As a business, you’re constantly presented with new interactive channels for advertising while being told not to give up on traditional media. PPC, email, mobile, Facebook, Twitter, display – how can you extract the highest day to day ROI in this tangle? While we wish we could answer this question in one post (we can’t – whole books have been written on the subject). Instead, we are going to look at one core aspect: campaign integration.
Fact: people are busy, forgetful, and distrustful. Seeing one message in one channel often isn’t enough to get them to convert, even if they fully mean to. (See the part about busy and forgetful.) However, a clear, unified message sent through several channels builds brand awareness, provides more opportunities for people to convert, and re-engages prospects who are drifting away. To score the highest ROI from your multiple advertising channels, you’ll want to find the middle ground between bombarding your prospects with advertisements and letting them simply walk away.
Here are some tips for effectively integrating your marketing campaigns:
Choose your channels wisely. Although you want to reach as many prospects as you can, you don’t want to put your advertising dollars and time in channels that your customers don’t use. (E.g. if you sell Justin Bieber mementos, a full page ad in the AARP magazine probably isn’t going to deliver.) Don’t feel like you need to cover every possible advertising venue – you’re just in it for the profitable ones.
Develop a clear message and keep it consistent throughout multiple channels. Campaigns around a specific event (a sale, webinar, or other promotion) can be very tightly focused, but branding campaigns should also be consistent to build awareness and loyalty. Think narrative. Who is your brand and what story does it have to tell?
Strategize, don’t bombard. No one likes an advertiser who sends out lots of emails, text messages, and other ads containing exactly the same offer. (Even if it isn’t technically spam, that’s how your customers will see it.) Different advertising media are more effective at different stages in the buying cycle. Even if email newsletters haven’t gotten the results you wanted, why not try sending follow-up emails to shopping cart abandoners with a use today coupon or a free shipping offer?
Use different channels to support other ones. Integration means having a wider net to draw more qualified prospects in, and social media is particularly effective at spreading the word. Want to get more attention for your new promo and brand story? Offer an incentive for having people “like” your Facebook post or brand icon (or retweet your Twitter message), and they’ll point friends to your offers by default.
Don’t forget about your existing customers. New prospects are exciting, but your existing customers are equally important. In return for their continued business, make sure your messages include (and reach) them. These people already like and support you. Nurture that relationship in every channel and your brand identity.