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The world of marketing and advertising is changing. Thanks to the digital revolution and the proliferation of online communities, there are now more ways to reach potential customers than ever before. The only real question is: How do you choose which channels to focus on and which ones to leave alone?

Traditional Marketing and Advertising Models Are No Longer Suitable

Traditional marketing and advertising models, which rely heavily on physical, offline spaces such as billboards, radio stations, and billboards, are no longer suitable for creating relevant content in today’s digital world.

Offline spaces like TV stations and radio stations have their perks, but creating rich media that can be consumed in real time online and on mobile devices provides a much greater reach to potential customers.

These mediums are much more effective at drawing in and keeping audiences than older models like billboards and radio stations. They also allow for much more flexibility when it comes to content creation.

Creative Content Drives Audience Engagement

Before the digital revolution, billboards and radio stations were the only ways to get consumers’ attention. Back then, creative content such as an incredible offer or a unique perspective were the only ways to secure a few eyeballs.

With the dawn of the internet age, creative content took precedence as brands scrambled to engage audiences. From interactive infographics to video content, these content types continue to be highly effective at drawing in and keeping attention. In fact, videos consumed on mobile devices now reach 7X the reach of an average website click.

In addition to being highly effective, these content types also allow for more creativity. While billboards and radio stations promote a product or service by simply displaying it, creative content encourages readers or listeners to take action. This is why infographics are often hailed as the “visual Twitter.”

As a brand, you now have the opportunity to create content that is both eye-catching and informative. If you’re looking to engage with consumers through content, infographics remain one of the best ways to do it. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 79% of consumers have engaged with content because it was interesting or informative.

Traditional Advertising Models Aren’t Dead Yet

While offline spaces continue to lose popularity, traditional advertising models, which range from print ads in newspapers to radio ads, aren’t going away anytime soon.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 20% of consumers have actively looked for products advertised in traditional media, while 16% of consumers have bought a product inspired by an ad they saw. This suggests that despite the fact that offline spaces aren’t what they used to be, they aren’t completely obsolete.

While your first instinct may be to reach out to your audience through traditional marketing and advertising, you should exercise caution. What works for a smaller business may not work for a large one, and vice versa. There are more ways to connect with consumers than ever before, and you need to find the ones that work best for your business.

Choose Your Content Platforms Wisely

With more than 800 million monthly active users across all social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, it’s evident that people choose to consume content on these platforms rather than on websites. While this may be good for businesses that want to connect with consumers on social media, it also means that you have more options when it comes to your content’s reach. You can’t please everyone, and having multiple content platforms is the way to go.

When deciding which platforms to utilize, you need to think about your target audience. Are you trying to reach rural audiences in the Midwest who visit forums on a website called Reddit? Or do you want to connect with fans of a TV show on YouTube who also visit your blog? The answer may lie in the platform itself. For example, focusing on Reddit allows you to target audiences in specific areas while also connecting with people who watch or read your blog regularly.

The Importance of User Experience

In 2018, online marketing and advertising will continue to evolve as consumers’ expectations rise. While content marketing has existed for years, the importance of a flawless user experience has grown in tandem with the rise of digital marketing and social media.

You need to ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate. From the moment a visitor enters your website, they should immediately know what it is they’re looking for.

User experience determines a product’s or service’s ‘likeliness’ to a potential customer. When someone experiences something unpleasant, that negative feeling can often times turn into a dislike for a particular product or service. For example, if I’m browsing a website and I find that the font is a little too small, the overall appearance a little dull, and the layout a little messy…I may become less likely to buy that particular product or service.

A well-designed website is an attractive proposition. Not only does a well-designed website present a polished image, but it can also provide useful information to potential customers. If I’m unable to find the information I’m looking for on your site, it would be a waste of my time.

Conversely, A Cluttered Website Can Result in An Unpleasant Experience

While a well-designed website can make a huge difference, a cluttered, unorganized website can sometimes result in an unpleasant experience for the user. A cluttered website can make it difficult for a user to find what they’re looking for, and when that happens, even the smoothest operation can turn into a frustrating experience.

For instance, say I’m browsing a website and I see a table that looks intriguing. I click on the table to learn more, but when I do, I discover that it’s filled with information that is essentially useless to me. In that instance, even if your website is well designed and the information is valuable, I may choose to leave your website because the experience was unpleasant.

Having a clear plan for content strategy will help guide the development and execution of your content marketing plan. As a marketer, it’s your job to determine what works best for your business and to choose your platforms wisely. This will help you develop a strategy to reach your audience, which in turn will help you attract, engage, and convert them into customers.