Why You Need to Adopt a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy – Now!
You’ve heard the saying before: Never put all your eggs in one basket. This saying is especially true in business and in the world of digital marketing. With such a diverse range of tactics and technology solutions available to you in the current marketing landscape, it is impractical to rely on a single avenue to successfully deliver on your marketing goals. But where do you start? In this guide, we discuss why a multi-channel approach is an essential part of your marketing plan and how it can lead to increasing your reach, better targeting your audience, and improving overall conversions or bookings on your website.
Multi-channel marketing can simply be defined as utilizing various channels or mediums to reach new and existing customers. The need for a multi-channel plan goes hand in hand with the act of mapping your customer’s digital journey. Digital journey mapping represents the various touch-points that customers may have with your business during the sales funnel as well as potential post-purchase interactions. One of the goals of mapping this journey is to identify how you can create a consistent narrative across these touch-points; this is where multichannel marketing comes into play.
Why Bother with a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy?
Marketing channels are constantly adapting and remolding themselves to fit the digital behavior of their users. For example, what originally was intended to be a video hosting and sharing website, YouTube has quickly become the world’s second-largest search engine (Forbes). The reality is, with all these channels that exist at our fingertips, your customers can find and interact with your brand in ways that you may not have initially planned.
One of the benefits of multi-channel marketing is that it allows your customers to engage with your brand, and to complete an action like making a booking, in the medium that is most comfortable for them. Some of your customers are very engaged with what comes through their email Inbox, while others are constantly checking online reviews and still others are diligent about keeping up with their social media accounts. It is important to meet your potential customers where they already are and in a way that best fits into their busy schedules and the increasingly cluttered digital landscape.
If you are successful at meeting customers where they are already spending time you open up the opportunity to drive bookings and communicate about your brand. For example, if a potential customer were to receive a piece of communication about your company on one platform, and then leaves that platform to travel to another – i.e. going from viewing your Facebook page to your visiting your website – you have successfully created a seamless and cohesive brand experience via multi-channel efforts. Not only does this approach widen your net and allow you to reach more customers (a no-brainer for your business goals) but customers prefer it as well, with nearly 72% of customers who prefer an integrated marketing approach (Mashable).
So, what are the main benefits to diversifying your marketing efforts?
- Increase your reach and brand awareness: More channels = more presence.
- Let the customers choose: With a multi-channel approach, customers can decide which medium they want to follow and engage with depending on their personal preferences.
- Brand consistency: Your brand stays consistent regardless of where customers are finding and interacting with you.
- Increase sales: Multi-channel customers can spend 15 – 30% more than single-channel buyers.
- Influence in-person and direct bookings: About 56% of each dollar spent in-store is digitally influenced.
- Gain a better understanding of what marketing tactics work best for your business: By marketing on different platforms, you have the opportunity to gather data on what platforms or messaging helps you to reach your business goals, whether that is to drive traffic to your website, increase online bookings, or create brand loyalty and trust.
Quick Ways to Begin Marketing Across Channels
One of the most common criticisms about incorporating a multi-channel approach is the time and resources required to manage all these platforms and mediums. While we cannot ignore that marketing across different channels can take up more time compared to a single medium, like your website, it’s well worth the benefits.
Here are some quick steps to get started:
- Ensure a level of brand consistency between keywords, colors, and logos on your channels.
- Include links to your social media accounts on your website and emails.
- Promote limited-time website deals/offers on your social channels and via paid search aka PPC.
- Integrate your website and other channels with rating and review platforms (i.e. TripAdvisor).
- Develop retargeted ads for individuals who visit but leave your website.
- Post any branded videos on your website to YouTube and optimize your account with our YouTube checklist.
By connecting all your marketing channels and creating consistency among them, you’ve taken the next step towards providing your customers a familiar, branded experience no matter where they find your business. Get started with the simple tips outlined above, and make sure you think about how your platforms and channels relate to each other as you continue to create new marketing strategies. For more tips on making the most of your marketing efforts, head over to our digital marketing guides.