By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Integrated marketing communication can be defined as the approach of creating a unified marketing experience for consumers in an effort to have them interact with the brand in various ways. This approach focuses on integrating various aspects of marketing communication including advertising, sales, public relations, social media, and digital marketing. As a small business, you can also work on an integrated marketing communication strategy by understanding the various channels of communication in which your target audience interacts with your brand/business. If you need more help in creating your own integrated marketing communication plan, take a look at my blog post for a quick guide or fill out my contact form on my services page for 1-on-1 help. In this post, we will discuss the difference between organic reach and paid ads on social media, and why you should consider integrating them for a better marketing strategy.
Let's begin by discussing organic reach and why it is important for your small business or brand growth on social media. Organic growth refers to the engagement, followers, and reach that your social media posts gain organically or without paid ads or boosting posts. You can earn a lot of organic engagement and reach a lot of people in your audience by implementing a few simple tactics. For example, you can do some hashtag research to see what the most popular and top hashtags are for a specific product or your industry in general. Use a couple of these for a boost in reach. Remember to use proper social media hashtag etiquette and capitalize the first letter of every word in the hashtag.
You can also take advantage of algorithm changes. For example, right now on Instagram, Reels are getting pushed over other content. Reels are automatically pushed on the Explore page as they are favored on the platform. Their reach is also exponential because their lifespan is about 3 weeks compared to the lifespan of regular posts which is about a day or two (if not, only a few hours). The lifespan of regular posts depends on the type of post, but in general, due to algorithm changes, reels are it right now for organic reach and engagement. Finally, a third simple tactic that you can easily implement is posting more often. Try to post at least one regular post, one story, and one reel per day if you are short on time. You can do this by scheduling regular posts ahead of time for Instagram so that you only have to focus on posting stories and reels daily. A good tip here is to plan and record your reels ahead of time so that you have your content ready to post rather than having to create something on the spot. For on-the-spot content, use stories because they are easier and faster to make without planning ahead.
Moving on to paid ads, these are the posts that you pay to boost to reach a larger audience or planned ads that you pay for and schedule to run for a certain period of time. These can be helpful if you want to raise brand awareness, retarget audiences that have engaged with your posts or website previously, and guide your customers down your Marketing Funnel. Although they are paid, you should keep in mind that you do not need an overly large budget for these ads. For brand awareness, you can spend $20 over one month and reach over 10,000 people. That's 10,000 more people that are now aware of your business or brand.
Integrated Paid & Organic
Integrating your paid ads strategy and organic posting strategy can be beneficial for your small business or brand. First, you will continue to increase your organic reach as more people in your target audience become aware of your brand through consistent posts that are optimized for the platform in which you post them. Second, a paid strategy can always be a great help when you are trying to get your brand in front of more people. Some of the most popular platforms that you can use to integrate these two strategies into a moreintegrated marketing communication plan are Facebook and Instagram.
Paid ads on Facebook and Instagram are a great resource for increasing brand awareness, getting leads, and guiding more people to your website. There are a few different reasons why you should focus certain things on Facebook and certain other things on Instagram. For example, when generating more leads for your business through a paid strategy, you should focus on using Facebook ads that will be seen throughout the various Facebook platforms. For brand awareness ads, you can add in sponsored Stories or just boost posts that are getting good organic engagement on Instagram.
A tip here is to manually select the placements when you are editing/creating your campaigns and ad sets. Make sure that your ad creative matches the dimensions of your selected ad placements. An example here is ensuring that when you want your ad placed specifically on stories, you manually de-select other placements because the dimensions will not work out. Same goes when your ad creative is focused on regular post dimensions, make sure to de-select the stories placement. By manually selecting placements you have more control of where your ads are seen. You don't want your creative to turn potential audience members off because they are the wrong dimension for the platform in which they were placed.
As always, thank you for reading my post. If you need more help, make sure to follow the links to previous blog posts that explain certain topics more in-depth. And, if you need social media marketing or public relations help with your small business or brand, make sure to reach out by email or fill out the form on our services page.
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