As a small business owner, integrated campaigns can seem daunting and out of reach.
After all, they involve a series of media platforms, web marketing tactics, social media efforts etc.
If multiple third-party companies run your marketing department, it can be especially challenging to organize a consistent message across your channels.
However, though the concept may seem intimidating, it’s 100% doable - even for a small business!
Launching and running a successful integrated campaign is simple as long as you have the right tools, resources, and know-how.
We break down the necessary factors of a small business integrated campaign below. Keep reading to learn how to put together your own multichannel campaign!
Before we get into the 5 steps of creating a successful campaign, let’s first learn what integrated campaigns are and why they are beneficial.
In short, integrated campaigns present a consistent message across all your marketing communication channels.
Companies use them to reach a larger audience, increase brand awareness, build excitement etc.
Typically, integrated campaigns use the same principles as branding, including similar visual aesthetics, wording, tone etc. This ensures a unified look across all platforms - increasing brand recognition and improving communication efforts.
As a small business, we understand that your time, money and resources are especially valuable and limited. And we don’t take that knowledge lightly.
In fact, that knowledge is what fuels our desire to provide these free marketing tips and tricks!
So, how can an integrated campaign boost your web marketing success? Is it really worth it?
Let’s go over some of the benefits below!
Benefits of Launching An Integrated Campaign As a Small Business:
Now that you know what integrated campaigns are and how they benefit small businesses, let’s learn how to create one!
The first and most important step is to get everyone on the same page.
As a small business owner, you likely have multiple companies/freelancers making up your team. You have a company for your email campaigns, another for your social media coordination, another for your web hosting etc.
While this can be a great way to delegate your business responsibilities, it does make campaign creation slightly harder. And it's why you must always ensure each team member is aware of the campaign scope, given the proper materials/instructions and follows through with the plan correctly.
This is how you ensure your message is consistent, clear and accurate. And that all marketing schedules properly align with your plan.
Otherwise, your social media team might understand things differently from your web marketing team, and so on. Leaving your audience with a muddled message.
So, gather your team for a quick huddle and make sure everyone is aware, involved and prepared.
The second step in creating your campaign is to think about your audience.
A lot of companies choose to focus on their brand messaging before selecting their target audience. But at OSM, we believe the customer always comes first.
So identifying WHO your customer is, WHAT they’re looking for, and HOW you can meet their needs has to be your top priority.
Note: It is possible to have more than one ideal target audience to focus on. That’s the benefit of a multichannel campaign! You can target a variety of people at once with the same message.
Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, it’s time to craft your message.
This message can be in the form of written content, graphics, video creation or even photography.
Campaign messaging typically surrounds a special, promotion, discount or feature. However, you can create a campaign for pretty much anything!
As your creating this message, keep in mind these 3 key factors:
We already mentioned the importance of your target audience. But as you create your message, always remember to circle back and ensure your content serves their interests first.
Your campaign will lack direction and purpose if it doesn't have a set goal or objective. So before you start creating your messaging, decide on your campaign goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).
A few common campaign goals include:
The third factor to keep in mind is how adaptable your message is.
Since an integrated campaign involves multiple channels, your messaging has to be able to adjust to each one accordingly.
For example, if you record a video podcast, what are some ways you can repurpose that content for other channels?
Planning your content creation with this in mind will ensure you have the opportunity to share your campaign across multiple platforms.
Now that you have your message, it’s time to strategize where and when you will launch it. Since you’ve purposely crafted your message to be adaptable for most channels, you have lots of options to work with!
As you strategize, don't forget to circle back to step 2 and ensure you choose the best channels for your specific audience.
Is your audience browsing the internet? Or scrolling their Facebook feed?
In this case, which is more effective - Google Ads or Facebook Ads?
Understanding which is more effective and realistic, considering your messaging, can help you strategize a successful campaign placement.
Common Advertising Channels For Small Businesses:
Once you’ve narrowed down which channels best suit your audience and messaging, the next step is to find the perfect time(s) to launch!
For this, you’ll need some insight into when your ideal audience is most active on your channels. From there, you can better estimate the best posting time for your content!
Ready to launch?
Once your campaign goes live, have your team monitor it daily. We recommend having your team on standby, ready to respond to incoming messages, inquiries, or hiccups as they come up.
Finally, the final step in your campaign journey is to measure its success. In this step, you’ll analyze your campaign results with the goals you created at the start of the process.
Did your campaign meet your goals? Why or why not?
One of the best things about a campaign is that you can use the knowledge you gained from previous results to better guide future campaigns!
Are you ready to give integrated campaigns a shot? Our web marketing team at OSM is here to put your message into action!
Our digital marketing services offer:
And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to not miss our next blog post!
Writing unique, valuable and optimized website content has never been more of a priority for businesses than it is today.
The ever-growing popularity of the internet and the widely acclaimed use of web browsers like Google to find local and relevant answers, products and services is incredible.
What better way to penetrate this modern, digital landscape and gain traction in our online world than by becoming a part of it?
By sharing your answers to popular questions...
By digging deeper into your niche...
By offering unique value to an already information-hungry audience...
That is the power of blogging!
Blogging has evolved drastically over the years. Especially since the alleged first-ever blog platform launched in 1994!
Justin Hall created this platform, called Links.net, to share his writings. He would write short articles about his life and then publish them on this online platform for others to learn more about him.
Over the next three or so years, this way of sharing information online became known as an online diary or personal page. And, although most of these posts were code-heavy technical articles, they soon evolved into a journalistic approach.
At this time, the word blog wasn’t even a thing!
It wasn’t until around 1997, when Jorn Barger described these sites as Weblogs, that the term came into play.
Then, just two years later, Peter Merholz introduced the simplified term we know today - blogs!
From then on, the world of blogging has gone through many phases. From early code-heavy blogs to inspiring mommy blogs to the search-engine-optimized articles that businesses share on their sites today.
Now, you can learn how to knit a scarf, build a shed, fix your air conditioner, bake sourdough or choose the right insurance plan. All from a blog article!
With a wide selection of tools, blogs have evolved from simple renditions of personal thought to in-depth articles designed for web traction, lead generation and brand credibility.
With good content and the right tools, you can increase traffic to your website, build your brand personality and position yourself as an expert in your specific industry.
Who knew words could do so much?
Now that you know how blogging has progressed, you can learn how to use it as a resource in growing your online presence!
When used correctly, your blog has the potential to:
Whether you are an electrician or a seamstress, you want to be considered an expert in your trade. You want people to trust you, rely on your expertise and continue coming to you for leading industry information.
With a blog, you can achieve all of these things!
You can increase your credibility and inspire trust in your audience simply by:
You are an HVAC company that sells heating and cooling products. With recent inflations, your audience is looking for the most cost-efficient air conditioning solution for this coming summer.
Because you understand your audience and have been researching their questions, you know their concerns and are ready to offer them a solution!
To write optimized blog content on the most energy-efficient and budget-friendly cooling options.
Not only can this content position you as an HVAC expert, but you will be advertising your products at the same time - without seeming pushy or having to give a sales pitch!
You are simply offering an easily-accessed answer to the question your audience is already asking.
Your blog content is usable for more than just added content on your website.
Try reusing, repurposing and recycling your content on your social media platforms too! You can use these other media platforms to spark interest and gain momentum for your blog article.
Here’s an idea:
Post a sneak peek in your newsletter or even a link to the article on Facebook or LinkedIn. These shares can help increase traffic to your site and increase the social exposure of your blog too.
Would you prefer to take a shot in the dark or take careful aim at a reasonable target with the right tools in your hands?
Blogging is that tool, and Google is your clear target. As long as you learn to aim right, reaching your audience is easy!
By inputting valuable SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in your blog - up-to-date keyword research, quality headlines, proper readability, credible links etc. - you can design your content to be seen by the right people at the right time.
You can attract people to your website via your blog content!
Then, once you have brought your target audience to your website, you can begin converting that website traffic into potential leads.
One of the best things about blogging is that you do not have to look for your customers. Google is one of the only media platforms where your consumers search for you!
For the answers to their questions. For the most up-to-date industry information. For the best of the best!
And all you have to do is show up with valuable content that satisfies their search!
Did you know that there are roughly 4.95 billion internet users worldwide? And that the average user spends almost 7 hours on the internet EACH DAY?
People are consuming more digital content than ever before!
But if you are not producing content for these users to engage with, your site will miss out on this valuable web traffic.
Like we said before, people are already searching. It is up to you to show up, drive them to your site and give them the answers they want.
Research has shown that even goldfish have a longer attention span than humans nowadays. You have approximately 8 seconds to grab their attention and tell them that they are in the right place.
That means you need to write valuable content that is both readable and skimmable!
SEO organically improves your credibility and searchability on Google!
Have you seen the positive results of search engine optimization (SEO) before? If so, then you know what we are talking about here.
Here are a few ways to improve the SEO of your blog:
Consumers are looking for brands they can trust. They're looking for brands run by real people with real thoughts, real experiences and real information.
They want to be heard, seen and answered by someone who relates to them.
So start listening to your audience!
Start being the answer to their questions. Start building relationships, involving your clients and caring for what matters to them.
Because in the marketing world, it's about more than just advertising your product.
It's about creating a community, becoming a trusted source and inviting your audience to follow along with the story of your business!
At OSM, sharing stories has always been a habit of ours. How we got here, where we are going, what our dreams are and how we do what we do.
But we constantly flip the mic around too. Why? Because we want to hear from YOU.
We want to understand what makes you tick. What gets you excited. What ignites a passion in your soul.
We love the WHY of your business. The HOW. The WHAT-IN-THE-WORLD!
Because digging deeper, sharing unique value and showing up?
That’s when sharing a story becomes more than an old fashioned code-heavy page of gibberish that most people will click away from.
Instead, it becomes a reliable source of helpful, relevant information that your niche audience is not only interested in, but engaged with.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to try starting blogging for your business!
Use your social media to ask your audience their industry-related questions. Then use those questions to help construct blog themes!
Pssst… don’t forget to tell your social media followers that you answered their questions over on your blog!
Now, if you’ve been reading this and thinking, “well sure, but I don’t know the first thing about writing!” - don’t worry!
Remember in our last blog article when we gave you 5 Signs That It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?
We explained how a marketing agency can help:
Outsourcing your blog writing can help you achieve these goals while growing your online presence!
If you’re an entrepreneur running your own marketing strategy, from the early planning stages to full on execution, then you’ve probably done your fair share of content writing.
Maybe without even knowing it!
What Is Content Writing Used For?
Hands up if you've written at least one thing off of this list!
See? Whether you knew it or not, you’ve probably been content writing all along.
And now that you know all of the different faucets that you can write within, you can now begin learning HOW to write the best content for each.
Knowing what to write about is one thing, but knowing how to write is another, more challenging concept. It involves knowing yourself, your audience, your industry, your purpose and your platform. It requires a deep understanding of the topic you are writing about and an even deeper understanding of who is trying to learn this topic (ie. your target audience).
But why is content writing so important to begin with?
Being able to write high quality content is a valuable tool. One that is used for a multitude of purposes - brand awareness, search engine optimization (SEO), engagement, education, entertainment and online digital marketing.
In reality, content writing is one of the most effective strategies in getting your brand out into the digital sphere. It has the power to influence, connect, inspire, motivate, evoke and trigger a multitude of emotions. All driving the audience’s desire to learn, laugh, relate, join, purchase, follow etc.
High quality, properly structured content writing can do wonders for your website! If you’re looking for a way to organically reach your audience, encourage connection and drive sales, content writing is quickly going to become your favourite tactic.
How does it work?
Google will crawl your website content, including the links within your content, in order to categorize and rank it on the search engine results page (SERP).
In order to help Google crawl your content, you want to ensure that the layout is clean, the message is clear, the headlines are clickable and the style is reader-friendly. You also want to keep in mind what’s happening behind-the-scenes - your meta descriptions, page titles, URLs, link titles etc. If you’re looking for a more in-depth SEO how-to, we recently wrote an article on our top 5 SEO Tips For Beginners HERE!
But before you begin optimizing your content for the web, you need to understand how to build out strong, compelling material.
Here’s how our team does it!
Before your fingers hit the keyboard in a flurry, there are 5 important factors that you need to consider. These 5 factors are going to help drive your content forward to the right people in order to meet your goals. All while staying in line with your brand identity.
When our creative team writes for another brand, we first have to deep dive into their brand identity - their personality, values, characteristics and voice. These are essentially the personifying elements of the brand that make up its unique tone.
Once we have a thorough understanding of who the brand is, we can then ensure that all of the content associated with that brand is cohesive.
ASK YOURSELF: Does it sound like the same person has written every piece of your content, or does it appear as though a large group of people with different beliefs, personalities and vocabularies came together with their separate ideas?
If your content is not cohesive, it’s time to sit down and figure out your brand identity!
Now that you know who you are, the next step is to figure out who you are talking to - your target audience!
These are the people that relate to you, learn from you, are inspired by you and even purchase from you. The goal? To write quality content that is tailored specifically to these people and entice them to read it.
When content writing, you should also keep in mind the particular demographics and behaviours that are unique to your specific target audience. This can include age, geographic location, lifestyle, stage of life or even hobbies.
These are the tools you’re going to use to write content that is relatable, educational and inspiring.
You know yourself, you know your target audience, and now it’s time to get to know your topic.
One of the ways writers SEO their content is to ensure that they are seen as experts within their specific industry. Google looks up to you and will rank you higher on the SERP if you present yourself as a leading industry expert.
Before we write anything for a client, we always do the research first in order to become this “expert”.
We also have to know the product inside and out and be able to explain it clearly to our readers.
ASK YOURSELF: Does your content make sense? If your content does not make sense to you, it will not make sense to your reader. Which could cause them to click away from your site and look for their answers elsewhere.
We always recommend that you do your research well, use reliable resources and ensure that your content is true.
Do you know why you’re writing about your chosen topic? Is it to influence behaviour, prompt a purchase, satisfy a need, answer a question or bring entertainment?
Whichever goal you have in mind, your writing needs to be custom-made to fit that purpose.
After all, this purpose is what is going to drive your content forward and motivate the reader to read your material.
Each sentence should be leading them forward in anticipation of the fulfilled purpose that lies at the end of the content - even if that fulfillment is simply for someone to get to know your brand on a deeper level.
Now that you know the who, what and why of your writing project, your next step is to tailor your content towards its identified platform.
The style and layout of writing you choose for a blog article is going to look drastically different from that of an Instagram post or newsletter. Why? Because each of these platforms are designed to be operated by the user in a specific way.
Your job, as the writer, is to understand how the reader operates within that platform and tailor your content to fit creatively within it.
Remember that within each platform, you must be intentional. Your audience has a limited attention span that is easily lost and your goal is to not only fit your content within that given time frame, but also make it easy to read and purposeful.
Who knew there was so much to consider, even for a simple Instagram post!
Content writing is such an incredible art to master, but it can also be quite a daunting and time consuming task to undertake.
Are you looking for a local content writer to help build your brand, boost your online presence and increase traffic to your site?
Get in touch with our creative team at OSM today!
“How on earth do you SEO your website?”
We get this question a lot! And there are many different answers we could give you, because SEO isn’t just a click of a button. And it’s definitely not a one-time fix.
SEO is constantly evolving with technology advancements, software application updates, privacy policies etc.
Why is it such a dynamic practice? Because we don’t live in a static world. We live in a world that is constantly looking for:
This means that we, as business owners, need to dive in and start showing up in these key areas.
But how do we do that?
By optimizing our online presence and, essentially, making ourselves easy (and quick) to find!
What even is SEO?
Well for starters, the term “SEO” is actually an acronym, meaning:
S - Search
E - Engine
O - Optimization
Essentially, it is the process of optimizing your business in order to reach the right target, in the right place and at the right time.
And both of these goals are to be met using organic methods!
In a nutshell, SEO is composed of two main parts:
Today, we’re just focusing on the optimization side of things!
Step 1. A search is made (ie. Best Pizza Near Me),.
Step 2. Google takes your request and begins crawling sites for information that match your search (paying close attention to quality, accuracy and relevance).
Step 3. The crawlers bring all of the information back and organize it from most recommended to least recommended. Essentially, Google prioritizes the “answers” to the request by what it deems to be the most reliable, trustworthy and authoritative source of information.
When you optimize a site, you’re improving the quality of content that Google finds when it crawls your pages, increasing your chances of being prioritized on their results page!
SEO can be very time consuming and confusing, however it is SO IMPORTANT. Why? Because this is one of the only platforms where your ideal client is looking for you, rather than you having to look for your ideal client.
Your job is simply to make yourself seen!
Now to the good stuff!
PRO TIP: In order to reach your ideal audience, you must first know who they are and understand what they are looking for.
A Keywords List is essentially a specific list of words and phrases that are commonly searched by your ideal customer and that relate to your specific business. This is where truly knowing your customer comes in handy!
THE KEY is to find specific terms with search traffic that isn’t too competitive, allowing you to be ranked higher in a reasonable time.
A good URL is relevant, structured, short, simple and keyword rich!
BE CAREFUL to not fall into the trap of keyword stuffing! Keep your URLs practical and straightforward, easy to read and even easier for Google to crawl.
Page titles are the hook for your readers AND for Google crawlers. We recommend keeping your titles up to, but no longer than, 60 characters!
DON’T FORGET to use descriptive terms from your keyword list within your titles.
Meta descriptions are elements that describe and summarize the content of your page. This important tag is often what search engines use in their SERP (Search Engine Results Page) snippet. As searchers read through the list of ranked pages on their results page, the meta descriptions help direct their choice.
HERE’S A TIP...anything beyond 160 characters usually gets cut off, so try summarizing your page in a readable sentence package full of your keywords and limiting it to 160 characters.
Headings are a great way to structure your page, organize your points of interest and improve the readability of your content! Try to structure your content so that H1, H2 and even H3 tags contain your focused keywords.
DID YOU KNOW that headings also make the page look pleasant and improve its readability for the visitor?
It’s time to start showing up where your ideal client needs you. Are you ready to try it for yourself?
Don’t forget step #1 - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
At OSM in Belleville, Ontario, our marketing team LOVES getting to know your ideal client. And we can help you identify, locate and target these individuals as well!
Not ready to do it yourself? Contact our search engine specialists at OSM and ask about our SEO packages - including a researched and ranked keyword list, designed specifically for your business!
We’re here to help you cultivate your organic community, grow as a business and truly thrive in your market - let’s get started together!
No one launches a website these days just to have a website.
Sure, it’s cool to claim your own little corner of the web, but it won’t take long for that corner to start feeling lonely if no one ever comes to visit you there!
Plus, launching a website requires an investment. It will take time and finances plus mastery of new marketing skills, like SEO, or search engine optimization.
But why invest in SEO? What the heck is that, anyway?
Simply put, if your website is your business home online, then search engine optimization is the front door through which you welcome visitors who become new loyal customers.
You need SEO to make sure visitors who are seeking what you have to offer can locate you online and navigate their way to your front “door.”
Read on now to learn the four keys required for SEO business marketing success.
Search engine optimization basically translates to “accurate directions.” Let’s say you head to the web because you need to get your vehicle’s oil changed. You aren’t sure where to go. So you type in the phrase “affordable oil change near me.”
In a flash, your browser detects your physical location and delivers several pages’ worth of information about the closest businesses that perform vehicle oil changes. With any luck, one of the first few listings will be an exact match for your needs.
Before you know it, you are on your way over to get your oil changed and on to the next item on your to-do list.
This is SEO in a nutshell: keywords on a site that Google recognizes as most relevant to your search and then suggests to you.
So now imagine someone is heading to their website browser right now because they need your product or service. What terms would they type in to find you? Would those terms find you? Or would they find your competitors instead?
If we just did our job well, you are probably already feeling more informed and confident about why SEO is relevant and important for your business success.
But even if the explanation you just read sounds simple in theory, when you go to put it into practice, you will quickly discover it is not as simple in fact.
Successful SEO marketing is hard work!
This is where we come in.
Just as we wouldn’t dream of being able to walk into your company and do your job well from day one, so too do we realize most busy entrepreneurs and small business owners have neither the time nor inclination to learn how to do what we do well.
SEO, like any skill, takes years of education, training and practice to master. Our clients trust us to do what we do well so they can continue to do what they do even better.
When you work with us to grow your business, we will implement these four critical elements of successful small business SEO marketing.
Target market business analysis is a fancy way of saying, “How close is your website to page one of Google’s search engine results? Are you on page one? Page 20? Can you even find your website online?
If you are ranking but not on page one, we can help you get closer. If you are not ranking at all, we can help you rank and improve your ranking over time.
There are three parts to target market business analysis.
Initial keyword analysis
By the end of phase one, we will know where you are now versus where your competitors are now, how far we have to go and which strategies are most essential to get you there.
Keyword research takes the last part of phase one several steps further. We identify the keywords your competitors are using successfully to outrank you in search engine results.
Then we look at the most important search criteria and keyword combinations to reach local customers with your marketing message and increase new visitors (inbound web traffic) to your website.
With phases one and two under our belt, the next task is to begin a process known as “content optimization.”
In a nutshell, this simply means taking what we have learned about important keywords and key phrases and strategically using them to beef up your website content.
The goal here is to make calculated changes to your online content that won’t look calculated to Google’s algorithms. This is how a website moves up in the search engine rankings and eventually becomes that website everyone else in the industry wants to copy!
Once phases one, two and three are completed, your website will essentially become a smooth operator online, steadily attracting new site visitors, generating new customer inquiries, gathering positive online reviews and slowly but surely attracting new repeat customers to your business.
But it is not all smooth sailing from here – far from it. Because you can bet that your competitors will notice your share of the local market increasing and will respond accordingly.
As such, this is the step that can most readily propel you to the top of the local competition or send you back into online obscurity. From here, we will continually be monitoring your search engine ranking results, tweaking your content accordingly to keep your success growing.
Done well, SEO marketing is a full-time job, and you’ve already got one of those! So why not give us a call to see how we can help you realize your business dreams?
Contact us online or give us a call at 613-969-0626.