With the saturation of brands, businesses must incorporate more than just one-off marketing tactics to make an impact. Consumers must receive an all-encompassing experience to see your brand as an authority in your industry. This can be done through integrated marketing communications (IMC).
Although IMC can include traditional advertising, in this article, we will review what integrated marketing is in the digital realm. We will then look at why an integrated digital marketing campaign is important and how to design one, so you can build a powerful online presence.
What is integrated marketing communications?
An integrated marketing campaign is a practice of cross-channel marketing strategies with synergetic tactics consistent with your brand and meeting the campaign objectives. This means making all your call-to-actions (CTAs) consistent throughout the campaign. It uses different forms of media, or channels, to convey an idea or tell a story.
A powerful IMC should include an eye-catching logo, a slogan, and consistent visual aesthetics. It is crucial that all visuals, messaging and brand personality, and the brand voice are consistent throughout all channels in the campaign. Not only does this build brand reputation, authority, and credibility, but trust from the consumers too.
However, although awareness is the desired outcome for IMC, it is not the only objective. An effective integrated marketing campaign would also involve the audience on social media. Integrated marketing allows you to engage with your audience in a way that you would not be able to, using only traditional advertising. It is also more cost-effective. Therefore, IMC is ideal for small businesses or businesses with a smaller marketing budget.
Why is integrated marketing important?
For your brand to stand out in the world of advertisements, your campaign strategy needs to enable you to be on more than one channel. Considering it takes an average of six touches to generate a sales lead, your brand needs to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds. When you are fully integrated, your audience will recognize your brand wherever they see it, and you will stand out from your competition.
Therefore, positioning your advertisements in different channels can help you increase the awareness you need to drive sales. Additionally, many consumers prefer to have a lot of information about products before purchasing, and an integrated marketing campaign can provide that volume of information and trust.
How to build an integrated marketing campaign?
- Research and create your buyer personas, so you know who this campaign will target.
- Create SMART campaign objectives.
- Identify where your audience is most likely to interact with your content. These will then need to be the focus channels and platforms of the campaign.
- Use this guide in your future campaigns to be more efficient and productive.
The 4 C’s in designing an integrated marketing campaign
The 4 C’s is a great way to remember the principles of integrated marketing when designing a campaign.
All tactics of the campaign strategy should convey a coherent message. Consumers will see your campaign on different kinds of devices and on various places online. Therefore, you want to make sure your audience naturally connects with your message and forms a clear image of your brand.
Ask yourself: are the different communication logically connected?
All components of the integrated marketing campaign should have the same aesthetics, visuals, and feel to them. This does not mean that they all have to look exactly the same, but it needs to be consistent. Here it is important to pay attention to the logo, slogan, and brand voice, making sure it is in alignment with your brand’s personality.
Ask yourself: do all messages across all platforms, support and reinforce each other?
The campaign needs a natural flow. It needs to show a clear story throughout but does not need to be in perfect order all the time. However, each component should be built based on what has already been done previously.
Ask yourself: is your campaign clearly connected to previous campaigns?
Messaging always works better and is stronger when they are together. In a campaign, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each visually appealing component will add to the messaging and overall appeal of the campaign.
Ask yourself: do all the elements of the campaign work together?
So, a strong integrated marketing campaign will include a few features. They will need to provide consistent messaging regardless of the platform. The layout, images, and colors should all be recognizable across the different channels. Furthermore, your campaign should specifically target a variety of channels and platforms that your target audience regularly view and use. After building a particular persona, you will want to break down the different PPC keywords, email touch points, and social sites they visit.
Remember that an integrated marketing campaign is an important way to reach today’s modern consumers. Your audience will use a variety of platforms to interact with your brand and not just through one channel. Consumers want to interact with brands they feel connected to, and trust, and an integrated marketing campaign allows brands to build customer loyalty by achieving just that.