“Reach customers where they’re at” is one of the core tenants of inbound marketing – and today, consumers are in more places than they have ever been before. With dozens of social networks and messaging services to choose from, the task of finding a home for your marketing efforts can be difficult.
Fortunately, today’s marketers don’t have to choose just one. With a multi-channel marketing campaign, it is not only possible to reach more customers in more places: it is also possible to reach different customer segments with a message perfectly tailored to their needs.
The results speak for themselves – according to one study, 72% of customers say they prefer to interact with brands through multiple channels, and businesses who do so achieve a 24% higher return-on-investment (ROI). Consequently, 95% of marketers realize the power of multi-channel: but only 74% have a multi-channel strategy.
2020 is coming up soon, and if you don’t have a multi-channel strategy yet, now is a great time to get started. In this article, we’ll share three steps to a disruptive multi-channel strategy that wins clicks and crowds out the competition.
- Choosing the Right Channels
A “channel” is any platform which a business can use to reach new customers: it not only includes popular social media sites like Facebook, but also email, search engines and more.
One channel that every brand should have is a website, which is core to all its other digital marketing efforts. Beyond that, every new channel costs additional time and expense which a business must account for by choosing them strategically.
The ultimate factor in choosing a channel comes down to the brand, its product and its goals. While some channels – like email – are universally popular across customer segments, others have a well-defined audience making them suitable for a narrow range of marketing campaigns.
When picking a channel, focus on those with the largest concentration of your target audience first. For social media platforms, research their demographics: for instance, it’s well known that LinkedIn is popular among business professionals, making it a great choice for B2B businesses.
The Internet is anything but stagnant, and over time the popularity of a channel may rise or fade. Not only is this a great argument for dividing your marketing efforts across multiple channels, but it’s also a good reason to be aware of trends, and pick platforms that are likely to remain viable in the foreseeable future.
Facebook – once the fastest growing social media platform in the world – has been bleeding users in the past few years, leading marketers to abandon it in droves. At the same time, visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok have exploded in popularity, promising to dominate the social landscape in 2020.
Before adopting a platform, conduct research on its popularity, growth and user activity. Focus on large channels with a stable audience, but also give smaller channels a chance: by adopting a platform while it’s still young, it is possible to beat the competition and carve out an enviable position that will pay dividends down the road.
- Build a Unified Customer Profile
The point of multi-channel marketing is to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. While your audience may vary across different channels, finding the attributes that unite them is the first step to building campaigns and micro-campaigns that make the most of your online presence.
Beginning with your website, use analytics to learn about the interests, demographics and online behavior of your audience and visitors. Google Analytics will tell you what keywords bring visitors to your website, while tools like HubSpot can provide more granular data through user tracking.
For social media platforms – including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – use built-in analytics dashboards to learn more about your users and combine your data-sources to build a unified customer profile. Make sure to update it as time goes by: users change as often as channels do and being stuck with old data will hinder your marketing efforts.
Consider A Customer-Data Platform
Where multi-channel marketing is concerned, there are few tools more useful than a customer data platform (CDP). While it may be overkill for a small business, CDPs automate many of the data-gathering tasks that marketers otherwise have to do manually, and constantly reflect the most up-to-date behavior of users across multiple channels.
- Build a Unified Campaign
While there is more than one approach to launching a multi-channel campaign, two remain the most popular:
- Traditional multi-channel: launch a separate campaign for each channel, repurposing materials, content and copy along the way.
- Cross-channel: launch one campaign across multiple channels, using the same materials, content and copy across each one.
Which one you should use depends on how much your channels vary, and how much your audience varies between them. For instance, Facebook posts differ in style from Instagram posts which differ significantly from Twitter posts.
In practice, a majority of online marketing campaigns today are "cross-channel" in the sense that they ultimately lead users back to your website, and no marketing campaign can be completely cross-channel without damaging the effectiveness of a campaign.
Segment Your Customers
The most important element multi-channel marketing is not the channels themselves, but customer groups which comprise them. After constructing a generic campaign for your unified customer profile, choose different messaging, content and CTAs for different customer groups.
While your message and branding should be fundamentally consistent, tailoring the message to the customer can make the difference between those who click and those who scroll: multi-channel marketing gives you the channel to reach everyone exactly where they are.
Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! Web Design and Development | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR