- Understanding the value and benefits of social media, blogging, SEO, email newsletters, and other online marketing tools.
- Initiating the creation and regular implementation of social media, blogging, SEO, email newsletters, and other online marketing tools.
- Making all your online marketing tools and efforts sync up with all other aspects of your business (instead of thinking of all your online marketing tools as a separate function).
Step 3 can be just as challenging as the other 2 steps, but is necessary if you really want to get the most bang for your overall marketing and sales buck.
Basically, utilizing all these online marketing tools, and doing a solid job with all of them, will result in a more attractive bottom line. But if you really want to raise the bar from ‘good’ to ‘great’, all of your online marketing efforts need to be working in conjunction with your traditional marketing and advertising efforts.
Integrating all of your marketing efforts is a topic that is not going to be fully, adequately covered in a single blog post. However, there are some fundamental elements to successfully pulling all of your business’ marketing efforts together that will help get you started.
- Identify all of your current marketing and advertising strategies and tools Although this might seem obvious, you might be surprised by the difference it can make when you list out every single element of your marketing. You might have an unexpected “Ah ha!” moment. You might use this time to (re)consider the cost-effectiveness of everything you currently use (e.g. Is that bi-annual postcard mail out still working as well for you as it did 5-10 years ago?). This is also a wonderful time to review all your marketing for updated information, including ensuring that your website and social media handles are included everywhere.
- Identify the type of customer(s) you are reaching with each marketing and advertising tool An internal customer address or email address list, plus current Facebook fans will be helpful for campaigns targeted at existing customers. But your purchased lists, Google AdWords campaigns, and social media advertising are likely best to target non-customers.
- Identify which customer type you want to reach with each specific campaign Ultimately, the best approach to your marketing and advertising is a mix between staying top of mind with – and in the good graces of – the people who have already bought from you, plus targeting others who could become a customer someday. Because of this, you won’t be able to successfully target all customers and potential customers with every campaign you put forth. Where you place your print, radio and television ads, and what demographics you use to purchase lists may be very different if you are trying to reach existing customers vs new ones. Also, if you are running a promotion that is only applicable to 1 store location, for example, you may use just 1 of your segmented email lists, and target your online advertising to that specific geography only.
- Grab a calendar Start with the hard date of when that event is, or when your promotion starts. Then work backwards. Offline marketing efforts tend to have a longer lead time than online tactics. Make sure to build in time for this.
- Plan your content This includes images and copy that needs to be written for any printed materials, radio/TV spots, blog posts, social media postings, and online advertising. Since social media and blogging is a regular (daily) activity, make sure that your non-promotional content ties in with your campaigns. So if you are going to run a holiday campaign, be sure to be posting and writing about other holiday-themed stuff.
Getting to the point where all of these marketing tools are successfully working together isn’t the simplest of tasks. However, once this coordination is achieved, you’ll find that your marketing and advertising efforts going forward are much, much easier to accomplish.