An integrated marketing campaign is crucial to any business's success in 2013. Increasingly, customers are turning to their trusted friends for opinions, or looking up businesses online instead of relying on traditional advertising for suggestions. You need an integrated marketing campaign to control your brand and reputation, and to retain and grow your customer base both online and offline. Creating and executing on this type of campaign will give you a huge advantage over competitors. An integrated approach will allow you to build a loyal audience, position yourself and your staff as experts in your industry, develop interactive and meaningful relationships, avoid public relations, or social media disasters, and give you an overall stronger marketing plan.
As part of your integrated marketing campaign, you should consider including the following strategies to ensure that your brand will be a trusted source for the services, or products that your business offers:
Have a social media plan. Determine where your audience is. Are they on Twitter? Are they on Facebook? What about LinkedIn? YouTube? Pinterest? Where are your competitors? Would they read a blog, if you offered one? Are you going to post sharable, relatable and actionable content? A social media plan is necessary to succeeding in the digital age. Social media cannot be ignored as it helps businesses spread their messages to target audiences, offer customer service and interact with your existing customer base.
Content marketing plan. What content would your audience be most interested in? Do you have any content you can repurpose for a blog, or a white paper? Do you have a case study? How will you maintain content creation? How will you spread your word? Developing a content marketing plan will allow you to position yourself as a trusted, thought leader in your space. It will also help you to engage with your audience, retain your customers, humanize your brand and enhance your SEO.
A third party/evangelist plan. Of your customer base, who will speak on your behalf? Do you have loyal clients who would be willing to write positive reviews on your business online and/or to potential clients? How will you reward your loyal customer base? Consider developing a plan on how to reach and engage with your evangelists as customers look to friends and trusted sources for recommendations on businesses or brands.
Determine your search marketing plan. Develop a targeted keyword strategy, by using a keyword tool. We use Google's Keyword Tool to determine which keywords we should rank for, by determining what our audience is searching for and therefore what they're interested in learning about. Based on these findings we develop a sound content marketing strategy as well as a plan for how to rank organically on search. If a paid search campaign is right for your business, you should explore developing that type of plan as well.
Email marketing strategy. As part of your integrated campaign, consider creating an email marketing strategy. Here at Insights, we have two newsletters we send out each month: one geared toward our existing customers that offers insight (couldn't resist) into how to get the most out of the exposure on Boston.com, blogging and marketing efforts; the other one is geared toward lead generation where we show our monthly special offers and our marketing pieces. Developing an email strategy is important to spreading a business's message to potential customers and can be helpful in retaining clients.
Mobile marketing plan. More and more people are consuming information on the go on their mobile devices. Consider including mobile advertising in your integrated approach, if that's something you think your audience would want. Also, consider optimizing your site and blog for easy readability on a mobile device. You want to reach your audience where and when they're consuming information and/or looking for a business's offerings.
Events/networking strategy. Offline, face-to-face marketing is important too. Being present at networking and relevant events will help to humanize your brand and help you to establish a strong relationship with your audience members.
Of course every integrated marketing campaign is different for each business. Most companies will incorporate some, or all of the above, but many companies will use different methods to accomplish marketing goals. But the bottom line is that businesses need integrated approaches to marketing.
Tell us about your integrated campaigns in the comments below!
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