As search engines are continuously changing, our strategies must evolve too for maintaining a powerful online presence. Gone are the days when a couple of one-off marketing techniques would make an impact.
Now, it is all about providing a user with a comprehensive experience online. To create this experience for your website users, you need to blend several digital strategies into an integrated digital marketing campaign.
Why is Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy So Important Today?
While some businesses use a simple social media page to stay connected with their customers, others use complex tools like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to promote their businesses. Some other tools like Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, and Content Marketing are also used in good numbers by businesses.
Although it is understandable that each of these tools is powerful in its own way and has a lot of advantages but the best way to do digital marketing is to use Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy. Integrated Digital Marketing enables marketers to use all these tools in a combined manner, so as to increase their reach to maximum potential.
A combination of all these tools creates a synergy and has the ability to make your consumer base grow exponentially. While each tool can attract a healthy number of potential customers, Integrated Marketing creates a snowball effect and makes a business grow faster.
But handling an integrated marketing system is not an easy job. It needs careful management and a little extra-logical thinking. But once a marketer executes it properly, it can create wonders.
In this article, we will discuss how to plan and execute an integrated marketing plan effectively.
Key Components of Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy
As the name suggests, integrated digital marketing is the combination of multiple marketing methods to form a cohesive online approach for your business. Here’s what it typically includes:
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the most basic form of digital marketing. We know how powerful search engines like Google are and using them for marketing is definitely worth it. The most basic tool, SEM, comes first in the list. You can become a part of some relevant search results by just bidding for the spot.
SEM lets you place your ad at the top of the search results, which means that you get the best place on the search engine results page (SERP). All you need to do is to identify which keywords your prospective buyers are searching for and after this, it is not that tough a job.
Search Engine Optimization (Organic Traffic)
The other important method of Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Here you don’t pay any money to the search engine, but you have to create such content that brings you to the top spot in organic search results. Again, the things to master here are Keywords and Quality Content.
When you create content relevant to the keywords, the search engines rank your page against the pages already existing in their database. Many factors like Keywords, Quality, Originality, and Timeliness are taken into account.
You will get a place on the page according to the rank you receive. This is the most relevant and sustainable way to get traffic on your page. Once you master SEO, it can bring in quality traffic on your page.
Email Marketing involves sending marketing emails to the users who have subscribed to your mailing list. However, in the initial days, the marketers used to bombard users with a lot of emails, but this only worked for a little period only.
The key to email marketing is that you only send relevant emails in an optimum quantity so that users take your emails seriously and don’t get irritated.
Social Media Marketing
Well, the buzzword today is Social Media Marketing. It has completely changed the scenario of digital marketing. Social Media Marketing has become mandatory these days as it can result in a high number of leads in a very short time.
A key thing to understand here is that you have to engage people rather than just giving them marketing messages. As social media is not essentially a marketing stage, therefore, you have to market yourself in such a way that you look like just another friend or follower in the user’s news feed.
Digital Display Marketing
Display Ads are just like newspaper ads. Just like in a newspaper, a single page filled with both content (the news) plus ads, web pages can also be filled with content and ads.
But the good thing here is that Online Display Ads are adaptive i.e. one single page can display two different ads to two different users on the basis of their preferences and search patterns. And this is what makes Display Ads better than normal offline ads.
But people these days have started shunning display ads. Tools like Ad Blockers have decreased the viability of display ads hugely. Therefore, one needs to do some additional activities to increase brand awareness.
Probably the most relevant type of marketing is content marketing. The logic here is simple, you give users the content that makes sense to them, and also market yourself in the meantime. Blogs and Youtube channels have become very popular these days due to this very reason.
Remember when a user starts finding your content relevant and useful, he/she is definitely going to stick with you.
Integrated Marketing Process
Although we are writing it as Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy, but rather than viewing it as a process, view it as what all things you need to work well on to get the best out of your campaign.
Content is still going to be the most important subject here but you also need to work well on other things as well in order to produce positive results. Take a look:
Content – It is the King
As we have been saying, content is the king. Relevant content can get you some loyal audience and they can become a great way of word-of-mouth publicity. Quality content shows your seriousness and values to the customers, which are your greatest assets.
Well, if you are trying a holistic way of marketing by integrating all the channels available, don’t think that you would not need to go down to content. Just like a business is a failure without a good product, a digital marketer is a failure without good content.
Your content doesn’t necessarily need to sound good, it should also have relevance, appeal, and value for your audience.
To win the battle of content, the first thing that you need to know is what your audience actually wants. Tools like keyword research come handy here. Get to know what your prospective buyers are searching for and provide them with the posts that suit them.
One important thing about keywords is that they are like fashion trends. They keep evolving and keep changing. So the research and publishing is a continuous cycle that is going to keep you in the race.
Secondly, you should not limit yourself to a particular type of content, for instance, only blog posts. Try other interesting forms of memes, videos, podcasts, GIFs, ebooks, etc that will make sense to your buyers.
Email – Get the Best Out of Them
To produce significant results, your content needs to reach a good number of people as well. Email Marketing is a perfect tool for this as you can send messages to users’ inbox with direct links to your content.
However, you must make sure that you’re sending emails to only those people who have actually subscribed to your emails.
With the advent of social media, email marketing may have lost a bit of attention, but it is still an effective tool to keep the loyal customers with you. But you have to take care of little things to improve your email marketing campaigns.
The first target is to get people to sign up for your newsletter. Try to get people on your list through fair means and share your subscription link as much as possible. Making quality emails takes time and they are only rewarded if you have enough people to look after them.
Secondly, do not bombard users’ inbox with too many emails. Well, with a high frequency of emails being sent, the only place they are going to reach is the ‘spam’ folder. So make sure that your emails are relevant and optimum.
Another thing to take care is that every email doesn’t necessarily need to have a sales pitch. You can share some random (but useful) content as well so that the people take your emails seriously. Further, you can try a different approach to your email marketing campaign.
Getting a working email marketing strategy takes time. Test various approaches and choose the best. Use tools like Aweber, MailChimp, and GetResponse to automate your email marketing process.
Social Media – Work on your ‘Social Quotient’
Social Media is another way to get great publicity. You can make use of hashtags and trends to get most out of your social media plans. Further, things like memes and GIFs are everyone’s favorite these days and you can incorporate them into your plan as well.
The number of social media users is staggeringly high and this is an area where you need to pounce upon. If used properly, social media can change the entire image of your organization. It definitely has the potential to make your company a hot favorite of your buyers.
Start off by professionally designing your social media page. A well-crafted page showcases the perfection of your campaign and makes people realize whether you’re serious about your social media page or not.
There are some professionals available who also charge some amount to do the ‘makeup’ of your page. These people can really be worth investing the money in.
Besides, stay active on your pages. Maintain a perfect pitch of quality and quantity on your pages. Engage with your audience, reply to them, solve their queries, and in no time you will make them your regular customers.
In all your blog content or emails, provide people with the links to your social media pages. Remember that no one bothers to search your page rather you have to bring them to your page. Give them enough and easy chances to reach your page.
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Lastly, trying paid advertising is never a bad option. Social Media Ads are much cheaper than all other forms and reach only to the relevant audience. They can be a good source of adding more people to your audience.
Search – ‘Optimize’ in the Best Manner
Search Engine Optimization is the best way to get an audience. It’s organic, real, and free (at least virtually). All you have to do is to create good content, and you can win a good deal of customers with this tool. It does demand a lot of research before implementing. Get the trending keywords, create good content, hire a good SEO team, and you’re good to go towards winning the search results battle.
As discussed earlier, content is always going to be the king. Have a proficient team of content creators and SEO specialists, and your marketing campaign will shift to the highest gear.
Some key things to be noted here are that you have to adhere to the guidelines of each search engine. Google, Bing, and Yahoo do have their own sets of guidelines and you will have to work accordingly.
Fortunately, they provide some webmaster tools which offer some real help. Moreover, tools like WordPress for content management and SEO Moz for search engine optimization are real lifesavers. Use such tools to get the best out of your integrated marketing campaign.
Paid Ads – Invest in Your Campaign!
Paid Ads can be an effective tool to add more strength to your marketing campaign. They are a great way to increase your potential consumer base and can take the growth of your campaign to exponential levels.
Pay-per-click ads or simply paid ads are a great source to attract new customers. Display advertising, paid social media advertising, affiliate marketing – all have a great potential to give you a significant jump. A good way to use these ads is to educate the audience about your brand or product rather than just giving them the links to buy your products.
Brand awareness is an important aspect of marketing and paid ads serve this purpose very well. Make sure that you do enough research before investing money in paid ads so that you get the best return on each penny spent.
Attracting the Audience
It all boils down to this, you’re integrating so many efforts because your primary focus is to attract the audience.
What you need to understand is that everyone reaching out to you is not going to be your customer. It is pretty understandable because no one buys a product at first sight. Everyone is rational and everyone has the right to do some preliminary tests before buying the product.
In such a case, should you stop making a lot of effort? Well, the answer is a straight no. If someone is not your customer at the moment, they may become one later. Further, they might end up recommending your product to their groups.
Keep the goal for your audience as attractive as possible. It will take time to turn them into regular customers, but they will certainly end up converting into leads.
If implemented effectively, all these methods can bring a turnaround in your marketing campaign. Remember that integrated marketing is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing.
Every organization has to modify it according to the demands.
We hope that the tips suggested above help you execute your integrated marketing campaign in the best manner possible.