A few weeks ago, we discussed the problem with only sticking within traditional marketing methods or digital media. Integrated media is the merging of two or more platforms – digital or otherwise, for one amazing and effective campaign.
Every small business is unique. As such, your combination of mediums is going to look different than your fellow entrepreneurs. To find that perfect mix, you have to invest time and money into research, strategy, and flexibility.
So what makes this approach to branding worth the effort? Let’s take a look at three main areas that directly impact small business.
1. Greater Reach
If done properly, your digital media strategy will work hand-in-hand with your traditional practices. More importantly, it will amplify them. The message doesn’t change, just the vehicle. There has never been a better environment to build a referral network on a national (or international) scale. The sky’s the limit – so long as you stay true to your business brand and mission!
2. Lower Budget
“Wait – what? I can get greater reach for less money??”
Who wouldn’t love that concept, right? With only a few hundred dollars a month, you can create an effective campaign using digital media and exceptional internal marketing practices. In fact, when switching from traditional marketing to digital or integrated media practices, I have had clients cut their budget by up to 60% ad have substantially better results!
3. Increased Competition
Of course, all of these wonderful opportunities aren’t really a secret. In fact, 71% of business owners have stated that they plan to increase their digital marketing footprint in the next year. If you’re not taking advantage of integrated media practices in your small business, there is a good chance your competitor is.
The other side of that coin is that you can also now compete with larger corporations and chain stores for local clients. In years past, small businesses have struggles to compete with the exposure that large, corporate marketing budgets are able to garner for Big Business. Today, the ‘playing field’ is beginning to level in many ways.
Tune in next month for specific ideas you can put to work in your business to take advantage of these opportunities.
Contributor: Erika Heeren is a 12-year marketing and public relations veteran with a professional focus on integrated media theory and practice spanning 16 different industries. Erika is President and Lead Content Strategist at Heeren Content & Strategy. She works with small businesses and non-profit organizations to provide affordable, professional-quality content development, marketing, and public relations services. Her clients include local small business owners, marketing agencies, public universities, media outlets, Huffington Post-published authors, IT firms, and non-profit organizations.