It Used To Be Called "Interactive"

Remember way back (circa 7 years ago) when digital media was called "interactive"?

It seems as if many marketers have forgotten that the roots of digital/online/social media are in the now time-worn idea of interactivity. Isn't that the wonderful inherent advantage of marketing and communicating on the internet? The ability to engage in a real-time back-and-forth with your customers and prospects is something that can't be replicated by TV, Radio, Print and Mail.

Instead of just simply pushing out content on your social media portals, email campaigns and web pages, use them simultaneously as broadcast networks and response channels. Instead of just requesting a like or a follow, incentivize a click to a landing page. Lead them to a pURL. Reward people for sharing your content. Encourage them to come back and bring their networks to your brand.

Think responsively. Promote interactivity. Push Marketing and Pull Marketing can coexist on the internet.

Creating, Curating and Communicating

Social and digital media are a vast wonderland of communications. We are all now empowered to publish anything, say anything and be anything online.

The way your business or organization communicates on the internet will have a profound effect on the way your brand is perceived. Simply jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trend might score you a marginal uptick in interested prospects, but people respond most passionately to leadership.

Leaders create content, followers curate content.

How will your brand communicate?

Think Before You Leap: Making Social Media Marketing Work For Your Business

Many marketers say, “We know we need to do social media marketing” without actually taking a good, hard, analytical look at how. So we’ve provided a list of considerations to determine how social media can be an effective marketing strategy for your business.

  1. Know Your Goals: What do you want to accomplish, and why? Do you want to increase awareness? Build customer loyalty? Acquire new customers? Mine your audience for new demographic and psychographic insights? When you have concrete goals, you’ll have a better idea of how to use social media more effectively.
  2. Make Sure You Can Measure: Anyone can count likes, shares, follows, re-Tweets and video views. But think about measuring specific actions beyond social media engagement that can have more of a direct impact on your business. Can you move the audience from your Facebook page to a landing page where you can capture their email address? Or consider a specific call to action at the end of a YouTube video that encourages the viewer to visit your website to download a coupon. Think about what kind of user activity you can measure beyond your social media pages.
  3. Post With Purpose: Whether addressing Facebook fans, Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers, make them a compelling offer that can only be acquired through social media. That takes mere customer engagement up to another level and strengthens loyalty and retention. Social media shouldn’t be thought of as just a web portal—make it an interactive ecommerce solution.

At The Weinstein Organization we consider social media to be an effective direct response marketing channel with many opportunities. Contact us to find out how we can help you turn “likes” into trackable, measureable responses.

#ChicagoSnow and Market Over-Sharing

Today there was as much social media activity about the snow in Chicago as there were snowflakes falling from the sky over The Loop. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's perfectly cool for people to take to the social networks and express themselves, because presumably by now the people who we consider our online friends have become accustomed to how we communicate and act online. We all know plenty of "over-sharers" who benignly share whatever pops inside their heads. No editing, and no holding back.

Many posts are pointless, some are entertaining and informative, a few are outright hilarious, and occasionally one or two will give you a new perspective on life. But all of them are personal. "If you don't like my posts, then de-friend me" has become a motto of online individualism.

If you are a marketer you can't dare people to stop following you. Consider the marketing value of your social media posts as if they were interruptive forms of advertising. Quality vs. quantity in the age of earned media is a delicate balance because you don't want to be noticed for being the marketer that over-shares all the time.

You need to have an online presence because that's where peoples' attentions are found, but how much content can you reasonably share online to be effective without being guilty of Market Over-Sharing? How many tweets can you post on behalf of your brand before you are tuned out? How much of a presence do you need to have in order to be noticed? And what's the point of having a huge audience of followers and fans and people who are willing to click the like button if you don't give them anything of value?

Engagement is important, but it can be more effective to engage your audience with something tangible they will respond to like a special offer or a free trial or an exclusive opportunity on an advance purchase of a hotly anticipated item. Even a game or an app that dramatizes the value proposition of your marketing message is a more effective way of engaging your audience than Market Over-Sharing to the audience you are working so hard to cultivate and keep.

For marketers, sharing is selling. Your audience is always just one click away from either going to your website, checking out your competition, or ignoring you altogether. If you over-share without offering value, your audience will drift and blow away like Chicago Snow.

Old Term: New Media

It's 2012.

Facebook and Twitter are both about six years old. LinkedIn is almost 10 years old. Digital media have been with us for almost 25 years and  a part of our daily lives for a good chunk of the last 15 years. Mobile phones have been dominated by smart phones and mobile tablet technology for the last 5 years. Even broadcast TV is now exclusively digital in almost 90% of the US.

So it seems increasingly odd to hear the term "new media" still being assigned to the above-mentioned digital, mobile and social media entities. Think about how many touch points of the internet you come into contact with on a daily basis. How many of them are truly new experiences? How many of them are daily occurrences? When is the last time you went anywhere without making sure you had your iPhone or Droid securely in hand so you could stay connected? How often do you DVR a TV show instead of making time to watch when it airs? And instead of conducting research, we've been Googling our way to information since 1999.

"New Media" is an old term in search of a new subject. It simply doesn't apply to digital, mobile or social media anymore. To continue this misnomer is to confuse things. In the early 1400's, Gutenberg's moveable type technology started a new media revolution. Marconi invented wireless technology and gave birth to a new medium called radio in the late 1800s. Telephones and TV were new media for a while too.

For the past few years it's been quite accurate to compare digital marketing to TV commercials in the early 1960s. New strategies for reaching people are being invented everyday, and five years from now many of these breakthrough techniques will likely be standard practice, or seem outdated and less effective.

So the next time you are in a meeting and someone says something like "we need a new media idea", ask them if they are referring to a medium that hasn't been invented yet, or if they really mean they need a new idea to breakthrough the clutter and effectively reach their target audience. New media become just regular ol' media in time, but a revolutionary new idea becomes timeless no matter what medium it's executed in.