Mastering Integrated Marketing Communications Online?

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and brands are scrambling to innovate to survive. One area of focus for many companies has been marketing and media – adapting to new mediums, changing consumer behaviour and creating new engagement channels.

The question is: how can business owners and marketers measure the success of these campaigns and keep people interested in learning more about the brand, product or service?

The importance of measurement and understanding the results of marketing campaigns can’t be over-stated. To ensure you’re making the right decisions for your business and investing your time and money into the most fruitful channels, you need to know how effective your campaigns are.

Whether you’re a global business with multi-national teams or a local business aiming to grow your customer base organically, your marketing strategy needs to account for international and local audiences, as well as various device platforms (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop). The rise of digital marketing means you have access to all of this data and can tailor your approach to fit each platform.

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a strategic approach to marketing that brings together all aspects of a business’ marketing activities – including marketing planning, buying, measurement and campaign execution – across various media and platforms. This might include web content, social media, email marketing, advertising and more.

Why Is Online Marketing Better Than Traditional Marketing?

Thanks to the web, consumers have immediate access to a large amount of content – whether they want to read about your products and services or would rather engage with you, the brand, in social media. The web also provides a level of convenience that allows people to discover your products and services when and where they want, rather than having to go looking for a particular piece of literature or a radio announcement to learn about your offering.

This is significant because with traditional marketing, audiences generally had to be ‘found’ – either they knew about your product or service and happened to come across it, or they overheard it mentioned and decided to investigate further. Now, with digital marketing and the web, they can simply discover your product or service and find other content, products and services that they might be interested in, all without leaving the comfort of their homes or devices.

The web is also a place where consumers can have a voice; they can engage with businesses and brands, share their opinions and give recommendations, all without needing to be ‘sold’ anything. Traditional methods of marketing, such as radio ads and newspapers, allow businesses to take advantage of this and can still form part of a multichannel marketing approach today, however, in an increasingly digital world, this type of marketing doesn’t hold the same weight it once did.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Put simply, digital marketing is the use of the web and social media to promote a product or service.

In the past, people might have turned on their radio listening to an ad for a specific product or service they were searching for. Now with the click of a button, they can find the same information on Google or Facebook.

In these spaces, you’ll often find a combination of paid and organic content that exists to educate, entertain or persuade your target audience to take a specific action – whether that’s to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, fill out a form, visit a website or share a product, service or brand with their network.

Thanks to the huge rise of podcasting in recent years, listening to audio content has become a popular habit for people around the world. And why not? Podcasts can entertain, educate and – if done right – even persuade people to take action or make a purchase. For example, the Joe Rogan Experience, a popular podcast that draws hundreds of thousands of weekly listeners, frequently discusses successful entrepreneurs, tech stories and more.

The line between advertising and marketing has blurred, with many businesses, large and small, opting to integrate their marketing materials with their advertising. This strategy, known as co-branding or co-marketing, allows businesses to spread the cost of marketing across different platforms and ensures that their marketing dollars are reaching the right audience.

Why Should We Care About Digital Marketing Channels?

In the past, radio ads were the primary way that businesses advertised. Today, with many people listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube and other social media platforms, digital marketing channels – including SEO, PPC and conversion optimization – hold an even more important place in promoting your product or service.

Thanks to the web, audiences can access a huge number of potential customers, all while remaining anonymous if they choose. This makes the internet an ideal place for businesses, especially small businesses, to promote their products and services, as well as build a community of believers.

If you’re interested in using the internet to grow your business, you should learn more about digital marketing channels. These platforms allow you to find an audience, build credibility and drive traffic to your site – all while remaining nameless and faceless.

Should I Specialize In SEO Or PPC?

If your main focus is on search engine optimization (SEO) or paid search (PPC), you’ll need to decide whether to become an expert in SEO or PPC – or if you want to learn how to do both.

Expertise in SEO means getting top rankings for important search terms on Google, Bing and other popular search engines – typically, your chosen keywords appear close to the top of the results. When a consumer searches for these terms, they’ll see your website or blog in the top few results. The advantage of SEO is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to achieve high search rankings – usually, the free tools that Google provides allow you to get started easily.

PPC – also known as pay per click or pay for placement – is all about getting paid whenever someone clicks on your paid search ad (typically, these ads appear at the top of search results). An expert in PPC management can help you plan, create and optimize your ads for maximum efficiency – and minimize your expenses.

If you’re looking for the best overall combination of resources with an expertise in SEO and PPC, you should consider looking into local search engine optimization (LSEO) – also known as local SEO – which aims to get high search rankings for businesses in a specific location, usually within a specific category. The local versions of Google and Bing look at a number of factors, including reviews and local events, to determine a business’ rankings in relevant searches. This can be a great way to tap into a highly targeted audience.

How Do I Start A Blog?

The term ‘blogging’ essentially refers to the practice of creating and publishing content (typically, in the form of articles and podcasts) that’s often personal in nature and has a strong focus on entertainment, education or business.

Many business owners and marketers are turning to blogging as a way to increase their reach and to build and nurture brand advocates. A study from HubSpot found that consumers who frequently engage with blogs in their niche are 33% more likely to purchase a product or service relevant to that blog than people who rarely engage with blogs. Furthermore, the study found that consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading or listening to content from that brand’s blog, rather than traditional advertising.

Whether you’re a business owner or marketer, a blog can be a useful tool in your digital marketing toolbox. It doesn’t necessarily need to be about your products or services, but it can be. A good rule of thumb is to pick a theme that you think will be of interest to your target audience – whether you’re specifically looking for customers in the UK or US or want to expand your blog’s reach to other parts of the world – and use it to educate them about topics that they might not be aware of, or to entertain them.

What Is The Digital Marketing Toolbox?

Having a good set of digital marketing tools can make your life much easier – and, at the same time, allow you to grow your business faster. Having the right tools will also help you craft better campaigns, track the results of your efforts and perform analytics – meaning you can measure the success of your digital marketing strategy and make better, more informed decisions about your marketing efforts in the future.

Although many tools exist to help you with your digital marketing efforts, not all of them are created equal. Some tools are easier to use than others and, depending on your experience and the platforms you use, you may need to spend a little bit of time learning how to navigate and get the most from your chosen tools – especially if they’re more sophisticated.