September 2012

Elements of a Successful Cross-Media Campaign

Want to energize your print campaign? Add demographic or psychographic segmentation and personalization. Want to energize your print campaign even more? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.

The most common cross-media campaigns these days are print and e-mail, but you might also want to consider social media, SMS text messaging and other avenues that complement print. Each will have different uses and benefits, depending on your marketing goals and the target demographic you are trying to reach.

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:

1. Consistent branding across all media.

Different media have different requirements and limitations, so you aren't going to be able to maintain 100% consistency all the time. But whenever possible, try to use the same images, color schemes, messaging and other elements across media.

2. Strategic application of media.

Know what role, specifically, each medium is supposed to play. If you are going to combine e-mail with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to "prime the pump" for the print piece? Are you using e-mail as a follow-up? Maybe if you're driving traffic to a campaign-specific website. The key is to match the medium to the audience and the message so that each medium plays off the other's strengths.

3. Appropriate matching of media to the audience.

Ensure that you use the right medium to communicate with each target audience. Not all media are appropriate for every demographic. You're not going to reach many senior citizens with SMS, for example. Plus, the mix is always changing. For example, only teenagers and college students used to use Twitter, but increasingly professionals and businesses use it as well.

Identify your marketing objectives, and then ensure that each medium is the right one to accomplish those goals. Make sure that you match the medium to your demographic and your offer, and use it appropriately within the best practices of that medium.

There is a learning curve associated with multi-channel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable.

 

Maximize Social Media Marketing with QR Codes

by James Alexander (@getvizibility) from www.cmswire.com/

QR (quick response) codes are a major marketing trend. You may have noticed the ubiquitous contrasting-color squares on items as diverse as ketchup bottles, movie posters and business cards. The codes can be scanned with a smartphone to direct users to online content.

According to social news blog Mashable, more than 14 million people in the US scanned a QR code in June of 2011. Marketing trends come and go, but QR codes seem well positioned to grow in use for a couple of reasons. First, the number of smartphone users in the US currently exceeds 140 million and is expected to grow. Second, the content to which QR codes direct readers is not static, so it can be kept relevant and timely.

QR Codes and Social Media

Another factor that may add to QR codes' staying power is their compatibility with social media tools, which remain a force in corporate communications strategies. Fortune 500 companies’ use of Facebook increased in 2011 to 60 percent, a slight uptick from the 58 percent using Facebook in 2010. Of Fortune 500 companies that maintain Twitter accounts, 62 percent posted tweets within the last 30 days according to Fortune Magazine.

QR code use is also growing, and not just with large companies making direct consumer goods pitches. The trend is catching on in professional services marketing sectors and among individuals seeking to connect with customers or potential employers. While product packaging, magazine and newspaper placement account for most scanned QR codes, more than 13 percent were scanned from business cards or brochures.

Mobile Optimized Marketing

The fact that QR codes are primarily a mobile tool also contributes to their relevance for marketing and social media interaction purposes. About half of all online searches now originate on a smartphone, so it’s important for individuals and businesses to provide information in mobile-optimized form.

QR codes can be a great avenue to a mobile site. A word of caution, however: if you use a QR code, make sure the URL to which it leads is optimized for mobile viewing. QR codes convey a tech-savvy image, but that can be immediately negated if the scan leads a user to a site that isn’t optimized for mobile devices.

Incorporating QR Codes into Your Social Media Strategy

If you plan on using QR codes to enhance your social media strategy, it’s a good idea to keep it simple.

An effective approach is to provide a vCard, curated Google results and links to your social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you maintain a customer-facing blog or share video content about your business, you can also provide links to that material.

Unlike printed collateral, the information at the URL linked to your QR code can be updated, so you can provide fresh content as your focus changes.

As you think about adding QR codes to your marketing toolkit, make sure you partner with a QR code specialist who offers ease of administration as you generate and manage your QR code campaign. Assess a potential partner’s ability to maximize social network connections to help you take business networking to a higher level. With the right strategy, QR codes can be a powerful new dimension in customer communications.