Too often, digital and traditional marketing seem to be at odds. Anyone selling you on inbound marketing immediately goes toward its increased effectiveness toward sending postcards, or buying newspaper ads. But do you really need to decide between marketing your business online and offline?
Of course not. In the perfect world, your digital and traditional marketing messages create a perfect symphony of tactics that blend together to grow your customer base and your business. Think of it this way: choirs and orchestras sound perfectly fine. But what do you get when you combine the two? A masterpiece like Beethoven's 9th.
To get to that point, you don't even have to be blind (watch out for our classical music jokes!) Instead, if you want to make the whole of your promotional efforts bigger than its parts, simply follow the below 4 steps to connect your online and offline marketing efforts.
1) Make a Direct Connection
First things first: integration starts with actually connecting your online and offline efforts. That effort can take a variety of shapes:
- Include links to your online presence, both website and social media, on all of your postcards, brochures, and other marketing collateral.
- Make your audience aware of a coming offline effort. For example, ask them to look for your ad in the newspaper, or send an email with a heads up on a current postcard.
- All of your marketing efforts should include a call to action. Even for your traditional tactics, that call to action should occur online for better trackability.
2) Ensure Synchronous Creative
Your next step should be making sure that every bit of creative you design and write for your brand, regardless of where it will appear, will look congruent and synchronous to your audience. The key in this step is creating a unified brand identity that carries through all of your efforts, from print to social media.
Think about it from your audience's point of view: when they see a newspaper ad, and you follow that up with a social media post two days later, how easily will they be able to tell that it's the same origin source? A unified brand presence across your marketing channels can do wonders in increasing the success of your promotional efforts.
3) Track Offline Conversions
Increasingly, marketers are able to track the success of their online efforts through offline conversions. If, for instance, a customer physically walks into your storefront, Google can now track how closely after interacting with one of your search ads that conversion occurred.
Any marketer with even a fleeting understanding of digital marketing knows how crucial conversion tracking has become. It allows you to better understand the success of your marketing initiatives, improving your effectiveness and ROI over time. Expanding that tracking capability to offline conversions will do wonders in helping you better plan your integrated marketing strategy.
4) Use Online Analytics as Market Research
Finally, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing has been its capability to better understand your audience. Digital analytics, from Google Analytics to Facebook Insights, have given marketers invaluable information about the demographics, location, and behaviors of their audience.
Too often, however, those insights are limited to online marketing. Here's a dirty secret: the same audience that interacts with you on social media, and visits your website, also sees your offline efforts. That's why it makes sense to use the insights you gain through online analytics platforms as guiding market research, as well. Used the right way, it can inform anything from the physical design of your store to the frequency with which you send out postcards.
In other words, you need consistent branding, and a conscious efforts to drive your audience from one medium to another. Considering that you need up to 13 marketing touches to actually convert a sales lead into a customer, this type of integration can be the missing link in growing your business.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310!