Before you come up with your next radio jingle or catchy headline for your billboard, ask yourself: how can I engage with the people who see this or hear this? No one can click the billboard or “like” your radio jingle. But you can use these mediums to drive traffic to your digital properties and engage with them there.

Some companies do this beautifully and it pays off big time! And I’m not talking about the diner with the billboard that says “Like us on Facebook.”

Here are 3 examples of businesses who are thinking digital first:



1. seoplus+ – Leveraging Events to Grow your Social Following

Two of my brave colleagues ventured out to a very crowded Esty event a few months ago to promote the seoplus+ Instagram channel. We ran a contest where event goers could win a $250 Etsy gift card by engaging with our Instagram account. In addition to promoting the event online, we printed out hundreds of copies of the following post card. We tripled our following over the weekend!

Etsy Instagram

2. Scissors Hair Studio – In-store Christmas Contest

One of my colleagues is a customer at Scissors Hair Studio in Kanata. Last year the salon ran an event leading up to Christmas called “12 Days of Giveaways.” They asked customers who visited the salon to like them on Facebook and share a post for a chance to win one of 12 gifts. This was the most engagement on their Facebook page they ever had.

Scissors Hair Studio

3. Harper’s Burger Bar – Get A Burger Named After You

If you’re ever in Kingston and looking for a Burger – check out Harper’s. They make a burger with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns! I had lunch there last year with some family and they were running a “Get A Burger Named After You” contest.  Diners were invited to visit the website and enter a burger recipe for a chance to have your burger added to their menu. They promoted the contest in the restaurant, but also on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (using #BDHGContest).

Harper's BYOB Contest

My deep fried frickle burger didn’t win, but I engaged with their website and they made a great impression on me.

Now that you have some inspiration, here are some benefits of thinking digital first.

There are countless benefits of combining digital marketing and traditional marketing – you can capture e-mails and stay in touch, you can drive traffic to your social media and website and build relationships online, you can even rank higher in the search engines.


Benefit 1 – Your Rankings Will Improve

If Google sees that lots of consumers are searching for a specific brand, this reinforces to them that you are a relevant and trusted brand.  So naturally, you would think Google will show these companies higher in the SERPS. There is a lot of correlation that shows me this is true. Of course no one knows exactly what is in Google’s algorithms, but I’ve seen enough evidence to be very confident this is true.

Benefit 2 – You Bring People into your Digital Sales Funnel

Once a consumer comes to your website, the chance they will buy from you goes up. Traditional advertising is very passive, but one someone comes to your website they are engaging with you. They are actively involved.

Usually prospects come to your website they don’t make a purchase right away, but you can increase your chances of them doing business with you by…

  1. Retargeting them
  2. Capturing an e-mail and marketing to them over time
  3. Impress them with your awesome website, so they are more likely to buy from you
  4. Drive them to your social media channels, so you can continue to engage with them


Benefit 3 – Improve the ROI on your traditional advertising

I have colleagues who used to sell radio advertising. They would tell their clients “Radio is a cost of doing business”. In other words, you won’t generate an ROI – it is an expense.

But if you use all the branding marketing tools – radio, television, newspaper, billboards, to drive traffic to your website and start developing relationships with consumers, you will get a lot more out of this advertising.

The main takeaway from this is – traditional advertising is still very important. If you can execute a strategy that connects both traditional advertising and digital, you will have a big competitive advantage.


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Derek Cosgrove

Derek has 10 years of digital marketing experience and is a Senior Account Manager at seoplus+. He specializes in helping local businesses and Shopify stores with their digital marketing.