What is multichannel marketing?
Multichannel marketing is a strategy that companies use to more effectively interact and connect with customers through the use of various different marketing channels. In this day and age, there are seemingly endless options for a business’s marketing channels.
Some of these marketing channels may include social media, email, physical advertisements (like signs and billboards), SEO-optimized blog content, referral programs, videos/podcasts, text messaging, and much more.
In this article, we will cover the various benefits that multichannel marketing offers.
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Differences between omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing
The terms multichannel and omnichannel marketing are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing.
The difference is that multichannel refers to the use of multiple channels for marketing and sales, while omnichannel refers to providing a unified experience across all channels.
Omnichannel means that all your business’s touchpoints (website, social media, email, physical store) offer the same level of experience in terms of quality and responsiveness.
Benefits of multichannel marketing
Multichannel marketing is an investment to make, but you may be wondering if it is a worthy one. In fact, 51% of companies use at least eight channels to interact with their customers, meaning that multichannel marketing is worth looking into.
Keep reading to find out the benefits it can offer to your local business.
Grow your business’s reach and generate leads
A multichannel marketing approach can help your business grow by allowing you to reach new audiences, improve your customer experience and boost sales.
A multichannel marketing platform makes this possible by meeting customers where they’re at, whether that’s online or offline. It uses multiple channels to communicate with customers and build meaningful relationships with them. These tactics can include anything from direct mail and email campaigns to social media posts, printed materials and even catalogues.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to how using a multichannel marketing system can help your business become more successful.
Increase engagement on social media
Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have evolved far beyond simple platforms for sharing cat videos or weekend photos with friends. Today, these sites are proving to be an exceptionally vital component of most local brands’ multichannel marketing strategies because they can help businesses connect with customers in real-time. The more engagement your business has on social media, the more potential customers you can reach.
Utilizing social media as a customer service tool is a great way to create a positive buying experience for potential customers. Because these are public platforms, social media allows you to address concerns in real-time while keeping your audience informed and happy.
One great way to leverage social media is by using it to promote customer reviews. Positive reviews gain trust with prospective buyers and encourage them to complete their purchase.
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Communicate with customers on their preferred channel
As a business owner, you want to reach as many customers as possible with your products and services. The best way to accomplish this is through multichannel marketing.
Multichannel marketing allows you to communicate with customers across different channels like social media, email, text, phone and chat. These methods help you build trust, loyalty and deepen the relationships with the people you are serving.
When it comes to multichannel communication, make sure you don’t just talk; listen, too! Customer insights are extremely important and help shape your product or service in a way that will resonate with them.
Working with combined channels is more effective
The idea behind multichannel marketing efforts is to use all available mediums to reach your target audience. Using different channels maximizes your reach, increases the likelihood of conversion, and provides your customers with a consistent experience.
In practice, multichannel marketing can look a lot like an integrated marketing campaign where all of your communication channels work together simultaneously to achieve a goal.
Challenges of multichannel marketing
Of course, there are challenges to multichannel marketing, just as there are with anything. A lot of those challenges are a direct result of the many moving parts involved—if you don’t have proper tracking in place or aren’t monitoring your campaigns closely enough from one platform to the next, you may be missing out on conversions or revenue.
Additionally, it can be difficult to maintain consistency when crafting marketing messages across channels—you don’t want to present a disjointed brand voice or confusing messages because your customer is seeing different things at different times and in various channels.
Here are the most common challenges and how you can address them.
Difficult to manage multiple channels efficiently
The biggest con of multichannel marketing is that it’s more challenging to manage than single-channel marketing.
You need to keep track of multiple campaigns across different channels, which makes it difficult to see which channels are performing well and which aren’t.
If you don’t know what’s working or not, then you can’t optimize your campaigns or allocate more money to the best performers. You also need to make sure that your brand messaging is consistent across all channels
This can be a little more challenging to implement in multichannel marketing.
Proper marketing attribution
Attribution is the process of tracking conversions on your campaigns. With multichannel marketing, you often have more than one channel that touched the customer before they finally converted—they may have seen a Facebook post of yours and then clicked on a Google Ad to schedule a service.
How, then, do you know which channel was ultimately responsible for converting this customer? There are several different models and KPIs used to measure attribution, but these models don’t always provide black and white answers; they’re still highly subjective based on which platforms you choose to use.
Ultimately, whatever model you end up using will still depend on what your business goals are as well as what type of customers you want to reach with each channel (i.e., brand awareness through social media posts).
Utilizing marketing analytics
The best way to get the most out of your multichannel marketing campaign is to take advantage of the data and insights you have about it. In order for this to be worthwhile, you’ll have to implement an effective analytics program, such as Google Analytics or Hubspot Marketing. If you don’t, that should be among your first priorities.
Using marketing analytics, you can monitor and analyze the performance of each channel, as well as understand certain nuances — like how one channel has an impact on another. This will help you improve your overall marketing strategy by making sure that all channels are working together seamlessly and complementing each other. You’ll also want to track ROI (return on investment) so that you can clearly see where your money is going—and whether it’s paying off.
Analyzing the data will allow you to see which channels are performing well and which ones aren’t so that you can re-allocate funds as needed or drop an underperforming channel entirely and save yourself some money while freeing up resources for a more effective channel instead.
Staying up to date with the latest innovations
Keeping up with the latest innovations in multichannel marketing is an ongoing task, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming and challenging ones. You’ll want to review and update your multichannel marketing strategy every 6 months, at least—and make sure that you’re staying current with the latest trends in digital marketing, too.
Reading blogs and subscribing to newsletters are great ways to keep yourself informed on all of the latest developments.
For example, right now, TikTok is one of the hottest platforms for marketers. But as time goes on, TikTok could fade away. There’s no way to predict what will happen next unless you stay on top of the trends.
Targeting messages on each channel
The key is to take the time to personalize your messages for different channels. Why? Because each channel has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and only by emphasizing those strengths can you unlock their full potential. However, this can be a challenge if you don’t know where to get started.
For example, email is more widely used than social media apps, but it’s more difficult to share content via email – it takes more effort. Social media solves this problem by making it easy for followers to share or “re-post” your content on their own pages, which helps you spread your message even further.
Think about how you can use these differences in strength and weakness to your advantage.
For example, you could use social media as a way to capture attention and get people interested in what you have to offer, then direct them toward more detailed information via email or blog articles.
Home service businesses like plumbers, roofers, and electricians can benefit from this tactic by using social media posts to present a fun message to potential customers to create brand awareness, so they can keep you in mind for future purchases.
Key steps for creating a successful multichannel marketing campaign
Creating an effective multichannel marketing campaign is quite straightforward if you know where to get started. If you’re ready to begin, try out the following steps.
1. Understand your target audience
The first step in creating a multichannel marketing strategy is to get to know your target audience. Understanding customer behavior and building buyer personas takes some time, but it’s well worth the effort.
You need to improve your customer data, such as the demographics and psychographics of your target customers: where they come from, their age, gender, education level, and income. You need to consider their personality traits and their interests, as well as what they find important in a service/brand.
Additionally, you need to understand how your customers interact with your business—this is called the customer journey map. The customer journey map details all of the touchpoints that your customers have with your brand during their lifecycle. These touchpoints include anything from social media posts and emails on different devices (e.g., computers vs smartphones) or print ads or even offline channels like your TV commercials.
Think about each channel as an individual part or “piece” of a puzzle that represents your entire multichannel strategy (and business). In order for the picture on the puzzle box lid to emerge clearly when all the pieces are put together, each piece must fit perfectly into its intended place—and each has its own purpose.
2. Break down and lay out organizational silos
One of the main things that will hurt your company’s customer experience is having departments that are independent and not working together, and this can be a major drawback.
You need to have a strong connection across separate teams so you can create an effective multichannel marketing strategy. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to offer your customers a consistent experience throughout channels.
3. Simplify your process by using a multichannel marketing platform
To simplify your multichannel marketing, you can implement a platform that not only has all the tools you need to carry out your campaigns, but manages them for you. For example, Signpost is a multichannel marketing platform that uses marketing automation, text messaging and live chat campaigns to target messages and make sure your customers receive messages through the channels they prefer.
This way, you don’t have to worry about putting all the pieces together—Signpost takes care of it for you. Plus, the platform provides in-depth reporting so you can see how well your campaigns perform and make adjustments as needed.
Learn more about how Signpost can help grow your business with personalized messaging across multiple channels today!
4. Create consistent messaging
Consistent messaging is one of the most important aspects of your company’s marketing strategy.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a large corporation or a small business, every brand wants to build trust and loyalty among consumers. To accomplish this, it is important to create the right message, as well as accurate and consistent messaging across multiple platforms and channels in order to maintain brand recognition.
Let Signpost take your multichannel marketing to the next level
Ready to get started on your multichannel approach to marketing today?
Signpost offers a chat platform to help your customers find the answers they need, and even a live receptionist service to answer questions as they arise. Add in our marketing campaigns and automation, and you can turn your cross-channel marketing strategy on autopilot.
If you need marketing and communications software for your business without the headache, Signpost is a cost-effective solution. Request a demo today.