Today’s marketers have more channels than ever to deliver their brand’s messaging and promote its products and services. Beyond traditional channels like print, OOH and radio, marketer’s may now choose between social media, email marketing, and mobile marketing, to name only a few digital channels.
Luckily, word has gotten out that marketers need not choose between traditional or digital methods, but can create integrated campaigns, choosing the best of both worlds to get the biggest return on their advertising investment.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula to creating successful integrated marketing campaigns, there are definite ways marketers can maximize viewership.
Understand Who Your Audience Really Is
Your audience is far more than demographic data. Beyond being an educated male with an income above $50,000 or a mother of children between the ages of five and 16, your audience has attitudes, interest, behaviors, and concerns. By uncovering these, you will be able to identify which channels will best reach your audience.
- Who are my current target customers?
- What motivates them?
- How do they like being communicated to?
- What information will they find useful and relevant?
- What language will engage them most?
Before developing your strategy, let alone creating your content, you need to know the answers to these questions.
Be Smart in Your Channel Selection
Once you’ve answered the above questions, you’ll be able to uncover which channels are the best to reach your audience. But…
WARNING: Do not try to be everywhere at the same time.
You’ll never be able to manage your campaigns effectively if your message is spread far and wide. It’s not necessary for you to be on every single channel your audience may use. Integration does not require you exhaust yourself or your resources.
Instead, be ruthless in selecting and rejecting channels, only concentrating on a handful of the most effective ones.
Ensure a Consistent Visual Identity
When integrating your campaigns, it’s incredibly important that your visual identity remains consistent across all channels. This means much more than making sure your logo is the same and prominent; it means spending some time to be sure you have an overarching design – that is look and feel. This includes the style of images and graphics used, as well as common colors and fonts. All of your communication, no matter the channel, should appear as if it came from the same company. A person reading an email from you should recognize that you are the company whose ad they’ve seen in their local paper.
Create Relevant Content That May Be Repurposed
In order for any piece of content you create to be effective, it must be relevant to your audience – that is, something that speaks directly to one of their pain points. Your content must also be clear, compelling, and consistent. Don’t use confusing industry jargon, but instead language that is instantly understood by the reader.
In addition, every piece of content you develop, whether it’s a blog post, white paper or infographic, should be able to be repurposed. Developing strong content takes money and time, so be sure you get the most bang for your buck. Break that blog post up and turn it into a series of Tweets, or take that while paper and turn it into a video.
Make Sure All of Your Channels Are Working Together
The goal of all of your content and various channels should be united: to drive traffic to your ultimate target, whether that’s a specific landing page, your blog, a social network like Facebook, or right through your door. This means all of your content on these integrated channels must share a similar call-to-action, telling the reader specifically what you’d like them to do.
Track Your Campaigns and Adjust Where Necessary
Perhaps more than any other campaign, an integrated one requires proper analytics and attribution methods be in place to understand if you have achieved your goal. Those brands looking to drive in-store sales with coupons can use a tracking platform that generates unique barcodes with every coupon reader print. This is how major national brands get data from all of their regional retailers. You can use the same method.
If you haven’t begun to leverage the power of integrated campaigns, there’s no better time than right now (because your competitors are most likely already using them).