What is IMC?
In my own words, integrated marketing communications (IMC) is mixed strategic communication efforts meant to build meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. Companies use IMC strategies to ensure a single message is consistent across all marketing channels that reach all audiences. The problem is the assumption that each audience should hear the same message. Instead, a different message should be crafted for each audience and then the appropriate channel to reach that audience should be chosen.
Why should you care?
Think of your own personal IMC program on a smaller scale. By integrating your existing social media portals, you can reach a larger audience. Social media is a HUGE advantage when producing strategic communications online. If you’re already established online via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and etc, then this process will be easier. If you’re new to social media, it may take some time to grow a network.
Beginning your IMC program
Most of us don’t have access to a multi-million dollar budget so we’ll rely on free online resources. The tools available online are our best bet at reaching an audience with a message about our product (artwork) or service and integrating that message throughout our online channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Below is a list of social media and digital marketing tips found Jay Baer’s blog.
- Build credibility before you sell via social media
- Clean up your landing pages (aka profile/home pages)
- Create an open forum and ask for feedback (this helps build relationships)
- Engage in other online communities to establish yourself
- Offer valuable information your audience will appreciate
- Avoid too much self-promotion
- Demonstrate passion across all platforms
Believe it or not, there are free internet tools to help measure success!! Some calculate how many unique (or new first-time site viewers) visitors to a blog, how long a visitor spends on a web site or on a specific page of a website and there are even tools that illustrate the amount of traffic from one of your platforms to another (how many people find the link to your online art gallery on your Facebook page and click through to it). Below is a list of online measurement tools that I’ve used to track my own blog success.
- Technorati– a blog search engine and directory that tracks the authority and influence of blogs
- Google Analytics– illustrates how people find websites, how they spend time on them and how to enhance their experience
- Google Adwords– identifies most searched and most relevant keywords that allow search engines to find your sites
- Crazy Egg– provides visual data about your web site visitors
- Google Alerts– collects all online articles mentioning your chosen keywords, it’s a way to monitor buzz