In today’s times, when increasingly almost all marketing is shifting to digital and brands are vying to catch attention in the digital space, an integrated digital marketing strategy is a must. And when we say integrated digital marketing, it’s not just about deploying all your digital marketing channels together, but it’s about using them in an integrated and cohesive manner.
Let’s look at why integrated digital marketing is an absolute need of the hour!
Digital media consumption Clutter
As per the latest reports, India has between 500 – 550 million active internet users, of which 70% i.e. between 350 – 385 million are daily active internet users. That means the online space in India is cluttered with over 350 million active users’ presence daily. An adult in India spends an average of 99 mins on the internet today.
These stats reveal the wider extent of the footprint of digital media in the daily lives of Indian audiences. All these audiences visit a wide array of digital platforms daily – ranging from social media, shopping, entertainment, news, search, etc.
Some popular representative digital platforms that they visit include Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon, Flipkart, YouTube, HotStar, Amazon Video, music sites, news sites, Google search, etc. amongst the many others. This daily digital footprint is spread across the dayparts, thanks to the convenient access to the internet due to mobile smartphones.
During this daily average 99 minutes spent online, users are bombarded with digital marketing messages and digital advertising by countless brands, depending on the audience profile and targeting by the advertisers, the nature and content of the platform the users are active on, the actions performed by users online, etc.
Imagine the numerous advertising messages an average user must be getting exposed to daily – would run in a few thousand. Add to this all the non-advertising content this user is consuming during the average 99 minutes spent online every day.
Now imagine this clutter or content overload the user is being subject to every day online!
A big marketing Challenge for brands
Considering the above digital clutter, the real challenge for all the brands or companies out there is how to break through this content overload and clutter, in reaching out, getting noticed, and in ensuring your brand’s voice is heard by your target customer. How to effectively make an impact using the multiple digital platforms that an average prospect customer is present upon? How to garner attention, and induce some action?
Now one would say that’s simple – just implement a multi-platform digital marketing advertising strategy and reach out to your target audience at the desired number of exposures. But the question really is – is that enough and more importantly does it give results? Is it cost-effective?
Or is your brand actually just adding to the digital clutter?
The solution – Integrated digital marketing
The solution is to implement an integrated digital marketing strategy that ensures a cohesive marketing approach across various digital platforms. It multiplies the impact in registering your brand and your content in your target audience’s mind.
What is integrated digital marketing?
Well simply put, an integrated digital marketing campaign is all about a cohesive and seamless communication/ content/ message delivered across various digital channels to your target customer.
The digital channels could be many such as your blog post, your website content, Google search ads, organic search results, your landing page, other paid media channels like Facebook ads, social media posts, email newsletter, display ads on Google network, video on your YouTube channel, etc. Your content/communication will take a different form or shape, depending on the digital channel being used, however, your message is ONE and SAME.
Basically, it’s about the seamless integration of content between the various digital touchpoints that your customer uses, to interact with your brand or business. Each digital channel or touchpoint blends with and complements each other in creating a multiplier effect in the minds of your audience. This ensures a cohesive approach, as against each channel working independently and trying to achieve the business goals on its own.
How to implement integrated digital marketing strategy?
To begin with, there are two prerequisites of putting an integrated digital marketing strategy in place.
Firstly, establish a clear understanding and a clear definition of your target audience. Who are your target customer – their demographics, behaviors, choices, preferences, lifestyle, etc. I won’t get into the details of how to do this as that’s not the scope of this article, however, you should be clearly defining your target customer personas before you implement integrated digital marketing.
The second prerequisite is having a well-defined digital brand strategy in place. Your brand strategy would determine your brand identity including tone of voice, look & feel, personality traits, brand messages, brand proposition, brand story, etc. A strong digital branding strategy plays a very important role in integrated digital marketing and hence it is almost mandatory.
High quality content is the heart & soul of your integrated digital marketing strategy. Create high quality, valuable, and relevant content for your target audience:
- Content that is useful in solving their problems & challenges, answering their questions & doubts.
- Content that provides them valuable information and solutions to help them achieve their dreams, desires, and aspirations.
- Content that underlines their needs and subtly proposes how your brand or product/service can serve that need most effectively.
Depending on the digital channel being used, content can take various forms – blog, website pages content, infographics, e-Newsletter, e-Guide, videos, social media posts, etc. Blog is one of the more elaborate forms of content creation. Depending on the content idea, one form can be a primary one such as a blog or a video, and then the other forms can be adapted from this primary form.
Once you have quality content at the heart of your integrated digital marketing campaign, all other digital marketing channels should act in perfect sync in supporting this central content piece, and in amplifying it.
Use owned media like blogs, your website, social media channels, and email marketing to distribute the different adapts of your central content. Similarly use paid media such as search engine marketing, display ads, social media ads, and earned media such as SEO to distribute your content.
The impact of integrated digital marketing
Deploying a content marketing centered strategy ensures that all your digital marketing channels deliver a cohesive and consistent message to your target audience. This will create an impact in the minds of your target audience and break through the digital clutter mentioned at the start of this article. It will definitely get the target audience interested in your brand.
Quality and useful content also helps to build trust and credibility in the minds of your target customers, as against just doing pure advertising communication. It will bring them to your business platform, increase their curiosity around your products/ services. Content led integrated digital marketing leads your customers through the various stages of your marketing funnel. It works in building trust and desire through your buyers’ journey.
Also, remember that creating and distributing quality content is a continuous process and not a once in a while effort. To ensure consistency, put a content calendar in place for your business.
Tactical marketing campaigns
At times, your business may need to run tactical marketing campaigns with specific goals such as traffic generation, lead generation, customer acquisition, special promotions, etc. Each of these tactical campaigns should follow the integrated digital marketing approach. The main content and communication is at the heart of the campaign and then distributed across various owned and paid digital media channels.
Role of the marketing team
To successfully implement your integrated digital marketing, ensure that your marketing team works in a completely cohesive manner. The owners of various digital marketing responsibilities like content marketing, SEO, paid media, social media, branding, others should function in a perfect integrated manner. Marketing Ideas can come from anyone in the team, however, once the idea is validated and accepted, then it should follow the integrated digital marketing process with content marketing at the heart of it.
Establish a clearly defined integrated marketing process in your company with defined roles for various team members involved.
How integrated digital marketing helps brand building
Content led integrated digital marketing strategy also helps in your digital brand building. It ensures a consistent and seamless communication that integrates your branding elements such as tone of voice, brand look & feel, key brand messages, brand story, etc. across the various forms of the content that is distributed across multiple customer touchpoints.
This results in strong digital brand building and establishing trust around your brand in your target customer’s mind. A positive brand experience leads to a strong and long term relationship with your customers. Your customers would eventually become your brand advocates and generate word of mouth publicity.
Benefits of Integrated digital marketing
It ensures that your brand cuts through the clutter in reaching out to your audience.
It creates high impact and induces action, as multiple digital channels deliver the same the content to your audience.
It has a long-lasting brand building impact in the minds of your audience. It creates trust and brand loyalty.
Results in engaged customers that have a better experience with your brand. These customers generate word of mouth publicity for your brand.
It delivers higher ROI and is cost-effective since various digital marketing channels including paid media work in a cohesive manner, as against working in silos.
Results in higher conversions with more customers moving through the funnel, achieving a higher conversion rate at every stage of the marketing funnel.
Let’s do it
To conclude, I would strongly urge all business owners and marketing leaders to implement an integrated digital marketing strategy in your business. Let quality content be at the heart of this strategy. Be persistent and you will start seeing positive results.
We at DigitalCMOpro are adept at providing integrated digital marketing solutions that are tailor made for your business. We believe in not just in providing solutions but also taking complete ownership of implementing them for your business.
Call us & we will set up a free consultation meeting!