In recent years, holistic strategies to healing have gained popularity as more people embrace the view that all aspects of a person’s condition ‒ mental and spiritual, as well as physical ‒must be treated to optimize their well-being. When these facets are cared for, the thinking goes, they’re able to sync in harmony and create a stronger, healthier individual.
A similar approach using holistic marketing strategies can also result in stronger, healthier campaigns. Although you, like many B2B marketers, may have invested fortunes in the latest tools and cutting-edge technology, gathered mountains of data about prospects, and created a huge library of marketing content, the real magic will happen when you unite these pieces in a single, finely tuned B2B marketing machine.
Using holistic methods in your marketing campaigns ensures that each component – including email, online events, social media, blogs, and more – supports and empowers the others. Organizations that practice this holistic marketing approach can reap big benefits. For example, you can use email to grow your social media presence, and you can use social to increase your subscriber list. And combining email with social media is just one integrated marketing tactic among many.
We’ll explore seven key areas where your brand could adopt integrated marketing tactics, combining individual pieces to create a world-class marketing machine that’s far more than the sum of its parts. We’ll also give you some tips to make your holistic methods go even further.
1. Email: Share the Wealth
Email is the original “social media” platform. It’s powerful, it’s pervasive, and the email address is the one piece of data you’re almost certain to have about every prospect in your database. At the same time, low click-through rates mean that marketers still struggle with two key questions: How do we reach the right audience; and how do we create more compelling email content?
Social sharing options allow your marketing email to reach a vast new audience by extending your emails’ reach and providing more chances for clicks and conversions. This is a great opportunity for major list growth.
Tip: Make it easy for your recipients to share marketing email by including buttons for at least one social network — and preferably more.
2. Social Media: Starting Conversations and Relationships
Social media provide a great platform for identifying, engaging with, and building relationships with your prospects. It has become an essential tool for spreading the word about brands and interacting with customers and prospective customers. In fact, a recent study by Smart Insights found that social media (along with content marketing) are the top priority for marketers in 2017.
Take full advantage of social media’s greatest strength: its ability to amplify and increase the impact of your other marketing programs. This includes adding social sharing buttons to your email (see above), blog posts, and other resources, allowing readers to share them quickly and easily. Create hashtags for your live events to build buzz and inspire online conversations. And when conversations start, use social monitoring tools to track them, participate, and build relationships with your followers.
Tip: Pick choice bits of content – such as key statistics or quotes from live presentations or photos – for your social media posts. Consider automating your social media posts, or parts of them, but always leave room for spontaneous, off-the-cuff posts.
3. Online Events: Reuse and Recycle
Webinars are a key weapon in many marketers’ arsenals. In fact, DemandWave recently ranked them as one of the top tools for effective lead generation, second only to white papers. But after webinars air, how can you ensure that they continue to generate buzz – and leads – rather than simply disappear into your company’s content archive?
Here’s how: Repurpose them. Make your webinars the gift that keeps on giving – a source of rich, useful content that can feed your campaigns for weeks or even months after the fact. Extract the most interesting snippets and use them to create blog posts or social media posts that link back to the archived event. Also consider building extended content marketing campaigns that start with a white paper or an e-book, climax with a live webinar, and continue with blog and social media campaigns.
Tip: Use an online event management tool that provides detailed analytics on registrations, attendance, and participation. This data can provide valuable fodder for future campaigns and follow-up efforts with prospects.
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4. Blogs: Keywords Are Key
Blogs are one of the most commonly used content marketing tools: According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of all B2B marketers publish blogs. Yet, many marketers question the effectiveness of their blogging efforts. That’s not surprising, because many blogs feature a seemingly random collection of posts that aren’t coordinated with other elements of their company’s marketing campaigns.
We’ve already discussed the role that social sharing buttons play with all of your content, including blogs. But blogging really shines as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool for your business. The key is to update your blog regularly (at least once a week – Google loves fresh content!) and to make judicious use of keywords in your blog posts.
Also, when a blog post references other content from your integrated campaigns, be sure to include a call to action (CTA) that moves your potential leads to the next step in the engagement process.
Tip: To practice holistic marketing, create an editorial calendar to coordinate your blogging with other new content, email marketing campaigns, webinars, product launches, and other key events. Too many B2B marketers assume they can keep an eye on their blog schedule without a formal calendar – and most of them are wrong.
5. Landing Pages: Send Prospects to the Right Place
It takes a lot of effort to craft a marketing campaign. You need content, a schedule, social media support, and, perhaps, a pay-per-click campaign or even a direct mail effort. These ads can be very effective. According to WordStream, for example, 65% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online.
Sending your prospects to a dedicated landing page rather than your homepage can double your conversions; testing and tuning your landing pages can boost conversions even more. That’s why every piece of content that includes a call to action – email, blog posts, social media, or anything else – should lead your prospects to a landing page that’s customized to provide a specific offer or piece of information.
Tip: Use a tool that creates trackable, unique URLs to tie your landing pages to specific campaigns or content. That way, you’ll get the intelligence you need to test, tune, and improve your landing pages over time.
6. Website Intelligence: Tracking the Traffic
The overwhelming majority of a typical business website’s visitors are anonymous – and they stay that way. Unless they provide additional information, there’s no way to know how or why they came to your site. Did they respond to a particular campaign? Are they associated with a specific company? Were they drawn by a particular search term? If you can’t answer these questions, then you often can’t judge the effectiveness of your integrated campaign efforts.
A number of vendors offer solutions that allow marketers to correlate their incoming website visitors with their marketing campaign activities. One common method involves using unique URLs for email or social media links that set a tracking cookie on the user’s web browser. This allows a marketing automation platform to keep track of where visitors are coming from and what brought them to the site.
Tip: Website intelligence tools aren’t the same thing as web analytics. The former focus more on generating intelligence about individual leads, while the latter generates more generalized traffic reports.
7. Integrated Analytics: Measure and Adjust
Website intelligence is an important part of any integrated marketing toolkit, but B2B marketers, those practicing holistic marketing, need more – a lot more. They need tools that measure the performance of every individual marketing channel. They need to know how activity in one channel (say, social media) affects activity in another (such as webinar registrations or email opens). And they need tools that close the loop on marketing campaigns by showing how many prospects turn into qualified leads and, ultimately, customers.
There are a lot of marketing analytics and reporting tools on the market, and many of them are quite good. The key is to understand your marketing campaigns: the content you intend to use, the channels and platforms you will employ, and the results you want to get. Once you have made those plans, you can work backward to pick the right analytics solution for your business.
Tip: Measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns is only half the battle. The other half is experimenting with new approaches and adjusting your campaigns on the fly.
Using Marketing Automation to Implement Holistic Marketing Strategies
Integrating a holistic marketing strategy into your marketing efforts gives you a range of tools and tactics that work together to bring more cohesion to your marketing efforts and amplify all your results. Integration also lets you meet prospects where they are – wherever they are. What’s more, marketing automation simplifies managing multiple tools, which makes your ability to embrace holistic marketing methods that much easier. Use these seven suggestions to help you streamline processes, boost leads, increase revenue, and give your marketing program that healthy, vibrant glow.