By Samuel Thimothy, VP at OneIMS.com
As a marketing agency owner, my clients are always coming to me to talk about the "next big thing" in advertising. They want to try email, social media or paid ads. They've heard about success on a certain platform and want to throw all of their marketing budget in that direction.
Unfortunately, I've never found this kind of approach successful. When you only invest in one marketing channel, you're narrowing your reach pretty significantly. If some audience members aren't engaging with that platform, you'll be unable to reach them.
While one marketing channel might bring in the majority of your leads or customers, you still may want to diversify your strategy. A multichannel marketing strategy allows you to connect with more leads, as well as stay top of mind with your customers. By showcasing content and ads through a variety of platforms, you don't have to worry as much about being overlooked.
Let's take a deeper look into why a multichannel marketing strategy can work and how you can create one of your own.
What is a multichannel marketing strategy?
When working with my clients, I've found that there can be some confusion about what a multichannel marketing strategy really is. Some believe that simply running campaigns on different marketing channels constitutes a multichannel marketing strategy. However, a true multichannel marketing strategy utilizes multiple platforms for the same campaign. For example, a campaign would include similar ads across social media platforms, paid advertisements, email and other platforms.
How does a multichannel marketing strategy work?
Individuals use the internet in different ways. Some only use it during work, while others spend all day scanning through social media or blogs. Others may avoid the internet altogether. A multichannel marketing strategy is designed to reach all of these audience members in one way or another.
Multichannel marketing takes advantage of multiple communication channels, such as social media, direct mail, text messaging and more to not only expand a campaign's reach but also to create a stronger impression with audience members. An audience member might read a blog post, see a social media post and get a direct mailer all about the same campaign. This improves their recollection of your company and what you offer and could encourage them to purchase.
How can you create a multichannel marketing strategy?
Creating a multichannel marketing campaign doesn't need to be difficult, you just need to know where to start.
Here are four steps you can follow to get your multichannel marketing campaign off the ground.
1. Know your audience.
In my experience, the most important part of running a successful multichannel marketing campaign is knowing where your audience is spending their time. The channels you choose to include in your campaign should be popular among your target audience.
2. Focus your core messaging.
To get your marketing to stick in your customer's mind, try to make the campaign's messaging strong and consistent. Use your target audience to create a brand voice that resonates with them. By establishing a personality that connects with audience members, you can create consistent, identifiable messaging to use across your various marketing channels.
3. Use automation.
When creating a multichannel campaign, timing can play an important part. You also want to ensure that each customer is getting the same content. An automation tool can help you stick to a schedule and stay in close contact with multiple individuals without much heavy lifting.
4. Track your results.
Analytics should be a major component in your multichannel marketing strategy. You should be tracking responses, opening rates, engagements and more to identify which platforms are getting the best results. When you know which channels are strong, you can improve your strategy.
Creating a multichannel marketing strategy can take some trial and error. However, taking some risks and trying a new platform can offer serious results. Just make sure to do your research before investing and see how active your audience is on that platform.
Each marketing campaign you develop should be multichannel in one way or another. While some campaigns can benefit from using more platforms than others, utilizing three or four different communication channels can really help you improve returns on your investment.
Utilizing multiple channels throughout a campaign can help you improve connections, leads and conversions. When you're able to connect with your target audience in ways that fit their unique needs and preferences, they may be more likely to purchase from you and your company.
Samuel Thimothy is the VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founded Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.