Save Yourself $4 Million: Engage Your Audience Through Effective Internet Marketing

Created by Jackie Lalley

You may not, as a rule, watch football. You may not generally watch commercials. But chances are, you’ve watched Super Bowl commercials. These uber clever, creatively sophisticated spots attract viewers in the millions—and they can cost on the order of $4 million (I’m looking at you, PepsiCo).

But researchers recently shocked the business community—and the public—by revealing that 80% of Super Bowl ads don’t result in any increase in purchases, or even intent to purchase.

Television commercials just don’t generate a return on investment anymore. Why? They’re another stale outbound marketing tactic. They speak to the masses, not to particular needs or sources of pain the way inbound marketing does.

Commercials have become entertainment. I can’t tell you how many awesome Budweiser commercials I’ve seen (last year’s Clydesdale ad is my new favorite). But I’ve never bought Budweiser, and I never will. First of all I’m not a beer fan, and second of all my parents and all my relatives taught me that Budweiser is swill. The research bears out what my personal experience suggests: The people running out to buy Budweiser after the Super Bowl probably would have done so even without the ad.

So, if there’s little to no return on investment, why do huge corporations purchase those $4 million 30-second ad slots? First, because they can. Second, Joe Glennon, assistant professor of advertising at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, suggests the ads remind current users of brand attributes and reinforce the positive feelings of choosing a brand.

Here’s a little secret: You can remind people of your brand attributes, why your customers fell in love with you in the first place, every single day—and see return on investment.

How? By getting to know your ideal customers on a personal level, through their engagement with your brand on social media and your website via effective internet marketing. And you’ll track the ROI of your marketing with analytics to ensure your efforts are getting results.

Use social media to communicate your brand’s values.

  • Share not only your own content, but content from other sources that will help and educate your followers.
  • Take photos or videos of you and your team doing what you do—working hard for your clients, conducting a brand awareness cupcake giveaway, doing a service project—and share them! Your followers will better relate to your company simply by seeing the faces that make your brand possible.

  • Thank loyal customers, donors, partners, and others to show that you value and appreciate all the people who make your brand successful.

Use your website to build relationships with your ideal customers.

  • Optimize your site for search, so people who are looking for you—but don’t even know you exist yet—can find you.
  • Give web visitors something to do! Keep your web content fresh and exciting. Blogging regularly keeps your visitors engaged and helps dramatically with search engine rankings.
  • Offer premium content downloads, such as ebooks, checklists, templates, and coupons (whatever makes sense for your company) to convert visitors to leads.

Marketing doesn’t have to cost millions of dollars. And communicating your brand’s values and reminding people why they chose you in the first place shouldn’t just take place on a February Sunday. For more tips on effective internet marketing, download our free ebook: How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan. How to Create an Inbound Marketing Plan