This post is part of the #JUMPchallenge, a blogging competition designed raise awareness on how to join up online and offline marketing, launched to support Econsultancy’s JUMP event.
Image credit: Flickr
It’s essential that the different elements of your marketing reinforce one another if your budget is going to generate the highest possible returns.
Search marketing, traditional marketing and PR cannot happen in isolation from each other, or you will inevitably end up spending more than you need to on a less-effective campaign.
Join your marketing up well and you’ll develop a powerful corporate persona, provide seamless service to new and existing customers, and free-up more budget by eliminating waste.
So, with all these benefits, how do you join up your marketing? I thought I’d examine some of the different strands and take a look at how each can work more effectively with the rest of the marketing mix.
How to join-up PR and everything
PR is a vital element of your marketing strategy, it feeds into everything. PR is about managing your name. After all, without a decent reputation, the rest of your marketing is going nowhere.
Don’t forget as well that your PR executive or team are paid to keep their fingers on the pulse of your industry. They can be a trove of knowledge about coming trends, current issues and consumer concerns.
Your link builders can brainstorm ideas with the PR team and your email marketers can plan their campaign calendar with their help.
Often, your PR exec is also the best person to take up the reins of your social media strategy.
Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms are excellent PR tools, and it’s a great idea to have your company spokespeople blogging (check out my free blogging whitepaper for an in-depth look at why blogs are such a powerful tool).
That means your SEO team can return the favour and guide your PR exec in blogging best practice, boosting your website’s organic optimisation and cementing your corporation reputation with thoughtful insights.
It’s a virtuous circle of joined-up marketing excellence.
How to join-up SEO and everything
Finally the rest of the marketing world is starting to realise what I have been banging on about for years – SEO is not some technical website extra, it should be considered at every stage of your online marketing.
For example, your SEO team understand the terms you need to rank more highly for – they need to be in a position to feed this back to your PR team. That way, your press releases, social media work and blog content can be tailored to include these important phrases.
The SEO team should be included in all copywriting work for your site so that they can guide the copywriter in what’s needed to make your pages sparkle for search engine crawlers as well as for human visitors.
Plus, there’s a load of useful information being gathered around the company that your SEO team could benefit from.
What subject lines did best in the email marketing tests? That can feed into their PPC copy. What industry blogs were most popular on Twitter this month? That can feed into their link building work.
Although all elements of marketing are important, I think that PR and SEO should underpin everything a company does.
How to join-up email marketing and everything
Don’t view your email marketing as solely selling your products or services. Change your perspective and see it as a vehicle for marketing your entire company.
There’s great potential for your email to provide a platform for your other work and still drive interested customers to your products.
For example, you could add ‘Find us on Facebook’ and ‘Follow us on Twitter’ buttons to your emails.
You could include links to recent blog posts on your own site, or maybe even guest blog posts elsewhere (if you’re finding it hard to negotiate a guest post on a high-authority blog, offering to include it in your newsletter can be a great bargaining chip).
Perhaps some of your more skilled SEO copywriters or PR execs could write a newsletter to enhance your marketing? This can make your communication more effective and also boost your brand’s reputation among the recipients.
How to join-up social media and everything
I went to a pub the other day and there was a ‘Find us on Facebook’ sticker on the door. That’s great, keeping social media in mind at every point is really useful in terms of customer engagement.
The more opportunities you have to engage socially with the customer, the better. It massively enhances customer loyalty, as well as keeping your brand at the front of their mind when they next make a purchase.
Some social media marketers may feel they face a bit of a battle showing the value of what they do to the rest of the team. For example, perhaps your email marketing copywriter won’t want to include a ‘Follow us on Twitter’ button because it won’t take clickers to a sales page.
Your business needs to be more long-sighted than this. By building followers and fans, your company is creating a hardcore of loyal customers – people it can communicate with in a fun and social way. A click to Twitter is not a wasted click.
By giving discounts and special offers to fans, you can drive sales without intruding on anyone. You’ll also find it easier to get people to tweet your blog posts, share your content and rave about your deals – all of which feeds back beautifully into PR and SEO.
How to join up your offline and online marketing
Many small and medium-sized enterprises simply don’t bother with offline marketing, because the web is a far more cost-effective place to promote themselves.
However, offline marketing such as posters, newspaper, TV and radio adverts still work for major brands. There’s also similar great scope for local offline marketing for smaller companies, in the local press, for example.
But how can this join-up with your online marketing? Just as with email marketing, your offline promotions should show that there are even more value-adding perks available online.
For great discounts and sneak previews, find us on Facebook.
Find more great recipes back on our website.
Follow us on Twitter for more competitions.
You have limited space in any offline promotion but unlimited space online. Direct people to the web when you can and you’ll have more space to play with and another chance to win their custom.
How to join-up your team
Okay, this is perhaps the most important piece of advice in this entire post. Your marketing won’t be joined-up until the various relevant teams are working together.
Some large businesses will have whole teams dedicated to the different marketing strands I have outlined here – and it is essential these teams get to know each other.
You want them to communicate more effectively, brainstorm ideas with each other and share their skills. You need to facilitate that as much as possible.
Start by bringing the teams together and sitting them around the same desks if possible. Explain your marketing ambitions and encourage them to see themselves as part of one large team rather than their own smaller functions.
If your SEO is done by an agency like mine then ask for your search executive to come and work from your office for a few days, to build a good working relationship with your in-house marketers.
If this is a major change for your marketers then invest in some team-building fun. Send them off for a meal together or a team-building day or drinks. It’s worth it.
Your marketing can’t be joined up until your whole team – email marketers, link builders, paid search executives, the lot – see themselves as part of a bigger team and wider strategy.