50 Shades of Gray – Marketing & Promotion
50 Shades of a Business Nightmare
Promoting a business of any kind is often a hit or miss proposition. Choosing the best media outlet, creating a compelling ad, picking the right images, ad sizes and all the other variables can turn a simple advertising project into an epic nightmare.
In the advertising world there is no “silver bullet” – no one media channel, style, size, trick or template that works for every business or every campaign. That is why most of us struggle using every media channel over and over again hoping to discover that “secret sauce”.
50 Ways to Fail
The fact of the matter is that advertising, promotion and marketing in general have always been gray areas. The formula for creating a compelling ad, a great jingle or video spot may be well defined, but one tiny misstep can tank any project. You might have a dynamite message but your headline fails to grab attention, or your background image or music clashes with your message, or 50 other details can cause your ad to miss the mark.
50 Shades Blacker
Those advertising challenges have always been gray areas, but marketing a business today has become 50 shades blacker because the Internet changed everything. The Internet is an all-encompassing black hole that sucks in all the information from every media source creating a sea of knowledge that can be tapped by a simple search query from anyone on the planet. That mind-boggling limitless intelligence resource is your business’ biggest marketing challenge today.
50 Shades of Confusion
The problem occurs when your advertising message connects most people will immediately go to the Internet for additional information. They may want to know your hours of operation, your location or to learn more about your offer. Unless you are doing enough of the right things to market your business suitably online, your advertising may do nothing more than introduce your prospect to your competitors.
You paid for the ad that got someone’s attention, but they didn’t hear your contact details. So they search on your products or services and discover other companies that offer the same things. It can be argued that marketing your business online is now more important than what you do off-line to advertise or promote.
People search online when they want to solve a problem, get information, or buy something. Additionally, they search for products, services, solutions and topics rather than company names. This means that if your website is not optimized properly for search, you could be wasting your off-line advertising dollars.
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss search engine optimization in-depth. However, there are two things you can do immediately that can have a very positive effect on your online marketing efforts.
First, Google’s next algorithm update is scheduled to occur this month. One of the most important metrics they will now be measuring is if your website is mobile friendly. In other words, does your website display properly on a smartphone or Tablet PC. Not being mobile compliant could mean that your website will be omitted from search results performed from mobile device. There are a number of ways to correct this if this and if this is a problem for you feel free to contact me and I will point you in the right direction.
Secondly, you can ensure a mobile friendly listing and gain a huge SEO benefit by listing your company in the Flathead Guide. Your listing in the Flathead Guide functions like a mini website with photos, videos, an unlimited text description, a Google map to your location, all your contact information and links to all your social sites. This powerful mobile friendly, SEO optimized presentation of your business costs less than any other form of advertising at only $4 per month.
50 Shades of Grey? Not any Longer!
How about 50 new customers? Obviously I would not guarantee that your business listing in the Flathead Guide will result in 5, 50 or 500 new customers, but I can tell you that many people will see your listing. And, it can help your primary website rank higher in search results. Some of our listings receive hundreds of page views every month and visitors need only tap your phone number to call your business. Is there any other reason for you to advertise?