If you think back to your early days as a marketer, your typical work week was probably vastly different than it is today. For instance, instead of debating your next blog topic, you were selecting your upcoming billboard campaign; instead of flooding the social media feeds with organic sales pitches, you were splashing print publications with blatant advertisements. And all too often you were forced to choose one marketing tactic over the other because the cost to advertise was simply prohibitive.
Marketers of the past traditionally forked over large sums of money for specific campaigns (think magazine advertisements for Q1, a routine radio spotlight for Q2, revamped marketing brochures for Q3, and TV advertisements for Q4). But today’s professionals can utilize several strategies at once now that the cost barrier to entry for content marketing has been reduced. This omnichannel tactic is described as integrated marketing.
Simply put, integrated marketing refers to relying on multiple communications platforms and mediums to disseminate a consistent brand identity to hone your corporate image. In other words, instead of putting all your eggs in one marketing basket, you can leverage multiple platforms that work cohesively to spread the message about your brand. In so doing, you empower your customers to turn to the platform with which they are most comfortable.
So, which marketing vehicles should be a part of your next integrated marketing strategy? Let’s take a look.
Blogs are an imperative marketing tool for boosting brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, generating leads and driving web traffic. In fact, B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that don’t blog, and 37 percent of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing, according to Kapost.
In many ways, your company’s blog serves as the backbone of your integrated marketing strategy as it is the premiere place to load valuable content such as company news announcements, educational pieces, and industry-leading articles. Your blog can quickly become your go-to vehicle for telling your brand’s tale and organically moving your target customers down the sales funnel. To that end, make sure your blog offers diverse content that speaks to the various stages of the sales life cycle, such as education, consideration, and selection.
It’s hard to have an effective blogging platform without a concrete social media strategy in place. Think about it. After you write a share-worthy article, like a piece about market predictions for your industry or a Q&A with your company CEO, how will you increase the number of eyeballs to that piece? It’s not enough to hope that your well-placed SEO and categorization strategy will yield you an optimal number of readers. Instead, you need to marry your blogging platform with a complementary platform, such as social media.
Your social media platforms should be stocked with posts teasing readers to go check out your latest blog entries. In addition, they should be used to establish your company’s thought leadership by contributing to conversations about your industry that are taking place across the social stratosphere. Social media is quickly becoming a major player in companies’ integrated marketing strategies, as evidenced by the fact that 92 percent of marketers believe that social media is important for their business, according to Social Media Examiner.
Since you can’t assume that your target audience will have the time to check your website and social media accounts frequently for the latest updates, bring the news to them. Email marketing is an ideal content marketing vehicle for aggregating your most important content pieces and delivering them to your customers so they don’t have to search out the information themselves. Whether you want to communicate monthly or weekly, leverage email marketing to drive website traffic, deepen customer relationships, and expand your thought leadership.
To begin crafting a sound email marketing strategy, put yourself in the shoes of your customers first and foremost and ask yourself why they would care about the content of the email. There is a delicate line between communicating and spamming your customers, so tread lightly and make sure each of your email marketing messages passes the So what? Who cares? test.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi