If you’ve landed on this blog post, you want to know the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing.

And I am here to tell you that the difference between both forms of marketing is that one is digital and the other is traditional.

Hopefully that answered your question! Thanks for stopping by!

I am totally joking.  However, in every joke there’s some truth and in this case, the truth of the matter is that the format of each of these styles of marketing is what sets them apart.

But before we get to the meat of this blog post, let’s lay the ground work.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Digital marketing, as defined by Hubspot, is “…all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.”

Traditional marketing is commonly associated with print advertisements, television and radio commercials, direct mailers and billboards.

Digital marketing is…digital and traditional marketing is more, well, traditional in that the methods are “tried-and true.”

Let me pause for a moment…

This is when I come in stage right and put a plug in that Flying Cork is a digital marketing agency and we offer digital marketing services that include digital strategy, digital marketing, digital advertising, and design and development.

Now we’re back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

No matter how big or small your business may be, there always seems to be that inevitable tug-of-war between people who reside in two overarching camps.

The camps to which I am talking about are the people who favor digital marketing and the other people who believe in the power of traditional marketing. Of course, there are some people who have their hands in both pots.

Regardless of which side of the spectrum you’re on, it’s important to know that you’re not wrong. And in order to provide you with the most value that I can in one blog post, I put together a high-level  pros and cons list of digital marketing and traditional marketing.

Pros of digital marketing

  • An obvious pro of digital marketing is that the vast majority of consumer attention is focused on the internet, namely social media. When you let the market be your guide, you’ll realize that there’s untapped potential when it comes to Facebook advertising and organic content creation to build and strengthen brand awareness with your target audience.
  • So, you have the attention.  Now it’s time to measure your results. Digital marketing offers a plethora of data that can be mined and leveraged to help tweak and deliver a refined marketing strategy.
  • Digital marketing is fast. And by fast, I mean that it can be done with the simple tap of a button. All that it takes is a status update, a helpful blog post, or a quick-witted comment to stay in front of your target audience and build brand awareness.

Cons of digital marketing

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. While some people believe in that quote, for digital marketers, the copy, tweak, and paste effect can pose problems for our campaign efforts. What do I mean by all of this? Digital marketing campaigns can be easy to imitate (copy) by your competitors which can then be manipulated (tweak) to fit their narrative and posted to their social channels (paste). That being said, make sure to keep tabs on your competitors and be in tune with conversations that are swirling around your brand and your industry.
  • Just as the internet offers unbelievable amounts of opportunity, it also invites a lot of noise and chatter that can make it harder to reach your target audience. However, it’s a problem that’s faced by all marketers and it’s one that’s solved by creative and empathetic marketing. When you take the time to truly understand your customers’ pain points, questions, and topics of interest, you’ll in turn create content that’s relevant and will resonate with them.

Pros of traditional marketing

  • Traditional marketing as a whole isn’t extinct. However, the way that we approach this form of marketing has shifted in some respects. For example, at one point in time, traditional marketing was the only way to do marketing, and now it has become supplemental to our digital efforts and vice versa. While online marketing can help increase your brand’s exposure if done correctly, digital and traditional can build off one another. Why? Because it’s important to remember that your audience doesn’t consume content the same way. Some people turn to the internet to discover products and services while others rely on the mail, TV/radio, etc. to get their information. To cast a wider net, you can supplement your traditional methods like billboards and mailers with digital advertising by serving the same information based on location of the traditional advertisement. This helps build brand awareness and encourages brand recognition.
  • If you’re a local company trying to reach your local market, then radio advertisements could be a good use of your marketing budget. However, just like with any advertisement, you need to consider a few different aspects like who makes up your target audience, what channel best aligns with who you’re trying to target, and what message are you trying to articulate? Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, radio can be a good way to tap into and reach your local target market.

Cons of traditional marketing

  • Traditional marketing is more or less a monologue in that there’s little to no interaction between the brand and audience. Traditionally speaking (pun somewhat intended), traditional marketing is focused on selling the consumer on a product/service. In some cases, this type of marketing can feel intrusive and forced which can lead to consumers simply tuning out your content.
  • Traditional marketing can be very expensive. From billboards to purchasing TV and radio spots, the fees associated with traditional marketing can stack up fairly quickly and eat up most of your marketing budget.
  • In the world of marketing and business in general, every single dollar counts! Think of it this way: when you’re in a car if your eyes aren’t on the road, they’re unfortunately more than likely on your phone. This means that your attention isn’t focused on the billboards on the side of the road. Translation, you could be spending a decent amount of money on a billboard that not many people will see. Likewise, the introduction of DVR and online streaming has affected how we consume television shows. How so? We don’t want to be bothered by commercials anymore. Time is the most valuable commodity and commercials inherently take away from what we’re trying to do – watch a TV show. Think about how you consume TV for a second. When you’re watching a show and it goes to a commercial break, what do you normally do? More times than not, you’ll grab your phone, take a bathroom break or get a snack in just the right amount of time to be situated when the show comes back on. Again, depending on your target audience, these two examples can be seen as wasted marketing dollars that could have been allocated to another resource within your marketing budget.

Though we’re a digital marketing agency, we understand that elements of digital marketing and traditional marketing can be leveraged to create a holistic marketing strategy.

Which type of marketing do you prefer?

Did you know that email marketing touts the highest ROI of all marketing channels?

So, whether you’re for it or against it, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll continue to push full steam ahead with your email marketing efforts.

Easier said than done, right?

Yes and no. Just like with any marketing strategy, you need to start small while thinking of the big picture.

When it comes to email marketing, in particular, you have to take into consideration who you’re sending emails to and what type of content they want to see in their inbox.

These act as the starting blocks for your efforts. Now, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or you could use a boost to get your email marketing mojo back, here are four tips to get your campaigns on the right track.

Four Tips To Improve Your Email Marketing Performance

Scrub your email lists

Proper hygiene isn’t exclusive to your personal appearance (although, mouth wash and deodorant go a long way). When it comes to the world of email marketing, list hygiene is just as important. And, to keep your efforts up-to-snuff, your best bet is to scrub your email lists.

Scrubbing your email list entails removing inactive contacts from your email marketing campaigns while simultaneously keeping your current list warm (engaged) with your current campaigns.

How do you know when it’s time to scrub your lists? The general rule of thumb is if your bounce rate is between or higher than three and five percent, odds are you’ll need to clean things up a bit.

Scrubbing your email lists isn’t a one-time deal. In fact, it should be done on a consistent basis so that you can better your odds of getting your email campaigns delivered…to the right people.

Segment your lists

Now that your email lists are as clean as a whistle, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road and actually craft email copy that piques the interest of your users and keeps them hooked on your content.

Where do you start? You have to start by realizing that your audience isn’t comprised of carbon copies of the same person. They have different interests and characteristics that make them unique and they are more than likely in various places within the sales cycle. That’s why you need to segment your lists so that you can build and send emails that resonate with a particular group in your email list.

When you send targeted emails to a segmented portion of your list, you’ll naturally create a more engaged audience because you are serving them with content that they deem relevant.

Here are a few ideas to help you segment your email list by:

  • Geography
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Topic Interest
  • Previous purchases

Timing is everything

You can’t blindly send emails and just assume that your audience will read them because you know what they say when you assume…

As a marketer, you should constantly be testing the times that you deploy your emails and then pay attention to the data like the open and click-through rates to see what time of the day your audience is more apt to open and engage with your emails.

If you don’t know where to start, cast a wide net, meaning, send your emails to half of your list early in the morning and to the other half in the evening.  See what time of day has the strongest metrics and break it down and test some more. Let’s say that the morning group performed better. Start testing your emails by breaking down your list into various segments in the morning and see which time performs the best. Rinse and repeat.

Be a storyteller

Just like with any type of marketing, you want to tell your audience a story. You want to capture their attention and take them on a journey with your content. Stale, sales-driven content will fall flat. But, content that actually says something will resonate.

Think of it this way. Odds are you don’t like emails that don’t say much except BUY! BUY! BUY! It feels forced and obviously sales-y. But, I bet I can venture to guess that you’d respond more positively to an email that told you a story that was so relatable that you could see yourself in that situation.

Marketing content, whatever form it may be, has to stir emotion within your target audience for it to resonate. Because, at the end of the day, the consumer no longer wants to be sold on anything overtly, they want to be told a story. And, if you tell a good one, the sales will follow suit.

Email is a valuable resource in your overall marketing efforts and applying these four tactics to your overall strategy can help you pack a bigger punch.

If you want to learn more about email marketing or have any questions, drop us a line, we’d be happy to help!

Content marketing is the foundation to which everything else is built. Think of it this way: without content, SEOs would have nothing to analyze and optimize, emails wouldn’t be sent out and social media posts wouldn’t be published. I could go on forever but for the sake of your sanity and in respect of your time, I’ll stop. You get the picture – the list goes on and on.

Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.

I think Seth Godin sums it up in that single sentence. Content marketing is the axis on which our efforts turn. Without it, we as marketers would be out of a job.

But while we’re grateful for content and how it allows us to make a living, there’s more to it than just words. The success lies in the creation and implementation of your content marketing strategy.

If you haven’t put a lot of thought into content marketing or are doing your due diligence just to have a presence and need a nudge in the write (see what I did there?) direction, this post outlines three ways that content marketing (when done correctly) can help your business.

But, before we dive in, let’s talk about what content marketing is. The long and the short is that content marketing is basically using content to meet your marketing goals. Content helps us articulate our overall brand message, connects us with our consumers, and provides our target audience with value that converts them into customers, and nurtures existing ones.

Content is king!

It’s a popular saying that you’ve more than likely heard more times than you can count and while everyone is putting a press on the importance of content marketing, you won’t fully be able to understand its power unless you break it down to the potential benefits that it can offer you and your brand.

That being said, let’s take a look.

Three Ways Content Marketing Can Help Your Business

Traffic & SEO

This is the kind of traffic you’ll love (not that bumper-to-bumper rush hour type of traffic). When you create and implement a sound content marketing strategy, your site traffic will reap the benefits. Think of it this way: great content is like a magnet. The more you write the more people you’ll attract to your site.

To that point, as I mentioned before, you can’t do SEO without content. But that doesn’t mean that you should string some sentences together and throw it onto a page on your website and hope a miracle happens. Instead, you need to create content that’s relevant to your brand and more importantly, your audience. Search engines are constantly crawling the internet to better serve their users with relevant queries. Good content is the thread that pulls your brand and search engines closer together.

Brand Awareness

If you have a brand, you want your customers to be aware of that…Hence, brand awareness. But it’s more than that. Content that educates, entertains, or informs will strike a chord with your target audience. Brand awareness is more than just seeing a checkmark and associating it with Nike. Brand awareness through content marketing is all about building your authority in your niche in a way that your customers understand who you are and what you represent. This can be done by producing content (onsite, social media, etc.) that’s fresh and unique and that’s also valuable and relevant to your target audience.

Increase Followers

If you build it, they will come.  No, this isn’t the Field of Dreams, per se. But when it comes to the world of marketing, it’s pretty close. Marketing, no matter how you look at it, is cyclical. What I mean by that is that the various cogs in the wheel all work together to move the needle. That being said, if your target audience finds your content valuable, they’ll share it to their circle of friends on social. This pulls in the connection between content marketing and social media (see, the cogs in the wheel). Content that stirs emotion is more likely to be shared and when that happens, you cast a wider net and in turn, can gain more followers on social media who are interested in your brand and what you have to offer.

Let it be known that these are only three of the benefits of content marketing, there are plenty more tangible and intangible advantages that you can gain from creating and implementing a sound strategy.

How has content marketing helped you reach your overall marketing objectives?

As a brand-new hockey season is drawing near, I wanted to take some time to enjoy the late-game heroics that sealed the deal for the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, our hometown team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

To do just that, I found a goosebump-inducing clip from Business Insider of Patric Hornqvist’s game-winning goal. Enjoy!

Pittsburgh Penguins, back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.

A reason to celebrate

In the sports world, when a team clinches a playoff spot, wins their division or takes home a championship, champagne is always part of the equation. After all, we’ve seen countless video clips of locker room celebrations with players wearing goggles, jumping for joy, and popping bottle after bottle of champagne to celebrate.

This just goes to show that every big win has a monumental moment. It’s in this moment of success that corks are flying and the entire team (fans included) feels as if they’ve had a hand in the big success.

Now, the idea of celebrating a win isn’t reserved only for sports.  In fact, in digital marketing, we celebrate successes both small and large every day with our clients.

The fact of the matter is that Pittsburgh as a whole is a treasure trove of inspiration and being that the Flying Cork office is located in the heart of the city, right across the street from Point State Park, we’ve been able to feed off of the constant supply of motivation and apply it to our own work.

As a proud member of the City of Champions, I wanted to take some time to focus on the evolution of our hometown and why not only our sports teams, but the people who live within the city limits, are a testament to the idea that “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Pittsburgh is built on evolution and change.

From our early origin as the “Steel City” to being known as the “city of bridges” to now becoming a welcoming home to entrepreneurs and creative minds, Pittsburgh has become a place for forward-thinkers. Even Forbes Magazine took note of our growth when they listed Pittsburgh as an up and coming tech city in the U.S. (watch out Silicon Valley, we’re coming for you!).

Over the years, we’ve seen the introduction of the self-driving Uber onto our busy city streets, countless breakthroughs from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, and a large presence by none other than Google. And this progress is something that we can all be proud of because we have, as a city, worked to break the mold in the tech world all the while putting culture in the forefront as well.

Just take Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for example. This 14-square block area of downtown is home to a myriad of theaters, art galleries and much more. It’s here that you can find an upcoming play at the Benedum Center or Heinz Hall to name a few, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the 50 dining establishments, or even take a bike ride through the city.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the evolution and change that’s emanating from this city because the ongoing story of perseverance, grit and the wherewithal to embrace change and run with it is what fuels us as a team at Flying Cork.

Pittsburgh and marketing. 

The connection between Pittsburgh and marketing is strong because we as marketers have to be nimble and willing to change in order to stay relevant, create and implement fresh ideas, and be one step ahead of the competition.

As I’ve said before, there’s a lot of motivation to pull from this city and when it comes to business, the idea of embracing, not fearing change, is one that powers us to take risks and think outside-of-the-box.  Because without change, there’s no growth and as the popular saying goes, “change nothing and nothing changes.”

To end this blog, I think it’s safe to say that Pittsburgh is like a fine wine: it only gets better with age.

Out With the Old In With the New

Given the current state of many businesses in Pittsburgh today, attempting digital marketing/advertising is not a new concept by any means, but if done correctly a small business can now effectively compete with large companies simply by finding their target audience. Also known as identifying your North Star.

Business owners and marketers do research (consisting of reading a couple of blogs post from some unknown website) and then they venture into dabbling in online marketing and advertising, trying every channel available, even attempting to combine it with their traditional efforts.

There have been countless attempts at social media, specifically Facebook. You’ve even inserted the pixel needed to capture user data. Maybe you’ve attempted to upload email addresses or phone numbers of current clients to create your “lookalike audience” within Facebook’s dashboard all the while thinking, “How can I go wrong with a lookalike audience?”

Some, on the other hand, attempt to optimize their site in the hopes of gaining organic stability by meticulously updating meta-data and inserting keywords for Google bots to crawl and users to search. You even add an option for users to sign up for a newsletter. A newsletter sign-up option is a popular tactic these days, but it can be ineffective if not positioned correctly.

The next and most popular channel of choice is, AdWords. After testing the waters, you eventually throw in the towel, because the platform and data prove to be too much to get a handle on or you simply don’t have enough time in the day to maintain your ads. But, this is only after losing a few hundred or for some, a few thousand dollars.

You complete all these tasks, work tirelessly, and try any new tactic that comes your way, just to HOPEFULLY show up in search results and then… nothing happens. But why?  You used every channel available and even optimized your site for Google only to be left scratching your head wondering where you went wrong.

If you’re currently doing this, have done this or even requested that your marketing team try this, then it’s time to stop the madness and finally start practicing smart-marketing.

Let’s Get Started! 

My friends, it’s important to understand that digital marketing and advertising is not a sprint it’s a marathon (sorry for the mundane analogy) and like any race, there is a starting line. In this race, if you cheat, (knowingly or not) then you have already lost. The best part about this so-called race is that you can start over and still win!

So, let’s finally make our way to the starting line! Below, you will find a few tips and tools that will help gather data on your users and competitors. Remember, the goal of all preliminary research is to understand your users’ behaviors and properly catalog and organize them so when the time comes, you can release your custom strategy that will make every user feel important to your business because after all, they are.

With a clearly defined target audience, it’s much easier to determine where and how to market your company. The information gathered will be used to formulate a marketing and advertising machine leaving you with an effective and efficient strategy. From there, your job will be to nurture your machine so it remains up-to-date as your company and your industry matures and changes. In addition, you can use the current data you have collected in Google Analytics as a jumping off point.

Tips & Tools to Gather Data for Finding Your Target Audience

Review Your Current Customer Base. 

Who are your current and former customers? Why did/do they buy from you specifically? Look for common denominators, meaning characteristics and interests. Which of these denominators brings in the most business? It’s very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your business, too.

With all this talk about new customers, don’t forget about up-selling your current customers.

Check out your competition.

Research the type of clients your competitors target and make a list of their customers. This information is usually accessible on your competitor’s website or they have engaged with them on their social platforms. If you look at their site review the case studies they have available or recent projects they have posted. You might need to dig a little to find this information, but it’s worth it in the long run. The trick with this tactic is not to necessarily go after the same market unless that is, you have a value proposition that will dominate the market. If that’s the case, then, by all means, go after them.

Ultimately, you want to find and capitalize on a niche market that they are overlooking. The goal here is to take advantage of their low-lying fruit.

Analyze your product/service

Create a list of each feature of your product or service. Beside each feature, list the benefits it provides. For example, a software company offers a high-end product that logs the activity on projects that are being executed. The benefit is a professional way to keep companies organized and running effectively and efficiently saving them time and money on each project. A professional cost-saving solution will attract more customers because they see the company as trustworthy, knowledgeable and customer facing.
Once you have listed your benefits, make a list of people who have a need for your benefit. This same software company could choose to target on-going, service-based businesses interested in saving money and increasing efficiency. While this is still a bit general, you now have a base to start from.

Choose specific audience to target.

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

  • Age
  • Education level
  • Marital or family status
  • Occupation
  • Ethnic background
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Education level

Consider the psychographics of your target audience.

Psychographics are the more detailed personal characteristics of a person. It’s important to determine how your product/service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. Keep in mind how and when your target will use the product/service so you can integrate this into your content or photos that you will use throughout your digital marketing strategy.

Ask yourself a few questions to get started. What features are most appealing to your target audience? How can they be integrated into your strategy? What media does your target turn to for information? The answers to these questions can then be used to help you syndicate your content or branded photos/ads in the right places for your target audience to consume.

Here’s a quick list of psychographic characteristics to consider:

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Lifestyles
  • Online Behavior

Now that you have gathered all this information you can start to layout your digital marketing strategy. Stay tuned, we will be breaking down what your strategy should look like and the next steps you should take to execute your strategy in the coming weeks.