Integrated marketing plans are employing content marketing as a means to motivate your target audience of customers and prospects to buy and build their brand. Not so long ago you would see an ad, a TV spot, hear a radio spot or get a mailing with a “special offer” and that was the marketing plan and strategy rolled into one. Strategy has since changed and the new tactics have been implemented and clearly defined as separate from the marketing strategy.
Marketers have learned to effectively communicate with their target audience of customers and prospects in the way their audience is most comfortable receiving a message… Social media, print, email and more often an integrated approach of marketing channels. Changes in sharing personal information, selling and frankly courting customers have continued. Now the content of the message and the way it is delivered has changed. Sales pitches have dramatically softened and valuable, relevant content is appearing in its place in integrated marketing plans.
This has indicated a large scale shift, a trend, in the market place to create and distribute relevant information to attract a highly defined target audience. With the adoption of market segmentation, the more this highly targeted audience is informed without an obvious sales pitch, it seems the more profitably the customer responds to the marketers approach. Good content grabs your attention; makes you think about what you have just seen heard or read and then act.
In a recent Roper Public Affairs study 80% of business-to-business decision makers polled said that they preferred content marketing to ads. 9 out of 10 marketers currently use content marketing and are already spending 25% of their marketing budget on it. Many tactics are used to disseminate this valuable content to a target audience: social media, case studies, white papers, personal appearances as a speaker, webinars, informational videos and more – again utilizing an integrated approach.
You still need to drive your target audience of prospects and customers to this valuable content or deliver it to them in some manner. SEO, direct mail, outdoor advertising, and QR codes are just a few integrated marketing tactics that people have found effective. Once a relationship has been established it often is continued even sought out by the information’s recipient. Think about blogs, Twitter, and Google Plus – there are people who follow them religiously. Consider adding content marketing to your integrated marketing plan for a segmented audience. You might just see your sales jump.
How will you start creating engaging content to add to your integrated marketing mix? What will be your content marketing priority?