Potential clients ask all the time, “What is all of this social/digital/interactive media stuff and why should I care about it for my business?”

My general response goes something like this, “It is a way for you to interact, educate, sell to, and communicate with your customers.”  Let me give you some ideas to think about.

According to a BIAKelsey Group Study and this Small Business Search Marketing article, “97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area. What specific online research tools do they use?

  • 90% use search engines
  • 48% use Internet Yellow Pages
  • 42% use comparison shopping sites
  • 24% use vertical sites
The article goes on to point out that “consumers use 7.9 different media sources for research when looking for local products and services.”  So that means, you need to be visible in a number of places, and in a number of ways, that will attract people who are looking for your product or service.

So let’s take a look at ways you, and your business, can be visible in the digital world:

Social Media: (eg Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, blogs, etc.)  These platforms are a great way to interact with your customers, vendors, as well as competitors to see what is going on in the market place, update them on changes within your organization, as well as have discussions about changes that may be coming in your industry.  You can absolutely use these as marketing tools as well, as long as you play by the rules of the social community, and don’t over sell.

Digital Media: This can cover a lot of things, including Social and Interactive, but for this section let’s just think in terms of audio, video and animation.  You can use audio clips, video and animation a lot of ways in your business.  From placing a simple video on your website to inform potential customers about your services, to animations describing how your products work under given circumstances, using these visual mediums to educate your customers goes a lot farther at building confidence in their minds than just the written word.

Interactive Media: I refer to interactive media as anything that your audience can click on or interact with, which again can include social and digital.  This could be anything from a video with a link embedded to drive them to a sales page on your web site, or to a training course for your new employees, or even a paid one day video conference to learn a new technique or sales strategy that works in your industry.

So you can see that all of these terms can overlap, and a lot of times are used interchangeably in the digital world. But this is just a forty thousand foot view of some of the ways that “digital media” can be used in your business.  If I can be of assistance to help you figure out how to use it for marketing, training, or to generate extra income, feel free to contact me.

Lastly, I will be a guest on Kristin Tew’s Personal Best Radio, this Saturday at 4pm central.  Visit http://www.personalbestshow.com and click on “Listen Live” at 4pm central to hear the show live, or go to the “Podcast” section of personalbestshow.com after the show airs to hear the recorded version.  Kristin has great guests, so be sure to check out her other podcasts, and sign up for her Questor newsletter as well!