Internet Marketing — OFFLINE. While it makes no sense that one can engage in Internet Marketing while “on the go,” it is entirely possible. Really, how can you market to the World while being away from the office? The answer is, “very easily.”
It has been a while since I have written an article on Internet Marketing. A lot of this has to do with the fact that my company is relocating to another city shortly, and time has been very limited. Nonetheless, work has to be done.
As a work-a-holic, I am consistently striving to find ways to work “on the go.” I am a very sociable person; and interestingly enough, the tagline of my company is “Brand Socially.” So, what I am about to outline works very well for my brand, in particular. Yet In fact, it can work for just about every brand there is. To be bluntly put: “pay attention!”
Every year, I attend The Florida Music Festival in Orlando, FL. This event has gained International recognition over the past 12 years and has highlighted the talents of many of the most popular acts of today. Internet Marketing has made it become easier for artists, large and small, to become aware of this event (and many like it) and how festivals can contribute to their career successes. The Florida Music Festival was created by Sean Perry and Rick Wheeler of Axis Magazine in 2001 and is supported by many local and International sponsors, as related to the entertainment business and good times.
The Social Branding and Social Media sides of Internet Marketing have aided this and many festivals in capturing quality acts for mass consumption. Content submission by artists via web and the viral power of these submissions have made the selection process for showcasing only the best talent at venues related to their fan bases a much more effective process. And for a marketing professional like myself, I have learned to take advantage of this same process in “scouting out” potential clients in person and by allowing them to find my marketing services on a much later basis.
Understanding what your surroundings will entail and the personality of each target client in an environment, where their adrenaline is rapidly pumping, is very important. To understand these elements, one can turn to social media content that has been dispersed around the net for analysis and review. If you are unfamiliar with the venue and locale you will be attending, “walker” and “biker” maps and area reviews may help bring furthered understanding to rules, staffing, and technological capabilities once there. News stories and social presences, as well as video content, can bring furthered understanding of the artist personalities and history that you plan on meeting with. Basically, a lot of research needs to take place beforehand in order to enhance your experience and bring full potential to an OFFLINE Internet Marketing Plan.
Research helps you to understand what you can do and, of course, what you cannot. To begin with, how do you seek to gain the full attention of a potential client at a time where their mind is set on performance, fans and enjoying themselves? What style will you approach them with? How will your elevator pitch relate to them?
As an Internet Marketing Professional, the most important element would be that of “Internet Capability.” Having access to Internet and Mobile Network features will aid as visuals in what you can bring to the table in aiding their career successes. Because, frankly, if you gain their interests, they will ask you to show them what you can do and only have a few minutes to do it in. Will you have Wifi or Ethernet Ports available, and if so — Will there be electric outlets readily available? If not, how well does 4G for your carrier work in that area? Will you be able to “tether” your service into your laptop or portable device of choice? Finally, is your media content optimized for presentation on mobile device if need be?
In marketing, you have to consider the elements that will bring you closer to your overall goal. In marketing for Online platforms, your driving force will always be content delivery and optimization. There are many ways to achieve this, and where else to gain content for mass distribution than at a festival with many bands, business professionals and “happenings?” Content will not only raise your SEO efforts for search engines and brand awareness in Social Platforms, but it will also bring traffic to inquire on your servicing via fans and “the stars” themselves. Some of this content may be distributed immediately from the actual venues and encourage participation at the event on an immediate basis, catching the attention of acts being “promoted.” Some of this content will be delivered later. And, some of this content will serve as immedate points of contact and interaction in a tangible way.
The following methods will achieve Internet Marketing on an Offline basis:
- Check-ins: Lead others to your exact location and leave a print in that area with your content and presence history. This usually is done through Geotagging and GPS, so it is done with ease. Others located in the same area will also be aware of your presence at that moment.
- Videos: Taking videos at events of interviews, performances, and random moments bring virality to your brand, creating awareness of your brand in relating it to specific target markets. Additionally, those tagged in the videos or searching for videos, only to find themselves, will be drawn directly to your brand and become curious as to who you are and what you do. Fans of these acts will help bring virality to the process and encourage traffic to your brand’s web presences.
- Pictures: Pictures are memories. They are content. They are able to boost your brands results in the search engine through image searches alone. They are also “shareable” and will lead others to your Social Presences around the net. They are taggable and will lead content points of interest and fans to your business and services. They are often appreciated by these acts, because such a lack of content is captured at most events — believe it or not! The act of capturing content is very beneficial to acts in capturing that particular moment that will always be talked about but never have been recorded.
- Live Stream: Live Streaming events, interviews and performances are great in bringing interactive “here and now” capabilities to Internet Marketing efforts. They are usually able to be recorded for later consumption. The best part of live streams is that they are able to bring immediate awareness and lead “foot traffic” to local venues so that they can be part of the experience in person. These streams are often viral due to fans wanting to “share” their experience with friends and family. These are often tagged and contain a call to action in the description area, which once shared will achieve so much for the marketing of your brand and the brands showcased in the content.
- Like Pages: When trading contact information with fan bases in the audience, always ask them if they have Facebook and have them like your page immediately. As a matter of fact, take a picture of them in front of a background with their favorite acts! When you do this, you are giving them a memory that they are able to search out later. They will also share this memory with others. Your page will become viral immediately. Don’t forget to GeoTag these items if you are uploading them right away!
- QR Codes and Giveaways: My company uses, like other brands and bands, QR Codes on tangible deliverables like business cards and flyers. While QR Codes aren’t as popular amongst audiences as they have been in previous years, do not dismiss the “Power of the Code.” It’s not science fiction, but it can work wonders. For example, you hand out flyers and business cards at events (or place them on tables and ledges at the venue), someone becomes curious after meeting you or in between sets. They discreetly scan your card and visit your website or Social Presence. Shoot, they decide to “Google” you.
As interest builds, your physical presence benefits by being there to answer questions at the peak of interest in gaining potential clients. What is even better is that people talk. Yes, they sure do! Quietly, they whisper to the person next to them, “Hey, do you know Jessica Abraham? She owns this company, Shorty Produkshins, and does Internet Marketing… This is what else she does… This is who she has worked with…” Or, they introduce you to the person directly. Here, Word of Mouth and tangible Viral Marketing just gained you a new potential client without much effort!
Some people add free download links and merchandise giveaways to these calls-to-action. This ensures web traffic and content shares. People will often download and listen or “Youtube” and watch these artists before they perform so that they can become more familiar with them. Don’t think that this wouldn’t benefit your brand to do it, as well. I usually give away six free minutes of consultation via telephone when giving away servicing.
- Web Design/Content: Make sure you have a web design that is mobile-friendly and content that breaks down your servicing within a matter of seconds. People often do not want to read or learn when out and about. But, they do want to be educated on the matter. Using charts, infograms, and graphics to explain text-heavy points, understanding is easier acknowledged and quickly associated. Keeping webdesign at a speed to load rapidly keeps load time at a minimum and interest is less likely to be lost in the process. Make sure your site is catchy, interesting, and informative to a one-minute view. Keep it professional and away from being generic. This is your elevator presentation in grabbing potential clients right away!
- Follows, Shouts, Cross Promotion and Awareness: In the process of helping your own brand, be sure to help out others! If you are going to be attending an event, take advantage of the fact that your company will be there and you are a representative of it. If you have Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, etc. on your mobile phone, don’t be afraid to follow the groups and individuals that have given you their flyers and business cards or that you see in attendance or performance. Give them a shoutout on your page, bring awareness to that brand. Geotag them to a location so that others may “head down” to that event. Not only will the tag lead followers on both sides (in the case of Facebook) to new content for that band or brand, it will lead followers and those being tagged to your brand, as well. Make sure to keep content and follow acts immediately, while “shouting them out” upon meeting to keep fresh and interactive on a regular basis.
- Credibility!, Loyalty and Tenure: Let’s say you sponsored this event. Let’s say that you have been making contact with each artist through Online sources or that they just so happened to have come across your brand and tangible materials throughout their career. What do you think happens when they get to meet you and learn that you are a legit person… and an actual person!? Brand Personas are important. BrandYOU is a subject I love to speak on frequently.
There are so many scams out there and “up and coming” brands that never amount to anything worthwhile or are what they say. Meeting Offline brings more personality and realism to your brand. You are a real person. You have a chance to represent the brand in the flesh. Furthermore, you have met others that these people are already or just becoming acquainted with that can speak for your track record. Introduction by a trusted source or verification of reference is achieved without much effort. Your brand has an Offline following that will transfer to an Online source via connections and content created in the process. Going Offline to increase Online marketing potential and business connections that will build your “pyramid,” will only lead to furthered tenure for your brand.
Tenure however comes from loyalty, while loyalty comes from humbling your brand and practicing ethics that will allow others to justfully trust you. Loyalty comes from credibility of your brand and what it can do, as well as the reputation of that brand through trusted connections. The more you communicate Offline, as well as Online, and include others in this practice, the more loyalty you will find amongst followers, colleagues and clients. The reason behind this is while you are helping your brand find success, you are taking others along with you… and more than likely it will ONLY BE those that you have faith in yourself! After all, you don’t want to be responsible for distributing garbage content? Your good content will be overlooked and reputation will be brought down if you do that!
- Storytelling and CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT!: Through this adventure, you are creating a story with several characters — old and new. You are building a history that will last throughout the years and connecting many brands together in unity. The more familiar brands become to audiences, the more trust is built, bringing Brand Loyalty, Awareness, Integrity and Association, of course leading to tenure. Stories will be told through content that, as mentioned before, boosts SEO efforts, viral powers and more! Again, it’s like a family that introduces new friends and family members to others in a more personal way! Storytelling shows that more than business is occurring. It is showing that a relationship is building and lasting, therefore worthwhile for audience recognition, interests and interactions.
The bottom line here is NETWORKING with immediate “connection” is at the utmost importance. Because most people connect to their favorite social networks via mobile device, you must encourage the connection to take place here. Most social networks actually save contact information into the users address book automatically, so that will come naturally. You will be constantly in contact with these connections so you won’t forget them as easily as you would with just collecting a business card and/or saving a phone number to your rolodex. It’s more personal, and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS are what it is all about. Making the connections “in the flesh” will benefit your Online strategies. Content creation acts as duct tape, holding the bond and pyramid together. It also tells the story of the bond being created over time through these networked relationships.
In marketing for the Internet — Offline — never be afraid to think outside of the box. However, make it more than just making connections and using content for Internet strategy. Use it to connect the lives of brands that will literally “stick together” and hold a bond to last a lifetime. Brands belong to people, and people are the best investment you can ever make in the World. While we all want financial gain, happiness and impactful, positive relationships are more rewarding than anything! Have fun and create an epic story for future generations!