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Integrate Social Media with Traditional Advertising for higher returns

I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone that lives their life entirely online. Each day we're all exposed to a variety of media and marketing messages. So why do some marketers feel that they have to choose between online and traditional advertising?

Social media doesn't have to mean writing a blog or creating a widget. When a viewer repeats the tag line from a TV spot, spontaneously sings a jingle they heard, tells a friend about their experience with a certain brand, or posts reviews online—they're engaging in a form of social media too. Whether a brand sets out to create a social media campaign that starts people talking or something else causes lots of people to begin chatting up the brand, that public buzz, for better or worse, is social media.

You can't control social media
Many companies have shied away from social media marketing because they're concerned about loosing control of the message and fear what their brand message might become in the hands of the public.  By integrating traditional advertising and marketing—tactics where you can control the message, with the influence and reach of Social Media, marketers can guide the message instead of control it.  Marketers remain in control of crafting the strategy and executing the “official” version of the message; all of which sets the stage for customers to base their opinions on—opinions they may choose to share.

Defining what that brand experience ultimately means to the customer is neither the job or privilege of the marketer. It's up to your customers. The more your brand means to them, the more they connect with it. That in turn determines their purchase decision, their loyalty, and whether they feel strongly enough to advocate for the brand in the future.

When marketers control what is said about their product, as in the case of an ad, people view it as biased and self-serving. When a third party, like a customer writes an online review of a product, it's viewed as honest and credible, and THAT is the secret to the power of social media. In a 2009 online survey by Forrester Research showed that “people trusted the purchase advice of strangers online more than TV or print ads.”

Taditional marketing clarifies Social Media
While social media marketing can be great for spreading your message, it has a significant short fall: people don't necessarily spread the same message you would like them to. While its authentic and honest, it may not be a message that fits your strategy and may even be detrimental. Traditional marketing can help to create the foundation of information and guide the brand message as it is passed throughout the social community. By cross promoting the contents of one marketing effort, for example TV with another like social media you increase the “volume” of the message, focus the accuracy and add frequency—thereby maximizing the effectiveness of both efforts.

In a 2008 study by Yankelovich and Sequent Partners called “When Advertising Works,” it was found that “ads that make an impression in traditional media were more likely to stimulate word of mouth than ads that make an impression in digital media.

Social media amplifies traditional marketing
Balancing the free-form messaging of social media with the control, consistency and mass reach of traditional media can offer the best of both worlds. Today the focus needs to be on building an opt-in audience in order to create community, foster loyalty and generate conversations.

A great example of this is a recent promotion by Estée Lauder. They took a free makeover promotion to an entirely new level when they used social media to drive women to participate and later bring awareness to this in-store event.  In order to attract digitally savvy women to the makeup counters at leading department stores, Estée used social media and online PR to offer free makeovers and free professional headshots. After each makeover, women would have a glamour photo taken of them (including of course an Estée Lauder logo in the background) and upload the image as their social profile photo before ever leaving the counter. By uploading the glamorous photo with the logo, the customer introduces her entire social network to the brand, a personalized example of it's benefits and hopefully even spark a few conversations along the way.

Testimonials: the mother load of social media
In a full-page print ad in USA today, Trident made social media the focus of their ad by sharing unsolicited tweets it had received from customers (with their permission) who authentically and passionately tweeted about their new product, Trident Layers. Using testimonials to sell a product is nothing new, but highlighting  the  enthusiastic and unsolicited statements in a nationwide mass marketing print publication reinforces the shift toward integrated marketing strategies.

In each of these cases, marketers integrated traditional marketing with social media to allow the audience to communicate with the brand and with one another, generating more involvement and interest. As markets fragment, an integrated marketing strategy is quickly becoming the essential method to coordinate and focus efforts for greater marketing success.

What do you think?

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  • Nov 7 Posted 5 years ago dinnky (not verified)

    As the first flush of the social-media revolution passes, marketers require to start thinking about integrating their new-media campaigns with old-school promotion efforts, writes Rena Bernstein. Social media works best when its amplifying promotion messages that have been propagated by other channels, Bernstein argues. As markets fragment, an integrated promotion strategy is quickly becoming the essential method to coordinate & focus efforts for greater promotion success, they writes,,,, mensagens de carinho & hollywood actresses

  • Sep 16 Posted 5 years ago liona (not verified)

    As a successful web entrepreneur and web promotion professional myself, I have been using a blended promotion strategy for well over a decade to maximize my reach, increase my exposure and better market to my target audience to grow my online business. I'd like to share with you how a blended promotion strategy can benefit you and give you some techniques I use when constructing your blended promotion plan.

    To help you gain a better point of view on the idea of blended promotion I recommend you have a speedy read of Rena Bernstein's post over at Social Media Today entitled "Integrating Social Media with Traditional Promotion to Gain Higher Returns".  jogos de motos It is a great read and provides valuable insight in to the benefits as well as examples on how effective it can be if done correctly.

  • Aug 15 Posted 5 years ago karrie (not verified)

    I couldn't agree more, social media is just a way of enhancing real marketing. Real marketers always need to make sure that the right message is transmitted to the right audience, as long as we keep our efforts on this line everything should be fine, real world or virtual world are just details. A fine example of healthy advertising in my opinion is the blair rewards program.

  • Sep 4 Posted 6 years ago alex1234 (not verified)

    I’m a fan of all integrated promotion strategies, & think that all communication is a chance to reinforce your company’s brand & mission. Promotion ought to not stand alone or apart from business, but ought to be integrated in to the fabric of the company at every level. I think social media is encouraging companies to strongly think about their promotion strategies in a brand spanking new way.
    I was much inspired by your examples here. I’ve linked to this post & your company’s site in a weblog post (frases para orkut). let me know if you’d like me to reference you, this post, or Elektrik Ink differently or in the event you prefer to not be linked to.

  • Aug 13 Posted 6 years ago Palmhome

    . By uploading the glamorous photo with the logo, the customer introduces her entire social network to the brand, a personalized example of it's benefits and hopefully even spark a few conversations along the way. warts home remedies

  • Aug 12 Posted 6 years ago Alfred Mansour (not verified)

    They took a free makeover promotion to an entirely new level when they used social media to drive women to participate and later bring awareness to this in-store event.  farmville cheats

  • IraKaufman's picture
    Jan 24 Posted 7 years ago IraKaufman This post begins to address the next step in marketing--Integrated Media Marketing where you blend PR , Traditional media, Online marketing with Social Media. This synergy generates a new asset for companies or marketing capital. The current buzz in marketing is about social media tools ( Twitter, Facebook) but the marketing 2.0 strategists are seeing social media as a critical component of the marketing mix that augments and magnifies the other media to create this new power in the marketplace . lets chat
  • Jan 21 Posted 7 years ago DrDaveHale Rena, Super article. I work with big brand clients on a daily basis and there are still many who have not realized what social media will do for them. Live and learn.

     Dave Hale, The Internet Marketing Professor


  • Jan 21 Posted 7 years ago HeatherDworkin (not verified) Rena, thanks. Bringing old school tactics to the social mix makes me more confident about getting results.

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