Throughout history, traditional marketing and advertising have led the way. In fact, they were the only way. Magazines, newspapers, print ads, billboards, radio spots, and – more recently – TV ads have been relied upon to do the heavy lifting. But since the mid-2000s, that’s all changed. The growth of the internet gave way to the rise of digital marketing, and the rest is history.
While digital marketing has certainly paved the way for greater reach and more cost-effective engagement – something that’s critically important for small businesses with limited budgets – there’s still one big challenge: integration. More specifically, small businesses must learn how to properly integrate different digital marketing services for a cohesive and consistent message.
What is Integrated Digital Marketing?
Integrated digital marketing is precisely what it sounds like. It’s the process of blending multiple digital marketing services into a single strategy that allows a business to intentionally deliver the right message to the right audience using the best mediums and platforms for the job.
Though every integrated digital marketing strategy looks slightly different, it typically includes elements like web development and design, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, video production, social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, etc.
Tips for Flawlessly Integrating Digital Marketing
The biggest challenge of integrating digital marketing is figuring out what to focus on. With so many different moving parts (and a limited budget), it’s tricky to always know how to proceed. But at the end of the day, the goal is to keep things focused and consistent. If you can do these two things, success won’t be far away. Here are some additional tips:
1. Get Clear on Your Brand
It doesn’t matter if it’s traditional offline marketing or digital marketing; you can’t be effective with digital marketing if you don’t have a clear identity. Everything starts with this foundation. You need to get clear on your mission, values, and goals. And we’re not talking about stale corporate boilerplate information about changing the world one widget at a time. We’re talking about a tangible expression of what you want for your customers. In other words, what dream are you trying to help them achieve?
2. Create Detailed Personas
It always starts with your brand. But once you have the bedrock of your brand figured out, it’s time to quickly shift gears and start thinking about your audience, who they are, and what they want. This is best done through the creation of detailed personas.
A detailed customer persona digs into the demographics, hopes, dreams, expectations, and preferences of your audience. The average brand will have three to five different personas. And while there will be some overlap between them, each effectively operates independently. The goal of an integrated marketing plan is to utilize strategies that allow you to reach each without compromising on brand consistency.
3. Choose Your Services
With so many different digital marketing services, it’s impossible to do everything at once. The best approach is to choose a few of the services that you believe will generate the best ROI and then go from there.
If you’ve done a good job of mapping out your brand and creating detailed personas, it’s a lot easier to choose which services to integrate. For example, if your audience is 55-plus, you’re probably not very focused on TikTok as part of a social strategy. Facebook, on the other hand, will work well.
4. Measure and Optimize
You can’t take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to integrated digital marketing. It doesn’t work like that. Digital marketing is dynamic – constantly evolving and iterating as the months pass. You must be willing to do the same.
The key is to track and measure each element of your marketing strategy using robust analytics and key performance indicators. Based on the analysis of this data, you can continually optimize your approach – sticking with what’s working and ditching that which doesn’t.
Adding it All Up
Digital marketing is the way of the present and of the future. But if you’re going to excel in this arena, you have to figure out how to integrate the right services, while blocking out any noise that doesn’t help you move the proverbial needle for your brand.
Once you reach this sort of clarity, results are the natural byproduct.