What is Integrated Marketing? Integrated Marketing is a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting defined audiences and individuals which coordinates all aspects of marketing of a brand.
Social media marketing is based on four pillars, your customer, your resources, your goals, and your budget. It works best when you blend it with your other marketing programs.
These days, you hear the term integrated marketing a lot, but what does integration mean? Integration is simply a way to combine your various marketing activities in a strategic way.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” With integrated marketing, all the parts of your marketing plan are designed to build on each other and create a consistent story that reaches your customers throughout the day. Let’s look at the integrated model.
Say your business advertises on radio because you know your customers commute to work. Maybe you’re supplementing that by using PR to reach media and bloggers. And then one of your employees suggests moving everything over to social media because it doesn’t cost anything.
Rather than picking up and shifting all your eggs into the social media basket, this is where you’d want to consider an integrated approach. But how do you know which parts of your existing program you should scale back? And what would your social media marketing look like? Step one is asking questions. What are your goals? What’s the best way to reach your customers? Which social and traditional media channels do they use? And where would they be most receptive to getting a message from your company?
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and map their day to understand the best times and channels to reach and help them solve a problem. And be sure your social media content is consistent with your brand personality so customers get a clear picture of your company wherever they are.
Next, consider your budget. Social media isn’t free. Even if you’re posting updates and photos to a social network or having a staff member produce and upload short video, all of that takes away from the time your employee could be doing something else related to your business. You’ve got to balance your resources. And you’ll need to put money aside to create social ads and promote or boost your best-performing posts.
Social media, like other marketing initiatives, requires energy, planning, and resources. This is especially true when customers start to use it as a customer service channel, and you need to respond in real time or risk a reputation issue or a crisis.
When it comes to adding social media to your marketing mix, every business has to figure out the right mix of social and traditional programs that work best for your customer. It takes time to grow your social network, and you may not see the results overnight. Social media marketing is a marathon. You’re in it for the long haul.