Is your marketing strategy helping you grow your business?
Are you confident that your potential customers are receiving your messages and values?
If you aren’t incorporating integrated marketing communications into your business strategy, then the answer to these questions is most likely no.
In this article I’m going to teach you how to improve and ramp up your integrated marketing strategy and execution…and ensure your customers are hearing your business loud and clear.
Why is integrated marketing communications necessary?
No matter the business you specialize in, integrated marketing communications will benefit every aspect of your operations.
Integrated marketing is a technique that utilizes all forms of marketing and incorporates them together. You will be able to use all platforms to create your marketing strategy, and ensure it will be functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Implementing integrated marketing communications will incorporate all of your promotional tactics, whether it be traditional advertising, sales promotions, public relations or direct/online marketing.
This will create greater brand visibility, boost sales and profits, and save you time, money and stress.
What are the different components of an integrated marketing communications plan?
There are typically six major different components of an integrated marketing communications plan:
- Advertising- such as newspapers, magazines, direct mail, or radio.
- Sales promotions- discounts, free gifts, coupons, free trials, samples, etc.
- In-person sales- face-to-face interaction between seller and potential buyer.
- Public relations (PR)- using PR personnel to maintain trust with customers and create a positive reputation of your company.
- Direct marketing- selling products or services directly, not through retailers.
- Online marketing- using web-based channels to spread awareness of a brand, product, or person.
Now, just because there are six different components/approaches, that doesn’t mean you have to utilize all of them. I recommend finding which ones work best for you and your business (possibly three or four) and perfecting them. This will ensure your strategy is the most effective it can be when appealing to potential customers or clients.
The PEACE ModelTM
Another tool that we at Nao Media recommend using is our PEACE ModelTM for integrated marketing. It drills in deeper on various marketing strategies.
We use our proprietary PEACE ModelTM for integrated marketing agency solutions that provide 360 degrees of value to you as our client.
Presence – Branding, voice, website, reviews, and media
Earned Media – Publicity and link building
Advertising – Social media advertising, paid search, and sponsored content
Content – Original blog and trip wire content (i.e. eBooks) that’s owned by you. This also includes organic on-page SEO and web + email copywriting. We also provide podcast consulting and production.
Engagement – Social media and email marketing
Just because we are marketers, doesn’t mean we don’t have to market ourselves as well. When creating marketing strategies for clients or ourselves, we incorporate ideas and techniques from our PEACE ModelTM to ensure we are touching all of the bases.
How to improve your integrated marketing communications:
1. Create Good Web Presence with a Quality Website
Websites are huge for businesses. The better looking and more edifying the website is, the more chance customers will engage with it.
There are so many elements to creating a good website, so I will give you some of the top qualities a website should have:
- Your website should be clear and organized. It should be easy for viewers to navigate through.
- Relevance is key. Stay centered around your business directly and what you specialize in.
- Mobile phone viewability and responsiveness are a must. Not only is this convenient for the viewer, it will also rank your website higher on Google.
- Your site should load quickly. Speed is important, and if your website lags or is constantly needing to be refreshed, no one will spend time on it. Get a quality web host for fast load times.
- Use original content when composing sections on your site. It’s okay to throw in your favorite quotes here and there as long as they’re given credit, but most of the content should be yours.
- Design is usually the most memorable aspect of a website, so yours should be incredible. Keep it clean and professional, but make sure it stands out.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major player in website creation and success. Use relevant and creative keywords to earn a higher ranking on Google.
2. Use Written Blog and Video Content to Educate Your Target Customer
Blogs are amazing. They create a great opportunity for you to speak or teach on a specific topic, and there is no shortage of potential topics.
Use your knowledge about you and your business to write informational or inspiring blog posts to benefit or attract potential clients and buyers.
For blog creation, I recommend that you start by researching relevant articles and competitor blogs written around your chosen topic. This will help you get an idea of relevant points to touch on. This is for ideas and inspiration purposes only. Stealing another person’s content is illegal, and Google knows when you do this.
If you’re new to blogging and you’re not quite sure where to start, read our 12 Top Blogging Tips for Beginners blog post to give you additional tips and inspiration.
Another great exposure outlet is the usage of videos. If the topic you’re speaking on requires a more in-depth explanation or a visual component, create a video instead of a blog. You can create tutorial videos, Q&A’s, information videos, or introductions of you and your team. The options are practically limitless.
I think the best aspect of blog and video creation is that both of these channels are sharable. As long as you promote your content and the content is actually good, readers and viewers will share them. This will generate more views and interactions along with increase traffic to your website.
3. Promote Your Content through Social Media Channels
If you’re not on social media, it’s time for you to join the twenty-first century. Social media is used for everything from connecting with friends and employers, shopping…and marketing surrounds it all.
Marketing your business through social media platforms is one of the most effective methods that you could implement into your integrated marketing communications approach.
The number of people who are active on social media is astounding (over 2 billion on Facebook alone), and the majority of them, including myself, use social media to find products or services to buy.
You don’t necessarily have to encourage clients and customers to buy your services or products, your main goal is to educate people and gain a following. Just because they aren’t interested in what you do or what you sell now, doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who is. Nor does it mean that they won’t be interested in the future.
Which social network is best for advertising?
The most commonly used social media platforms used for advertising and marketing are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
In my experience, even though Twitter is a huge social media platform with millions of users, it is not the ideal outlet for advertising. It is fast-paced and hard to keep up with, so I would focus more on the other sites I previously mentioned to generate the best results.
4. Advertise Your Best Content to Increase Your Sales
Creating quality content may seem easy, but how will you determine what is the BEST? Go with your gut (you know when you’ve written a masterpiece) and go with the data.
You want to make sure you’re composing the best content that your clients/customers will find useful. But how will you figure out what they deem as useful?
Use Google Analytics to determine which content has been driving the most traffic to your website. Within Google Analytics go to: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages. Analyze the number of Sessions and New Users among your blog posts. Consider boosting your most popular blog posts that are also your most helpful content for your customers/clients. As you can see in the screenshot below, our blog post on Facebook Boost vs Ads is a great candidate for advertising!
Once you have determined what your clientele is looking for, you should create and promote content that will help them. If you happen to run out of ideas on what is relevant or helpful, interact with clients and customers and ask what topics they would like you to write about or go in depth on. This way, you know the information you’re giving is exactly what they need to read or see.
5. Forge Great Partnerships and Increase Your Web Traffic with Link Building
Partnerships are unbeatable in any industry. You are making friends along with building professional relationships that will help improve your business and create exposure that you would not have previously received.
Link building (or link exchanging) is a great way to encourage partnerships with similar businesses/individuals in the business world. Link building involves including links within your articles to partner content in exchange for links to our website from their website.
According to Backlinko, backlinks from unique referring domains has the strongest correlation to search engine pagerank or Google position. Backlinks are really important!
Ideally, you want people to spend the bulk of their internet search on your website (this helps with your Google ranking), but there’s no harm in supporting your claims by directing them to someone else’s content. This could be a win-win if you and the other person agree on ideas and they also include direct links to your content as well. More exposure leads to a larger community of supporters and more potential clients/customers.
All of these tips are rather easy to incorporate into your existing integrated marketing communications game plan. Even though they may seem simple to implement, the payoff will be significant and long-lasting.
In Closing: Do You Need PEACE?
If you grasp all of the concepts in this article, and you just need some freshening up on your current integrated marketing communications strategies, then refer back to our PEACE ModelTM for insight.
If you’re new to integrated marketing, don’t worry. Our team at Nao Media can help you figure it out and implement it into your marketing and communications plan. The PEACE ModelTM is relevant to everyone, and while you don’t have to incorporate all of the tools into your plan, it is still a great outline for you to follow and benefit from.
I hope the information in this article has expanded your knowledge and created a greater understanding for how integrated marketing communications plays a role in your business.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us directly. Helping you grow your business is our goal.