When it comes to traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, there are several schools of thought. Some folks believe in the old-school approach, which says that marketing and advertising techniques like cold calling, direct mail marketing collateral, television and radio advertising, or print advertising will never go out of style.
They may point to statistics that say direct mail flyers are still relevant, or that discuss the number of television viewers who still respond to ads in that medium.
On the other hand, there are die-hard digital fanatics out there, who decry all that stuff as old fashioned. The way to go is SEO, PPC, and an alphabet soup of other acronyms, they say. If you're not on the internet, you might as well lie down and die, they claim.
Truth be told, they both are.
Traditional marketing and advertising strategies can still be effective, if you do your market research, analyze your ROI, and allocate your resources intelligently. However, these means of reaching your customers are not enough.
If you don't yet have a web presence, that's the best place to start. And contrary to what you may have heard, a Facebook page is not enough (it's a good supplement, but it can't stand on its own).
"The design and UX (user experience, such as ease of use and emotional impact) of your website must be appealing too, so if you don't know much about building a website, it's best to turn to the professionals" advises JLB, a Ft. Lauderdale-based web design agency.
Once you've got your website up and running, you will need to take several other steps to make your digital marketing plan complete. Optimizing your site for search engines, also known as SEO, is an important aspect of marketing your business online, and PPC (or pay-per-click) advertisements might help, too.
A social media presence is nearly de rigeur these days, so fire up that Facebook and get your Twitter profile filled out. Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat may also be great avenues to explore, depending on your industry or product.
Feel like you're in over your head? If you're accustomed to the traditional print marketing plan, that's not surprising. There's no shame in it, either! It just means that it's time for you to do some research into what an effective digital marketing plan encompasses.
Or you can be smart and outsource the whole kit and kaboodle to an integrated digital marketing agency, which can take care of everything from web development to social media monitoring and AdWords analysis for you.