If you are a freelancer or a small business eager to expand, it’s critical to get the absolute maximum value out of every marketing dollar you spend and every marketing action you take. All too often, small business marketing campaigns flounder because resources are spread too thin across too many uncoordinated activities. The best way to make your marketing efforts pay off is to coordinate them: Your traditional and Internet marketing activities should strengthen each other, not operate in separate worlds.
Here are practical tips for harmonizing your traditional and online marketing to achieve significant improvements in brand awareness, credibility, sales leads and online revenue.
Management and Organizational Issues
- Leadership. Having one person in charge of all marketing operations is indispensable for keeping traditional and Internet marketing working together instead of independently or at odds. In a small business, that person is often the owner or a trusted manager. Whoever fills that role — a person who clearly understands the overall marketing objectives and Internet strategy — will be able to recognize where and how online strategic priorities can best be incorporated into traditional marketing such as printed sales collateral, PR, trade shows and events.
- Communication. Everyone involved with marketing execution — from the person who manages the social media accounts to the person designing backdrops for a trade show exhibit — should have a clear picture of the overall marketing strategy and get together regularly to discuss ongoing activities and challenges. Group communication helps team members from overlooking obvious ways to coordinate activities, such as forgetting to display social media buttons on trade show brochures.
Important Elements of the Internet Marketing Strategy
Some aspects of the Internet strategy are particularly important for traditional marketing personnel to keep in mind. These include:
- SEO keywords. The top keywords used on Google Search by people looking for the things you sell should be properly woven into press releases, sales collateral, sales presentations and even telemarketing scripts. It’s not just a matter of boosting search engine rankings, it’s also a way of bringing a consistent voice and set of terms to your marketing communication — something that makes your brand more memorable and ensures that you are speaking the same language as your prospects.
- SEO target website pages. Your SEO strategy will prioritize certain product or service pages of your websites, pages that have a high likelihood of conversion. The more traffic that can be driven to these target pages the better, so they are pages to be linked to or called out in press releases, sales presentations, event announcements, etc.
- Social media strategy. Everyone on the marketing team should understand which of your social media accounts are the top priorities. If you’re all on Twitter, for instance, that’s the place you want to send every prospect and customer that interacts with any of your marketing communication. If your strategy is to make Facebook a place for regular customers and Twitter a place to build a pipeline of prospects, this too must be clear to everyone involved with event marketing, sales presentations and PR.
- Paid search offers. If you are doing PPC (pay-per-click) advertising on Google or other search engines, let your traditional marketing team know what kind of deals you’re getting results with — $100 off the next order, one free with five, etc. This will help the staff steer more people to the PPC ad, and give your sales team ideas it can use to improve its close rate.
Tremendous Synergy: Internet Marketing and Events
Event marketing — trade shows, award ceremonies, conferences, Zoom webinars and small networking sessions — probably offer the biggest coordination payoff of all.
- Promote events in advance on your social media to attract participants and generate buzz.
- Stream live feeds from your event on your social media account(s) to broaden participation and the reach of your brand.
- Solicit questions and comments from remote participants to strengthen the content of your event and thus boost your credibility and overall value of your event.
- Once again, refer to SEO keywords, SEO target pages and successful PPC offers in your supporting content for every pre-event, event and post-event communication.
Will Coordination Work — Yes
The preceding examples of coordinating traditional marketing activities with the Internet marketing strategy demonstrate how to focus attention on a manageable number of messaging approaches, conversion tactics and brand awareness techniques. Coordination, rather than diluting your efforts, helps you strip away what is not necessary in favor of concentrating on what is likely to get results — that is, a more credible brand, more sales leads and more online orders.
Even if this all sounds spectacular on an intuitive level, the better news is, you can measure the impact of coordination. The Internet marketing team will have KPIs in place: measurements of organic website traffic to target pages, sales leads generated from organic sources, online orders generated from organic sources, PPC ad click-throughs and conversions, social media likes and followers, etc.
By coordinating your activities, you will be able to see whether your efforts have given historical patterns a boost. If you are like most companies, it won’t take long to see big improvements.
Author bio: Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy for Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing company. Brad writes frequently on social media, SEO and copywriting topics.