Throughout the COVID pandemic, businesses have had to shift their communication style, increasing their online presence to survive. Researchers have pointed to this shift as a nudge in the direction of the inevitable: as time goes on, online sales will continue to increase, following a decade long or longer upward trend.
Even though it is believed that we are through the worst of the pandemic, it is crucial to have a marketing strategy to continue to reach your target audience through digital means, especially if you have historically operated as a location based business. For a successful marketing campaign, we recommend utilizing the IMC (Integrated Marketing Campaign) model. The IMC approach allows for you to reach your target audience across multiple platforms and through your ads, organic posts, events and PR with consistent messages that are tailored for each audience.
How to Build an Integrated Marketing Campaign
An integrated campaign starts with the mission vision and values of your organization, then builds a strong communication platform based in a set of key messages. Let’s say you have a message that “Keto Ice Cream is soothing like ice cream, but won’t harm your teeth the way sugary ice cream does, and is a treat that can be enjoyed while on a Keto diet, or not!”
To communicate this top level message (you probably won’t want to use that as your blog title), you’ll bring together your marketing, advertising and PR teams so they can collaborate on how to distribute the message to impact things like attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, based on your audience’s level of experience with your brand, products and messages. Your team will also look for a way to determine how to measure the success of your campaign as well as a way to track what methods were most effective for each defined audience.
Reach Your Target Audience
To reach your audience, you need to do your research. Understanding who they are, what they already know about you, your product category and your particular offer – how they think and feel – is important to connect. You need to know what your audience wants before you can present the information to them. You can do this research by going through your own data through your CRM or point of sale system. To be even more effective in knowing your audience, hire a market research team to help you learn how to efficiently reach your audience, add eCommerce or add structured data markup to place items in online shopping searches.
If we are thinking about Keto ice cream, fitness related content – maybe a reel of bodybuilding friends sharing a treat during a “cut” to reduce body fat – could be relatable content that would connect with the audience and share the brand.
An email marketing campaign allows you to send mass emails to targeted individuals. Usually, this type of email is designed to highlight specific products or services. They can be created using a platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact that allows you to use an already created template. Or you can create your own and customize it to target a specific audience. This type of marketing is a perfect way to send offers, like coupons or gift cards. It is also helpful in spreading the word for upcoming events. You can also send out sign-ups for upcoming events. Keep in mind that for these emails to be effective, you need to create a catchy headline. Also, be aware of the amount of emails you send per day.
For our Ice Cream brand, emails to offers, flavor profiles online, behind the scenes at the factory, interviews with influencers or sponsored athletes might make up the core of an email campaign.
Creating content to add to a website, social media posts or blog posts is a crucial part of the marketing campaign. Social media is a large part of this strategy and needs to be used to your advantage. If used correctly, you can generate audience growth, sales and customer loyalty. Social media also allows you to use organic messaging. You can also use paid ads and special offers in order to be seen across multiple platforms. Linking your social media platforms to your website and blogs will help increase your brand awareness. Blogging is another way to generate a messaging funnel that allows you to target specific audiences. You also have the flexibility to write about anything related to your business and the products that you offer.
Marketing collateral is vital to an integrated campaign, as it includes many forms of content. Blogs, eBooks, case studies, newsletters, testimonials and reviews are all included. Websites and video blogs are also forms of collateral. Consider any way to demonstrate your brand, product or service.
One area many marketers forget, which is overtly included in the IMC model is PR. When a business thinks about how to present brand stories as newsworthy, it must consider how the message is conveyed.
If we are thinking about our Keto Ice Cream brand, a story about how chefs create flavor profiles while meeting the requirements to remain within the Keto sugar profile would make a lot of sense as a news story. There are always localized entertainment/news stories like a “make and flavor your own hand made Keto Ice Cream contest” that could hit the air or the newspaper. Hosted events are another way to increase your brand’s media mentions.
The Importance of Integrated Campaigns
These types of campaigns acknowledge that your audience will interact with you on multiple platforms. With them, you will be able to reach your clients through multiple avenues. Integrated marketing is about aligning all of your messaging. Creating a consistent and creative marketing strategy throughout multiple platforms will set your business up for success.
For help with your integrated marketing strategy, reach out to us at Green Vine Marketing. We can help you to create a consistent brand for your business. Contact a team member today to see what Green Vine Marketing can do for you.