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Integrated Brand Communications

A List of Top Resources

While we are focusing on social media issues for listicle, it will be equally important to look at social efforts in the context of integrated communications and parsing an online plan that complements offline efforts.  Building a comprehensive communications plan is essential to know who is communicating with stakeholders, how often, and what is the protocol to ensure consistency across mediums.   Below you will find a list of some of the top resources I found to help navigate the complex minefield of online brand strategy and its role in the holistic communications plan.

#1 Integrated Brand Media Strategies

Marketing is has expanded from offline advertising, direct mail, and broadcast to online microtargeting of stakeholders and the understanding that data rules. The lines have blurred across all traditional borders thanks to Google, Facebook, Instagram, and the litany of other new players in the digital ecology that makes up the communities where customers now exist.

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#2 Online Communities Provide a Uniquely Personal Perspective

If a patient receives a pacemaker, they may have questions about how to manage their life and what is safe. Questions like when is it time to call the doctor aren’t questions their regular physician can answer at any time. However, a support group could offer immediate experience-based guidance. It is estimated that poor adherence to prescription medications drives up medical spending each year and data mining these communities can allow more targeted marketing information to be shared across mediums to better educate patients.

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#3 Turning a Follower into a Buyer

There is a process for everything and consumer attitude formation and the transition to purchase have been studied widely. This article looks at the explosion of social media users and elaborates in great detail how consumers process information and the formation of attitude formation for online brands. Brands of all shapes and sizes have recognized the importance of leveraging brand presence via social media to stimulate purchasing behaviors and increase both consumer engagement and brand loyalty.

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#4 Am I Who I Say I Am?

In all marketing communications, good data makes for great decisions. However, on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram truthful self-representation can be a challenge. When the audience is likely to be unknown, users try to present a socially aspired self-image to be ‘popular. Studies show that honest self-disclosure is generally more emphasized in real life and is different online therefore communication strategies need to consider this when identifying stakeholders. This article provides some technical data on how users are identified for predictive modeling.

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#5 Leverage Influencer Video for Your Brand

Online video tools like YouTube have turned nobodies into viral sensations. While there are always going to be gimmick celebrities that garner millions of followers waiting to see what foolish act they will perform next, there is a better process for understanding how video should play a role in your online brand strategy to boost marketing efforts. This article talks about the importance of using influencers to promote your brand to specific users verses a “spray and pray” philosophy.

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#6 Influencer Marketing is an effective marketplace

Direct mail marketing used to rely heavily on buying lists of specific user databases the fit the demographic for marketing efforts. The problem was that a 2 percent return was considered successful. Thanks to social media, companies are identifying influencers to help them reach more targeted audiences driving much better KPIs and ROI. This article discusses the evolution of direct marketing and using “believable” brand champions to drive social media awareness to message.

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#7 Email is Still Relevant for Customers

What you know about your customer or customer segments is vital in building a personalization strategy that is all about them. We are all tempted to jump right into our marketing message; however, simple things like mentioning their name in the subject line can make the difference between a spark and a spam. So with all these flashy social tools, keep email in your plan to engage and inform customers.

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#8 Customer Experiences Create Long-term Brand Value

As companies try to find the best mix of medium, and the right message for the right audience, successful companies are building a brand experience by creating customer experiences. By deepening the customer relationship you can leverage that data to personalize offerings. Connecting marketing to the business strategy in cross functional teams capable of working together to break down obstacles.

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