Integrated communications: sink or swim

Sink or swim.

That’s the reality in our fast-paced society. We used to be able to rely on repetition to get messages in-front of target audiences. That was when we had one, maybe two communications channels to worry about. Now we deliver messages from every direction — from Facebook posts, to tweets and retweets, to e-newsletters and landing pages galore.

To get noticed, you have to capture the attention of your audience through compelling content in a matter of seconds. Knowing what platforms to use is key.

The way to do this is through an integrated communications strategy.

CONTROL THE CHAOS

Oftentimes companies operate in silos, each department communicating different messages at different times. This lacks strategy, misses overlap opportunities and may not tie back to the overarching goals of your company. Through an integrated approach, you centralize communications efforts and ensure every piece of communication ties back to those goals.

Here at Martin Waymire, we know integrated communications. We take big-picture goals and boil them down into compelling deliverables to strategically deliver them through existing and newly created channels.

We can take a business’ goals and integrate them into a strategic communications plan that looks something like this:

So what’s the best way to grab the attention of an audience in today’s age, and ensure you’re swimming toward your business goals instead of sinking? Social and digital media, of course.

SOCIAL PR

When using social media as part of an integrated strategy, you want to channel your content appropriately.

You can’t take content on your website, copy and paste, and post to Facebook. It’s crucial to have the research to know who is using that platform. From there, we can deliver content in a way that will catch your audience’s attention. Further, if you’re trying to get them to perform an action, it’s important to grab their attention enough to click, watch, etc.

This is done not only through the text, but through visual content as well. Tweets without images get significantly less engagement than tweets with images. Facebook posts with images are no exception either. The list goes on. Visual content matters.

While a 1,000-word blog post works on your website, and a few paragraphs might work in an e-newsletter, you have to cater your content differently on social media if you want to be effective. The most effective brands aren’t talking to their audience; they’re communicating with them.

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS: CASE IN POINT

Our work with Buy Nearby, a campaign through the Michigan Retailers Association, is a perfect example of the power of an integrated campaign.

Since Martin Waymire was brought on in March 2015, we’ve not only been able to grow their audiences on social media (68% growth on Facebook, 73% on Twitter and over 300% on Instagram), we helped them redesign their website to be mobile friendly (increasing page views by 67% compared to 2014), as well as launching a blog highlighting new and popular businesses around Michigan.

We took their campaign and centered efforts around the main goal, to get more Michiganders to buy nearby. 2015 was an exceptional year, and we’re already seeing exciting numbers in 2016.

SWIM, DON’T SINK

Through an integrated communications strategy you streamline content to ensure every tweet, email and blog post has a purpose that ties back to your business goals. In today’s society, you don’t have time to waste on your content.

So what will it be? Sink? Or Swim?

This post originally appeared on Martin Waymire’s blog, here.

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