Print? Billboards? Television? Radio? How much should you spend on these traditional marketing services?
The answer to those two questions cannot be answered in one simple response. The problem is that we have become a society that is in transition. Plenty of people still enjoy reading the newspaper, while others solely get their news and entertainment from their smartphone, tablet or laptop.
There is really only one platform that is seeing true growth. Digital. The truth is, people are watching less and less live television. Traditional marketing just isn’t reaching the younger generations. Aside from some live sports, most people are able to get their entertainment fix from a variety of other sources. Even the news doesn’t have to be live anymore because we get constant updates on Facebook, Twitter and on our smartphones. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching videos anymore, it means that the delivery is changing, not the method. Television, radio, print, and billboards still have a place in the marketing world, but traditional marketing is steadily declining. As the millennials and generation Z grow up, these methods of marketing will only continue to decline. With that being said, even digital marketing will be evolving in the years to come. In the past 3 years, we have seen more change in how we consume content than we have in the last 40. Companies are trying to learn how to market themselves in an effective way without breaking the bank. Add in the fact that the economy is struggling to get by, business owners need to be careful how they spend their money.
How Most Small Business Owners Handle Marketing
Most small business owners don’t have a marketing budget. They simply try to decide whether they can sacrifice “x” amount of dollars in the hopes of making it back. For some, they use a couple different marketing methods: newspaper, a website, maybe they started a Facebook page, but aren’t sure exactly how to truly utilize it. Then, they get bombarded by salesmen coming in and trying to explain why they need to shell out huge deposits and massive monthly payments to get noticed online. What they truly need is someone to sit down with them and look over what all they are doing to see if they are hitting the target customers they want (do you want to target 18-30 or families with teenagers?). The second part is then guiding them on how to accomplish those goals within the framework they already have established.
I believe that when a company strives to provide services that utilize what a company has already built and taking that to potential customers in a clear, engaging manner, the small business wins. My philosophy, here at Visual Element Media, was to create a company that can help small businesses who still get effective results with other platforms and ties that strategy into digital marketing by developing a video, social media platform or podcast.
One of the biggest obstacles for small businesses is transitioning from the traditional marketing methods to the new marketing methods. Our goal is to maximize all forms of marketing while they are still viable to the company while preparing and educating our clients on how to reach new and broader audiences by staying true to their brand and by being affordable.
I’m sure there are many companies out there who would say that they provide exactly what I mentioned above. We are different because we are right here in your community. Our Ebensburg office allows us to create online marketing for companies in Altoona, Johnstown, Somerset, State College, Bedford and everywhere in between. Each of our content packages includes graphic design, photography, and video. You get to work directly with me and my team on each project. We are constantly making efforts to encourage more business and inspire our next generation of leaders to invest their futures in our small towns in order to keep them going. The benefit of shopping small is the relationships you build with people. It also helps keep people held accountable for their work. So many times, small business owners get burned by companies who are here one day and gone the next.
The most important thing to us is getting to know you and understanding your business because, without that, we can’t create the type of content and marketing you need to grow your business. If you don’t know your client and their business, it’s going to cost much more money because there is much more effort needed to learn their customer base. But when you listen and connect with business owners, it makes my job as a marketer, pretty easy.
Scott started Visual Element Media while still in college in 2008. He moved his company to Pittsburgh in 2009 where he found that small businesses were at a major disadvantage when it came to digital marketing. Scott wanted to provide small businesses with the opportunity to use video, social media and professional web design, but on a small business budget. In 2015, Scott moved his family back to his hometown of Ebensburg to continue working with small businesses. Visual Element Media now provides video, social media, and podcasting services in Altoona, Johnstown, State College, Bedford, Somerset and as well as the great Baltimore and Washington DC area.!
Cunningham Media has been working with small businesses since 2009 in Western and Central PA helping them to communicate with their customers through video, social media, web, and other effective platforms. Cunningham Media was formerly known as Visual Element Media.