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Modern marketers have no shortage of options when it comes to deciding how to relay their advertising messages. On one level, that’s a great thing, but it’s also very dangerous. Because there’s so much at the disposal of marketers, it’s easier than ever for advertisers to make the wrong choices, leaving those individuals wondering why their efforts have left them with minimal ROI and growth.

We all know it pays for marketers to be smart with their ad dollars, but the modern approach means more than simply avoiding overspending. To really succeed, you have to pick the right avenues for your advertising. A magazine would be foolish to spend their entire ad budget on a television ad, but they’d do very well to invest wisely in social media and email marketing. And while the ideal mediums can vary from industry to industry, there are a few standout avenues through which any business can succeed. Video

Say what you will about the reduced attention span of today’s consumer, but the power of video marketing cannot be disputed. Four out of five people can recall a video ad they saw over the last month. Nearly half of video viewers take action that nudges them closer to purchase after watching a video ad, and virtually all marketers agree that video marketing helps viewers to better understand their marketing message. And if the whole idea of marketing is to spread a clear message about a product or service, why wouldn’t you use video? At the end of the day, video has capabilities no other form of digital marketing possesses. It appeals to two separate senses at the same time. You can use images to tell a story, while words and music reinforce that image or vice versa. The applications for video marketing are endless, and its effectiveness in helping marketers to promote their products is second to none. Best of all, you can use video in any other type of advertising you already employ, such as social media. Email and Direct Mail

As good as social media can be from a marketing standpoint, the fact remains that it’s a medium that employs one-to-many communication. A social media account cannot tailor its voice to reach each consumer individually, and it cannot send personalized messages to specific people like email marketing can. With email marketing, businesses can achieve some amazing things. A company can send a welcome email to someone that just signed up for their email list one minute, then send a detailed list of product recommendations to a return customer the next, without even having to lift a finger. It’s a great way to nudge customers down the path to purchase, and it’s perhaps the best way to have a one-on-one conversation with each consumer, no matter where they might be in the sales funnel. That’s a feature you won’t find in any other digital marketing category. The numbers prove email’s importance in an effective marketing strategy. Among retail professionals, 80 percent believe that email is by far their most effective tool for customer retention. What’s more, nearly three-quarters of millennials cite email as their preferred way to communicate while at work, making top-notch email marketing a must for B2B companies. There’s another route you can take that combines the personal touch of email marketing with the tangible nature of offline marketing. Direct mail is essentially the predecessor to email marketing, but it still remains a vital resource for those that use it well. Not only does the offline approach of direct mail cut through all the online clutter, but direct mail has a response rate five times greater than that of email. SEO and Paid Search

Driving traffic to your company website is what every marketer strives for. If people don’t get to your website, they can’t buy anything. Video, email and direct mail are all very effective tools for generating website traffic, and they’re particularly great if people already know about your company. However, how can people find you if they don’t know who you are? That’s why SEO, in spite of its age and its finicky algorithms, is still crucial for any online business. Organic search is responsible for more than half of website traffic to businesses, and organic traffic results in 40 percent of online business revenue. The key, as always, is to produce relevant and helpful content that incorporates your keyword without overstuffing your copy. Google’s algorithms, always focused on delivering the best content to searchers, will ensure that the best content rises to the top. Paid search is still very important as a complement to your existing SEO strategy. As more and more SERP space is dedicated to ad-based results, it’s your chance to cut the line and quickly build a following that will yield organic return business. However, it’s vital that you understand your audience and know what your ideal customer searches for. Without this information, your efforts to build your organic and paid search strategies will surely fail. Marketing is always challenging, but it’s a lot easier if you know which pathways will generate the most success. Your ultimate goal is to bring in website traffic, which ultimately translates into purchases and long-term relationships. Video marketing, email marketing, and SEO should be cornerstones in any marketing strategy, and these are the building blocks upon which elite marketing plans are composed. If you need help creating your own marketing strategy, drop us a line today.

Author and Friend - John Gumas - A veteran of the advertising and interactive marketing industry, John founded GUMAS in 1984. Today, the award-winning firm is consistently named as one of the top branding and interactive marketing firms by the S.F. Business Times.John is recognized as one of the country’s foremost authorities on Challenger Brand Marketing®. He is the author of the popular book “Marketing Smart” which describes how challenger brands can develop marketing strategies to effectively take on their larger competitors. In addition, John is an adjunct professor of branding, advertising and interactive marketing, a sought after speaker and a regular columnist for several publications and blogs. INFO@GUMAS.COM

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