You are reading this article because you are interested in online marketing. Or perhaps you already work in digital marketing and are here to find better ways to do your job. Whichever the case, you are in the right place.
You have chosen an excellent time to be reading this article. Just yesterday, LinkedIn announced the release of its Digital Marketing Survey 2017. The survey results help paint a clear picture of how marketing professionals throughout the world are utilizing digital marketing to move their business forward.
The results are interesting. While the majority of respondents (61%) claim to already have an integrated online marketing strategy in place, fewer than 10% are confident their efforts are actually leading to real growth in organic search traffic. Even more alarming is that only 20% of businesses have any kind of measurement strategy at all. The results of this survey should motivate you to take action and overhaul your marketing strategy.
Why Is an Integrated Marketing Plan Important?
An integrated marketing plan (IMP) is a fancy name for a well-thought-out plan that combines all of the various marketing tactics a business uses to connect with its audience. This plan is developed over a period of time, usually months, and is based on extensive research into what works and what doesn’t. It is important to note that an IMP is very different from a shotgun wedding of one-off campaigns. An IMP is a long-term plan that provides both strategic and tactical guidance on how to best reach your audience.
What Is the Most Effective Way to Build an Integrated Marketing Plan?
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, as are businesses’ needs. One of the main issues holding businesses back from fully integrating their marketing strategies is a lack of time. It takes a lot of effort to set up each one of the tactics in a stand-alone campaign and then measure the results. However, with an IMP in place, every aspect of a business’ marketing strategy is easily accessible via a single dashboard. This saves both time and effort and makes it much easier for marketers to plan ahead. Additionally, as businesses evolve and change, it’s important to keep up with the trends and stay relevant.
What Are the Most Popular Tacticss To Include In an Integrated Marketing Plan?
A traditional marketing audit will identify the most popular tactics used to reach an audience. These are typically identified as PPC, social media, and SEO. However, what exactly do these terms mean?
Pay per click (PPC) is a type of advertising where businesses pay an online marketing company to get their ads in front of people who are likely to be interested in their product or service. Depending on the size of your audience and the cost of a click, this can be an effective way to gain quick traction. However, you should only consider this as a short-term measure and not a long-term strategy. This type of advertising loses its luster over time and can quickly eat into your marketing budget. Furthermore, PPC is only effective when used in conjunction with SEO and/or social media marketing.
Social media is all the various platforms that an average person uses to stay connected with others. These include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. To build a following on any of these platforms, you must consistently post relevant and interesting content. Even more importantly, you must engage with your audience. This means that you must respond to any comments, questions, or concerns your audience might have. Essentially, you are building a relationship with your audience on a one-to-one basis.
SEO (Search engine optimization) refers to the actions taken by a business to get higher placement in search engine results for specific keywords. Depending on your product or service and the competitiveness of your chosen keywords, this can be a very effective strategy. However, you must remember that getting higher rankings in search results doesn’t necessarily mean that people will automatically click on your website. In fact, the success of SEO tactics heavily depends on the quality of the content served on your website.
By combining these three tactics, you get a much more powerful strategy that is designed to capture as many clicks as possible from people who are searching for what your business offers. SEO, PPC, and social media marketing are critical for any business, but especially for smaller businesses or startups, as they can be very expensive to implement and keep up with. An integrated marketing plan helps businesses of all sizes and budgets to keep up with the latest trends while also ensuring they are using the most effective marketing tactics available.
What Other Ways Can Businesses Benefit From An Integrated Marketing Strategy?
Besides the obvious benefits of having a comprehensive plan in place, businesses that implement an integrated marketing strategy also benefit from deeper insights into the effectiveness of their campaign. To start, you can measure the return on investment (ROI) of every aspect of your plan. This includes the amount of time you spend on social media, the cost of your PPC campaign, and the click-through rate (CTR) of your various web pages and landing pages.
By having this information at your fingertips, you are armed with powerful insights to help guide your next marketing move. Furthermore, you can determine the success of your plan by looking at the growth of your organic search traffic.
Additionally, having a traditional marketing audit and an SEO strategy in place will help you determine the most effective keywords to target and how to target them, as well as the most efficient and cost-effective ways to show up in search results for those keywords.
In summary, an integrated marketing plan is extremely useful for any business. It provides much greater clarity on how to best reach your audience and determine the success of your campaign. Furthermore, it makes it much easier for businesses to keep up with the latest trends while also ensuring they are using the most effective marketing tactics available.
Why Are Only 20% Of Businesses Monitoring Their Marketing Results?
The last question in the survey asks respondents to choose from a list of possible answers as to why they aren’t measuring the success of their marketing efforts. The most popular answers are:
- 18% believe they’re already achieving the results they want and don’t need to measure anything.
- 16% feel they’re not able to determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
- 15% think measuring the results isn’t important since no one apart from the company’s owners will be affected by the results.
- 13% think measuring the results isn’t important because they know what they’re doing and don’t need any guidelines.
- 11% believe measuring the results isn’t important because they don’t want to influence the outcome in any way.
Despite the popular answers that arise most often, every business should be diligently tracking the results of their campaign. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, knowing the success of your campaign will give you a much better idea of what is and isn’t working. Second, it can help you determine how to best continue to grow your business.
To begin with, if you don’t measure it, you’ll never know if you’re genuinely achieving the results you want to see. This could mean that one of your tactics is not as effective as you thought it was. It’s also possible that your chosen keywords are not as competitive as you thought they were and so you’re getting less traffic than you expected. In either situation, not measuring the results of your campaign can leave you completely in the dark. You need to know what’s going on.
How Is Marketing Different Today Than It Was 10 Years Ago?
Before answering this question, it’s important to point out that we’re comparing today’s marketer to yesterday’s marketer. The world of digital marketing has completely changed in the last 10 years. The ways in which we can engage with our audience and the tactics available to us have shifted considerably.
Social media has completely transformed our expectations of what a business should do online. Back in the day, businesses would have websites with a few thousand words of copy on them. When someone came across that site, they’d probably read a little blurb about the company, maybe looked at some product images, and maybe pressed the “contact us” button to get in touch. If they were lucky, they’d eventually find their way to an order page or a product review where they could place an order or find out more information about the company.
These days, the expectation is more like: social media platform (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram), website, blog, and email marketing. To stay relevant and attract new customers, most businesses must develop a presence on all of these platforms.