The Digital Revolution
Think back to a time when sitcom mothers in pearls with perfectly manicured hands sat at kitchen tables, smiling happily as they clipped coupons and jotted down thoughts about the evening's dinner in a notepad. Life seemed like a simpler time back then, didn't it? In the same scene, the men in their lives were probably sitting back in a chair, nibbling on a slice of buttered toast and reading the newspaper or fiddling with the dials of a radio, completely engrossed in thier daily intake of the world's events.
Even before any dialogue begins, so much is being said about the way these people gained information. Paper dominated much of the process, in the coupons and the morning news, and before televisions - and especially before computers - were widely used, radios allowed people to listen to broadcasts. Fast forward by just under half a century, and all of these separate modes of information have been condensed into a single electronic device, depending on your preference.
How can this help your small business? By knowing how these elements are being actively used today, you can still deliver the kinds of information that the couple in the above example looked for every day, but with a new, more savvy audience in mind.
Coupons went digital
Comparatively, the difference a few years of electronic evolution can make has taken technology from I Love Lucy standards to something The Jetsons would be comfortable with. Even the act of clipping coupons, for instance, has been transformed into a point-and-click digital exercise. Although the method of collecting these deals uses much less paper, don't think for a moment that people are using them less frequently. In fact, because they can be downloaded directly to their smartphones and laptops, it stands to reason that the people from the bygone era of newspapers and Sunday clippings would be just as inclined to look for them across these digital portals as well.
Groupon's interest in small businesses suggests that the motivation to collect coupons is alive and well in the digital age. Although this business, which provides users with unique, local deals, began as a means of marketing larger companies in bigger metropolitan areas, the success of this growing enterprise led to the inclusion of smaller corporations, who are now capable of submitting their own daily coupons. You don't have to be a tech whiz to automate this, either - according to Smart Company, the process by which Groupon recognizes your business is as simple as following a simple template.
Online radio and podcasts
While Ricky Ricardo might have been fond of the knobs and dials of his standup radio, small business owners now have the luxury of sending their promotional materials straight into the ears of individuals who listen to Web-based broadcasts. Whether with pre-recorded podcasts or from a spot on a recurring show, if you're interested in supporting your brand through this medium, all you really need is an idea and a connection to the right kinds of audio-savvy people who know a thing or two about hosting content online.
How will this grow your small business? In the same way that SEO content, which helps fill out your website in the form of text-based articles and whitepapers, podcasts can help lure potential consumers to your online presence who might not otherwise have known you existed. Typically, this starts with consumers performing a general search in Google, and where it leads them could very well be to your company's website. As a general note, however, if you start sending podcasts or radio broadcasts live, it's important to keep up with them. Consumers love consistency.