Integrating Your Online Marketing Efforts
Online marketing effort is maximised when the channels used are integrated. The world of online marketing has changed beyond recognition in recent years, particularly with the addition of social media marketing. There are many new skill sets involved and this can sometimes result in a lack of coherence in the overall marketing approach of organisations. Very often, different people are responsible for the various channels used in marketing. This applies to offline as well as online.
Offline and online marketing campaigns
If you are using Google Analytics to track your site usage, then one helpful approach is to use annotations. This facility allows for add a note to certain dates with information which is relevant to an offline campaign. For example, traffic on your site may experience a sharp increase during a radio advertising campaign. Annotations allow you to add details of this to analytics so that your tracking can reflect the full picture.
Relationship between SEO and PPC
Sometimes those responsible for the Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine advertising, often a Google AdWords campaign, are not concerned with the search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the site. This is a mistake as the these online marketing channels are closely related. Indeed, many would argue that SEO cannot be effectively carried out until a PPC campaign has identified highly converting keywords for the site. PPC can quickly identify which keywords being targeted are resulting in the best sales for example. While the PPC campaign may have initial costs, this is more advantageous than spending effort on optimising the site for keywords which may prove to bring traffic but not visitors that convert. As SEO is a longer term process, the analytics may not be available for some time.
Email is dead – or is it?
Reports of the demise of email marketing in the marketing mix are greatly exaggerated. Rather, it is more important that the newsletters or promotions are tied in to an overall online marketing campaign. This may involve social media or other channels to maximise the buzz and engagement of customers.
An email should contain links to other online marketing channels that the business is using. Ideally, a promotional email will contain one key message, but this message can be supported across other channels such as Facebook, Twitter or the business blog. This applies also to the business cards and other promotional or brochure print materials.
All emails sent by business representatives should contain links to other sites where the business has a presence.
QR Codes and Events
One of the most innovative ways of integrating offline and online marketing is through the use of QR codes. A QR code is similar to a bar code but looks more like a pictogram. It can be scanned by a smartphone to bring the user to a URL or it might contain text or a business card details. For iPhone 4 users, Google search with the camera icon to scan the code can be used. QR codes can be used on advertising or at events to bring the user directly to the company website for email sign-up or whatever the goal is or Facebook page to like the page.