How to Create an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy
All too often, social media is considered a separate marketing tactic, one with less efficacy and results than traditional strategies. But as audiences shift and technology evolves, we are seeing that social media has become an outlet for brands to engage their customers to drive sales and brand awareness. In order to keep up with consumer trends, businesses will have to integrate digital marketing, employing and understanding the potential of marketing across social media platforms.
Social media is a major part of consumers’ everyday lives. And while most of us regularly check our accounts on a variety of platforms, some marketers are still hesitant to embrace social media in business. Even worse, some brands are simply winging it when it comes to tweeting, sharing, pinning and more. A survey conducted last year by Clutch showed that as many as 47 percent of small businesses have no demonstrable strategy, thus letting the world of social media create a brand voice for them. Whether your business is in the B2C or B2B sector, a robust and integrated digital media strategy is key to building trust.
Shockingly, only 16 percent of marketers consider their marketing technology strategies to be aligned with their overall business strategies. In order to begin to align online marketing with sales-driven strategies, brands will have to begin to adopt some new practices in their business. Here are a few to get started.
Unify Strategies Across Teams
A common dilemma across all branches of a business is creating a process that unites different teams within one company. According to MarketingLand, audiences want to have a consistent experience when dealing with any particular representative or division of the business. And with 60 percent of millennials saying they expect a consistent experience whether in-store, online or over the phone, it is easy to understand how valuable unity across teams truly is.
Integrate Business Systems for Major Benefits
In the annual Salesforce “State of Marketing Report,” the habits of high-performing marketers (those who report being extremely satisfied with their marketing investments) were studied. It was found that 60 percent of high performers integrate a focused marketing strategy across mobile, email and social media. Further, the report stated that high performers were leveraging predictive intelligence to personalize emails and were more likely to use sophisticated, modern email marketing tactics to deliver better results.
Focus on Brand Loyalty and Customer Satisfaction
Social media users are logging on to read about current events, look at interesting content, and engage with peers and brands. They are not logging on to be sold a product or service, or at least not directly. In fact, few things turn a potential customer away quicker than a sales pitch interrupting their relaxing online experience. An integrated marketing strategy should be able to tap into the interests of its audience. Entrepreneur writes that a brand’s social media presence acts as the “first touch” with a customer. A positive interaction will result in the customer wanting to engage further, and eventually they will find themselves looking at your website and considering or even purchasing your product or service.
Reevaluate the Work Flow
A successful company often reflects a successful process, beginning to end. And aiding in that process is a comprehensive, integrated digital marketing strategy. Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM + VBM, says, “If you aren’t integrating your sales and marketing, including your social media and digital, then you are doing it wrong. Sales should tell marketing what they need. Marketing should evaluate, analyze and understand the sales cycles and prospects, then design programs that reach their market with materials that resonate across appropriate channels, from trade shows to social media.”
There are an endless amount of strategies, practices and solutions to help guide your business toward better integration of digital marketing. In order to truly understand what your company needs, you must identify points of pain and consider that a digital solution may be your saving grace.