While Traditional TV Loses Ground, These Marketing Techniques Stand Strong
As streaming and on-demand programming become more prevalent, small business should take advantage of traditional strategies to stay ahead.
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I feel as though the television gods are answering my prayers.
Over a year ago, my family made the decision to "cut the cord" and cancel our expensive cable subscription in favor of Internet only. Our subscription to hundreds of channels was, after all, being wasted, since our television was rarely tuned to anything other than Nick Jr. for the kids.
When mom and dad had our rare screen time, there was no shortage of great shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV to satisfy our binge-watching needs. When we wanted something different, we could simply stream YouTube, The Daily Show, or our favorites at TED through our Google Chrome Cast.
For months I have felt like I knew a secret nobody else was on to.
It appears networks are getting the message. HBO and CBS both announced last week that they were to offer an on-demand streaming service starting in 2015. Google also announced a television set top to compete with Apple TV. It is probably just a matter of time before our cable is completely "al a carte."
Dreams really do come true.
While this is great news for consumers, it is also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses. For years, larger corporations with huge advertising budgets were the only companies that could afford to advertise on television and reach huge audiences. With more and more consumers leaving cable for these on-demand services and devices, most of which are commercial free, the competitive gap is closing.
The strategy to reach them is nowhere near as innovative as the changes in television. In fact, businesses need only to consider a few time-tested traditional strategies to get ahead.
Word of mouth
These days, your customers are constantly sharing content and writing reviews, all of which have a significant influence on the purchasing decisions of their friends and families. By creating great content and monitoring how it is being shared and discussed, you can turn your customers into your own public-relations machine. Proceed with caution, however, as a poorly implemented content strategy can have an equally powerful negative effect.
For years, companies would imagine that a television advertisement would complete their marketing needs. Instead, companies should focus on driving grassroots support by actually being in front of consumers. Trade shows, open houses and community-sponsored events are just a few things in which your company could partake to drive visibility for your company.
An easy and affordable way to reach new audiences is to engage with influential bloggers in your industry to write about your company. For only the cost of a sample product or a small fee for advertising, you can get bloggers to review your product for their audience of readers. You can also offer to guest write on behalf of your company for other industry blogs, helping you to not only garner visibility but to also establish your credibility as an industry expert.
Media companies and publishers are always looking for good stories. Learn to be a good storyteller and look for opportunities to promote activities you are doing in your community or innovative business practices you are implementing at your company. Create relationships with media influencers and learn how to pitch ideas that will get picked up and reported.
People will consume television content for as long as television content is created. How they consume it, however, will continue to change and evolve. As large corporations scramble to find the most effective way to reach consumers through these new channels, small businesses can stay ahead of the game by combining time-tested strategies with new and traditional channels of reaching people.
Now, I just need to convince the ESPN gods to create a cable-free package of college football games.
A dreamer can still dream.
Has the move away from cable television affected your business? Please share your valuable experiences with other readers in the comments section below.