integrated marketing solutions

The Importance of Hiring an Integrated Marketing Agency

There are hundreds of tactics you can use to advertise your business, whether you’re using inbound or outbound marketing. As a result, it can take a long time and a lot of effort to create and execute a successful marketing strategy — especially if you want long-term results. It’s why many companies will work with a marketing agency instead of trying to do it themselves.

However, you’ll find that most marketing agencies focus on specific types of advertising. For example, some agencies focus on direct marketing, while others focus on building websites. If you want to work with a single agency that can handle all of your marketing needs, then you should consider working with an integrated marketing agency.

What is Integrated Marketing?

Integrated Marketing Agency

Integrated marketing is the practice of making sure all of your marketing efforts are aligned to deliver the same core message. It’s an overarching strategy that uses various channels to reach people at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Integrated marketing allows businesses to deliver a consistent message across different mediums, including print and digital media.

For example, a company might use a TV commercial to draw attention to its new website. For this to work, the message conveyed on the TV ad must be consistent with the messaging on the website. If the tagline or logo on the commercial is even slightly different than what’s on your website, it will confuse people.

What is an Integrated Marketing Agency?

Integrated marketing agencies use a holistic approach to marketing. They can address all the advertising needs that a company might have. Basically, it means that they can do everything you need as far as marketing goes so that you don’t have to hire multiple agencies. For example, they can help:

  • Build your brand and design branding elements.
  • Develop a traditional outbound marketing strategy.
  • Develop an inbound marketing strategy.
  • Create your inbound and outbound marketing materials (from print ads to your website)
  • Develop a public relations (PR) strategy to engage with your target audience across many channels.

What are the Benefits of an Integrated Marketing Agency?

Integrated Marketing Agency

There are many benefits to working with an integrated marketing agency instead of an agency that has more specific focuses (such as an agency that only produces commercial videos). The following are a few of the primary benefits of using an integrated marketing agency:

1. A more cost-effective marketing solution

Hiring multiple agencies to address different parts of your marketing strategy can be expensive. An integrated marketing agency can take care of all your marketing needs, making it a more cost-effective option.

2. A more cohesive long-term marketing plan

Because an integrated marketing agency is experienced in every facet of marketing, they can audit your existing strategy. Additionally, they will consider your company’s needs and audience to develop a more unified long-term marketing strategy.

3. More personalized services

Most agencies use a general blueprint to implement their solutions. As such, their marketing efforts follow a guideline or template for every one of their clients. Integrated marketing agencies customize their marketing solutions to the specific needs of the clients they’re working with. Futhermore they will take a unified approach that will result in a comprehensive and unique marketing strategy.

4. Branding consistency across all channels

If you lack branding consistency (for example, if your messaging and tone is different from one channel to the next), it will hurt your brand identity. Consequently, people will get confused about who you are and what you offer.

An integrated marketing agency can help develop a unique branding strategy so that your business will have a consistent message across all channels. By using integrated marketing, you’ll ensure that your brand identity remains consistent.

5. A better understanding of the buyer’s journey

Integrated marketing agencies are experienced with both traditional and digital marketing. As a result, they have a greater understanding of the buyer’s journey and how to reach customers at every stage of their journey.

6. More effective cross-channel marketing campaigns

Marketing campaigns that function separately won’t be nearly as effective as if they were designed to work together. Integrated marketing agencies are more capable of creating cross-channel marketing campaigns designed to achieve a shared goal.

Our Integrated Marketing Solutions

Here at Stevens & Tate, we offer integrated marketing solutions tailor-made to your company’s needs. Not only do we take into account your business and your customers, but we also take into account your budget. With that in mind, the following are some of the integrated marketing solutions that we offer:

  • Storybranding:

We can help develop your brand and brand story by identifying competitive advantages and mission statement. We can also create a slogan and tagline, identify your value propositions, and develop your message and story.

  • Marketing strategy:

We develop a comprehensive marketing strategy by implementing a meticulous process. This process includes a thorough consultation, SWOT analysis, budget evaluation, marketing plan development and execution, communications strategy, and messaging approach.

  • Research:

We perform thorough market research to help build your marketing strategy. This research includes competitive market analysis, brand audits, target audience segmentation, website analytics, customer experience research, and more.

  • SEO and social:

We can develop comprehensive social media and SEO strategies to increase brand awareness and authority. We use various tactics, including blogging, content creation, social media campaigns, PPC ads, engagement strategies, and organic search marketing.

  • Public relations:

We offer a wide variety of reputation management services integrated with your overall marketing strategy. These services include press release writing, product launch advertising, online syndication, and marketing promotions. We can also improve your reputation via thought leadership, content marketing, media relations, and more.

  • Customer experience:

We develop various strategies to help improve your customer experience. We can help with package design, brand development, contests, promotions, pricing structures, and more.

  • Digital marketing tactics:

We can plan and execute digital marketing efforts as part of your ongoing marketing strategy. These efforts may include SEO, video production, PPC advertising, social media advertising, mobile and web app implementation, content creation, and more.

  • Traditional Advertising:

In addition to digital marketing, we can also help develop a traditional advertising campaign integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts. Some of the traditional advertising services we offer include print ad design, radio scripts and audio production, photography, logo development, video production, sales brochures, and more.

Improve Your Long-Term Marketing Using Integrated Marketing Solutions

To create an effective cross-channel marketing campaign, you need integrated marketing solutions. Moreover, integrated marketing is the best way to strengthen your brand, grow your business, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry over the long term.

Find out more about the integrated marketing solutions we offer by contacting us to request a free marketing consultation at Stevens & Tate today.

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how might a business use a blog

How Businesses Can Use a Blog To Strengthen Their Online Marketing Efforts

The history of blogging is an interesting one. For a while, the purpose of a blog was entirely personal. People would use blogs as a sort of online diary that was public to friends and family. However, as online marketing evolved over the years, it became apparent that the blog held immense value as a content marketing tool. It presented the perfect way for businesses to regularly publish new content to attract and build a large audience.

With that in mind, if you’re planning a content marketing strategy, then you should strongly consider setting up a website blog.

How A Business Might Use A Blog

The following are a few examples of how you can use a blog to improve your online marketing efforts:

1. Generate Organic Traffic From Google organic google traffic

One of the main advantages of blogging is that it can help you generate organic traffic from Google. When you publish new content on your blog, Google will index it and include it in its search results. As a result, people searching for information related to your business will be more likely to find your website.

Of course, how your blog content ranks will depend on how effectively you optimize it for SEO (search engine optimization). You’ll need to:

  • Use competitive, relevant keywords throughout each blog post
  • Use internal and external links to improve user engagement
  • Promote your blog via social media and email marketing.

2. Drive Social Media Traffic To Your Website

If you have a social media presence for your business, consider promoting new blog content on every channel you’re using. Doing so will encourage more of your followers to click through and read your latest blog post. It can also help your blog posts rank better due to the increased traffic they’ll receive from social media exposure.

It’s also worth mentioning that posting your blog posts on social media improves the post’s chances of being shared by others. Whoever shares your posts on social media will expose them to an entirely new audience, which can help drive new visitors to your site.

3. Establish Brand Authority

One of the primary goals of any content marketing strategy is to establish your brand as an authority in its industry. One of the best ways to do that is by regularly publishing high-quality blog content.

When you publish new, high-quality blog posts regularly, it showcases your expertise on the topic at hand. It also helps to build trust and credibility with your audience. As a result, your blog can help to not only bolster your brand reputation, but to drive conversions.

Additionally, the better your reputation is, the more likely other websites will begin linking to your blog. The resulting backlinks can expose your brand to bigger audiences and cement your position as a thought leader within your industry.

4. Educate Your Audience

By publishing how-to guides and other informative pieces on your blog, you can help educate potential leads in the beginning stages of their buyer’s journey. Not only will doing so help build your brand authority, but it will also help nurture your visitors through the buyer’s journey. As a result, you’ll be in a better position to capture leads and convert them into customers.

One of the benefits of having a blog is that it can have a long-term impact on attracting and educating new leads. For instance, someone searching for information about a problem they’re having may stumble on a blog post you published a few years ago that remains relevant. If your post was educational, they might stick around, exploring your blog or your website further.

5. Generate Leads

Besides attracting new visitors to your website, your blog can go a long way towards helping you generate leads. Your blog can nurture potential leads and build trust, two critical steps towards capturing a lead. However, the blog posts themselves can act as a vessel for conversion. By ending each post with a call-to-action and an offer, you can entice visitors to sign up to your email list.

Set Up A Blog to Improve Your Online Marketing Today

If you’re not already taking advantage of all that a blog can do for your online marketing efforts, it’s time to start. Creating high-quality blog content is one of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO, drive social media traffic, establish brand authority, educate your audience, and generate leads. All of which can help improve your online marketing success over the long term.

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storytelling techniques

5 Storytelling Techniques You Should Use For Your Marketing Efforts

When it comes to any type of marketing effort, engaging your audience is of utmost importance. Keeping your audience interested is probably the biggest challenge. If they lose interest, they’ll become difficult to convert. To ensure that your audience remains engaged, you need to use the power of brand storytelling.

Why is Storytelling Crucial to Marketing?

Consuming information without context is rarely interesting or engaging. Think about how it felt to go to school and study for tests. Few students actually enjoy doing this. On the other hand, almost everyone enjoys watching TV shows or going to the movies. The reason is simple: if information is presented using storytelling, it becomes more enjoyable and easier to retain.

Think about it this way: let’s say you’re talking to a friend. Your friend is explaining how they just bought a new blender and they’re going over all of its features. Sounds boring, right? That’s because it is. However, what if they explained how they had to go on a diet because their doctor told them they were on the brink of having a heart attack? What if a friend recommended that they begin making healthy juices and smoothies? What if their original blender exploded everywhere the first time they tried to use it?

At this point, you’re invested in their story and you’re interested in how their new blender solved their problem. This is because they kept you engaged using storytelling instead of just dumping information with no context into your lap. And that’s how marketing works as well.

5 Storytelling Techniques to Keep in Mind

digital storytelling

There are many different storytelling techniques you can use to boost your marketing efforts. Here are five techniques that you should be sure to implement to boost your storytelling capabilities:

1. Always put your audience first

To truly engage your audience, you need to make sure that you understand their perspective. If they don’t feel like your content is tailored specifically to them, they’ll feel disinterested and tune out. As such, the protagonist in your story needs to either be them or represent them. Your story should revolve around their pain points. To ensure that you create content using their perspective, you’ll need to develop buyer personas.

2. Use traditional story structure

If you want to build a better story, consider doing what Hollywood films do: they stick to traditional storytelling structures. Such stories include a beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, the character is introduced along with the inciting incident (the problem that needs to be solved). Their journey towards solving the problem and the struggles they face in doing so is detailed in the middle. In the end, there’s a climax and resolution.

Using traditional story structure is smart because people are familiar with it — and most importantly, they’re comfortable with it.

3. Make sure the conflict is clear

Any good story needs to have conflict. This is especially true for your marketing stories. The best way to ensure that there’s enough conflict is by making sure that the stakes are high enough. The protagonist must be facing a seemingly impossible challenge, and only with hard work will they be able to triumph at the end. For example, let’s say that one of your buyer personas wants to lose weight. They’ve been told by their doctor that they have to lose weight immediately or they risk health issues, making the stakes high.

4. Keep the format in mind

Writing for the page is much different than writing for video. People read things differently than they say them. Don’t write your content the way you speak as it will likely come off as unprofessional. On the other hand, don’t write the dialogue for a video the way you’d write a blog post because it won’t sound natural.

Effective storytelling is dependent on the voice and one being used, so be sure to keep the format you’re using in mind.

5. Pacing is essential

Pacing is arguably the most important element of a successful story. Poor pacing can make your story uninteresting even if it contains all the elements of a traditional story structure.

Make sure your story is always moving at a steady pace. For example, if you’re writing a 1,000-word case study about one of your products, then the inciting incident should be explained in the first paragraph. If it doesn’t show up until halfway through, odds are you’ll have lost a substantial number of readers because they’ve lost patience and nothing has happened story-wise until that point.

Use Storytelling Techniques to Engage Your Audience storytelling

To deliver your brand’s message to your target audience, you will need to be able to engage them on a personal level and keep them interested. The best way to do this is by using these five tried and true storytelling techniques.

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inbound marketing solutions

Why Inbound Marketing Solutions Are Integral To Your Success

Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers using valuable content instead of traditional advertising methods (such as cold calling). Successful inbound marketing solutions help make your company easier to find online and nurture potential leads through the buyer’s journey. Inbound marketing is incredibly effective because it’s a long-term strategy that allows leads to be nurtured at their own pace.

The Difference Between Inbound Marketing And Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is a strategy that relies on interrupting potential customers with advertising messages. Outbound methods include cold calling, TV commercials, and direct mail. These tactics are often intrusive and can be easily ignored or blocked by consumers.

Inbound marketing is the exact opposite of outbound marketing. Rather than bombarding potential customers with ads, inbound marketing relies on providing valuable content that draws customers in. Inbound methods include creating blog posts, articles, ebooks, white papers, social media posts, and podcasts. These tactics are designed to help potential customers learn about your company and the solutions you provide.

When it comes down to it, outbound marketing casts a wide net, forcing your message on a large audience in the hopes of reaching potential leads. It’s a strategy that’s short-term in nature. Inbound marketing solutions focus on positioning your business to be found by your target audience on their time. Whereas outbound is considered an “interruption” strategy, inbound is a “permission” strategy that’s more long-term in nature.

The Four Stages of Inbound Marketing

A successful inbound marketing strategy should engage potential leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey. As such, you can separate inbound marketing into four distinct stages:

Stage One: Attract

attract

The first stage is all about attracting potential leads to your brand. This stage requires various tactics to generate brand awareness and make it easy for potential leads to find your website. For this stage to be successful, you need to understand who your target audience is. It’s why many businesses will start by developing their buyer personas first.

Stage Two: Convert

Converting visitors to leads is the next step once you’ve attracted them. The idea behind this stage is to educate visitors and earn their trust using high-quality content. They will then be more willing to sign up to an email list via lead capture forms on your website or blog. Many businesses will use gated content, such as downloadable eBooks or free trials, as incentives for leads to provide their contact information.

Stage Three: Close

Once you capture your leads, you’ll need to nurture them through the sales funnel using personalized content. You can do this by sending them offers and nurturing them via an email marketing campaign.

Stage Four: Delightdelight

The last stage focuses on delighting customers with exceptional customer service. You can do so by using follow-up emails, social media interactions, cross-selling opportunities, and more.

The Essential Inbound Marketing Strategies

There are a few primary inbound marketing solutions that every business should implement. However, it’s essential to understand that these strategies function best if you plan and execute them in conjunction with one another. Your best chance of success is when the following strategies work together.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is crucial to inbound marketing. Without content, you’ll have no way to attract potential leads or nurture them. You’ll want to create content that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to advocacy.

High-quality content that addresses the needs of your target audience is likely to be shared more and to rank higher on Google’s search engine. As a result, it will make it easier to be found by prospects in the awareness stage. Additionally, by creating informative and educational content, you’ll engage your leads and build trust, which will make it easier to convert them.

You can implement many inbound marketing solutions in your content marketing strategy. For example, you can blog and create downloadable content offers to encourage email sign-ups and email marketing.

Social Media Marketing

There are 4.62 billion people using social media as of this year. As such, social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and engage with your leads. By creating pages on the social channels (such as Facebook or Twitter) your audience uses, you set up another platform to help spread awareness of your brand. After all, you can post content that can be shared and drive users back to your website.

The ability to engage directly with prospects also functions as a PR strategy. As such, your social media presence can help increase your brand reputation, building trust with your audience as a result. The following are a few examples of social media inbound marketing solutions you can use:

  • Addressing negative comments: If a prospect has a negative experience with your product or service, addressing them on social media can help resolve the situation and improve customer loyalty.
  • Keeping followers engaged: Asking questions, providing valuable content, and running contests and giveaways are all great ways to keep followers engaged.
  • Posting website content: Simply posting new content published on your blog can help drive traffic from your social media pages to your website.
  • Building relationships with influencersSocial media influencers have huge followings on social media. By identifying influencers in your industry and building relationships with them, you could boost awareness of your brand (especially if they share your content with their audiences).
  • Live streaming: Many social channels allow live streaming, which can be a great way to connect with your audience in real-time. You can live stream all types of video content, including product launches, interviews with team members, and behind-the-scenes footage.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content so that it appears as the top result for relevant keywords in search engines. When people use Google, Bing, or other search engines to find information, products, or services, you want your website to be one of the first results they see.

SEO is an ongoing process that requires continual effort. You’ll need to research the right keywords, optimize your website using those keywords, and track your results. However, keyword usage isn’t the only SEO tactic in the book. Google takes great care to rank pages based on the quality of the content, which means that your content has to provide value.

Secondly, Google determines content quality using engagement metrics, which includes:

  • External backlinks you’ve earned from high-quality websites
  • Social engagement, such as shares and likes
  • Number of visits
  • Page load speeds
  • Mobile-friendliness

As such, ranking well on search engine results pages (SERP) requires a comprehensive and robust SEO strategy.

Inbound Marketing is Critical to Your Success

Inbound marketing combines all the tactics previously discussed: SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing. It’s the process of attracting leads to your website through the use of relevant and helpful content. When properly implemented, inbound marketing solutions can be extremely effective in generating leads and converting customers over the long term.

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growth driven design process

Discovering The Growth-Driven Design Process

Building a new website is a big under taking for any sized business. You want to make sure that your website looks and feels the way that you imagined it would, while also having incredible content that attracts customers and keeps them coming back for more. There is no magic, one-size fits all approach to web design, but the Growth Driven Design process is a new development method that may benefit you. Read more