Part 2 of a 2-part Series by Guest Blogger, Dave Rubin

The Real Cost of Social Media

In our contemporary business environment, marketing experts agree, a competitive company must have an online presence with a social media strategy. The good news is that a company can participate in the digital and social media world for very low cost or maybe even free.
Right?  Wrong!!

Without getting into too much detail in this article, the price of getting into social media marketing can actually be quite high. Just put a value on the time and effort it takes to set up and maintain all the media outlets you need to be in. All the time it takes to create the content or pay a content creator. Then you’ve got to monitor all that. Lastly, you keep your fingers crossed that someone actually finds you and then reaches out to you.

But here’s something interesting, I was just reading an article by a respected social marketing expert who said the best possible marketing is word of mouth. In other words, someone saw something cool about your company, told some one else and then checked you out. How do you create that word of mouth? Obviously, when you do a great job for someone, they will hopefully tell others, but another way is having a physical piece of marketing material that can be given out.

A printed piece tells people you are real.

Now, that’s where the printing comes in. Use a creatively designed and branded print campaign. Make sure you use an imaginative, eye-catching piece that is custom designed for your company and the campaign you are promoting. Beware of a templated, out of the box solution. These tend to be very pedestrian looking and it just might be the same thing your competition is using. Original design ensures your unique voice is heard.

You may be saying, “this all sounds good, but isn’t this going to be expensive?” Well, it’s not free, but today’s technology has greatly reduced the price for printing and depending on the scope of the design, creative costs can be favorable. Keep in mind, the better the quality of the materials used and the creativity of the design has an impact on your end user. The capital you spend on collateral marketing is an investment in your brand, which when done properly, really pays off.

In order to keep your expenses in line, establish a marketing budget. After you’ve established a realistic budget, contact a marketing designer, someone who specializes in creating marketing collateral. Discuss your budget and ask for suggestions on the best type of program to get your message across. Depending on the ultimate goal, a simple postcard campaign may be enough. For other types of marketing strategies, you might want to create some more elaborate materials.

Remember, the impact that a dynamic printed piece can have. It says you are an expert in your field, It also shows that you do things that others might not. Most of all it brings the visual interpretation of your brand front and center. When someone gets a printed piece, they can’t hit the delete key. It must be dealt with, even if for a few seconds, and those few seconds may be more than any of your social media marketing gets. Just long enough to convince a potential customer to check your website, blog or pick up the phone.
 
Dave Rubin is a partner at Johnson OR Berish Creative, a company that specializes in branding and marketing