I love steak. I’m a voracious carnivore with no apologies, with the exception of maybe my two friends, Simon & Alexis, when we go out for dinner. However, as much as I wish I could survive on steak alone, I can’t. There are certain nutrients and vitamins I need to survive that steak alone cannot provide. I still need vegetables, starches and even the occasional sugars. A balanced diet is what helps me continue to be a healthy human being.
Healthy marketing strategies cannot survive on social media alone. Any marketing strategy needs to be finely balanced based on the “nutritional needs” of its audience. Therefore, just relying on Social Media can leave your marketing strategy totally unbalanced and weak without other tactics to help support it.
But you hear everywhere that you “NEED” social media. The mistake some companies make is that they sacrifice other marketing channels to implement social media marketing because they believe it’s going to be the “magic pill” that fixes everything, much like people take diet pills alone in the hopes of losing weight. Diet pills alone don’t work, just like Social Media alone won’t fix what’s wrong. There has to be a strong mix of marketing tactics and channels to build a healthy and successful online marketing strategy.
Start With Audience Research
How do you know what channels you need to integrate into your marketing strategy? Unfortunately there’s not a simple answer to that question. It requires some dedicated time and resources to determine what channels can create the best mix for you. The point is to have an open mind. Don’t be so stuck on Facebook and Twitter that you forget about your very engaged email list, announcing your new product release to your publics or optimizing the content that you need to create.
Research isn’t just “buzz monitoring” either. Research is understanding your industry’s position in the market and what the sentiment is. It also includes looking at the competition and seeing how engaged they are with their audience on all channels, not just in Twitter. Understanding the difference between keywords is imperative as well, not just for trends and seasonality, but for negatives, and search versus social (conversation) use.
Then Build Your integrated Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve gathered your research you are going to have a clearer picture of the type of marketing channels that are going to build a strong strategy. It could be a mix of PPC, paid and organic social media marketing, SEO and email list, or it could be minimal PPC and high emphasis on organic social media and mobile marketing. Your website itself might even need an overhaul because its not converting nor is it socially engaging to your visitors, so the first part of your strategy might need to be optimizing your website for usability, search optimization and social engagement and then bringing in the other tactics once that is soundly in place.
The point is to be open to integrated marketing channels and not so rigid that you silo your channels and don’t let them work together.
Don’t fall for the trap of thinking you have to employ a marketing tactic just because your promotion agency offers expertise in that or because the media is touting a “new” product or service or worse yet, that your competition is using it. Take the time to do the research first. It’ll help you create a healthy and balanced marketing strategy that’s tailored just for your audience.