testimonial or personal story for delivering your organization’s message. If you use a testimonial in your email, you should use it in your paper advertisement and your Facebook status posts, too. Tweak it to make it appropriate to the medium, but the overarching narrative should be consistent.
Create a brand guide. If you don’t have one already, a brand guide is an extremely useful tool for ensuring brand and messaging consistency across a host of mediums. The guide should be thorough and should address the treatment of your brand and your messages in every context. Not only is this a valuable touchpoint for reference, it is a great way to ensure your employees understand your brand as well.
Going through the above exercises in order to maintain one, clear message, no matter the outlet, can be a time-consuming process. It’s a necessary one, though, because it ensures that no matter where your customers find you, they are getting the message you want them to hear.
Growth-Based Branding and Messaging Starts Here
Unsure about how to create firm messaging or a thorough style guide? The expert team at SageAge Strategies can help! Talk to us today about how to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders – in unison – at your organization.
SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that provides multiple strategic growth solutions. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 100 / firstname.lastname@example.org.