The modern era has provided many new mediums for marketing our businesses. Aside from the traditional mediums of television, newspapers and magazines, we can now use a whole new array of mechanisms to spread our message: online advertising, blogs, Twitter streams, Facebook pages, and the list goes on.
With so many options, we are faced with the challenge of keeping our message in sync across all mediums.
As small business leaders, we often make the mistake of simply re-posting the message from one medium to another. And when we do take the time to create a Facebook or Twitter presence, we do so haphazardly and often fail to maintain the campaign over time.
Here are a few best practices to consider as you market across various platforms.
1. Understand the tone of the medium
The way you describe your product or service on your website will be different from what you say and do in other mediums such as social networking sites, offline advertising and other communications. Facebook is most effective when advertising is presented in the context of friends and social activity. On Twitter, brands succeed when they serve as curators of interesting facts and casually communicate with users. Before embarking on marketing activities in different places, be sure to observe the tone for a while and then assume that tone as you participate.
2. Be mindful of context
I've seen a lot of companies stumble by targeting the right people at the wrong time. Your target audience will only engage with your brand —and listen to your message—when the context makes sense. For example, trying to sell accounting services to people while they are using Facebook to respond to friends is probably not the right time. However, there might be other mediums where your target audience is more in the mindset of professional services like accounting. Consider the mindset of your target audience and the drivers that bring them to the medium you are marketing in.
3. Avoid sending an inconsistent message
While you should certainly adjust tone and strategy for different mediums, it is important that your company's purpose remain clear and consistent. Authenticity is more important than anything else. The value proposition you offer your customers should never change. While you may tweak the tone, you should never alter the core message.
You should certainly diversify the way you market your business, but always with an unwavering sense of your brand and why you are in business. Ask yourself, "What medium is my customer most likely to use when they need my product/service the most?" With attention to tone, context and consistency, you will be prepared to start experimenting with marketing across mediums.