SuperBowl Shows Traditional Media Still Converts

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If there’s anything we can learn from this year’s SuperBowl, it’s that television and traditional media aren’t dead just yet. With over 111.3 Million viewers, 2.1 Million of whom were online, it was a record-breaking broadcast both online and off. The cost for a 30-second commercial during the game? $3.5 Million (average).

As web designers, online marketers, and search entine optimizers, we like to push our clients to use online media to grow their customer base. We even go so far as to criticize traditional media for its high cost and low return on investment, as a selling point for our services. I’m certainly guilty of doing that, what about you?

But traditional advertising is effective, and can be very important to the success of your online marketing campaigns. Traditional media can be used in conjunction with online advertising to close the cycle of customer acquisition.

Here are a few ways you can use traditional advertising to supplement or accent your online marketing campaigns.

Build Brand Awareness

It’s been said that a potential customer needs 5-7 interactions with your brand before they trust you enough to buy your product or service. A single billboard, direct mail piece, or commercial can be seen (or heard) many times, and (as long as the messaging is consistent) helps to build your brand image in your customers’ minds.

As part of an overall campaign, traditional media can reach potential customers when they would otherwise not be exposed to your brand–while driving, watching television, shopping at the mall, etc.

Follow-up with Leads

Blanket direct mail campaigns can be expensive and often have low average response rates … but just as you woudn’t target an online marketing campaign to all search engine users, you don’t send a direct mail campaign to a generic list.

Direct mail can be extremely effective after you have already qualified a prospect. Following up with online leads with email is a given. Sending a handwritten card or a well-designed postcard can make an impression. And with the amount of email circulating these days, you’re more likely to get noticed in their mailbox than their inbox!

Reach Local Users

Television and radio advertising can be very effective at reaching local audiences where pay-per-click advertising just isn’t getting results. In several instances, we couldn’t get enough clicks even using all the top search engine advertising platforms. Television and radio can often get your message out to your intended audience, but they shouldn’t stand alone.

In your messaging, be sure to direct prospects to a landing page or website to capture leads or signups. The landing page should reiterate the messaging in the radio or television ad, especially the value proposition.

Bridging the Gap

With print, direct mail, and OOH (out of home) advertising, QR codes and SMS short codes can help bridge the gap between traditional advertising and online marketing. By scanning a QR code or sending an SMS message to a short code, prospects can be taken to a mobile-optimized landing page designed to capture leads or sales, or provide additional information.

In television and radio ads, short web addresses can take users to standard and mobile-optimized pages for more information. Online video, photos, virtual tours, and additional information can boost response and conversion rates.

How are you utilizing traditional advertising?

Are you currently utilizing traditional advertising to drive traffic to your landing pages? Are your campaigns developed together, or are they two distinct campaigns? What forms of traditional advertising have been most (or least) effective for you?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on traditional advertising, and how it’s working (or not working) for you. Let’s start a discussion in the comments below.

Brandon EleyBrandon Eley
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Brandon Eley is the Interactive Director for Kelsey Advertising & Design and the co-author of Online Marketing Inside Out.

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