The rules of marketing strategies are constantly being rewritten — what worked well in 2013 may be irrelevant today. For instance, Facebook, the social network that used to be at the center of nearly every marketing strategy, is seeing a decline in users, while once-niche platforms like Snapchat are gaining wider popularity.

Before the internet became a mainstream medium, the average marketing campaign focused on TV, radio, and print ads. But today’s consumers are looking for unique experiences, and they are increasingly wary of feeling like they’re being marketed to.

Because of this, businesses need to design consistent and fully integrated marketing campaigns tailored to their goals. We outlined four techniques for achieving this below.

Get to Know Your Target Audience

young black woman with bike
Image by La India Piaroa

It’s crucial to understand your target market before creating a long-term campaign. Are you talking to seasoned workers or young professionals? College-aged or middle-age men? Once you know this, you can figure out that channels and content types you’ll use to reach the right demographic.

To really learn about your target market, you need to do research. Instead of making assumptions or using strategies that worked one or two years ago, spend some time talking to your current customers. Find out what they do for fun and where they hang out online. Do they prefer Netflix or a night at the movies? Do they prefer to listen to music on Spotify or YouTube? Research like this will reveal the best mediums for your marketing message and provide useful guidelines for content creation.

You’ll also want to have an eye on the future. Is there a platform out there that is quietly growing in popularity with your key audience? Is there a content type that you can leverage for your own purposes? Why promote with static ads on Facebook when you can create an immersive story on Snapchat or Instagram? Asking these questions not only helps you connect with your target audience, but also helps your brand stay fresh.

Focus Your Efforts on a Few Channels

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Image by Zamurovic Photography

Not all channels will be a good fit for your campaign. Think carefully before dedicating energy to a new app or social media tool. While it can help your brand reach the right customers and position you as cutting-edge, if the audience isn’t large enough, you’ll be wasting your time.

Before selecting which channels you’ll use for a campaign, jot down a list of pros and cons for each as they pertain to your business objectives. Is the story you’re trying to tell visual enough for Instagram? Is it possible for your video idea to live within the constraints of Snapchat?

After you’ve done this, choose the top three to five platforms for your campaign. It’s better to devote marketing power to a few channels where you can really stand out than dilute your message across many. And remember, you can always launch on other channels once you’ve established yourself elsewhere.

Match Messaging Across Channels

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Image by Olga Zakharova
science space book vector illustration
Image by Olga Zakharova

Marketing is about crafting a clear message, and a clear message is all about consistency. Your content should use the same color scheme, logo, and copy across all channels. Your brand’s visual identity needs to be instantly recognizable and tell a clear, concise story so that your messaging is top-of-mind in a prospective customer’s head.

The best marketing is adaptable enough to be used everywhere. In advertising, they call this making sure an idea “has legs.” If you come up with a great creative marketing concept, think about how it might translate to an out-of-home experience, a YouTube pre-roll clip, a Twitter contest, or a Facebook live event.

Achieve Full Integration

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Image by Ozgur Coskun

The last step in creating an integrated marketing campaign is linking content to your final goal. This might be an online store, a sign-up page for a monthly service, or social sharing to help your message spread across the web.

Whatever the goal, be sure to include links to your webpage, keep all handles and hashtags consistent, and include keywords on all your content. If you do these things, you’ll have a well-crafted and streamlined marketing campaign that is sure to help you meet your objectives.

Top image by happydancing