Marketing experts generally agree that online marketing is among the best methods for reaching consumers because most consumers spend a considerable amount of time surfing the internet. Social media sites, in particular, have garnered a lot of attention because of the way they attempt to reach online consumers based on the topics, products and services they’ve expressed interest in. Social consumers also share their preferences and activities with friends, which serve as additional word-of-mouth advertisements.
A third avenue for online marketers is content marketing. Content marketing involves providing useful, compelling and informative content to online users that will encourage action. It relies heavily on a well-placed search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to drive online user traffic and help companies solidify their brands and establish themselves as thought leaders within their respective industries. According to a recent survey performed by HiveFire, Inc., content marketing is expected to dominate many other forms of online ads throughout 2011 and into 2012.
Even with these new outlets at their disposal, marketers are still relying on traditional advertising methods, such as display ads or direct mail for targeting their best potential consumers. According to Steve Rubel, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman, it’s a blend of these strategies that are going to yield the most success for marketers in the months ahead.
“There’s an emerging class of media brands that are smart, scrappy and unmatched in their digital DNA. Call them hybrids,” Rubel said in AdvertisingAge Magazine. “They’re digitally native and entrepreneurial. They use social and search to their fullest, yet many of them have a traditional ad-sales network that resembles their legacy-laced brethren.”
Rubel believes that a combined approach of social media, content and traditional advertising will carry companies further than focusing their efforts on a single strategy. By implementing multi-channel touch points, businesses can maximize their outreach and remain relevant within their industries.
“In a world with too much content and not enough time, hybrids are the future of media,” Rubel states in AdvertisingAge. “That doesn’t mean the media stalwarts or social networks will fade, mind you, but this is the breakout group to watch.”
In order to execute such a multi-pronged campaign, marketers need the right tools. In particular, they need a way to focus their audience targeting methods to ensure that they’re reaching the right people with every message they send, whether it’s an online banner ad, a social ad, an email or a piece of direct mail. By doing this, companies can minimize their ad spend while at the same time maximizing the return on their investment.
Semcasting’s online targeting solutions help businesses identify the best prospects by targeting digital look-alikes across multiple channels. Using advanced analytics, companies can leverage Semcasting’s automated predictive modeling using over 750 demographic variables. The process is easy – simply provide a list of your current customer base, and Semcasting will do the rest. They’ll analyze the attributes of your current customers to create the digital look-alike models, then they’ll use the information to search their proprietary offline and online IP Zones database for the very best prospects that match your current customers. Businesses can increase their outreach to qualified audiences and maximize the returns on their efforts across multiple channels using targeting that is based on customers who have voted with their wallets for their products or services.