Did you know that Aristotle is the person who’s credited with being to the first to say, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?” What does that mean as it relates to marketing? It means Aristotle would have made a fantastic marketer if he were alive today because the adage he coined certainly sums up integrated marketing nicely.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is marketing that involves providing a consistent brand experience across multiple dimensions that’s seamless for the end users and buyers of your goods or services. This means that every promotional effort is communicated in a manner that clearly and unmistakably supports a brand’s message and image.
Increasingly, integrated marketing is becoming a more important form of outbound and inbound marketing. That’s partially because fragmented media and overexposure to ads has begun to desensitize consumers to one degree or another. Today, shoppers are exposed to so many different kinds of ads everywhere they look that many consumers only recall the brands that employ integrated marketing as being memorable.
When it comes to business branding, an integrated marketing campaign will often have the following characteristics:
- The campaign is focused on a strong brand image
- It communicates using an unwavering voice
- The campaign employs a consistent look across all channels
- It uses both conventional and digital platforms to promote a brand
Telling Your Brand’s Story
With brands now being able to interact with consumers through digital channels like social media, shoppers are expecting – rather demanding – relationships with companies that are similar to the ones they have with their closest confidants. It’s no longer enough to try to sell something through marketing. Now, you have to establish and maintain relationships to thrive in today’s connected marketplace.
How can you do that successfully? By using integrated marketing to share your brand’s story.
Get Everyone Onboard
When done right, integrated marketing is a highly effective tool for small business branding. The first step toward doing things right is to get everyone onboard with your marketing plans. If you’re going to adopt an integrated marketing strategy, stop, take a breath and think about the name “integrated marketing” for a moment.
This kind of marketing differs from other approaches because “integrated” is part of its title. Integrated means you can’t silo your marketing team and except success. For integrated marketing to work, all of your departments must be familiar with your marketing plan and participate in its execution. Granted, not everyone will be a part of the plan’s execution to the same degree, but everyone in your organization needs to be involved, from the executives occupying the C-suite right down to your front-line representatives.
To better understand why everyone must be involved with integrated marketing to tell your brand’s story, think of your marketing as an ongoing live performance. While your marketing team may fulfill the roles of the characters on the stage, your other departments will labor behind the scenes to ensure the performance is flawless by operating the lights, preparing costumes, etc.
For the show to be successful, the people on stage and those behind the scenes must work together to wow their shared audience. If they don’t and the actors have to run backstage to adjust lights, etc, the show will flop.
Use Videos and Mini-Ads
No matter what digital marketing channel you’re using, consider using videos to tell your brand story. Brands that use videos in their marketing enjoy 41 percent more traffic compared to companies that don’t.
While using videos is a great idea, you may want to condense your story into a mini-ad. Facebook’s plans to launch a six-second ad format and YouTube’s “Six-Second Story Challenge” are both initiatives that demonstrate that mini-ads may be a trend that’s here to stay.
Use Clients to Tell Your Story
The majority of consumers say they trust the opinions of their peers more than an advertisement. With this is mind, consider letting your actual customers tell your brand’s story.
In order for your clients to share your story, you need to provide them with an outlet to do so and trust them enough to speak directly to the various segments that make up your target audience. While it can be hard to have that trust, it’s vital that you give your customers a voice. That’s because user-generated storytelling is effective at increasing engagement, turning prospects into loyal clients and expanding brand awareness.
How can you enable your clients to share your brand’s story? You can invite some of your more influential clients to write guest posts for your blog. You can ask them to submit video testimonials you can share on your website and social media pages as well.
Share through Virtual and Augmented Reality
Research suggests that more than 81.2 million virtual and augmented reality headsets will be sold in 2021 alone, which will represent a compound annual growth rate of 56.1 percent. This presents an opportunity for you to share your company’s story in a truly immersive way that gets people invested and interested in your brand. By providing a multi-sensory virtual reality experience to tell your story, you have the opportunity to connect with consumers like never before.
Work with Chicago Digital
If you want to use integrated marketing to tell your company’s story, you should work with Chicago Digital. From inbound marketing to SEO, remarketing, email marketing and much more, we do it all. Having such a long list of marketing services makes us the integrated marketing experts who can take your marketing to the next level of effectiveness and beyond.
To learn all about our integrated marketing capabilities, contact Chicago Digital today.