Integrating the Tools in Your Marketing Toolbox

direct marketing toolboxBusinesses and organizations have a wide variety of marketing tools from which to choose these days. And every time you turn around there seems to be another one to try (A few months ago, most of us hadn’t heard anything about Google+).  This leaves some companies feeling like they’re spread a little thin, because they’re trying to get messages out on all the different media platforms.

You don’t have to master every social media app out there. For one thing, most people you want to reach aren’t using every social media application there is.  And not every application is appropriate for every kind of communication. What’s helpful is to think through how you can coordinate or integrate the different tools you have.

One thing, however, is clear. How and where people do business has changed. Companies and consumers now do business on the web. So how can you use all the marketing tools you have (online and offline) to take advantage of that fact? Let’s look at five tools that you can integrate to drive more business.

Blogs: Your blog is a great way to stay in front of your customers/constituents with relevant, helpful information that establishes you as an expert and a trusted advisor. Don’t try to use it as a sales tool. Do use it to link your customers back to additional information on your website—or to premium information (white papers, special reports, etc.). Make sure your blog links take readers to specific landing pages that deliver what you promise. Your blog isn’t an end in itself. It’s a link back to you.

Facebook: Not everybody is on Facebook—but LOTS of people are. A July 22 TechCrunch post shows that 50 percent of all Americans (155 million) are on Facebook. That’s too many to ignore. But simply having a Facebook page isn’t enough. Just like you do with your blog, your Facebook page should link readers (and “likers”) back to specific landing pages on your website where you can make special offers and collect contact information. Don’t let your Facebook page be a dead end.

Twitter: If you have a personal Twitter account, it may be OK to tweet about what you had for lunch or what you think of the latest Harry Potter movie. That doesn’t cut it for business, however. What you can do is send tweets that direct your followers to helpful information (like your blog), or to information about an event (via a landing page on your site). Make your tweets helpful. You can’t explain things in 140 characters, but you can raise a question and direct people to an answer.

Email: Despite everything you hear about a backlash against email, this is still a great response tool—with people who know you. If people respond to an offer you make, email is a great way to touch them and let them know you may have additional information that could be of interest to them.  Don’t use it to sell. Use it to announce—and again, link readers back to specific information on a dedicated landing page.

Direct Mail: Some people think direct mail is dead. It’s not. But how businesses successfully use it has changed. These days, more and more businesses are using direct mail as “personal, deliverable billboards.” Mail volume is down, so well designed cards and letters stand out. Use your direct mail to entice readers and then direct them to a specific landing page on your site for more information.1

None of these tools are stand-alone tools. They are much more effective when you integrate them and use them to create extra touches with your clients. What other tools are you integrating into your marketing mix?