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Social media linked to traditional advertising creates powerful message

By Katie Bird , 05-Nov-2010
Last updated on 05-Nov-2010 at 12:45 GMT

Traditional advertising is not dead but needs to be combined with new online tools such as social media to be truly effective, claims digital marketing specialist.

Consumers are bombarded by thousands of promotional messages every day and cutting through the background noise with your brand’s communication is challenging.

According to Terry Young, managing director of digital marketing company RAPP New York, the key is to develop a strategy which allows content from traditional and online channels to interact.

“Traditional advertising is not dead, it is as strong as it has ever been, but it is not as effective if it isn’t connected to a complete experience, and that experience is now online,” he told

For Young, the ‘complete experience’ is related to content. Content can be both created by the brand, or the brand can simply curate it, but this content needs to take advantage of the internet’s power of dissemination.

“You want to amplify content to multiple channels, and these new channels now involve so many people,” he said.

Listening to online conversations

Using these new channels to get the brand’s message out there is important, but Young also highlighted the power of listening to conversations and reacting to them.

He used the recent launch of the Justin Bieber fragrance bracelets - fragrance integrated into bracelets and dog tags rather than delivered as a spray - to illustrate how a company could tailor its communication to online conversations.

“You could look at the conversations happening and think about how to amplify that over a period of time. If you see ‘I’m interested in what’s going to be in the juice’ you could turn that into promotion to build the project, communicating more about the juice” he said.

Not a leader

The beauty and fashion industries have not been leaders in the social media revolution, and although many industry experts agree that the potential for the sector is huge, brands have been relatively slow to pick up on the trend.

One of the reasons behind this could be the sector’s traditional focus on emotional marketing, Young said.

In online conversations consumers are talking now about the experience of using a product and its function, bringing a new angle to the communication that beauty brands should be embracing.

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