Digital marketing is great as long as it plays its correct role within a marketing strategy. Too many businesses try to rely fully on digital marketing practices and fail to connect with their target audience. It’s like when you see someone try to replace their primary computer with a tablet; it’s a good asset, but not a perfect substitute.
The shortcomings of digital marketing
There’s nothing particularly wrong about digital marketing that doesn’t also apply to other marketing practices. For example, we also wouldn’t recommend businesses to fully rely on direct mail or TV advertisements.
The problem with digital marketing stems from the general outlook on lead generation. When businesses blindly shoot for this goal, they wind up with terrible strategies that mostly produce irrelevant leads. Before long you’ll realize that leads are worthless if they’re not backed by a connection with your company.
Another shortcoming is that the digital marketing team will tell you that your pages have ranked; however, what they haven’t shared is that no one is looking at those pages for it to even matter for your goals.
Tell your story with your marketing campaign
Rather than focusing on leads, businesses should prioritize storytelling. First and foremost, they need to connect with their target audience and establish their brand.
Getting your story out there lays a solid foundation for generating relevant leads. A recent Forbes article explains how you can do that just by talking about the timeline and development of your business:
“‘Our story is pretty simple—it’s the story of what your company is and how it came to be. You see these stories on a lot of company “About” pages, and in certain types of marketing materials. Sometimes, it’s inspirational, like how a company grew from a garage operation to an international business. Sometimes, it’s meant to create a bond with the audience, explaining the brand’s mission and position. You have a lot of choices here, as long as you stay true to your brand’s identity,” writes Jayson DeMers.
Storytelling is a great starting point and the foundation for your marketing campaign. With it, you can engage users, promote your brand, and share content on multiple platforms.
Bringing it all together with integrated marketing
Once your story is told, your next job is to share it in any way you can. This is where it pays to have access to multiple marketing channels.
A recent CMS Wire article explains how businesses can tell their stories and build relationships with integrated marketing. According to the article, you can create a sales funnel by developing web personas who are representative of your target audience:
“The beauty of integrated marketing, where online and offline become one, is that we focus on what matters — the customers, their needs and desires, and how our products and brand messaging suit those customers. This isn’t about building web personas so you can force feed a sales funnel to the customers. It’s about ushering them along so they can find what they need,” states Tommy Landry.
An integrated marketing strategy not only increases your exposure to a larger audience, but also moves consumers along in the buying process, thus converting leads.
To do this, you want to have a presence and content on multiple channels. If a user visits your website, for example, then you should have accessible on-site content including solid front pages and resources including blog, video library, articles or whitepapers. After that phase, you want them to follow you on social media, subscribe to your email newsletter, RSS feed your blog, and talk to you personally about your products and services.
While most businesses just generate leads with SEO tactics and PPC advertisements, you can connect with your audience and build relationships by practicing integrated marketing. Start by creating representative web personas and imagining how they’ll start and progress through the buying process. Then, work on telling your story and sharing it on multiple platforms.
By utilizing integrated marketing, you’ll be able to pre-qualify your leads, encourage your prospects to engage deeply with your brand, and nurture them further along the sales cycle than with only digital marketing.