Digital marketers tend to separate tactics between the old and the new. Some begrudgingly admit that classics like direct mail and print advertising can work on occasion, but largely prefer to stick to more modern campaigns revolving around methods like pay-per-click advertising, social media, website design, and search engine optimization.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Digital marketers and Web design agencies tend to be more familiar with digital tools. And, web-based strategies are usually faster, more cost-efficient, and easier to track.
Lost in all of this, though, is the fact that thousands of small and medium-sized companies used to rely on good public relations to help them generate sales. Most large organizations still devote significant budgets and campaigns to PR while at the same time utilizing digital tools. They know that the best results come from combining efforts and effects.
We don’t want our current or future clients to miss out, so today we want to remind you about four old-school PR strategies that still work – and work well – in the digital age…
Word of Mouth Advertising
It used to be that nothing could match the power of an endorsement from a colleague or respected customer. Having someone buyers knew and liked say good things about your products and services was worth all the advertising in the world.
Guess what? That’s still the case. If anything, the internet has made word-of-mouth advertising more important than it used to be in the past. For one thing, the ready access that customers have to so many solutions can be overwhelming. They want to work with a business they can trust, and need recommendations from others to find them. And for another, it’s never been easier to spread word-of-mouth advertising through review sites and social media.
The first step to getting good word-of-mouth referrals is to simply provide great value and service to all of your customers. Give them something they’ll want to tell other people about. Then, make sure you’re doing everything you can to encourage positive reviews for your business. The more they stack up, the easier it’s going to be for you to win customers each and every month.
Celebrity and Expert Endorsements
There is a reason huge corporations spend so much money running TV spots with celebrity endorsers. Even though we know consciously that the men and women pitching products are being well compensated for it, subliminally we absorb the message that we should use those same products if we want to emulate someone else we admire. These kinds of ads work even though we know exactly why they shouldn’t.
In the digital age, small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from endorsements even more. There are a couple of good reasons for this. One is that a “celebrity” can be anyone customers trust – including an industry expert, colleague, or a similar person with a good story about working with your business. You don’t have to pay big money to get a movie star or athlete to talk about what you sell.
The second reason is that online endorsements or testimonials can seem more genuine than TV commercials. In other words, those positive reviews have come because you’ve done a good job, not because you’re writing a check for them. That gives them a lot more weight in a buyer’s mind.
Positive Press Attention
Entrepreneurs have done crazy things over the years to try to get attention from reporters. That’s because free press has always been one of the best marketing tools around. That’s still true in the digital age, even if the formats have changed.
For example, we work in the New York Metro market. It would be hard for some of our clients to generate enough buzz to end up on television or in a well-known print publication. What they can do easily and repeatedly, though, is get bloggers, industry guides, and social media influencers to talk about what they’ve got going on. They can submit guest posts or share their latest plans, releases, and events with hundreds of outlets using Google alerts and other tools.
The press release itself has diminished importance in 2019, having been abused as a tool for spam and SEO for a long time. Despite that, the power of the digital press has never been so evident. If your business is doing things that are newsworthy, there are ways for you to let the world (and more importantly, your customers) know all about it.
Premium Product Positioning
There was a time when premium products – think expensive cigars, whiskeys, and golf clubs – were only marketed in certain places. You might find them in the most expensive department stores, or see them advertised in a first-class in-flight magazine, but they wouldn’t be available at a discount retailer.
The internet has blurred many of the lines and distribution channels associated with high-priced offerings, but there is still a lot of money to be made by positioning your products or services as being the best. Then, it’s not only expected that you will price them higher than the competition, but it’s actually the more profitable course of action. Some people expect to pay a high price for quality and will be turned off if you seem to be selling what you have for too little.
If you make the conscious decision to launch a luxury brand then you should build your sales and marketing story around that image. It might put what you sell out of the reach of some buyers, but others will flock to you simply because you have a premium product or service they can’t get anywhere else.
Does Your Business Have the Right Marketing Mix?
Savvy business owners and executives know that successful marketing campaigns aren’t just about using one tool or tactic effectively. To get the right results, you should have many different campaigns working together to help you attract buyers and convert them into lifelong fans.
If you feel like you aren’t hitting the perfect mix of old school and cutting-edge digital ideas, contact a highly-rated and professional digital marketing agency. Most agencies are more than happy to schedule a consultation time and a full account review. It won’t take much of your time, and it just might put you on track for record-breaking sales this year.
Author | Emily Forbes |
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!