Checklist For an Integrated Marketing Campaign
Integrated marketing is starting to come into its own in a major way. With the proliferation of marketing technology — some estimates put the number of martech tools at over 8,000 — it’s now easier than ever for brands to present a unified, timely message across all channels.
And not a moment too soon. The modern consumer is absolutely inundated with marketing seeing an average of 5,000 marketing messages a day. The reach and coordination of an integrated marketing campaign is one of the only effective ways to cut through that clutter. Ready to start building an integrated marketing campaign? Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Know Your Customer
The foundation of any marketing campaign, no matter what it is you’re selling, is knowing who you’re selling to. Before you create any ads or write one word of copy, you need to know who your product is actually for. As tempting as it is to say “our target market is everyone,” be honest with yourself. Think about what your perfect customer looks like:
- Where do they live?
- What line of work are they in?
- What problems do they need to solve?
- What’s gotten in the way of solving those problems in the past?
- What are they most worried about when it comes to finding a solution?
Put all this information together and you’ve created a “buyer persona,” an idealized version of your perfect customer that you can use to guide all your messaging going forward.
Step 2: Pick Your Channels
There are dozens of possible marketing channels out there, from email to print to a myriad of social media applications, and each one of them will require a specific plan and strategy to execute properly. You can’t just copy and paste all your Facebook posts to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.
Unless you have the resources of Nike, you can’t afford the time and effort to maintain a brand presence on every channel, but that’s ok — you don’t have to. Your customers almost certainly aren’t using every channel (that’s another thing to consider when you build your buyer personas). There’s no point in pouring money into Facebook if your customers are all teenagers, for example, because teenagers aren’t on Facebook.
But you also have to think about your product. Not every product or brand will be equally suited to every channel. Instagram is a visual medium, for example, built almost entirely on pictures and videos. If your product isn’t visually appealing — lots of SaaS products aren’t anything special to look at, even if they’re incredibly useful — then Instagram might not be worth pursuing.
Finally, you’ll need to think about the effort you’re willing to put in. While you can get away with posting to Facebook a couple of times a week, you’ll need to be much more active on Twitter to maintain a following. And while Twitter is mostly text posts, links, and the occasional image, a YouTube channel takes a lot more work creating and editing video content.
Step 3: Content Comes First
People often choose their marketing channels and then start creating content to fill their content calendars, but that’s the wrong approach. Instead, come up with the content ideas that convey the messaging from your campaign, show your potential customers your value, and demonstrate your expertise in your field — then decide how to shape them to fit each channel.
This is the core of any integrated marketing campaign. Repurposing and adapting your content to fit multiple channels and use cases will save you time, money, and effort over designing from scratch, as long as you’re doing it strategically.
Here’s an example: let’s say you want to create some educational content about a new product you’re launching. You might start with an infographic, using bright visuals and blocks of copy to walk people through the features and benefits. You post that infographic to Facebook. But that’s not the end of it!
Your next step might be to break up that infographic into individual slides for each point. Add some animations and a voiceover, and you’ve got yourself a short video that you can put on Twitter and Instagram. And what about all that copy? Take the copy out of the infographic and flesh it out a little bit, and you’ve made a perfectly good blog post that you can put on your website, a third party site like Medium, or your LinkedIn profile. You can even use the graphical elements of the infographic as images to sprinkle throughout your blog post or as individual social posts to tease the longer content. And of course, all of this content can be repurposed as emails, downloadable whitepapers, or whatever else you can think of.
Step 4: Use Your Tech
One of the reasons that integrated marketing can work so well in the modern era is all the technology that can help you execute these complicated campaigns. There’s no shortage of software out there to help you organize your team, plan your projects, schedule campaigns across channels to ensure that they’re timed properly, and post them automatically. More importantly, you can track the successes and failures of every piece of content you publish.
Get Started Now
Getting started with an integrated marketing strategy isn’t easy, but there’s no time like the present to get started. If you wait, chances are good that your competition will start using these techniques and pull ahead of you.
Talk with your marketing team about the areas of your marketing that are already working well, then double down on those. Look for areas where you might be overlapping your efforts and areas where you’ve left gaps in your coverage. Have your content creators collaborate to look for ways to recycle and repurpose the work they’re doing.
Every company’s strategy will look different, so we can’t give you the magic solution to get your integrated marketing off the ground. But we can help! If you’re ready to bring your marketing techniques into the 21st century, we’re ready to help you build an integrated marketing plan.