Businesses have a wide range of advertising options at their disposal when it comes time to spread their message to the masses. Among the most powerful platforms available today are print marketing, digital marketing, and social media marketing, each of which boasts different strengths and weaknesses.
Ismail Sirdah, who founded the branding and marketing company LuLu Promotions after finding tremendous success with his own social media marketing campaigns, says that companies should focus on uncovering and utilizing the marketing channels that will not only reach their target audience at the cheapest price point, but also at the right time.
He defines the right time as being when a customer is most likely to take action in response to the ad, which is why he generally dislikes the passive and distracted nature of radio advertising, which provides limited opportunities for immediate action, relying instead on catchy jingles that may or may not be memorable enough to be recalled at a later point when that action could be taken.
Identify Your Target Demographic
Before choosing a platform, you first need to know your audience, which can be judged in a number of ways. The most effective way is by simply asking them through a survey or other form of questionnaire. Having a strong online presence will further enhance opportunities for gathering information on your customers.
Alternatively, you can research competitors to try and uncover their own customer demographics or judge them for yourself based on those companies’ marketing campaigns. For regional customer information, the United States Census Bureau’s exhaustive collection of data can provide valuable insights about the demographic makeup of the region(s) where you’re doing business or looking to do business in the future.
Consider Your Content
Ismail Sirdah says that knowing your audience and how to reach them is only half the battle though. Marketers also need to jointly consider the content of their campaigns and which platforms can best bring it to life. Some campaigns might excel by encouraging customer interaction about a product or service, in which case a social media campaign would make the most sense.
On the other hand, a different campaign might have the intended goal of prompting some inner reflection through a call to action that eventually culminates with the customer taking the desired action. Such a message could be hijacked on social media or digital platforms where distractions abound, whereas the same advertisement in print could have a more lasting effect and the intended result.
Understand the Goal Each Platform
Marketing initiatives should also seek to match the platform’s tone says Ismail Sirdah, so that other users of that platform (not your target audience per se) may likewise be in sync with and intrigued by the ad.
If you were advertising on Facebook for example, you might want to craft a fun and lighthearted ad that is more likely to be shared around. On LinkedIn, you might instead create an ad that focuses on how a product or service might boost a user’s ability to enhance their career success, while on Instagram, the message needs to be wrapped around a powerful image that will mesmerize.
There is a lot for modern marketers to consider, as the growth of popular new platforms like TikTok offers ever expanding and evolving ways for brands to reach and interact with customers. Regardless of the platform though, knowing your audience remains the undisputed gold standard of successful advertising.