online marketing - The New Face of Advertising - Drawing Customers to Your Site with Interactive Marketing
by Chris Malta
You're most likely familiar with the popular pay-per-click advertisements that many E-Biz owners employ. You may have even tried them yourself - and they can be a very effective tool for driving traffic to your web site. But according to Jackie Peters, Chief Creative Officer of HeavyBagMedia.com, "The real question is, Once that traffic gets to your site, what is their experience going to be like?"
Peters' company helps many of its clients launch campaigns designed to pull, not push, customers in through a process known as interactive marketing. By engaging your audience with relevant content that they can actually experience, you give them a reason to stay once they're there - and a reason to come back. Online gaming, message boards, short videos, mobile content, email and SMS are just a few examples of interactive marketing.
Be Relevant to Your Market
You need to know your customer base, and design your interactive marketing campaign to fit their needs. If you sell Metamucil to a target audience that's over fifty, online gaming and SMS are probably not your best advertising bets. On the other hand, if your niche market is teens and 'tweens, those could both be very enticing features. There are basically three keys to interactive marketing: relevance, relevance, and relevance. The following are just some practical examples of using interactive marketing to connect with your audience:
- • If you send out an e-newsletter, give your customers a reason to read it - don't just tell them what you're selling. Talk about something they’ll care about. If you sell shot glasses, your customers would probably like to know how to play the new drinking game you learned over the holidays.
And while they're reading, they'll just happen to see the new products you're offering as well.
• Get creative: find some popular blogs that pertain to what you're selling and send them product samples. Ask them to review your product on their blogs.
• With mobile content, you're sending interesting and relevant messages to opt-in customers' mobile phones and saying, "Hey, we brought this to you." The Mobile Marketing Association (mmaGlobal.com) can provide you with both information on the way mobile content is being used and resources for getting set up if you choose to use that option in your advertising campaign.
States Peters, "A brand is a lot more than a company and a logo. It's a relationship between the brand and the audience." Interactive marketing can really give you a leg up on making that connection to your audience and engaging them. That's how you differentiate yourself from every other web store out there. The goal is for your brand to become a part of your customers' lives - you're on their phones, their computers and in their inboxes. When they think of the type of goods you sell, they think of you.