What is integrated marketing? It’s an end-to-end marketing experience “that leaves your products or services top-of-mind” in your audience’s collective opinion, as HubSpot’s Allie Decker puts it.
Providing your prospects and customers with a consistent brand voice, a cohesive design vision, and a stellar customer journey goes a long way toward integrated marketing success. Learn how your company can use this strategy to charm your prospects and turn them into loyal customers.
Start with Your Company’s Business Goals
As leadership expert John C. Maxwell once advised, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” If your marketing operations don’t align with your corporate direction, it’s bound to fail.
For that reason, you need to meet with your company’s executive team often so you can tailor your approach to their vision. While most companies have increasing profit as their number one goal, they might have other objectives they want to achieve, such as expanding into new markets, introducing new products, promoting their corporate values, or widening their customer base.
Next, Update Your Brand Guidelines to Align with Your Company’s Vision
In most companies, corporate leadership usually tasks the head of marketing with creating and updating brand guidelines. After all, their creative teams usually handle logo design, brand colors and fonts, and a brand voice that echoes your corporate vision.
As your organization evolves, make sure that your brand guidelines reflect those changes. After you’ve finalized your update, meet with the heads of every department to explain the changes.
Encourage Adherence to Brand Guidelines Across the Enterprise
Encourage your department heads to familiarize all the employees under their supervision with the new direction. Even non-customer-facing teams should speak with one voice – your brand’s – while they’re on the clock.
Empower Employees Company-Wide to Create Content
There’s another reason why you need to share your brand guidelines with employees outside your marketing teams. The leads their content generates have seven times more probability of closing than your carefully crafted marketing content.
Why? Statistics show that audiences engage with employee-generated content eight times more than marketing content. It’s the trust factor.
When you’re trying out a new restaurant and don’t know what dishes will delight your taste buds, you ask the waitstaff, right? Similarly, your prospects will likely trust those people who interact with your products more than those whose job is to sell them.
So, quote your subject matter experts often in your content. Pairing your teams’ expertise in communications in content collaboration with outside teams can create marketing magic.
Your subject matter experts would be a natural fit for educational content, such as how-to videos and written guides, as well as walkthrough and explainer videos. A new NetLine report revealed that these types of content, along with “101 content,” ranked highest among B2B buyers.
And, according to a Content Marketing Institute survey, educational content ranked second highest among their content marketing successes among B2C customers as well.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
Empower employees from all departments to create content of their own. So long as it adheres to your brand guidelines and passes muster with your editorial and compliance teams, employee-generated content is a great addition to your content teams’ offerings. Their enthusiasm about what your company does will be contagious – try it and see!
Partner with Your Sales, PR, and Support Teams
All too often, silos still exist between marketing teams and other departments whose function is also to speak for the company. Getting on the same page with your sales, public relations, and support teams on your messaging can give your brand a seamless voice across all your communications.
Using your brand guidelines as the uniting factor among these diverse teams, you can more easily partner with them to create content and other marketing communications that make their jobs easier.
Marketing content can provide background information on how your products work, how they’ve helped other customers, and what they can do for your prospects. From blog posts and videos to detailed ebooks, your content can prepare the way for your sales teams to answer their prospects’ questions and meet their objections with facts.
Public Relations Content
While your PR teams do the background work – the meeting and greeting, the TV and radio appearances, and newspaper interviews – your content marketing teams can provide them with press releases that catch the media’s attention, fact sheets that jog their memory during interviews, and detailed information about the benefits your products will provide to the public.
Customer Support Content
Marketing shouldn’t stop after the sale. Your content teams can provide customers with tips on how to get the most use out of your products, how-to videos and guides that show new customers how to operate that new gadget they just bought, and FAQs that can help them troubleshoot any problems they might have with their purchases. You’ll make your customer support teams happy and contribute to that stellar customer journey that characterizes a successful integrated marketing strategy.
Take an Omnichannel Approach to Marketing
Now that you’ve aligned all your messaging across the enterprise, proclaim that message across all the channels where your company has a presence. Whether online or off, your brand needs to be everywhere your target customers are. Using content automation to spread your message saves you time and gets the word out faster.
Emails and Text Messaging
Once you get a prospect to sign up for your email or text lists, don’t spam them with messages that won’t address their needs. Instead, segment your lists by interest and send them only those messages that provide them with problem-solving information that builds trust in your brand.
Many large companies turn their traditional media content over to ad agencies. If yours is one of those companies, make sure that the agency’s messaging aligns with your brand guidelines. As part of your integrated marketing strategy, TV, radio, and print ads can build brand awareness – but lose their value if they don’t present a unified picture of your company.
Those undergirding principles you and your company’s leadership teams chose for your brand guidelines should echo throughout your messaging. Whether it’s signage inside your office or brick-and-mortar store, packaging and labels for your products, or choosing speakers for an in-person event, your brand’s identity and commitment to meeting its customers’ needs must be at the forefront.
Make the most of your brand presence by timing your posts to appear when your target audience is most likely to engage with your messaging. Filter your paid posts by audience segment so you don’t spam their feed with posts that don’t match their needs and interests.
Videos and Podcasts
Podcasts and videos number among some of the most popular channels for content consumption. It’s no wonder. These multi-sensory experiences engage their audiences’ visual and aural senses, making information easier to digest and retain. Again, incorporating subtle branding cues, along with helpful information, can make your brand one your audience will remember for a lifetime.
Keep Your Integrated Marketing Going with Frequent Refreshes
Integrated marketing shouldn’t be a “one and done.” Meet frequently with your leadership team to learn about any changes in direction they want to take your brand or new customer segments they want to reach. Then, revise your brand guidelines and messaging to reflect those changes.
Finally, conduct a content audit to identify older content that needs a fresh coat of paint to reflect your new branding direction or customer needs.
With DivvyHQ’s comprehensive content marketing platform, you’ll have everything you need to integrate your marketing strategy throughout your company.
Use its capability to create, publish, and analyze content across your entire enterprise. Automate routine processes, streamline content production and approval, and sync your data with other platforms your company uses.
Don’t wait to give your marketing strategy a more consistent presence across all your channels. Start your free 14-day trial today!