How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing Strategies

Balance Social Marketing and Traditional Marketing Strategies
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Marketing is based on four concepts, commonly referred to by the acronym AIDA: First, you need to grab the customers Attention; you then generate their Interest in your product or service by highlighting the benefits it will bring to their lives; following this you create Desire (the “must have” mind-set); finally you motivate customers to take some Action (i.e., make the purchase).

The most effective way to move through each step of AIDA with your customers is by blending traditional marketing with social media marketing (infographic).  As per Andre Kay, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer for Sociallybuzz, a social media management firm, social networking makes it easier for small business owners to reach potential customers but harder to engage them and build on-going loyalty.  However, when you are able to successfully combine both traditional and social media strategies, you will have developed an extremely powerful marketing tool for your company.

Below are some suggestions for integrating traditional with social media marketing:

Connect Print Media with Social Marketing

Provide the link to your company website, as well as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles on your business cards, posters, business stationary, brochures, and promotional material, such as coupons, cups or other give-aways.

Print Testimonials

Use your print ads to highlight what other customers, vendors and suppliers are saying about your business on any of the social networking sites.  If you have been on one or more of the sites on a regular basis, chances are pretty good that you have several great testimonials to include. Prospective customers are especially interested in the reputation of your firm and nothing speaks louder than a strong testimonial from a reliable source.

Link an Offline Promotion with an Online Advantage

For example, a photographer can offer a free picture to new customers and their families that the customer may then post to their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile. If you are a graphic designer and you have a new small business client,  you might offer to do a mock-up of their logo which they can then also post to their social media pages.

Build Customer Engagement with Email Lists or Opt-In Cards

Very often customers are reluctant to provide their email address, so this system will work best if it is combined with a special promotional offer aimed at both new customers and existing customers who are already reaping the benefits of your product or service.  Remember that most customers, whether new or existing, will likely not join your social media network independently but need to be coaxed along by you and your staff.  One method is to offer a promotion through which you offer a special discount to customers who initiate certain actions online, such as “liking” your Facebook page or sharing your blog with others in their circle influence.

Enlist all Employees in Blending Strategies

Enlist the help of all employees in notifying customers regarding your firm’s social medial presence and to recommend that they visit each of your profiles.

Cross Sell Online and Offline

Each time you reach a customer or prospect via one marketing channel (e.g. a coupon) alert them of other marketing tools you are using and what benefits they will derive from tapping into them as well. Be sure to tell these customers or prospects how they may find you. Your print material needs to provide the URL of your Web site, blog, and social media profiles. Conversely, your Facebook and Twitter pages can alert prospects and customers to a special promotion that will be sent through another marketing channel (e.g. via a direct mail flyer).

Are you balancing traditional marketing and social marketing?

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Author: Daniela Baker

Daniela Baker is a small business blogger and social media advocate. She helps small business owners and entrepreneurs compare business credit card deals to build their Internet presence and expand their business online.

85 thoughts on “How to Balance Traditional and Social Marketing Strategies”

  1. Marketing strategies employed by companies at this point in time usually involves the utilization of social networking sites has proven to be effective in reaching their niche markets while keeping their costs at a minimum. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the matter, anything related to advertising interests me.

  2. Social media marketing as the latest medium of advertising definitely paved the way for companies to get the leverage they need to keep their products and services noticed. I agree that other forms of media such as print and even infomercials may now be integrated seamlessly with online marketing strategies. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Great blend of online and offline marketing strategy could help your business amplify its sales. Social media is indeed important for marketing a business, however, there are consumers who are more receptive to more tangible marketing tools like business cards and promotional items.

    1. That’s true Danica. Not everyone is online. So, to reach the most people, we need to combine strategies. Cross promotion is the key. Earlier today, we drove by a local kitchen design business and they had one of those portable electronic signs near the street reminding us to “like” them on Facebook. For some reason, that made me smile. They’re usually reminding us of their newest products or special sales but that one sentence made the business more personal to me.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

  4. I am always surprised at how many business owners ignore including their customer testimonials, Daniela – seems to be so obvious, doesn’t it?
    Ana recently posted..Aweber ReviewMy Profile

    1. Ana, I have to confess that I have not added a testimonial page to my own site. Several of my clients have brought that to my attention. I promise one is coming soon along with a revised services page and a few other tweaks. I’ve been neglecting my own site while tending to client sites. That’s not good.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

    2. I recently wrote a post on how to use customer testimonials effectively. You can check it out over at the Fasthosts blog.

  5. Hi Sheryll,

    I did not know how much time it took me to read this fabulous article plus these interesting comments from your readers 😉 Well just wanted to say hi and commend you on this very wonderful blog.



  6. I find the most effective way to build your social media fan base is a traditional marketing strategy: sweepstakes and giveaways. With a minimal investment and the right management you can grow your fan base and broaden your sphere of influence very quickly.

  7. One way is by simply ASKING readers and customers on what would they like. If your customers are online most of the time, then there is no point in wasting money with billboards ads

  8. Striking a balance in business strategies is always good. Social media has been very useful especially to small business owners because it gives them an easy access to potential customers. But I agree that while it is easy to find customers, it’s hard to get their loyalty and build a relationship with them. I think social media is effective in finding customers but the best way to engage and keep them is through traditional and proven marketing strategies.

    1. I think it’s very possible to engage and interact with customers and clients online. I don’t think it’s as easy as people would like to think and it can be time consuming but it can be extremely effective. There needs to be a conversation. The advantage (and potentially disadvantage) is that the conversation is very public. The other potential problem is that online communications lack that in-person contact. We miss intention that comes from verbal clues as well as physical. Tone of voice, eye-rolls, smiles – this is lost online. So, it becomes critical to make sure that what you’re posting communicates what you intend.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

      1. I agree that online interaction with clients is time consuming but very effective as son as you earn your client’s trust. Adding that personal touch is a big challenge online but with extra efforts, you can come across properly.

  9. All of these are great ideas – they key for my own marketing success has been to make sure that all of our marketing campaigns have both an online and offline component and that they are strategically planned from the beginning to work together and play off each other to reach the same goal. For example, a direct mail piece may mention an email that is coming soon etc.
    Jennifer Bourn recently posted..4 Things You Must Know When Creating Your Irresistible Free OfferMy Profile

  10. Great Marketing Strategies. I appreciate it very much, with the huge increase of online marketing they are probably forget the traditional strategies which is still contributes a great help. By the way thanks Sheryll for sharing this I learn a lot more about traditional marketing.

  11. Marketing sure has changed over the years. Not only with the invent of the internet, but with all these new sites, gadgets, and features that pop up all the time. It’s actually tough to keep up with it. That’s why we have sites like keepupwiththeweb right. I know a few older business owners that are sort of old schooled. Nothing wrong with that, but I bet online marketing is a difficult for them to understand or grasp.
    Ray recently posted..Using Hotlink ProtectionMy Profile

    1. Hi Ray,
      It’s good to hear from you. I have one client in particular who is very old schooled. He’s a commercial scalloper and he’s the first to admit that he’s not up to speed on the Internet. I built a simple website for him and he basically lets me babysit it for him. The one thing that I would like to convince him to do is is use an email that’s associated with his domain name. He had insisted on sending all of his business correspondence using an AOL account. At least now, he’s upgraded to Gmail. 🙂 Still, he’s branding Google not his business.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Impact does Social Media Have on Businesses?My Profile

  12. I’m a huge proponent in advising the businesses we work with to integrate social media into their day to day operations. We had a lot of success with a small mom and pop restaurant with passing out a ‘review’ card receipt that directed the customers to their new Facebook page where there were coupons available after liking the page. Great because most of their friends are usually from around that area so it’s great for targeted marketing. Enjoyed your post!

    1. Hi Charles,
      Thanks for sharing an excellent example of marketing strategy that combines a traditional piece of printed collateral (the review/receipt) along with an online reward on a social media site (their Facebook) page. What’s great about this is that (as you point out) the friends of the person who liked the restaurant page, will most likely check it out. It’s great word of mouth advertising and definitely builds awareness.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

  13. Great post. Although there are a lot of new ways today in marketing, the traditional methods are still important. So balance is all we need. Thanks for sharing this.

  14. I’m a newbie, and have to admit that I have been frustrated to do my online strategies. Reading your article has given me more motivation! I am going to read all your articles and I’m glad that I found your blog, and I believe it is a great resource. Thank you so much for the advice!

    1. You’re welcome Becca. Everyone has to start somewhere and there is so much to do at time that it can seem overwhelming. My advice to someone getting started is to decide on a user name that fits with your brand and that you can reserve on sites like Twitter. Then, go to and create a (free) globally recognized avatar. That’s a big first step in starting to build online recognition. Good luck!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

  15. I have tried marketing on Facebook and other social places but it is really hard to get your name out there. I think you need to get people locally to know you then market on Facebook and then the word will start spreading fast.

    1. Joe,
      I think it depends on what your product/service is. As a website designer, it makes sense for you to promote your business locally. There are so many opportunities for website designers to network and build their name. As for Facebook, again, it depends on your product/service is. I think the key to Facebook and other social places is to build a strong community and stay active in it. I’ve found opportunities this way.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Community Building and Having an Online Support SystemMy Profile

  16. These are all great examples of how to combine the power of social media, web and print. It really is part of an overall strategy. Obviously design has to be a large part of this to bring home the ATTENTION part of AIDA, but what do I know. 😉
    Dennis Salvatier recently posted..Your Design Needs a FaceliftMy Profile

    1. “. . . but what do I know” – very funny Dennis. 🙂

      If any reader here doesn’t already know, Dennis is an awesome graphic designer and I hope to be publishing a guest post by him soon.

  17. Such a useful tips and marketing strategies. As internet popularity increases most of us forget about traditional marketing strategies, they actually ignore it and for them it is a matter of wasting time. I find traditional marketing strategies are more efficient and that must all small and big business owners look up. Thumbs up for you Daniella for this awesome post and thanks be to Sheryll for this guest post.

  18. Such a great article! My resolution for the new year was to live up my blog, make it more attractive and through these steps to increase my traffic! I’m sure that your tips would help me to reach these goals, so thanks you for sharing your tips!

    1. Thanks for joining us Cindy. I hope my blog helps you to achieve your goals. This is a very active community here and lots of the readers who leave comments are experts in their own fields. I highly recommend reading through the comments and if someone leaves a comment that resonates with you, connect with them on Twitter and follow a link to their blogs. It’s a great way to expand your online community which will help you build awareness while learning some great tips on increasing your traffic.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

  19. A bunch of useful tips to make the most of your marketing techniques. However, I personally feel traditional methods are no more that sharp. Social marketing (in shadow of digital media marketing) will take over, completely! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for joining us Sandra. I’ll leave it to the marketing gurus to tout the benefits of traditional marketing. I believe that everything comes back to the basics. Social media is a tool – one among many. Also, your niche target market plays a huge role in the tools that are most effective for you. Not everyone is online.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Marketing Message?My Profile

  20. Very good reminders on what we can do and what is not good to do. Sometimes we need to read something like this in order have a more clear vision in our head about our marketing strategies:)

  21. Hi Sherryl ,

    Wow! Great tips! Indeed traditional marketing strategy still work even in our technology driven world. I’ll definitely keep this in mind. Happy new year to you.

  22. Beautiful techniques, i must admit. Granted, traditional marketing still works if done right, but how much more work does it involve to get the same results as with social marketing? And why not combine them to achieve even greater results? I’m confident everyone will reach this conclusion sooner or later, we should profit while we’re still ahead.

  23. Good article Sherryl!

    Testimonials are very powerful and more companies should use them. The best one I have ever used was written for the company I worked for in Saudi Arabia by someone from the US army. He wrote that if it hadn’t been for the company I worked for the United States would never have managed to liberate Kuwait (when Saddam had invaded). The Saudi company had not used the testimonial until I put a change to that.
    Catarina Alexon recently posted..Would you like a Golden Ticket at Goldman Sachs?My Profile

    1. So true. For new customers, testimonials are the closest thing to a personal recommendation.Obtaining testimonials from past customers and recognized business professionals will increase respect for your brand.

  24. It really is a amazing at how many companies are not blending their media in an efficient way. It seems like the smaller companies have a real importunity here to move faster and smart than their business rivals to build real relationships through social channels and continue to engage and build loyalty for the long run. I think the bigger company’s still don’t get.
    Dan Keller recently posted..CES – a look back at the epic fails of the past and betting on the losers of 2012My Profile

    1. It’s especially amazing to me when companies who have budgets don’t invest wisely in social media as well as traditional marketing strategies. One of my favorite blog posts is about a company that I used to do business with when I used an 800#.This is not a big brand company but they’re on their way as far as I’m concerned.

      If you or anyone else reading this hasn’t read my post “Ambassador of Buzz – Social Networking Done Right, I’ve attached it to this comment. This company embraces integrating social media into their overall strategy. Thanks for dropping by Dan.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

  25. Great post. Combining both traditional and social networking strategies bring best of the two worlds. It opens a wide door open to all those great opportunities that are available when linked together.

    1. I think it can be tempting to rely mainly on social networking strategies because your biggest investment can be your time (and unfortunately it’s easy to devalue our time). This article by Daniela was a timely reminder that it’s equally important to use traditional marketing methods not only for those of us online but also we need to keep in mind that some people are not online at all.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

  26. Hi Danielle and Sherryl,
    Where are blogs on your infographic Danielle? Never forget blogs are the heart and soul of social media.

    1. Hi Catherine,
      Up at the very top of the infographic it does have “8% of small business owners have a company blog” and “6% of small business owners have a You-Tube or video streaming channel”. Those numbers seem low to me but I don’t know what constitutes a small business in this infographic.

      Other than solpreneurs, most of the small businesses that I personally interact with resist when I talk about blogging. (I’m generally referring to businesses who have less than five employees and are basically sole proprietors.) I’ve built quite a few websites using WordPress with the intention that we’ll add a blog later and to date not one of those clients have wanted to commit to blogging.

      What’s your experience Catherine? Do you deal primarily with larger businesses?
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Steps to Develop a Branding Strategy for Social MediaMy Profile

  27. I didn’t combine traditional marketing with online marketing strategies. Actually I think I shouldn’t bother at all because trends are favor of online marketing, which tends towards mobile apps. So I focus on online marketing and tend to be preoccupied about ads that are visible on mobiles too.

    1. Which marketing method to use depends on your audience too. That’s why it’s important to actually get to know your audience. (It’s surprising how many businesses still don’t take enough time to get to know their audience) If they are mostly young, internet savvy people I can definitely see your point about sticking to online marketing only.

      1. I understand where you’re going with this. You’re right. But how can you know your audience properly? I think this should be the first step before starting a business, so you’d know how to choose a website design, to set the right price, to choose the right approach, and then you can start a marketing campaign.

  28. Hey Daniela,

    Great marketing methods, especially offering special discounts to customers who take action online. Online strategies have replaced traditional marketing methods for the most part, but combining the two will definitely help produce better results.

  29. I love your point about creating synergy between your online and offline materials. They really do need to work in unison. And you’ve given everyone hear some solid advice. I’m trying (and we need to talk soon) to come up with some better strategies behind my marketing. I know that is had to be relationship based, because that is where I excel and I’ve never tried that before. And by the way, many of my clients have put up the work I’ve done for them on their facebook and it’s great to see the feedback in their comments section. It hasn’t led to any new work, but you have to say consistent.
    Dennis Salvatier recently posted..A Brand Doesn’t Need To Be Eye-CatchingMy Profile

    1. I would love to talk to you Dennis. This guest post by Daniela actually got me thinking about asking you (and a least one other regular reader here) if you might want to write a guest post. You know that I’m a huge fan of your illustrations and graphic design work. Graphic design is fundamental to both marketing and branding.

      As for the relationships you’re building and the good will that you have with former clients, it’s just a matter of time before you will see work coming your way in the form of referrals. Last year, a woman who I had networked with years ago contacted me. Unbeknownst to me, she had been reading my blog and following me on Facebook. We reconnected and I worked with her to redesign and launch a new website that incorporates blogging. My point is, that it’s very possible that you’ll benefit tomorrow from something that you did years ago. It happens all the time.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Marketing Message?My Profile

    1. Since you mentioned business cards. A great way to combine traditional marketing with social media marketing is to put a QR code on your business card.

  30. Daniela,

    These are wonderful tips. With the increased use of the internet and social media, many are abandoning the traditional methods of marketing instead of using an integrated marketing approach. I tell my clients not everyone spends all their time on the internet and do not miss out on the opportunity to reach those who do not use the internet regularly. Talk to you customers and find out where they spend their time besides the internet. Traditional media may be more costly, but can also see results sooner.


  31. Hi Daniela

    Good to see some of the “old” ways still work. And I so enjoy social media so that’s one I can do too.

    Combining the two should see some traction with my marketing plans for 2012. thanks for sharing your tips. Appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  32. Great tips on making the most of your marketing. I think its easy to forget the traditional forms of marketing since its become all about social. The ones who make the most of the opportunity find that happy balance between the two worlds.

    1. Thanks Jackie. When Daniela approached me with ideas for a guest post, she suggested this topic and I embraced the idea. I find myself blogging about the online aspect of marketing the most because that’s my specialty but traditional marketing should definitely not be neglected.

      I read your post yesterday about ” A Tool To Remove Repetitive Tasks In Your Online Business”. That’s a great find!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

  33. I am amazed at how many people still don’t do this. There are a lot of small business owners who are not online. There is a lot of fear of technology today, they believe it is too difficult and too time consuming to implement in the first place. For those that are marketing their business online, this is a great reminder. It’s actually a little humorous to see people’s contact information these days. With the increase in social media, business owners have a fanpage, twitter, google+, website, skype, mobile, phone number. I remember the old days when people would use phone, email, address & maybe a website. So much has changed!

    1. Sorry to take up more space Sherryl but I’m really into this discussion.
      What Sharon say’s is so very true. I find that in the UK, businesses seem to be lightyears behind the U.S, when it comes to Internet marketing.
      I recently run an offer on Faceook business pages, (iframe tabs). £39 for a unique, professional FB page. I’m sure that you will agree that this is a tiny investment for long term effective advertising. The response was just appalining. Left me wishing that I had not wasted my time setting up the offer. Stats show that nearly half of small businesses in the UK have no website at all. Trying to explain that SEO is a fantastic medium to long term investment is like banging your head against a wall. The upside is that it’s often very easy to rank for local keywords. There simply is no competition.
      Steve recently posted..Using A Presonal Profile For Your Business On FaceBook Will Get You Kicked OffMy Profile

      1. Steve,
        Please, leave as many comments as you’d like. I love a healthy discussion!

        I’m a little surprised to hear that you believe that businesses in the UK are behind the U.S. when it comes to Internet marketing. Why not target your Facebook business page offer to businesses in the U.S. then? My website hosting vendor is based in the UK. I don’t believe there are barriers when it comes to web based services other than language and with effort, that can certainly be overcome.

        On the other hand, I am not surprised if there is a huge difference between UK businesses and businesses here in the U.S. You may have read articles from me before that I’ve written about my experience with a business that my husband and I ventured in. It focused on virtual tour photography which is looked upon (and valued) in Europe. Unfortunately for us, in the U.S., virtual tours are associated with real estate which made our product feel like a throw-away item to many small businesses. That felt like banging our heads against a wall. So, I can certainly relate to you.
        Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 SEO Tips to Optimize your WordPress BlogMy Profile

        1. Well Sherryl, the reason I targeted local businesses with my offer is because my business is new (only 3 months in) and I’m working to a business plan. The idea is to build my reputation locally first. I have been trying to deal with businesses that I can have direct contact with while finding my feet. The FaceBook business page offer was a loss leader, to help get my company name around local circles and at the bottom of some local FB business pages.
          The ironic thing is that I find myself in talks with an Italian hotel chain. If I get the business, it will be my biggest project to date. You say your hosting provider is in the UK. Mine is in the US. How funny.
          Steve recently posted..Save Money And Do More BusinessMy Profile

          1. I knew you had a good reason Steve. I had no idea that your business is so new. (Good job on creating an online presence so quickly!) Now I understand your loss-leader strategy. That makes sense.

            It’s interesting that you’re in conversation with an Italian hotel chain. (Good luck with that.) It is funny that I’m hosting with a company that’s headquartered in the UK and you’re dealing with a U.S. company. The actual server that my websites are hosted on is in Texas. 🙂 All this is a snapshot of our global economy.
            Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Marketing Message?My Profile

            1. It’s getting even more spookey now Sherryl. My server is in Texas too. Looks like we are neighbours, of sorts.
              Although my business is new, I started my blog in July to give myself a head start. I’m also in the throws of setting up a new FB business page offer with a free PDF as an incentive for liking the my page. Got to keep exploring new avenues. I will leave this discussion now. Feel guilty for taking up all your comment space. It has been great though. Thank’s for engaging with me.
              Steve recently posted..How To Set Up Google Authorship Markup On WordPressMy Profile

          2. I’m doing the exact same thing as you Steve. I’ve been operating a free business directory for local businesses for a couple of years and have been responsible for their sales. When I first started the site, I alerted all of the local businesses to what I was doing but did not charge them.

            Some of theme could not understand why I would give up my own time to do this but now they do – it has created a valuable source of traffic that can be monestised after waiting for a while to build that quality.

            You have to understand that it takes time to let people work out for themselves what it is you’re doing. In my situation, it was the CUSTOMERS who did my sales for me; they were informing the businesses I was free marketing for exactly how they found them. Evidently, I was almost getting in the way of convincing the business owners. They just would not listen. Now, they understand.

            It’s worth being patient because the income I make is recurring monthly and increasing. I know your situation is not identical but a good business model, lots of planning and the factoring in of some type of loss (time in most cases) is worth doing.

            Thankfully I monetised the site with Adsense early on so I had that to fall back on as well.

    1. Re-purposing is such a time and cost saver, however most businesses either aren’t aware of it or seem to forget.

    2. Re-purposing offline presentations for online distribution is an excellent suggestion Susan. It’s a great way to encourage people to visit your website. In addition to encouraging them to view or download the presentation online, you can also offer an incentive/special exclusively for them.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Marketing Message?My Profile

  34. First post of the new year Sherryl and a very good one it is too.
    I now offer a free FaceBook business page (just a simple welcome tab) to all new clients who spend over a certain freshold. This not only helps to get them used to the benefits that FaceBook has to offer but I get a small add at the bottom of each page. The other benefit is that often this leads to them upgrading to a tab that has two variations of the page offering an incentive to like the page. It’s good for me and it’s good for the client.
    Steve recently posted..Using A Presonal Profile For Your Business On FaceBook Will Get You Kicked OffMy Profile

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