You may have heard the latest buzzword Multi-Channel Marketing. Let’s look at it in detail and see how you can use it to increase the leads and enquiries in your business.
Why does your business need Multi-Channel Marketing?
The unprecedented technological change over the past few years has impacted on every area of our lives. Whether at work or home, most activities and processes have been simply revolutionised. Latest estimates indicate that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020.
Along with – and as part of – this sea change, customers expect to be able to interact with businesses wherever, whenever, and however they choose. A marketing strategy ignores this expectation at its peril.
What is multi-channel marketing?
Multi-channel marketing is defined as ‘communicating with’ and ‘marketing to’ prospects and customers across many channels, including online and offline. That means instead of running a single start-and-stop campaign or using one marketing tactic, like email, marketers today are mirroring how consumers operate: in lots of places all at once.
Think about your own habits: We have enormous choices facing us every day, between thousands of TV channels, numerous screens and devices, and millions of websites and individual pieces of content.
That means you might want to perform research and execute a purchase in a lot of different places — by reading a blog post on your tablet, by checking for deals in your inbox, or by visiting a store so you can speak to someone in-person.
Mutli-channel marketers, then, are ones who identify the channels their target customers are using and understand how their target customers move from one channel to another to create a seamless experience.
What are the hallmarks of successful multi-channel marketing?
Multi-channel marketing seeks to establish presence across these many places. Online, that includes search engines, blogs, social networks, email, and more. Offline that means print, TV, and radio among others.
Success, however, doesn’t come by just being present on these channels. We need to address several areas to be successful:
- Having a clearly defined buyer persona or AVATAR (or multiple ones) that defines the specifics about your ideal buyer is a necessity. This information helps you decide on which channels you should focus your efforts.
- You also need to be useful and helpful, sharing relevant, consumer-first content instead of pushing sales only messages. This must be apparent in every tactic deployed. It should be varied, informative and engaging, whilst at the same time adhering to the essential core messages and values of your business. It can be one-way or more interactive but most of all must be relevant to the audience.
- All channels you decide to use must also work together. It’s not enough to just set up and use Twitter, Facebook, email, a website, a blog, et al, if they don’t work in harmony to attract and convert business. The same consumer moves across all of these places quickly, so your strategy and your analytics need to adapt similarly. Tweets should use links to websites or other channels, directing the flow of traffic to your advantage. Facebook, on the other hand, can be much more visual through posting articles, links to blogs, pictures. The more interesting the content is, the more likely it will be “reposted”, “liked” or “shared”; therefore reaching more people.
- Given consumers use multiple platforms (from social, to email, to blogs) and devices (from desktops, to tablets, to smartphones) to get their content, marketers implementing multi-channel efforts will need a responsive website or landing page so that your audience will have easy, uniform access to all you have to offer them.
- With multiple channels in play, you will need to carefully measure the results of your multi-channel approach. Analytics will inform you as to which channels are effective, which channels influenced other channels, and which channels you can eliminate from your efforts. You do not have to guess any more.
In the end, your goal in this consumer-first world is to step beyond just being present on multiple channels and start connecting them all together into one, thriving, and multi-channel approach to inbound marketing.
Whether you are a small business or huge conglomerate, Multi-Channel Marketing provides huge opportunities for you to reach and interact with prospects, and build brand loyalty and trust.
Managed effectively and consistently, it could grow your business from strength to strength. If not used, or not used well, it could mean that you lose ground that may then be difficult, if not impossible, to regain.
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