Integrated marketing can be boiled down to one essential quality: a cohesive brand presence. Across platforms, channels, and within marketing teams themselves.
When you delve into the details, though, integrated marketing can be a beast to accomplish. Achieving consistency across all channels and platforms over time and with so many moving parts is close to impossible. Aside from your brand message, you’ll also have to consider what channels you’ll want to use to spread this message, you’ll need to know what channels you’ll want to use, how you want to use them, and how they all work together. You’ll also have to know your audience intimately. Finally, you’ll need to know your business strategy and how to incorporate this into your integrated marketing.
Suddenly, a cohesive brand presence doesn’t sound so simple. It can certainly be broken down into less intimidating pieces, though.
Developing and Executing Your Integrated Strategy – 6 Steps
Developing your integrated marketing efforts requires putting fundamentals into place and setting a strategy. Once you’ve got those essentials out of the way, activating and executing your integrated marketing strategy will be a breeze. Read on and learn my 6 steps for developing and executing your integrated strategy.
- Create Your Content Marketing Mission Statement
The content marketing mission statement is your home base, making it vital to develop from the get-go. This document should outline your core target audience, what will be delivered to it, and what the outcome is for the audience. At the end of this document, you should end up with a straightforward sentence that summates the purpose of your content and who your target audience is.
When trying to remain focused and cohesive, this simple document will keep your marketing team on strategy.
- Select a Content Asset and Channels
A successful content marketing mission statement will underlie all content you create. Still, it can be easy to lose sight of your core mission in the hustle and bustle of daily content creation. By starting small, you’ll create both an expectation for and a foundation of content that supports your cohesive brand message.
Accordingly, choose just one type or piece of content to start with and infuse it with the content marketing mission statement. Make this decision with an awareness of the reasoning behind it – maybe you begin with a white paper because it’s a large enough piece to make an impression; maybe you start with social media posts because they’re the most direct line of communication to your audience.
After selecting your type or piece of content, you’ll want to choose two communication channels to distribute it on. This decision should also be made strategically according to your content marketing mission statement and details such as Calls to Action and message should be documented for consistency.
Voila—your foundation is set!
Work is, of course, not finished after you’ve created your piece of content and distributed it on two channels. The real challenge comes with remaining timely and consistent (and relevant). Luckily, the options for reinforcing consistency are numerous. Everything from repurposing this original piece of content (more on that later) to adding a follow-up offer to establishing a common theme for future content creation will accomplish consistency. You can find a more substantial list of ways to encourage content consistency below:
- Nurture streams
- Follow-up offer
- Subscription based content
- Data-Driven content
- Weekly Newsletter
- Content Calendar
- A common theme
- Leverage Blue Ocean Strategy
More than a marketing tactic, Blue Ocean Strategy is a concept that can revolutionize your entire business. According to the founders of Blue Ocean Strategy, it is understood as such:
“Companies tend to engage in head-to-head competition in search of sustained profitable growth. Yet in today’s overcrowded industries competing head-on results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Lasting success increasingly comes, not from battling competitors, but from creating blue oceans of untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.” What Is Blue Ocean Strategy
The impact of Blue Ocean Strategy on integrated marketing is two-fold. First of all, you’ll want to consider how Blue Ocean Strategy can influence your business model and then bring this into your brand messaging. Secondly—and, more importantly, in this context—you can create your own Blue Ocean of opportunity in terms of marketing by utilizing integrated marketing. We’re all aware of the overcrowded marketing space that has resulted in audience disillusionment. The cycle of content overload can be broken with integrated marketing. This applies doubly so if your competition hasn’t caught up to the new standard of integrated marketing.
- Remain Consistent
Thanks to all of the work you’ve done in the above steps, you know your audience and what you want to offer them. Your foundational strategy is set. You’re creating value and uncontested space. Now, you just need to stick with it and remain consistent.
How Do You Do This?
Utilize a framework that relies on consistency in terms of creation and distribution as well as message and voice. At Fathom, we call this an ‘Always On’ approach. This means a regularly posted-on blog, a standard distribution of blog content, a routine social posting schedule, and so on. It may sound boring, but, like the process I described above of choosing one piece of content to focus on, it builds a vital foundation. What is great, though, is that this ‘Always On’ framework can stand independently when it needs to, but it can also support larger initiatives, such as webinars, podcasts, and more.
Why Should You Do This?
According to McKinsey & Company, 47% of customers will switch to a competitor that does a better job of connecting with them through their preferred touchpoints. (Zoomin Software) Need I say more?
What Are the Goals ?
Aside from wooing those aforementioned 47% of customers into staying with you, consistency will help create long-term, sustainable relationships with your brand, which are expressed across multiple levels.
- Repurpose Content
Repurposing content is often held up as an ideal method of increasing marketing efficiency. This is certainly true. More than that, though, it reinforces messages across channels. Repurposing content is the most successful way to ensure consistency across channels by literally using the same content and frameworks, just modifying them for certain content mediums and tweaking them for certain channels.
Ultimately, repurposing content will allow your marketing efforts to easily flow across platforms without coming off as stunted or forced. The Kapost graphic below may spark some ideas for the myriad of ways you can repurpose even a single piece of content.
- Measure According to Business Goals
A vital step for all marketing campaigns, knowing your business goals and, consequentially, identifying how your marketing efforts roll back into them will keep you on the right track always. An added bonus is the fact that by measuring in terms of business goals, you can get members outside of your marketing team on board with your efforts.
Consumer standards have risen exponentially while brands and audiences alike are connected 24/7 through technology. It’s a new, difficult world for marketers. With the use of integrated marketing, though, organizations are still able to build strong, profitable relationships with their customers, clients, and audiences. Instead of jumping into the deep end of the integrated marketing pool, start with one piece of content and build your way to integrated marketing success.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog Punch Above Your Weight: Why Digital Favors David, Not Goliath to discover how identifying your unfair advantage is key to operating above capacity.