5 Ways to Integrate your Direct Marketing Efforts with Social Media

Business marketing managers have long appreciated the difference between “push” and “pull” marketing strategies. Creating PR materials that effectively communicate your business’ commitment to sustainable environmental practices requires a different set of resources and creative applications than writing, producing and editing a radio spot advertising a Presidents Day sale.

Nevertheless, your brand’s reputation depends on both the messages you broadcast and the opinions customers form as they discover and learn about your business. And if push is opposite to pull, how can you and your team hope to combine the power of its direct and social marketing efforts? The answer, of course, is not to think of push and pull as contrary forces, but simply as slightly different approaches to the same task: opening the door.

Data Mining

Direct marketing has always relied upon good data. For example, direct mail campaigns are traditionally segmented by geographic area (from state to ZIP code), key demographics and response rates to previous direct marketing efforts. Marketing managers need to view social media as offering a new set of data points that can complement these traditional metrics. Every digital social interaction — Facebook like, shared Tweet, repinned Pinterest post, etc. — generates customer data. The key is to get to know your leads and conversions via their behavior on social media. And while the subject and tone of the conversations they’re having on these various platforms are important, so too is the broader context in which these conversations are occurring. Hashtags, clicks, even timestamps and documentation of how users have accessed your social content (e.g., via mobile rather than desktop) can help your business craft more personalized direct marketing materials.

Smart Linking

QR codes are about more than facilitating your customer’s journey from a tangible, static medium (such as a flyer, postcard or sign) to a virtual, dynamic one (your business’ website). For one thing, QR codes can allow your designers to make more efficient use of limited print layouts. And QR codes can do more than direct customers to a landing page featuring an additional product or offer information; a QR code could generate a Facebook post highlighting your user’s interaction with your brand. Most importantly, QR codes, coupled with sophisticated URL tracking analytics, can be invaluable in terms of assessing how engaging your direct marketing materials are and working towards greater ROI.

Social Proof

Human beings are social animals. The proliferation of crowd-sourced review sites and mobile applications such as Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and even film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is a testament to how much social influence opinions wield. Social proof refers to businesses leveraging that existing customer “buzz” about your brand, product, etc., to drive conversions. Endorsements, testimonials, even a simple thumbs-up regarding a positive customer experience provide evidence of customer benefit. But utilizing social proof can entail more than incorporating user-generated content (e.g., a positive review of a product) into your direct marketing materials. Social sharing buttons on your landing pages can offer your site visitors quick, quantifiable proof of your brand’s reputation.

The VIP Treatment

In many ways, direct marketing materials are similar to premium products. They emphasize the exclusive access, unique value and compelling opt-ins available only to those who receive these materials. With that in mind, your business can use social media to “tease” such exclusive offers, driving email newsletter subscriptions, mailing list sign-ups, etc. And social media VIPs can be incredibly valuable resources, connecting your brand with their established — and often rather sizable — audiences. The best way for your business to discover leads, secure followers and boost conversions might be associating itself with a blogger, podcaster or prominent platform user open to sponsorship.

Keep Everything and Everyone on the Same Page

Regardless of medium or channel, the visual design, tone, and offer presented by your marketing materials should be carefully coordinated if not uniform. Consistency is key, and, while content can be tailored depending upon a variety of factors, that content should always be linked to a common CTA. And that CTA should respond to a clear desire or need that your customers can articulate. Most importantly, while appearances do matter, integration ultimately results from deep structural connections across all your marketing efforts and their common goals: drive conversions and increase ROI.

Want to learn more? Contact Belo Media Group to strategize with experts who are looking forward to helping you address your specific marketing integration needs.