Marketing rock stars are no one-trick ponies. No, a star has to master a range of skills before he can command arena-style audiences, and the financial return stars get, too.
Perhaps your business has built a solid social media following on Facebook, reaching several hundred fans in just a few months. Bravo!
Perhaps you’re proud of the few Angie’s List reviews your customers have given, prompting you to link your website page to the reviews. Bravo!
But do you know how to create an integrated marketing campaign that will help you get results from your Facebook following or Angie’s List reviews?
Or perhaps you’ve reached the limit of your marketing knowledge, or worse, you fear you’ve reached the pinnacle of where your marketing knowledge can take you.
Don’t worry if you’re embarrassed by a desire for your business to become a marketing rock star. We’re granting you permission to be one—because you need to be in order to succeed today, regardless of industry—and an integrated marketing campaign can help you get there.
Integrated marketing 101
Let’s go back to the rock-star analogy. In the days before a rock star becomes a star, they are practicing an instrument, attending lessons, learning how to command the stage, and so on. It is when all these elements come together that a star is born, and the performer can command large audiences and profits.
That’s what you need to learn to do with marketing. Integrated marketing essentials include these services:
Search engine marketing (SEM)
With search engine marketing, you can position your business to rank high in user search engine results pages (SERPs). You know, that page that pops up on Google when a consumer searches for “home improvement company”? Well, that’s where you need to be, and your business won’t magically appear on the page.
Research shows that when a consumer turns to the internet to search for a local business, 88 percent of them actually visit that business within 24 hours. If your business doesn’t show up on the page, you’ve definitely missed out on an opportunity.
There are strategies marketing experts use to get a business to “rank” on the first page of Google (and other search engines). With expert help, you can identify the keywords your campaign needs to target, based on your audience and what they search for. Search engine marketing strategies also include creating landing pages, tracking local calls, and paid search ads.
Social media market (SMM)
Did you know you can do marketing on social media? Social media marketing is another great tool businesses should use in their campaigns, but the platforms call for a unique approach.
Here, it’s best not to do a hard sell. Instead, use Facebook and Twitter to engage consumers, increase brand awareness, and create a brand community. Studies show that almost 75 percent of consumers are more likely to choose a business when they can first research information about it through social media.
This is another marketing channel where you must be “findable.” You need a social media presence.
For very little cost, businesses can get a good return with a blog. Building a high-traffic blog is nearly free traffic—with one caveat: It’s targeted traffic.
What would you pay for targeted leads? Well, investing in a blog is a low-cost way to build targeted leads. When you post informative content that educates consumers, establishes your authority, and answers product questions, you build trust.
Your online blog presence establishes your business’ credibility and authority, and then consumers turn to you when they’re ready to buy. All of the content that you post on your blog? Well, Google gives you an A+ score for fresh content, which helps to boost your search engine ranking at the same time.
For small businesses, reviews are critical. Much like rock stars build a loyal following, in part, through word of mouth, small businesses need to build a stable of good reviews. It turns out, consumers trust online reviews, too.
In fact, 72 percent of consumers say that have as much trust in online reviews as traditional word-of-mouth reviews. That’s impressive!
An integrated marketing campaign should help you generate online reviews, deal with negative reviews, and make managing the process seamless.
More and more people are turning to mobile these days to find local businesses and research products. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you’ll turn consumers off.
Think about the experience: If you land on a mobile-unfriendly site, it’s impossible to navigate around it and find information. The pages are hard to read, the font is too large, you can’t find navigation tabs. As a result, consumers quickly abandon these sites, and move onto another friendly site.
Your website should be optimized for mobile to attract the majority of consumers that now own a cellphone, and this strategy should be part of your integrated marketing campaign.
When you integrate effective marketing strategies so that they support and drive the effects of the other channels, you get great results. With more powerful tools at your disposal, you’ll drive local business and increase revenue–and grow that local rock-star following you need to thrive as a small business owner.