Knowing how to develop integrated content is vital.
The purpose of this blog is to give you the steps to creating an integrated content marketing strategy for your company. Ultimately, it should help your company stand out from the competition, engage with customers on a deeper level, improve brand awareness, increase web traffic and convert visitors into customers.
What is an integrated content marketing strategy?
Integrated content marketing is simply a way to use several different marketing channels to ensure that your company is successful at reaching your target market. It is how you create relationships with your customers, and it is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness and customer interest.
A great example of implementing successful integrated marketing is the “Compare the Meerkat” campaign by Compare the Market, which has been ongoing for almost 8 years. It combines a variety of channels, such as social media, search, television, and other media, as well as genuine meerkat dolls as gifts, to maintain the market’s brand awareness constant.
Step 1: Set realistic goals for your integrated content marketing strategy
The first step in creating an integrated content marketing strategy is goal-setting. Determine the goals for your content marketing and how you will measure them.
One way to do this is to set up a content marketing funnel with a goal for each stage. A content marketing funnel is a process used to turn prospects into customers. It is designed to help businesses use content to attract their prospects, convert them, and retain them. To create a content marketing funnel, you will need to:
- Identify your target customers and segment them. One of the most popular methods is the customer segmentation method. It categorizes customers into groups based on their characteristics, which are then used to develop marketing strategies. For example, the customer segmentation strategy could involve dividing customers into groups based on their age, income, occupation or other factors. This allows you to create the marketing strategy that would be most effective for each group of people.
- Find their pain points. You can discover what customers want to see changed in a number of ways: use a survey, ask your current customers directly, or start a business blog and post a survey link.
If you decide to use a survey, make it short and simple. Ask three questions: what they want, what they need, and what they would love to have.
- Create content that addresses those pain points. It might be an interesting blog post or an informative video. Whatever it is, remember that you should provide them with a solution they can’t find elsewhere.
Use the content you create to attract new prospects and convert them to customers, and then use customer retention strategies to keep them coming back.
Step 2: Build your persona and construct their buyer journey
The second step in developing a great integrated content marketing strategy is to build a target persona and understand their buyer journey. This will empower you to create content that resonates with your buyer.
Once you have a persona in place, you can create integrated content that addresses pain points and fears associated with the purchase. By doing so, you will fulfill their needs at the awareness stage. It’s important to attract your readers in this stage by solving their problems with educational content.
The ideal channels to distribute the content for this funnel stage are:
- Blogging (through educational content).
- Social media marketing.
- Search engine marketing.
At this stage of the buyer journey, you will want to show your target customer your services or products while demonstrating how well they meet the customer’s needs and the benefits they offer. It’s important to build trust between your brand and audience.
For the consideration channel, we recommend taking a closer look at these settings:
- Blogging (e.g., a showcase).
- Social media.
The decision stage is the final stage of the buyer’s journey. When you have made it this far and it is time for your target customer to decide whether to buy your product or service, you will want to let her explore all the available information and answer any final questions that may arise.
We think these are the perfect channels for the consideration stage:
- Knowledge base.
- Email marketing.
- Live chat.
Last but not least, you may consider the buyer journey not as a linear process, but as a wheel. This means you can target multiple stages across all of your chosen channels simultaneously.
Step 3: Identify the ideal communication methods
Some of the best ways to communicate with your audience are email, social media, and blogging.
Email marketing is the best way to reach out to your customers and prospects. It is highly effective, economical, easy to use, and flexible. You can target your prospects based on their location, interests, and other details. One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is that it’s cost-effective. You don’t need to invest much money in it to see results.
Social media marketing
Social media is a great way to communicate with customers, particularly to find out what their concerns are. If they are not happy with something, you can address it quickly.
It also allows you to show customers what you are doing and reach out proactively. You can share events, new product launches, or even feedback through social media. You can post photos, videos, and other content they may be interested in. It gives you an opportunity to tell your story and let customers look into your business.
As many as 95% of B2B product and service customers say looking at content is a great way to evaluate any business. Content creation is an excellent opportunity to answer your audience’s questions and present yourself as a thought leader.
The best way to create an integrated content marketing strategy is to develop an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you plan each piece of content you will publish, on what channel and when. Using this tool, you’ll be able to stay on track, grow your audience and increase your chances of success.
Step 4: Define key promotional channels
Another crucial step in creating and developing an integrated content marketing strategy is defining what promotional channels to use. You’ll also want to define your goals for each channel and the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Successful integrated marketing allows each individual to сhoose the time and channel to consume desired information. Here are the most common promotional channels:
- Direct marketing: This type of marketing can deliver a customized message to your audience through online adverts, database marketing and emails.
- Email marketing: The benefits of email marketing include being able to reach a targeted audience in a less expensive way with a high conversion rate.
- PR: PR is a great way to get more exposure for your brand, and as a result to reach new potential customers.
- Digital marketing: Digital marketing helps you connect, convert and retain customers with the help of the internet and online technology such as web pages, email, apps and social media.
- Social media: This channel lets you promote your content while engaging with your audience. By using social media to communicate, you can share your content and promote it on your own social media pages (paid options also available) as well as in related groups.
It’s crucial to your integrated content marketing strategy that you choose the right channels. Remember: only by targeting the right digital channels will you be able to generate significant results.
Step 5: Take advantage of other valuable resources
If you want your content to be read and shared, you need to produce high-quality, valuable information within it. But you might find this time-consuming and realize it requires a skilled team of content producers. You also need the right SEO strategies to make sure your content will be discovered by potential customers.
For an integrated content marketing strategy that performs well, you may need to enlist the help of a valuable outsourced partner. Tempesta Media’s managed service solution offers full digital marketing services as well as access to an expert writing team. These benefits will streamline your content production.
Step 6: Analyze the results and improve
Another action to take when you’re looking to create an integrated content marketing strategy is to figure out the best way to analyze your own results. This way, you can determine what you need to work on to improve. You’ll want to focus on the metrics that matter the most to your company. A potent way to measure your results is to use key performance indicators (KPIs).
You can use these metrics to measure everything from how many sales you’ve generated in a specific time period to the number of website visitors or social media followers you’ve gained. It’s important to take into account what has worked and what has not and adjust your integrated content marketing strategy accordingly.
A clearly defined strategy is one of the most important elements of a successful content marketing campaign. In this article, we provided a step-by-step plan to create an integrated marketing campaign that generates the best possible results.
Tempesta Media can design and execute an integrated content marketing campaign that is customized to your business and delivers the results you want. If you need help creating and developing an integrated marketing strategy, contact us.