Beyond billboards: Mastering the art of digital marketing

When you visit Times Square, you’ll see attention-grabbing digital billboards that offer one eye-catching image after another. But the advertiser’s efforts don’t stop there. You’ll find the same message on bus benches, on the exteriors of buses, and in interior cards in buses, trains, and subway stations. You might also see it in TV commercials and ads in magazines and newspapers. 

A billboard alone is not enough to drive people to purchase a product or service. It’s the same when it comes to your presence online. Effective digital marketing ties together websites and social media into a unified whole. To do this, you need to create a relationship and sense of community with your customers and show up everywhere they are. 

Once you identify the types of customers you want to appeal to, you can start developing content that speaks to your target audience in terms of what they value. This might include tips, how to’s, educational posts, and industry news. Viewers also like it when a business lets them behind the scenes to get to know the team and see them in action on the job, inspiring people in their city with charitable deeds, or just having fun at a company event.

Unfortunately, many businesses treat their social media like a billboard without the full campaign. They expect that if they simply post about their product or service, people will come to purchase it. This doesn’t work. You must know who you want to target and attract those customers with content that appeals to their needs and interests, both consciously and subconsciously.

The psychology of subconscious marketing is something political candidates understand very well. People gain familiarity with and trust in a name or brand they have seen many times. Here are some ways you can use subconscious marketing to your advantage.

To make your product or service stand out from others in its class, you might repeat a slogan, color scheme, or symbol many times across several media, so that the viewer comes to associate it with you. But you must use repetition wisely, so it doesn’t become annoying. To intrigue your viewers and engage them in the most positive way, you need to use a mix of media and vary the content and frequency of your posts. 

The goal is to attract customers that become a community of individuals who know you, like you, and trust you. It’s the digital equivalent of stretching out a hand in friendship or offering a warm hug on your first date. Brand awareness that leads to brand loyalty can go a long way to keep your business thriving for years to come. 

The successful entrepreneurs below differ in many respects. What they have in common is creative, holistic use of social media to showcase themselves and what they offer in the best light.

Chip and Joanna Gaines had an enormous success with their “Fixer Upper” show on HGTV from 2013 to 2018. They took viewers behind the scenes to reveal details of the renovation process as well as glimpses of their personalities and family life. They’re now captivating viewers all over again with “Fixer Upper: Hotel,” the new series airing on their own Magnolia Network as well as HBO Max. 

Why do viewers love this couple so much? They and their five children come across as authentic and accessible. “The audience really loves their personalities, their life, and that’s why they have a following,” says Yajin Wang, a marketing professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “They portray this image of a loving couple who are just like your neighbors on their show, their Instagram feed, and all social media. That’s what sells.”

Highly rated Palm Beach Health Center, a leading chiropractic clinic in Palm Beach County, FL, also uses social media effectively. Well-presented information about their services is accompanied by glowing reviews and testimonials from patients. Lively layouts feature educational posts, free seminars, and even a raffle for which the prize is a substantial discount.

In addition, founder/owner Dr. Matthew Symons and his associates use their Facebook and Instagram pages to introduce team members in ways viewers can relate to, with photos that show them enjoying various activities that help to tell the story of the practice. 

The headquarters of Tim Hayden’s Hagley West watch brand (named after his favorite cricket team) is his kitchen in Hertfordshire, England. Hayden’s personality and values shine through on his website and in his social media posts. He says he’s “growing a global watch brand from scratch” and describes himself as a dad, traveler, gym lover, filmmaker, and dodgy cricketer. Taking viewers along on visits to factories, giving clues to his whereabouts when traveling to sell watches, and sharing his challenges as well as his triumphs are some ways in which this entrepreneur engages his audience and builds authenticity.

Hayden is clear about his goals. He says his mission is “to take on the overpriced and outdated fashion watch industry” and “redefine the journey between watchmaker and watch wearer.” Pledging transparency to his customers, whom he refers to as “our community,” he promises to keep them up to date on social media, adding, “We want you to live every moment of our journey with us.”

All these techniques are important ingredients in the recipe for awesome marketing online, but it takes much more to stand out in crowded cyberspace. You must know how to influence your site’s rankings on Google and other search engine sites. This requires an understanding of SEO, keywords, HTML, and algorithms for websites and social media. You also need to learn how to relate to customers with different value systems and get a feel for the pros and cons of artificial intelligence (AI) in today’s business climate.

We’ll cover these elements of digital marketing and lots more in blogs to come.


If you need help with your marketing, book a free call with us and let’s discuss it together. We can provide the help you need to embrace your marketing strategy.

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