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How Traditional Marketing Powers Social Media

We all know that social media is not a strategy. You do know that, right? Good. In any case, it should certainly not replace other marketing tactics but work in conjunction with them. It is not an either/or situation.

A lot of talk these days is about what social can do for traditional, but the reverse is true as well. In fact, traditional offline marketing plays very nicely with online. So why don’t we stop trying to separate them like two rivaling siblings who are constantly at each other’s throats, and let them have some fun…

Here are 12 reasons why traditional goes together so well with social:

1. Drives traffic to your social media presence
When people aren’t online they are offline and that is how they will find you. Be there. These days, the sale will often happen online so digital gets the credit, but it was print that brought the customer there.

2. Makes your social media program relevant
Your social program should fit into your overall integrated marketing strategy. Soon, your marketing efforts will be robust, not flimsy (which is a terrible message to be sending, by the way).

3. Links offline to online
QR codes create a direct link between print and your online social campaign. It brings tech to old media which in turn brings more eyeballs to online media.

4. Reaches more people
Surround your market with all the tactics at your disposal. Not everyone lives in the social space — an integrated approach makes everything work together so those you miss in one place you catch in another. Don’t leave any cards on the table.

5. Spreads out risk
Don’t put all your marketing eggs in one basket. Even the best laid plans are not 100% certain. In finance, this concept is called dollar cost averaging — works here too.

6. Makes your social campaign more credible
Say what you want, but studies show that people still trust print more than other types of communications. We are dubious of the ephemeral nature of online media. But… if you drive people to social through print, that will be a lot more credible.

7. Informs the design and branding strategy
A well-executed, cohesive design strategy and branding program is born out of the marketing strategy which is often first established offline. It is then extended through traditional ad campaigns, direct marketing, and various other offline tactics before social is brought into the mix.

8. Gives your business more substance
If you only do social, the message projected is that you are flighty — here today, gone tomorrow. People will also think you don’t understand business and that perhaps, just perhaps, you drank a little too much of that Kool-Aid from a couple of years ago.

9. Helps establish a budget
Unfortunately, social media tends to get what’s left over. In the current economic climate, this is usually not too much. Throw in the popular misconception that social is low cost (or worse, free!), and not much is left for social media at the end of the day. So accept reality — overall marketing spend will be allocated to traditional marketing first, but this will still ultimately define the resources that go towards social and that’s a good thing. Nail that down and get going — like anything, it is impossible to plan unless you know what you’re dealing with.

10. Covers your bases
Even the most ardent proponents of social media get tired, burned out and don’t always spend so much time online. Make sure they continue to see your brand presence.

11. Gives social something to talk about
There is lots of chit chat in social (surprise, surprise). That exhibit, PR event, and/or in-store promotion gives plenty of fodder to talk about later in social.

12. Provides a reason to follow up
Moving the door-opening, preliminary online relationship to offline is where real stuff gets done. After meeting a new prospective client online, you can follow up with an email, a brochure or some other offline communication. Even better, you may setup a face-to-face meeting and you can provide other materials in person, further solidifying your relationship. Do this successfully, and you will be well on your way to increased conversion rates.

So you see, marketing is really just one big, happy family. Over time, I am sure we will stop distinguishing between the two, because even though TV came along there was still a place for radio.

Use all the tactics available, be smart, put it all together and be where your customers are. There’s no need for a bitter divide between separate camps. Can’t we all just get along?

I would love to hear what you think — and why does so much of the social media conversation dismiss all that has come before?

This post first appeared on the best list site on the web, 12 Most.
Article by Paul Biedermann.
Image courtesy of StandUPP licensed via Creative Commons.

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