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Integrating Offline Marketing With Social Media

  |  February 2, 2011   |  Comments

Five lessons learned from Radio Shack for integrating your online marketing efforts.

I'm always intrigued when companies start to integrate their offline advertising campaigns with online marketing efforts like social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay per click (PPC) marketing. Companies often miss great opportunities to integrate these channels. Every once in a while a campaign comes along that actually gets things right on one or two channels, but misses some key opportunities to capitalize even more. Such is the case of Radio Shack.

Now wanting to be known as "The Shack," it has launched a catchy television commercial campaign. It worked well enough for me to be interested to Google what was in the commercial. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't the products that it sells that caught my attention, but the characters within the commercial – a couple of squirrels. Because the commercial shows these animated squirrels watching a YouTube video, guess what I did? I Googled "squirrel sunglasses," which is the name of the video shown in the commercials.

The Shack's team got this right – it's ranking in first place (on both Web browser and mobile browser) for the term "squirrel sunglasses." That wouldn't be that difficult since it's not really a term people are searching for that often.


Not being privy to the end goal of the strategy that was launched, I would have to guess that one of the goals was to drive people to follow The Shack on Twitter. That's very clear towards the end of the commercial (and video). The following screenshot shows the ending of the video on Radio Shack's channel (all of its videos that feature the squirrels end this way) promoting the Twitter account.


Where The Shack missed the opportunity to capitalize even more was in its titles, descriptions, and tags on the videos. The company also missed out on promoting its own website and, in some ways, promoting the products it sells.


People in general still don't know that "The Shack" is actually Radio Shack, so ensuring they know what website to go to is pretty important here, especially if you were in a situation where you hear the squirrels say "The Shack" and don't see the video. By adding your URL to your site in the beginning of the description, it gives the viewer something to click on after the video. It could even link to the actual Twitter account as well, if that is the true end goal.

Instead of using tags of what the squirrels are saying, what about using the terms "iPad," "mobile phone," "iPhone," or "Bluetooth headset" – all products featured in the video? That would definitely get the interest of anyone looking for these terms if the video pops up with it.

When I see opportunities like this, I relate it back to audiences as clear opportunities for improving your own efforts. So here are some quick tips to keep in mind when you're strategizing to integrate your online marketing efforts:

  • Remember Facebook isn't a search engine. Don't just say "Find Us On Facebook," or "Join our Facebook Fan Page." Believe it or not, it's not that easy to find companies or products that are major brands (i.e., Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's) on Facebook. Make sure you get your vanity URL for your Facebook fan page and promote that URL on all your offline marketing efforts.
  • Add your URL to descriptions in videos and photos on sharing sites. Just showing your URL in the video or image on a sharing site like YouTube or Flickr isn't enough. Visitors who are viewing your content want things easy; they just want to click, not to copy and paste or even write it down. Both YouTube and Flickr will turn your link into a clickable link if you place it in the description, so use this to your advantage!
  • Tagging: think about how you want to be found. Don't just focus on your brand terms, think about how people talk about you, your products, or your services. In the Radio Shack example above, I might have searched for "squirrel with iPad," because in the commercial the squirrel is using an iPad, but no where is that featured in the description or tags.
  • Descriptions and titles: don't just be cute – be smart! "Squirrel Sunglasses" makes sense for this video, but Radio Shack should have added something along the lines of "Radio Shack Commercial" to the title because people will be more likely to search for "Radio Shack Squirrel Commercial" than "Squirrel Sunglasses." If you're bringing your offline content online, make sure your branding flows through all the channels. People will search in search engines and on social channels for your brand.
  • Bring your offline content online and optimize it. If you have catchy commercials, interesting marketing literature, or even intriguing ads in radio or print, get them online in some fashion. People who like your brand or have found it useful or valuable will want to share it with their own network of friends and family members. Employees might want to share something of yours they saw at a conference or on TV with their bosses. Extend the life of your offline marketing efforts by bringing it online and making it easy to be found.


Liana Evans

Liana "Li" Evans is the author of the award winning social media marketing book, "Social Media Marketing: Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media" and she is the president and CEO of Da Li Social, as well as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University's Mini MBA Program. Liana has also been featured in the books "Online Marketing Heroes" and "Video Marketing An Hour a Day." As an established online marketing industry veteran with over 15 years of experience she's focused her unique skillset to specialize in integrated marketing and how companies can successfully strategize integrating all online marketing channels as well as offline traditional media. Her deep technical combined with a public relations background enables her to partner with clients for establishing successful online marketing campaigns that combine cross-channel tactics cohesively.

Li was the search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing architect for such companies as QVC and Comcast (Fancast) and has consulted with several other different sized companies such as AOL MovieFone. Her wealth of knowledge in dealing with large e-commerce and content sites allows her a wider perspective into what it takes to launch successful marketing campaigns in the online space.

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