An Overview of the Five Foundations of Integrated Digital Marketing
At Blueprint, we say that integrated digital marketing happens at the intersection of art, science, and recess; our team of digital architects love sharing what we have learned in our combined 50 years of digital marketing in Atlanta. This six part blog series will bake that sentiment out in a way that is not only informative, but actionable for a company of any size.
At the core of solid, profitable marketing online lies five, foundational components: a rich website user experience, regimented search engine optimization, bottom-of-the-funnel paid marketing, engaging social media marketing, and sequential email follow-up. On their own, each of these “five armies” wield a weaponry that can take years to master; even so, it is by going to war with them collectively that an integrated digital marketer properly secures his or her company’s fate in the online realm of Middle Earth.
This article will act as a topical survey of the importance of each of these foundations in the grand scheme, while future articles coming soon will unmask deeper takeaways within each area. By best positioning these components of successful online marketing, an average or inexperienced marketer can see immediate results and subsequently identify the chinks in their armor quickly.
A Rich Website User Experience
Back in 2010, Bing was able to increase its revenues by changing the shade of blue that its links displayed in—not just any increase, but an $80 million increase. From colors to icons, from accordion nav to super nav’s, designers and developers have hay days regarding what elements drive the most effective user experience. At the end of the day, the best user experience is the one that drives predictable revenue for a business. And, those who accomplish this tend to do so because they built their website for what their customers want not for what they thought looked best on desktop, even if it meant “losing a little” on their mobile experience. Build a sound customer persona and strategically design your web experience for the widest section of your customer bulls eye.
Regimented Search Engine Optimization
User experience isn’t the only foundation of integrated digital marketing that requires a flare for art; ask anyone on our SEO team and they will tell you that SEO has become more of an art form and less of a science in the last 5 years. Good SEO is about consistency in content distribution and relevancy, gaining trust through an extensive and honest link network, and fluid website architecture that speaks to all audiences, both human and machine. The art mostly comes in by understanding what level of each of these elements a specific website takes; go outside these lines with black hat tactics and Skynet is coming to terminate your online presence altogether.
Bottom-of-the-Funnel Paid Marketing
Both Google and Facebook make nearly all of their revenues from their advertising modules; so suck it up, Sherlock, and be prepared to pay to play. Our team of paid advertisers are Google certified and will be Facebook certified (well, if that were a thing). We’ve managed millions of dollars in online spend; one prevailing lesson we have learned is simply that it works. With Google, paid campaigns must focus on those search terms that are transactional and therefore far down in the consideration funnel; for Facebook, the secret sauce lies in splitting out ad sets to focus on cold and warm leads at the same time, using custom and lookalike audiences.
Engaging Social Media Marketing
Four parts conversational, motivational, educational, and informational, to every one part promotional, social media marketing is about “lifting the hood” on your business and letting your clients engage with a more personalized version of your business. It is in the authentic one-to-one relationships both won, sustained, and lost in social that turn this part of integrated digital marketing into a revenue stream. Buying likes and posting once a month will never get it done; neither will not spending money to place content in the News Feed on Facebook. It takes a strategic mix and a consistent touch to make social sing.
Sequential Email Follow-Up
According to Exact Target, every $1 spent in email marketing in 2014 created a return of $44.25. Forty-four dollars and twenty five cents for every one dollar spent. If you think we have found the golden goose then you should see the eggs it lays when sequential email sits alongside these other four foundations. Whether you use a ESP like MailChimp or Constant Contact, or a big CRM Engine like InfusionSoft, get in the email game now. We see email collection and engagement as a necessary step in the prospect-to-customer process.
Integrated digital marketing works when the captain of the ship delegates each of these foundations to his mates; if you want to stop swabbing the deck on page two of Google and if you are tired of negative fifteen people seeing your Facebook posts, then make sure you stay tuned for parts 2-6 of this series. And as always, if you ever need an agency partner to take the reigns, we’re confident in every campaign for a reason. Give us a call at 770 817 9560.