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Why Inbound and Traditional Marketing Can Work Together

Digital marketing. Conventional advertising.

For a long time, people believed that these two methods for brand outreach and lead generation were completely distinct from one another - and that businesses looking to maximize their marketing budgets had to prioritize one over the other.

So which one? Well, that was always up to your brand. Certainly, there have always been cases to be made for both sides.

For brick-and-mortar stores making local appeals, or brands whose target audience still consume print and TV regularly, traditional paid advertising can definitely still bring in enough ROI to justify the effort. On the flip side, digital marketing – using inbound methods such as SEO, social media, and email marketing – has long been considered a great way to have leads come to you, and encourage your current customers to stick around, often for less cost overall.

There are merits to both options – so why do so many businesses fail to see the benefits of using these methods in tandem?

So, here’s the scoop: In our experience, conventional advertising methods and digital inbound marketing don’t have to live completely separately.

In fact, there’s plenty of argument to be made that brands can see an enormous benefit by putting both marketing methods to work at the same time!

For one thing, there are numerous ways that you can leverage your content to work for both of these channels at once, saving you time and effort. What’s more, there are also some key ways that you can use digital marketing techniques to support and supplement your “offline” marketing materials, allowing you to double the effectiveness of your outreach.

With our thanks to this excellent article from Forbes for some inspiration, here are three big things to consider when it comes integrating your traditional and digital marketing campaigns:

1.) Use Your Real World Efforts to Drive Customers into Your Digital Conversion Funnel

As we’ve mentioned, both inbound marketing and “offline” advertising can be effective ways to create leads and generate prospects. But when it comes to creating conversions, we don’t think we’re speaking out of turn to say that digital is king.

For instance, did you know that 70% of people would rather learn about a company through an article than an ad? Or that B2B decision makers tend to engage with five pieces of online content before they make a purchase?

The reality is that, today, we spend more time online than ever before. In fact, people today spend more time engaging with smartphones than televisions; even more importantly, people have taken to “meshing” their screen use by, say, engaging with content on a laptop or smartphone while also watching TV.

Once you recognize how your audience is consuming media, it becomes clear that offline and online marketing don’t have to be in competition; they can reinforce one another!

With that in mind, one great way to drive conversions is to use your offline promotions – your TV ads, print ads, or billboards – to drive prospects to your digital presence, such as a dedicated landing page or your social media channels. In this way, you’re using both types of marketing to lead customers into one conversion funnel, where you can control what content they see and closely monitor their user experience, making it more likely that you can close that sale.

And at the same time that your brand is increasing your visibility and guiding your prospects towards becoming customers, you’re actually making users’ lives easier! Remember what we said earlier about those B2B decision makers? Your audience likes consuming content from multiple channels and sources before making a decision, and research shows that more than 90% of consumers tend to switch between multiple devices to accomplish their online goals.

2.) Find Different Ways to Use Your Video Content

If you’ve read anything about the past, present, or future of digital marketing, then you’ve likely heard that video is poised to dominate the internet – and not just for the purposes of marketing.

Currently, roughly 55% of people watch at least one video online every day; by extension, about one-third of all time spent online is spent consuming video content. Users have repeatedly expressed a preference for video content, and digital marketing pros are increasingly encouraging their clients to incorporate video production into their blogging and social media efforts.

But here’s the thing: Making memorable, effective, high-quality videos takes a ton of time, effort, and, sometimes, cash. One way to help minimize those costs is to leverage your videos in many different ways.

For instance, the videos that you may be producing for your outbound marketing efforts – like TV commercials – can also be put to work for inbound (and vice versa). You can house all of your video ads on one corporate YouTube account for instance, and then share and promote your videos all over the place – including posting them as blogs, blasting them out to your email list, or sharing them on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Even better, when you bring that outbound ad into the inbound sphere, you can deck it out with links, additional content, or social share options – increasing the chance that a viewer will head directly into your conversion funnel.

3.) Repurpose Your Written Content for Digital and Print

While video is popular – and is only going to get more so – we can’t forget that the internet still works on the back of words.

Many of your prospects prefer to read information, rather than watch it, and the algorithms and bots that power the internet – such as Google’s legendary search crawlers – still prioritize keywords and copywriting, in a lot of different ways.

Here at Geek, we believe that content creation – centered on SEO-focused blogging – is the most effective thing you can do to get customers to your site. But we also recognize that it can be hard to consistently brainstorm, research, write, and edit fresh blog content.

That’s where, again, the idea of leveraging comes into play. After all, why can’t one piece of written content be used on multiple different platforms? For example, a blog post that you’ve written for your site can easily be edited and submitted as copy for a print ad or other offline sales materials, such as a printed newsletter. Two birds, one stone!

The opposite is also true – that is, you can easily reshare the writing from one of your print publications on your digital side, and then amplify its reach by sharing it across social media and integrating new, digital-first multimedia elements, such as a supplemental video or infographic.

Have any more questions about how your business can maximize your traditional advertising efforts by integrating them with a digital campaign? Looking to expand your reach online, by starting with SEO, SEM, email, social media, or reputation management? Whatever your creative content needs, Geek Chicago can help! Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).