The internet has changed the way that we consume information about anything. From tires to Tupac we now turn to the internet to learn. Because of this, the way we buy has changed.
Now instead of just asking your friends or family about a product or service you can instead “google” it. In effect, you are now asking millions what they think. This is where integrated digital marketing comes into play.
Businesses need to take advantage of this now more than ever. It is possible with a properly executed digital marketing plan to position your small business to thrive within this new paradigm.
In today’s post, I am going to explain what integrated digital marketing is.
What is Integrated Digital Marketing?
You’ve heard them all before. All the different things that you should be doing online to help grow your small business.
Landing Pages, Calls to Action, SEO, Content Marketing, Adwords, Social Media…the list goes on and on and on.
Then on top of that there are all the consultants/agencies out there that each specialize in one or more of these areas.
Then there are the backend systems that you should be using. CRM, automated marketing stystems, automated social media programs, google analytics. Again the list goes on and on and on.
This is where integrated digital marketing comes in. Digital marekting integration says that you take each of these systems and put them together into a wholistic approach to marketing.
This approach recognizes that no single piece of the marketing network you are creating works in a vacuum.
For example, you may have a killer website that you optimized to capture leads and get them started in your sales process. But if there is no one seeing the site then it doesn’t matter.
Or maybe you have an awesome blog that attracts thousands of viewers every day. But if that blog isn’t doing anything with those visitors then it doesn’t matter.
The Integrated Digital Marketing Process
Let’s take a quick look at how the integrated digital marketing process. Then we’ll take a more in depth look at each section:
- Identify Marketing Goals
- Identify Niche
- Identify Target Audience
- Identify Technologies to be Used
- Create Technology Goals
- Create Marketing Framework
- Create Daily/Weekly/Monthly Marketing Schedule
- Refine and Reassess
Now we have seen the different pieces of integrated digital marketing. Let’s look at a little more about each piece of the puzzle.
Identify Marketing Goals
If you dont’ have any goals then you are bound to fail. Not only do you need something to strive for with your marketing efforts but you also need benchmarks to help measure your progress.
When working with integrated digital marketing the ideal is to have a set of short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals. This gives you short term benchmarks along with longer term “pie in the sky” goals to keep you focused and on track.
Now more than ever it is vitally important to have a niche, especially for a small business. Entrepreneur Chloe Thomas gives a great list of reasons that a niche is so important for small businesses:
- Makes it easy for customers to understand your business – if they understand you they’ll remember you, recommend you, and come back again
- Makes it easy for you to build great internal skills in buying that product type
- Spreads your cash less far, if you only stock X then you don’t have to fund so many product lines
- Makes your marketing easier – one message, consistently
- Makes it easier to build up lots of content on your website – blogs, images etc. are all of a similar topic
- PR is simple because you can easily come to be seen as the experts in your product area
- Sometimes it also streamlines the pick and pack operations – similar sized and weighted products are really easy!
Integrated digital marketing recognizes this. When you are building your marketing integration you need to determine the niche that you are selling to.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t offer anything else. In fact offering other services as add on values is a great way to upsell existing or past customers is a great way to boost sales. What it does though is gives you a single area to dominate.
Identify Target Audience
Your target audience is the person/group that you want to sell your product or service to. When using integrated digital marketing it is imperative to know exactly who these people are. You do this by creating buyer personas.
Mail Chimp Created Images to Represent Their Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are vital for your small business marketing.
“With solid buyer personas informing your social media messaging, you can formulate content to better target your audience’s interests and concerns. This will, in turn, make for a more engaged audience.” – Ben Jacobsen – Social Media Examiner
Ben is talking about buyer personas for social media marketing but it applies to any piece of marketing within the integrated digital marketing plan.
Identify technologies to be used.
Now that you have identified the paramters that we will use for your integrated digital marketing plan you need to identify the technologies you plan to use. The idea here is to look at all the technologies that area available to you and then find the ones that fit into your plan.
Let’s look at a quick example to help see how this works. Say you own a wedding shop and are looking to branch out of your small local market. When you look at social websites you see that Facebook and Pinterest would be powerful tools because of their more visual focus.
While LinkedIn and Twitter might be less appropriate. So you decide to focus at first on Pinterest and Facebook to help your growth.
This kind of thinking should go into every piece of technology. You should evaluate each one to see if it useful for your business.
Create Technology Goals
Now that you have chosen the various technologies that you will you use in your integrated digital marketing plan you need to set goals for each technology. Again goals are a vital benchmarking process that helps you achieve the results you want.
You need to look at each piece of technology and set a goal for what it will do for your company.
Again let’s look at a brief example. You decided that a blog was something that would be useful for you business. You might then set a goal of 100 unique visitors daily to your blog.
Create a Marketing Framework
This is where the various pieces of integrated digital marketing come together. I go more in depth on this subject here but I will go over briefly how this works.
You need to look at your goals. Look at your audience and the various pieces that you have chosen. Then come up with a wholistic approach to how they will work together.
You want to come up with a plan of how each piece will work together to achieve your goals.
Mouse Trap The Ultimate Machine Game
Create a Daily/Weekly/Monthly Marketing Schedule
This is where you get down to the nitty gritty of integrated digital marketing. You create daily, weekly and monthly tasks that you do to help achieve your goals. These should be super concise:
- Write 750 words daily.
- Publish a blog post every tuesday and thursday
- Retweet 3 industry leaders every day
- Create one premium piece of content once a month
- Check my google ananlytics every morning.
It shouldn’t be something like post to the corporate blog regularly or make sure I look at LinkedIn to see my new connections.
Austin Kleon talks about the importance of just doing something on your project every day.
He was working on a poetry book so he created a schedule. 25 weeks to make 150 poems or more simply 6 poems a week or one a day.
Constantly Refine and Re-asses
Now that you’ve done all this you need to see if you meet your benchmarks that you set for your integrated digital marketing. If you meet them, great, keep on keeping on. Rinse and repeat.
If you blow them away then up your goals the next time around.
If you fall below don’t beat yourself up. Just look and see if your goals were maybe unrealistic, or maybe your tools didn’t function how you thought the would.
Whatever it is, change it up and try something else. This will ensure constant growth and renewal in your small business.
So now that you know what integrated digital marketing is, get going.
Move through the steps and set up a plan and then watch your business grow.
Have you used integrated digital marketing for your small business? What did you learn? Share in the comments so we can all help our businesses succeed.