There’s no argument that social media has revolutionised the way businesses, of all sizes, market their products and services to potential customers.
The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others have made it easy to target specific audiences with your own ads with even the smallest of budgets.
Businesses can drive hundreds, if not thousands, of people to their website, increase email signups, or simply raise awareness of their business.
It’s not surprising then that many businesses, in particular SMEs, have focussed all their marketing budget on social media alone and have perhaps been lulled into a false sense of security that social media is the only place they need to advertise.
The power of multiple touchpoints
Take a moment to think about how you get to know a business. They could be local, national or international, but can you think of a time when you’ve only ever seen them in one place and decided you’ll become a customer of theirs right away?
OK, it might happen occasionally, but it’ll be rare and maybe because that business just happened to sell the exact product or service you’ve been looking for.
Generally, and not necessarily in this order, you’ll see an advert or post on social, they might be in the news, a friend might mention them, you might hear a TV or radio ad, you’ll see an ad on a news website, and you’ll maybe see a leaflet or poster about them.
Some of these will be subconscious, but each sighting will remain at the back of your mind until it becomes more and more familiar.
These moments are called touchpoints and they’re vital to marketing a business.
With the invention of the internet and social media, the rules on touchpoints have changed, and businesses need to adapt. If not, at best they’ll be wasting their marketing budget, at worst, they’ll fail.
With the noise consumers are being bombarded with from all angles, businesses now need to try and create up to seven touchpoints to encourage someone to part with their cash.
|Online news article||Online news banner ad|
|Window display||Stand or display at an event|
|Social Media organic post||Billboard advertising|
|Google Ad||Leaflet distribution|
|Printed news advertising||TV advertising|
|Social Media advertising||Radio advertising|
So, what are the best ones for you and your budget?
Well, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every business is different, and budgets will vary in size so you may not be able to afford all that is on offer. They’ll need to consider two main factors.
On one end, things like social media organic posts and editorial through PR in your local media will be inexpensive, but they rely on people either stumbling on the content or an editor deciding if your business is worth writing about.
On the other end, expensive TV, radio, leaflet distribution and billboard advertising will be only available to those with larger budgets and have a scatter gun approach, hitting large groups of people with no way of finding out who has seen your advertisement.
In the middle is a potential sweet spot. Touchpoints that are budget-friendly to almost all sizes of business with trackable results so businesses know who has seen their ad and engaged with it.
|TV advertising||News website banner ads||Online newspaper article|
|Regional radio||Social media advertising||Social Media organic posts|
|Billboard advertising||Google ads||Window display|
|Leaflet distribution||Stand or display at events||Email subscription
(the cost will rise the
more subscribers you have)
|Printed news advertising||Local radio|
A lot of touch points, in particular the more expensive ones, won’t give you a genuine option to track how many people have seen your ad and if it’s even resonated with the people you’re trying to reach.
Touchpoints like billboard or print-based ads give you figures based on equations that don’t have any basis in fact.
They may be able to tell you how many people drive or walk past a billboard, how many copies of their paper they publish, or how many doors a leaflet was pushed through, but they will never be able to tell you how many people have actually seen it.
Digital forms of advertising have given power back to business owners as they can now see exactly how hard their budget works for them.
|News website banner ad (mid-range)||TV advertising (expensive)|
|Social media advertising (mid-range)||Regional radio (expensive)|
|Google ad (mid-range)||Billboard advertising (expensive)|
|Stand or display at an event (mid-range)||Leaflet distribution (expensive)|
|Social Media organic post (cheap)||Printed news advertising (expensive)|
|Email subscription (cheap)||Local radio (mid-range)|
|Online newspaper article
(publishers don’t tend to
reveal individual article
|Window display (cheap)|
Trackable touchpoints are the key
It’s clear, looking at the information above, that the best touchpoints are the six that can be tracked. They are suitable for almost all budgets and they are trackable, allowing businesses to constantly adjust and refocus their marketing for the best return.
Businesses, however, mustn’t believe they can get away with just using one of these touchpoints in isolation. Businesses need to spread their marketing budget across as many as possible if they are to turn someone into a customer.
The beauty of the mid-range touchpoints is that almost all are digital. This means they can usually be changed or amended at a moment’s notice.
Businesses can also test different ad versions at no extra cost, place different links behind each ad, and use the same ad in multiple locations. The overall cost is usually flexible too.
That’s not to say the other touchpoints should be ignored, but if a business has got a limited budget it makes perfect sense to spend their money where they will be able to see the results fully, and also have greater control over how well their ads work.
We’ll be looking at the six trackable touchpoints in more detail in later articles. In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more now, the Bedford Independent’s advertising team are on hand to answer any questions you may have.
They can also help put together a cost-effective advertising campaign that can reach up to 160,000 people and complements modern advertising touchpoints.
Just fill out the form below and the Bedford Independent’s advertising team will be in touch for a no-obligation chat.