We are in the middle of a massive shift from the use of traditional marketing to the use of integrated marketing: a combination of direct marketing, social media marketing, public relations and search marketing.
The change is due to the rise in the use of social media, search marketing and Web 2.0 technologies. Increasingly, companies are finding they need to monitor and manage their brands online. They recognize they will benefit from joining relevant online conversations, and they see that sometimes the best way to send a message, promote a product or generate event awareness is through both offline and online channels. But the question remains: How do we build an integrated marketing campaign?
Here are four steps marketers can take today to start building an integrated marketing strategy:
Step 1: Use Web tools to build search strategy. You can use Google's Keyword Tool to find the keywords people are searching for that are associated with your brand, industry keywords and competitors. You can use Radian 6 and Twitter's search functions to find out what people are saying about your brand and your industry on social media outlets.
Step 2: Integrate search engine optimization and public relations strategies. Develop a keyword strategy after you have completed your search on Google's Keyword Tool. Determine what keywords are relevant and widely searched. Optimize your press releases with the keywords and boost your organic search rankings.
Step 3: Set up social media channels. Prior to setting up social media channels, you must determine who you want to communicate with, who is going to accomplish your social media initiatives (internal personnel or outsourced), and where you want to go with the relationships. Remember to keep your message consistent with traditional public relations efforts.
Step 4: Integrate online initiatives with offline efforts. Determine how you will complement online and offline efforts. You should integrate initiatives to maximize benefits. For example, to integrate an offline direct marketing piece with an online contest, use a code in the print materials for people to enter and win on your company's website. This will allow for further engagement and maximize the campaign's benefits.