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Going the Distance -- Integration of Your Marketing Efforts

Carrie Hill
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The other day in a meeting, I must have used the word "integrate" about 50 times. By the end, even I was sick of hearing it, but I stand by the usage of the word, and I stand behind the practicality of integrating your marketing collateral across as many channels as possible.

My boss, Trent Blizzard, is a huge fan of repurposing our content. Why conduct a Webinar if we can't upload the slides and write a blog post or post the whole Webinar for our blog audience? Why buy a pair of shoes and leave them in the box in the closet, never to be seen again?

With integration comes the ability to target and tweak the message to fit many different geographic, demographic, and psychographic niches. The beauty of search marketing is that every type of traffic generation gives you some control over who you send that message to.

Organic traffic is targeted by the nature of the content and the keywords you're ranking for. Paid advertising can be so narrowly targeted you can define the age, gender, and city or borough your ad is shown in.

E-mail marketing allows you to send that message out to people who have opted in to receiving your message. Any good salesperson will tell you that a person willing to listen to what they have to say is someone who can be sold.

If you're going to the trouble of coming up with a killer marketing idea for your next e-mail blast, don't be afraid to mirror that ad, special, or event on your Web site. There's quite a lot of opportunity for you to leverage one idea for many different media and many forms of ROI.

Did I lose you? OK, let's try a story to get my point across.

A hotel in Miami Beach is offering a deal to go along with the 2010 NFL Super Bowl. They've come up with a clever package name and need to integrate that into their Web site and Web marketing. Most small businesses will craft an e-mail blast and build a page on their Web site talking about the special. The reality is they're missing many opportunities to repurpose that content and idea.

Let's explore what can be done to realize a great online return for that initial package idea:

  • Review what geographic and demographic parameters are most likely to book this package with you to attend the Super Bowl (or the Super Bowl parties).

  • Tweak your collateral a bit to match the likely targeted parameters, be they sports fans, or residents of Minneapolis and Minnesota. (OK, no matter how hard I wish for it, I know the Vikings wont make the Super Bowl, but a girl can dream, right?)

  • Assimilate the package name and graphic with the Web site. Add the banner to your content, header and/or sidebar, and definitely build a page for the details within your specials section.

  • Purchase paid advertising in search engines and directories that will drive qualified traffic for keywords equal to and related to your package name and brand. Consider the affluent geographic regions that are likely to come to the Super Bowl -- and definitely target cities and states where teams have winning records and have a shot at making the big game.

  • Integrate the package with your e-mail marketing and send the blast out to multiple demographic and geographic targets based on the proximity, likeliness to book, etc. Don't build one blast for everyone, appeal to the sports fans, the celebrity-chasers, the families, and the party animals.

  • Use your graphic collateral to buy retargeting ads to reinforce the message to people who have visited your site. If you hook them with an e-mail blast, they visit your site and pick up a cookie, then once they leave they can see your banner ads on a wide variety of Web sites that participate in the retargeting provider's network. This is what I call "super-qualified" targeting, and it isn't very expensive.

Remember always that the most successful online marketing campaigns use an idea and a goal and leverage that idea and goal as much as they can before it's exhausted. Some campaigns might have a life span of years, some months.

The return on your time investment can be felt and measured when you're not treating each online marketing channel as a separate entity. Consider every piece integral to creating and executing a well thought out and well marketed online campaign.


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