An integrated marketing campaign is essentially a holistic approach to marketing that uses all different forms of media and several platforms in order to reach the widest audience possible. It can be one of the most difficult marketing concepts to understand because a small business only has a limited amount of resources and staff members to manage an integrated marketing campaign, but small businesses can still utilize the core concepts of an integrated marketing campaign if they plan ahead and think wisely.
So in this post, we’re going to talk more about what an integrated marketing campaign is, how to approach it as a small business and also how to make it a successful venture that won’t fail you.
Defining an integrated marketing campaign and examples to help you get started
As mentioned in the beginning, an integrated marketing campaign is a holistic approach to marketing. The idea is to attack every single platform and service that you have available to you so you can create a consistent, coherent and ultimately all-encompassing marketing strategy. However, doing this requires you to be able to appear relevant TO the platforms that you have access to. For example, you’re probably not going to make much sense selling your grocery produce over social media but advertising your website on a radio station is a great way to increase your exposure.
One of the most popular platforms to use integrated marketing is social media. Social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook are fantastic places to seek integrated marketing opportunities because users will typically merge several of their accounts into a single entity so that they can access it through different devices. For example, someone that uses Twitter might also use the same profile and details as their Facebook page, so you effectively have two chances of attracting their attention if you advertise on both Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, a small business that builds up an emailing list through physical store purchases can also utilise those emails for online marketing campaigns.
It’s all about using everything at your disposal and finding unique ways to grow your business through several channels instead of becoming stagnant and sticking to what you know. It does take a little risk in order to attempt advertising on a channel that you’re not completely used to, but it’s vital that you give integrated marketing a try but analyzing what platforms you have available to you, how you can take advantage of those said platforms and what kind of audience you plan to connect with.
In the rest of the article, we’re going to talk about how you manage an integrated marketing campaign even if you’re a small business with little capital and few resources at your disposal.
1. Defining what your campaign goals are going to be
Any marketing campaign requires goals, preferably ones that have multiple stages so that you can track your progress. For instance, one potential way to track your progress is to utilise key performance indicators or KPIs. These can include tracking sales-qualified leads, it could mean monitoring customer types and personas and it could even consider the number of deals you’ve successfully closed. This can help you define the perfect type of customer that you’re looking for and a smart way to approach your marketing campaign.
Keep in mind that the objectives you set need to be smart and achievable. Anyone can set goals, but only smart leaders can focus on goals which can be achieved and are beneficial to you in more ways than one. Campaign goals are an essential part of any marketing campaign, so make sure you set your own to follow.
2. Understanding the ideal customer
Another common way to plan your integrated marketing campaign is to identify the targets that you’re aiming for. Some questions to ask are what type of job you prefer your customers to have, their marital status or even the devices that they use on a regular basis. Ideally, you should expand this in the future to include customer personas and profiles which are detailed and stored in documents so that you can track and update your customer personas as needed.
If you’re completely oblivious to what kind of customer persona you should be developing for your needs, then it can help to put yourself in the shoes of the customer or to ask a friend or family member. Pose questions like what type of products they would purchase from your store or if your website is attractive to their eyes. There are a lot of subtle changes that you can make in order to attract a wider audience, but if you’re unsure who you should be targeting in the first place then it can be difficult to utilise an integrated marketing campaign efficiently.
3. Taking note of the platforms that you plan to use
Since integrated marketing is all about taking advantage of multiple platforms at once, it’s important to understand which platforms would best suit your limited resources as a small business and to get a grasp of how they work and how your content on those platforms should be presented. For instance, Instagram is heavily focused on imagery while Facebook takes a more traditional approach that mixes both text and imagines. On the other hand, video platforms like YouTube aren’t seen as typical channels to advertise your products on but if you offer authoritative and interesting content to your users, then it can become a surprisingly effective way to market your business and its products.
Two of the most popular engagement channels are email and search with website advertisements following behind by a few percent. Your plan should detail every single channel available to you and also what features or advantages you have on each specific platform. For instance, you may think that Instagram is a great place to get started with an integrated marketing campaign because there are so many people using the service, but in reality, it could be a very slow campaign because of how much competition there is.
4. Keep your brand consistent
If you’re going to try and reach a wider audience then keeping your overall design consistent is a good idea. Your voice and your message are both going to be kept in the back of the minds of your ideal consumers and eventually, they’re going to remember your name and consider actually purchasing a product from you or hiring you for your services.
Brand consistency has to include guidelines. As a small business, this shouldn’t be too difficult because you don’t have too many designers working on different marketing projects. This is more of a concern for companies that have multiple design departments because it can be incredibly difficult for the entire company to produce consistent visual branding. However, as a small business, it’s still important to set a series of guidelines for things like the overall theme of your promotional campaign, the type of customer persona you’re targeting and also the visual guidelines such as the colors your brand will use. This is especially true if you make ample use of freelancers in your marketing strategy.
Hopefully, this article has shown you that integrated marketing campaigns aren’t very difficult to set up and that they can be utilised even by small businesses that are hungry for success. The secret to running a successful integrated marketing campaign is to consider everyone option available to you–even the niche ones that you don’t think could work out for your company or the types of products and services that you offer.