The simplest way of defining marketing is that it consists of our efforts to communicate with our customers or potential customers. Common objectives marketing teams seek to achieve include an increase in market share, sales, and brand loyalty.
Communicating with consumers and other businesses requires more than creating attractive advertisements. An effective program integrates all marketing activities. Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is an approach to promoting a message through multiple strategies that work together and reinforce one another.
For example, a company may promote a new logo, slogan, or strategy through multiple media such as print, television, web, and social networks. Each approach may be slightly different for the specific medium, but they’ll all direct the audience to the same message. There are countless ways to approach this creatively.
As you can tell, advertising on social networks is only one component of a successful marketing strategy.
Here are five reasons why you will find much greater success by sending your message in multiple ways beyond just social media.
- Social media platforms are for socializing, not advertising
We use social media for its entertainment, educational, and social value. While it is a powerful marketing tool, it can be difficult to get the attention of your target audience with so many others vying for their attention. It helps to use the ‘give, give, ask’ method and apply the 80/20 rule – 80% of posts should have themes like humour, education, meet the team, feature client, page interaction and 20% should be product specific – feature product, promo, etc.
- Limiting yourself to socials is a missed opportunity
While major social media platforms have billions of users, many people do not use them. Depending on your product or service, a huge chunk of your target market might not even be reachable through social media. And even if they are on socials, you might find it difficult to reach people who are not already interested in or following your business.
- Successful marketers reach their audience through multiple channels
A key goal of marketing is to stick in your customers minds so they actually remember you and think of you when the time comes. The best way to achieve this is by reminding your customers about you in multiple different ways. A good way to think of it is that each method of communication is doubling or tripling the chance that you’ll be remembered and considered. Your business might be forgotten in seconds if someone scrolls by your ad on socials, but they’ll be twice as likely to recall your business if they also see your sandwich board sign on the sidewalk, and three times as likely if they have also been given a brochure or flyer.
For example, consider that McDonalds advertises on social media, TV, radio, billboards, magazines, newspapers, coupons, direct mail, you name it. You don’t need McDonald’s super sized marketing budget to be successful, you just need to apply the lesson of communicating with your customers in a variety of ways.
- Social media alone doesn’t translate to sales
Even if you catch someone’s attention via social media, people judge businesses by their websites and overall presence both on and offline. If your website isn’t up to date, user friendly, loads quickly, is accessible on mobile devices and answers their questions, people will just go to the competition instead. If your customers can’t find a quality website for your business but you are trying to sell products on Facebook, they might not even believe your business exists or whether it should be trusted. Reinforcing your brand through a physical presence, like putting up a sign or banner outside, will build credibility and make it ‘real’ in the customer’s mind.
- To stand out in an online world, face-to-face interaction is key
Why do businesses still give out physical coupons instead of just using digital codes? For starters, this physical item is a tangible product that people keep, and serves as a constant reminder. It tells the customer that the business is real, and more than just an idea floating around in their heads or on their screens where there are a million other distractions vying for their attention. People will forget your social media ad in seconds, but they will remember the warm greeting you gave them at the trade show and hold onto the business card you gave them.
With a solid strategy and dedicated, continual efforts to grow your reach, you’ll find that social media is a highly effective sales and marketing tool. But if you’re serious about your business and want to exponentially increase your chances of success, you’ll want to get creative and utilize all your options.