Within the last few years, there has been an overwhelming change from traditional to digital media. Features of the web have grown drastically, making it near impossible to maneuver through your day without interacting with it. Remember when you couldn’t pause your favourite show on live TV? Now you can spin up a new episode on demand and the next generation of media consumers will not know what a commercial break is. We’re all in with digital.
Digital media is a form of electronic media where data is stored in digital form. Examples of digital media include; video, signage, art, audio, and even augmented reality.
There are things that can be done by your business to exploit digital media while still guarding against their weaknesses. Things are now done differently, and this is what you need to know. Here are 6 important features of the web and digital media:
1. From push to pull
Traditional media such as print, TV, and radio are types of push media. Push media is essentially communications broadcasted from an advertiser to consumers of the message, who are generally passive recipients. These channels are one way streets where the information sent is mainly unidirectional. In contrast, pull media is when the consumer is proactive in selection of the message. A perfect example of pull media is the use of the internet. We have changed in regards to searching for something rather than being intrigued by some radio advertisement. Customers heading to a certain website have a defined need, they are proactive and self-seeking. This is why search engine optimization is so important in this competitive marketplace. And when a consumer does visit your site, it is important to keep them engaged with content and deliver an optimal viewing experience.
2. How do you interact?
Interactivity is essential for all forms of digital media. Low interaction levels account for high bounce rates for websites! Mobile and interactive TV now provide the opportunity for two-way interactions with customers. The internet can help build long-term relationships with your clients, through the likes of e-mail and CRM. But is this the most important impact digital media has had regarding customer communications? It may not be about finding ways to connect brands to consumers, but in connecting those consumers to each other. Online communities and social networks provide reviews and comments for essentially any product on the market. It is very important to monitor what the public is saying about your brand or products for improvement going forward. Social media now seems like the fastest and easiest way to ask for an opinion when purchasing a product.
3. Who do you target?
Traditional push communications like TV or print would be classified as a one-to-many strategy. Where one generic, poorly targeted message is sent to a multitude of individuals in different segments. Now with digital media, marketing can be more personalized and reach exactly who you want to target. E-marketers can offer a tailored message to a consumer, through personalized content or e-mail. Many websites do not take advantage of this, and only use the internet to replicate other media channels by delivering the same message. Personalized marketing makes individuals feel as if they were selected for something, which builds trust and loyal customers.
4. How do you communicate?
Digital media has allowed for a whole array of communication channels. Websites, blogs, and social media all serve as viable options for communicating online. Although it is beneficial to have such a large consumer reach, there are many implications of having so many communication mediums. Loss of control can take place if each channel is not properly monitored. Make sure your brand image in consistent throughout your channels, respond to customer inquiries, and above all, know who you are targeting and what mediums your consumers use to communicate.
5. How do you advertise?
A website is basically a mix between an advertisement and direct selling tool since it can be used to engage the visitor in dialogue, informative, persuasive, all while promoting offerings to customers. Traditional advertisements on TV or radio require paying large sums of money for minimal air time and no guarantee of who is actually exposed to your ad. Search engine marketing, Affiliate marketing, and Pay-per-click advertising are the new forms of online promotion. The internet and mobile devices has single handily changed where consumers are exposed to advertisements and where you should be marketing your brand.
Although digital media has some very intriguing characteristics, it does not mean we should ignore all traditional forms of communication. You should combine and integrate traditional and digital media together, and find a nice balance between the two. For example, an individual may see an ad on television about a new smartphone on the market. From the ad, the individual is directing to a website seeking more information. In contrast, that same individual who now wants to buy the smartphone does not like purchasing online. Provide a traditional form of media by providing a contact phone number so that the customer can feel safe with a sales method.