How to Successfully Integrate Influencers Into Your Marketing
In the early ages of digital marketing, social media was the Wild West. Social best practices changed so quickly that some brands were left in the dust while others served as early adopters — seemingly light-years ahead of the rest of us. Even today, social channels like Facebook and Twitter can change their profiles and leave some brands scrambling to create graphics that match the new attributes.
Integrated marketing is meant to corral some of the wilderness that comes with the digital world and make it easier for marketers to connect with customers in a unified, professional manner.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is the process of creating one branded campaign to be used across all online and offline channels. If this is done successfully, when your brand posts an offer on your website or sends it through an e-blast, your customers won’t be able to find better offers on social media or across the web. The tone, messaging, and graphics are similar in all of your marketing materials, making it obvious that your brands are linked.
Consistency in your integrated marketing campaign increases brand awareness for customers and moves them deeper into the sales funnel.
Integrated Marketing Builds Brand Loyalty
The main goal of developing an integrated marketing campaign is to connect better with customers and tell stories related to your brand. This increases the chances that customers buy from you and become repeat and loyal shoppers.
According to SmartInsights, 55 percent of respondents say they are more likely to buy a product in the future if they love the brand’s story. Plus, 66 percent of people say they want to hear stories about real people.
Your customers certainly want to know about the features of your product or service, but they also need an emotional sell to develop an interest in the first place.
Influencers add this emotional connection. Sure, they talk about the features and benefits of your product, but they also tell a story about where they use it, why they need it, and how it saves the day. That drives customer response and adds a personal touch to your brand.
Influencer Campaigns Focus on the Consumer
One of the main elements of an integrated marketing campaign is a consumer focus. The goal of this plan isn’t just to ease the operations of your marketing team, but to reduce chances that consumers will get confused and bounce away from your brand. Influencer campaigns help with this because they closely align with who the consumer is and what they are interested in.
For example, teens spend roughly 34 percent of their video consumption time watching YouTube, 27 percent watching Netflix, and 14 percent watching regular TV. Brands trying to reach this demographic will have more luck working with top YouTube personalities rather than trying to advertise on various channels or get on youth-oriented talk shows. Knowing which YouTube personalities teens are attracted to (and why) can help brands get into the headspace of their consumers and better address their needs.
Use Influencer Campaigns to Create Consistency Across All Channels
You have control over the content you post on social media, the ad buys you make, and the digital ads you send across the internet. You can also have a say in what your influencer marketers post to make sure the content is on-brand. There are several ways you can embrace integrated marketing with your influencers. Some cede control back to the influencers, while other options are in your hands. Here are a few of them:
- Choose influencers that reflect your values, tone, and audience.
- Pair influencers with campaigns (products, services, etc.) they likely already use or could find useful.
- Create conversational branding that is similar to the influencers you work with.
- Evaluate how your audiences react to the influencers compared to your brand.
For example, if you choose an influencer who already uses your product and has characteristics similar to your target buyer, then you can likely give them more flexibility when promoting your brand while maintaining a unified campaign.
Integrated Marketing Makes It Easy to Scale Your Efforts
Do you currently feel like you have to reinvent the wheel with every marketing channel you add? Does each social outlet, digital test, or ad space come with its own consumer profiles, branding ideas, and content goals? An integrated marketing plan helps you scale your efforts by building tactics around one common goal.
Instead of starting fresh with every new tactic, you can pull from the larger campaign as a whole. Not only does this save time, it also benefits your campaign. When all of your efforts tie back to one objective, you significantly increase your chances that your goals are met — making everyone in the company happy.
An integrated marketing campaign doesn’t mean micromanaging your vendors and contractors. It means presenting your brand as a unified front, with similar themes across all channels, outlets, and posts.