The Six Components of Integrated Marketing
Marketing 101: you’ve got a Web site, opened a Facebook page, and signed up with an e-mail marketing platform. It’s great that your lists are growing, even though your workload is increasing, but you’re finding that your sales aren’t responding the same way. Integrated Marketing 101: your Web site, Facebook page, and e-mail campaigns work together to bring you qualified leads with a high close rate.
We agree that the second one sounds much more appealing. Integrated marketing is a vital tool that most companies are finding is increasing their sales, bringing in loyal customers and dedicated followers.
What is Integrated Marketing, Anyway?
Marketing is marketing, right? Yes and no. While the essence of marketing is to get your company’s brand and message out to as many people as possible so that your sales team has qualified leads, there has been a shift over the past few years in the way marketers do this. As the world of Internet and device applications and platforms has grown, so have the various avenues of marketing, giving way to a new breed of customers and the way they want to receive their information.
Traditional marketing, or push marketing, is still an effective resource. These options can include press releases, brochures, flyers, direct mail pieces, and business cards, among other tangible, hands-on pieces. It’s called push marketing because you, the business who is doing the marketing, are pushing out content for consumers to absorb. This is still a viable means of sharing your story and message, and there is a definite place for push marketing in a solid, well-rounded marketing plan.
However, the trend has been leaning toward pull marketing — a strategy that includes integrated marketing and content marketing. In pull marketing, consumers and prospects are seeking information about your business, and your business attracts them as a result of the added value and care that are give at each point of contact. The goal is to create a loyal audience of followers who return sale after sale because of the value you provide. While push marketing is more short-term and numbers-driven, pull marketing is a way to create a lifelong customer who is faithful to your brand.
According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute, 77 percent of business to consumer marketers expect to increase their content marketing efforts in 2016, and 50 percent plan to increase their content marketing spending over the next 12 months.
Whether they are paying for ads or dedicating time to building a blog, marketers for businesses of all sizes are pulling together various Internet-based components to create a multi-faceted approach to reaching their prospects.
The 6 Content Components
Let’s take a look at the primary components of a well-rounded integrated digital marketing strategy.
- Web site
Your Web site is the primary hub for your digital information. This is where your audience will often begin their research. While they may be looking for information specific to your products and services, consumers are more than likely also looking for companies they can trust — one of the best ways to create that trust is to be forthcoming. The Internet has made it far easier to find in-depth histories, biographies and personal details about company leadership, news about products or services, or recalls and values.
Forbes hit the nail on the head when they told readers, “Your site’s web design affects your entire internet presence.” The design elements should work harmoniously with the content you provide; the study Forbes quoted showed that 94 percent of the factors that caused a consumer to mistrust a Web site were directly related to design elements.
Working with a top web designer to create a top-notch, attractive site is the first step in a solid digital marketing strategy.
- Search Engine Optimization
Now that you’ve got this amazing site, it’s only natural that you want people to visit. Search engine optimization will become your new best friend. SEO is the art of understanding what your consumers are looking for, and generating content that fills that need. This is called inbound marketing — when you create valuable content to attract the attention of prospects and bring them to you. Search Engine Journal says that inbound marketing leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7 percent close rate. And they also note that inbound leads cost 60 percent less than outbound leads; SEO, essentially, gives you a higher close rate at a lower price.
We’ve written about SEO before because we think it is so valuable in the organic growth of your Web site. Becoming a relevant result in the eyes of the search engine, like Google, will get you a higher ranking when the results are listed. How do you become a relevant result? I’m sure you’ve heard it before: content is king. Write great copy for your blogs, press releases, and email campaigns that is directly related to what your audience wants to learn.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a moving picture with sound is priceless. In fact, Cisco says that by 2017, videos will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. Whether it’s a quick, ten-second teaser that you publish on your social media account or an in-depth look at some of your top products, consumers, including your prospects, are clamoring for quality videos.
They are shareable, likeable, and impactful in spreading your company culture and personality. Creating a video that reaches these milestones, though, involves more than simply whipping out your phone and hitting record. Start with a good concept, build on that with an entertaining script, and find an experienced videographer. You’ll be able to fine-tune your piece in the editing stage, and will be ready for the big, or smartphone-sized, screen.
Blogging is one of the top ways to reach your prospects. Content marketing is structured around adding value and, like we mentioned before, anticipating and posting the information your customers want to find when they search the Internet.
We talked about this earlier this year, and our steps to planning a content marketing strategy are still applicable. As you work through the steps, keep your audience at the front of your focus, since they are the end users for all that you publish. The content should be engaging and easy-to-read, while still informing your customers about the topic and leading them toward a specific action or point of conversion.
- Social Networking
From Facebook and LinkedIn to Twitter, Snapcha,t and Instagram, the number of new social media platforms is growing rapidly. Users are spending increasing amounts of time on each new network, finding new connections to friends and brands, and creating millions of posts, tweets, snaps, and uploads each day. As important as social networking as a whole is to your digital marketing strategy, it’s even more important that your company factors in the nuances between the various networks. The audience on each platform is looking for different types of information at different times of the day.
E-mail marketing is a staple in a solid digital marketing strategy. Creating a thoughtful campaign that attracts customers at every step of the pipeline will create a noticeable impact on your bottom line. A good campaign should pull in design elements from your Web site, along with quality content that can include videos, and should point your prospects toward a measurable call to action.
Why Your Digital Strategy isn’t Getting You the Results You Want
Does your staff include a videographer, copywriter, SEO specialist, social media guru, and an e-mail marketer extraordinaire?
If it doesn’t, you’re not alone. Most companies don’t have staffing that includes an expert in each field who can give your company focused attention on each of these areas. Even when they do, creating a wildly popular video doesn’t always translate into a boost in your sales. Each of these areas is a valuable part of the whole of your integrated digital marketing strategy.
You could go out a hire a specialist in each field to work on your staff. Once they get to know each other and develop a plan, they’ll need to continue to work closely together to stay on the same page to develop a strategy that will give you results.
Hiring a digital marketing company, though will help to amplify the value of your investment by taking focused experience and channeling that into your company’s strategy. Working with a digital marketing firm costs less than a full-time employee, but brings you the output and results of five full-time employees.
When you’re ready to develop a digital strategy that works, give us a call. We’ve got more than 10 years of experience and will help you map out a strategy for your company in a free consultation.