Advertising is all about sharing information, gaining new leads and customers, and engaging in people’s lives. But an effective campaign can no longer stand out by virtue of just its words and images. The strategy of how information reaches us is carefully calculated and measured in this digital age. By means of new apps, platforms and software, the marketplace grows increasingly competitive and complex, and deciding where to put your dollars to best connect with your customers can become overwhelming in a hurry.
“Knowing where to invest your dollars always seems to present a learning curve,” says John Caputo, regional vice-president of sales for Postmedia. “However, there are foundational tools to help a business make calculated decisions about how to stay visible, engage customers and convert leads into customers.”
Five of the most effective trends today include search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), responsive web design, native advertising and content marketing.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The days of finding a business alphabetically are moot for most of us; when we need a service or product, we turn to search engines like Google or YouTube. As advertisers, the tricky thing is finding a way to stay within the top five of the list on the first page under certain search terms. No pressure!
According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 stats, 62 per cent of companies look at their website traffic when measuring success of a campaign. Effective SEO is achieved with quality content, time spent, and people finding value on a website (such as a low bounce rate, comments, references to the website, plain language, links, etc.)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Describes online paid advertising. Google AdWords are the most popular SEM tool with a pay-per-click (PPC) (also called cost-per-click (CPC)) system that is meant to give a website more exposure, drive traffic to actionable content, and turn clicks into leads and conversions. SEM, like SEO, requires ongoing management for it to remain relevant and effective.
- Responsive web design: We’ve all done it — clicked on an article and abandoned the page without reading a word when it isn’t optimitzed for our mobile device. Responsive web design is an adaptive approach to building the grids, images and other details of web-based platforms to be compatible with all the devices people use to get their information, including desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. In Canada, 89 per cent of smartphone users search for local information while planning a purchase.
- Native advertising: Not sure what this is? That’s OK. Only three per cent of us really do, according to this Copyblogger stats report. Native advertising uses different types of content — articles, photos, videos, infographics — in the form and context of the different platforms on which it’s served. It’s a brand using someone else’s platform to deliver content to an audience in a seamless experience. Native advertising can be found online, in print, and on social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Context definitely matters for the platform delivering native content – a June study by the Canadian Marketing Association found websites such as trusted urban newspapers give a positive lift for brands.
- Content marketing is the consistent creation, curation and distribution of valuable information, written to a specific audience with the goal of influencing consumer behaviour and gaining customer loyalty. This information will be delivered to a targeted audience through a native network, social media, paid and owned channels, influencer marketing, email, newsletters, etc. You’ll want a strategy to create, deploy, measure, convert and optimize. Content marketing is cost effective, drives sales leads and increases brand awareness.
“The key to each one of these tools is that they are co-ordinated,” says Caputo. “To elevate a company and its brand, each piece of the puzzle pulls its weight in an integrated strategy and execution. That is when you really see a return on your investment.”
This blog was provided by Postmedia. For more information or to learn how the Post Media can help your business with one or all of these tools, contact Shawn Cornell, Manager of Media Sales, 306-657-6206.