Marketing has changed in recent years, requiring new digital tools, said a nationally recognized speaker at a Thursday seminar introducing Propel Marketing to central Illinois businesses.
Ken Mauser, publisher of the Journal Star, introduced the session before more than 120 people at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, one of two such gatherings.
“It’s important to note that Propel is not a third party but part of GateHouse Media, part of the Journal Star. Propel will help people drive more people to Facebook sites with print advertising, helping you to grow your business,” he said.
Growing that business is different now than it was 30 or 40 years ago, said Shannon Kinney, founder of Rockland, Maine-based Dreamlocal Digital.
“Media use is changing. Seventy-three percent of Americans now have smartphones. Seventy percent also feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they’re getting now,” she said.
That means ad pitches need to be more conversational than in the past, said Kinney.
“When you reach people in this way, you win.” she said.
With 1 billion users, Facebook is one way to start a conversation with customers, Kinney said. “Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids.”
But using Facebook requires a professionally designed page, Kinney said.
A business using Facebook also should adopt a thoughtful plan, Kinney said. Because business owners are busy running their business, Propel’s expertise can be tapped for social media management, now available through the Journal Star, she said.
Kinney also outlined how businesses could benefit from using other social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest and Google+.
She also advised companies to post videos of their business on YouTube.
“It’s now the second-largest search engine,” said Kinney, who stressed the need for businesses to consider tailoring marketing efforts to mobile devices. “By 2013, half of all the Internet searches will be done on mobile devices.”
Another benefit provided by Propel is a Web marketing dashboard where customers can track programs to see how they are working, said Kinney.
“I think it’s very brave of a newspaper to provide a service like Propel that offers services at a fraction of the cost of some alternatives,” she said. “But it’s not print that advertisers will cut back on as much as the Yellow Pages or TV.”
Steve Tarter can be reached at 686-3260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.