We live in a digital world. Marketing copy and advertisements dominate our online experience. Many businesses get lost in the shuffle as “just another ad,” and it’s the innovative and bold companies that cut through the noise. Their secret? Integrated digital marketing is the answer.
What is Integrated Digital Marketing?
It’s the creation of a unique form of expression that’s easy to identify in all customer-facing channels, including:
- Content strategy
- Paid and organic marketing
Think for a moment of Nike’s customer-facing experience. On a fundamental level, you’ll probably picture excellent photography, grandiose and gigantic visuals of some of the most famous athletes on the planet, bright colours, and three words: Just Do It.
Now imagine Nike’s Instagram page started posting pictures of Scooby-Doo or Rick and Morty. It doesn’t connect; it doesn’t align. It just doesn’t make sense. Nike’s unique form of expression is constant across all channels their customers use and for a good reason. It works!
Integrated digital marketing uses a single language to speak in different situations and with different targeted demographics.
Combining and Unifying all Channels
We will conceptualise this idea by thinking of a 10-piece puzzle. On the surface, a single piece may give you a clue of what the full puzzle will look like, and it’s not until the mystery is complete that you (or in this thought process, your customer) will understand the full scope of your integrated digital marketing plan. Communication begins.
Where Does Integrated Digital Marketing Live?
- Paid media (paid advertising);
- Earned media (organic search thanks to SEO, website, or blog)
- Owned media (social, email marketing, and other signups)
Once you create your integrated digital marketing plan, you can give your customers an omnichannel customer experience, allowing them to go from one channel to another without a hitch.
They can first see a product on mobile, research it on social while using their tablet, and complete the purchase on a laptop or desktop—all with the same message, the same voice, visuals, and the same experience. Here is a step by step omnichannel plan.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Determine which channels your customers are using.
- Map your customer’s journey.
- Make sure you match your content with your chosen marketing channel.
- Target your audience - know if they are male or female and where they live.
- Incorporate shopping facilities on social media platforms.
- Provide cross channel customer support.
- Keep analysing your data and updating your strategy.
- Obey the law and keep your customer’s data safe.
- Ask for regular feedback on everything you do.
The Most Important Channels of Integrated Digital Marketing
Using SEO principles on value-added content such as your blog or website allows you to be more visible on search engines when your target market enters your target short-tail or long-tail keyword.
The higher you rank on SERP, the better. This organic strategy takes time, patience, and excellent written content that can be seen as authoritative by search engines and human beings alike.
Don’t try to do this yourself make sure you have an SEO specialist who can audit and make technical fixes off-page.
Social media consumes the lives of 45 percent of people on the face of the Earth.
Some of the biggest social media companies consist of just a fraction of the world’s social media platforms and include:
Each platform has its own set of best practices, but as we learned above, your message should be the same across all channels, even if the implementation and creation of posts look different for each platform. Strengthen your strategy by tailoring your delivery to the typical user on the specific forum.
Create a brand and social personas. For example, you’re not going to post an instructional video on woodworking on TikTok or a job posting on Snapchat - well you could, but it won’t get the same exposure.
Using demographic statistics for any social media network is an essential piece of information for any marketing strategy. It’s basic market research, and you want to know who uses your products and services, knowing who uses the platform and why aids you in researching, advertising and making the best marketing decisions.
As social media is continually changing, it’s good to know updated statistics as you revisit your decisions and tailor content to your target market on each different platform.
Know your audience; if you know who you’re pitching too, you can tailor your message - let’s take a look at the social channels in detail.
Except for those over 65, the majority of users in the UK use Facebook. However, it’s important to note that in the last three years, the usage among teens has dropped in favour of YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok.
In the UK, Facebook also leans more towards men, with 44% of women and 56% of men using the platform. The lean is opposite in the US with 75% women and 35% men.
With 73% of users visiting the site at least once a day.
According to London School of Economics and Science in 2019, the breakdown of demographics by age include:
- 39% of 13 -17-year-olds use Facebook
- 56% of 18 - 24-year-olds use Facebook
- 74% of 25 - 30-year-olds use Facebook
- 79% of 30–49-year-olds use Facebook
- 68% of 50–64-year-olds use Facebook
In 2016 Facebook added Marketplace as a feature to the platform, this is a potent selling tool and used properly can propel your business - to find out more click the link.
LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals predominantly used as a powerful business networking tool. According to LinkedIn, there are over 500 million registered users worldwide, with 21 million in the UK.
In 2019 there were 50 million students and college graduates on LinkedIn, which makes this platform the fastest-growing demographic.
With 44% of LinkedIn users female, and 56% are male, the reach is broad and should not be underestimated. If you don’t include a LinkedIn profile as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing out on a vast market of potential clients.
Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, and since then, Instagram has 600 million monthly active users, with 150 million people using Instagram Stories every day. Recently Facebook updated its user statistics, but they didn’t update country-specific data, so the last confirmed UK statistic stands at 14 million monthly active users and rising.
In terms of gender demographics:
- 68% of Instagrammers are female, and 38% are male
- 62% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram
- 35% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram
The age range is limited compared to Facebook and LinkedIn, but 90% of 19 - 35-year-olds say Instagram is the most important social media platform to them.
Using Instagram as a selling tool has got more comfortable with the introduction of Shopify.
In the past few years, Instagram has been rolling out all sorts of shopping-focused features, the following are the best-recommended tools, explore tab, product tags, shoppable stories, shoppable posts, and Instagram Checkout.
To take advantage of selling tools, you need a business account. You must create a product catalogue. Check the link for Instagrams step-by-step guide on how to sell products with Instagram shopping tools.
Set up your account, so it’s shoppable, follow the link to Instagram to find out more.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform and has only officially updated its user statistics in 2013, so
stats for this platform are less reliable. With around 317 to 328 million active users, of
which approximately 16 million are in the UK, and 79% are outside of the US, Twitter proves we are a nation of talkers.
In terms of gender split:
- 24 % of all male internet users are on Twitter
- 20 % of all female internet users are on Twitter
The largest group of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 to 29 (37%). 25% of users are between 30 and 49 years old. Twitter is a driver, use it well, and it will drive traffic to your website or where ever you choose to sell your products (Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn)
Here’s the thing with Twitter you have to know how to use it effectively, it’s no good posting a few random comments now and then - here’s the golden ticket…
Get involved, to make Twitter work for you, you have to have an opinion and be prepared to share it, regularly.
Pinterest, TikTok and Snapchat are all about influencing, so if you want to promote your business in that way, it’s an excellent place to be.
Snapchat has only existed since 2011, it’s relatively new as a social media platform. However, it has seen substantial growth over the last three years, but with 50% of users that are under 25 years old, and 23% are not working. The most considerable Snapchat age demographic is 18- to 24-year-olds, which is great if you’re selling trainers but not so good if the business is selling life insurance.
The same is true of TikTok, but TikTok has potential, used by startups and on-trend brands. Tik Tok was launched in 2016 and thought to be a flash in the pan - how things have changed in 2020 and the pandemic.
In the last few months, consumers have been eating up content like it was going out of fashion. The need for more and more content means markets are diversifying and TikTok has taken advantage of market conditions, by merely being in the right place at the right time.
If you look at the sort of TV we are watching; programmes like GoogleBox, the TV show from channel4 about people watching other people watching TV. When a bright spark at channel4 pitched that idea, the program directors probably laughed at the concept out of the room. Surprisingly the show is an outright success with 3.5 million viewers to each program - people watching sells, its real-life interaction that drives Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram.
Which leads me on to content; all of the above is useless without great content.
Content Is King
Content is still king and is the lifeblood of any communication effort, including your omnichannel customer experience.
- Start by examining and reviewing your current style guide and existing content, or creating new content and then plan how to create content for every step of the user customer purchase journey.
- There should be different content, tone, and subject matter at the top of the funnel, the middle, at the bottom.
- Put yourself in your customer's shoes.
- Tell them about why your product or service brings them value or solves a problem in their lives.
- Tailor that content to each of your channels incorporating the whys.
- A social post on Twitter should be different from a research-driven blog post created for PPC advertising on Google.
- Keep creating and keep posting relevant content.
- Check your analytics regularly and change the content to match the results.
- If in doubt, ask for professional help.
Integrated Digital Marketing Takeaways
- Choosing the right marketing strategy for your business.
- Make sure your website is mobile compatible and SEO friendly.
- Go where your audience is: don't use a Snapchat account if you’re trying to reach 45 year-old professionals and executives.
- Pick 2 or 3 platforms and do them well, rather than trying to create content for 5+ different platforms and failing your audiences on all of them.
- Keep posting quality linked material that is brand sensitive and tells the same story.
- Look at which channels your peers and competitors use to get new ideas.
- Do regular housekeeping, if one strategy is not working ditch it and try something else.
- Remember things change and so must any successful business - change can be a good thing, so embrace it.