Digital Marketing Solutions - World Wide Web Solutions Inc.

Multi-Channel Content Marketing

08 Sep
2016

Multi-Channel Content Marketing

 

With the rise of technology, the consumer’s journey to purchase has been altered. As the internet has become a daily part of life, it has also become an integral part of doing business.

What is multi-channel marketing? It’s when a business utilizes different mediums to reach their customers. This includes reaching both current and potential customers.

What is content marketing? It’s the creation of relevant media and content aimed at a specific demographic. Content is a broad term that can encompass blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media posts. This effort is meant to build an active audience for the brand and ultimately lead to new customers and increased profits.

Focusing On Digital

Multi-channel marketing can include traditional efforts such as print or television, but our focus is the digital aspect. As customers’ communication preferences have changed, conversing with them online has become the accepted norm.

It is now a requirement that businesses be online. Customers want access to business information.  The overwhelming preference in the marketplace is to first look online. The yellow pages have become a relic; search engines are the preferred method.

Consumers also go to social media channels before making purchase decisions. It’s a great way to get to know a business. What are they posting? Does this brand fit with my values? Do I want to give them my business?

A Strategic Approach

Your marketing plan should include specific business goals. When they get specific, success is more likely. When goals are pinpointed, the marketing efforts to meet them are more easily defined. Success becomes much more likely because you know what success for your brand means, and not in a vague way.

Coming up with a strategic plan will be more efficient and make the best use of your resources. When resources are used to their best abilities, costs go down. You’re not wasting money on what doesn’t work.

However, don’t be afraid to conduct some testing to discover the best strategy. Trying out different strategies or channels to see what works can be enormously helpful in the long run. A trial period is often crucial for defining a plan.

Target Audience

Who are your ideal customers? What is the demographic most likely to buy your product or service? By being specific instead of general, you’ll get better results.

Gather research to illuminate your targeted audience. What gender and age are they? Where do they live? What types of industries do they work in? Hobbies? Understanding who you should be talking to is important. But so is understanding what they care about. It will help your brand to be more authentic and relevant to your target customers.

It is critical to know where your target audience is spending their time online. This way you don’t waste efforts on platforms they would use sparingly if at all. Think of this as understanding the best combination to reach them at the right time and right place.

Cater your content to this target audience. By doing so, you’ll gain important customers. These customers will buy from you repeatedly, promote your business to others, and engage with your content (think likes, shares, and comments).

Connecting Not Selling

Multi-channel marketing is about connecting with your audience in all the places they tend to go. Not just on one platform such as Facebook but also through email, blogging, Twitter, Yelp, and so on. You deliver information and relevant content to customers. Your brand should cater to your target audience and provide an experience for them.

A business does not need to have twenty different social media accounts. Part of the marketing strategy should be choosing the channels that the specified target audience uses. No demographic will be everywhere online. Develop content for the platforms clients are on.

Through social media, your brand can grow an online community.

No matter who your target audience is, whether they are teenagers or retiring, they’re using social media. A huge portion of the world population uses social media – 2.3 billion active users to be exact.

The consumer has more choices than ever with online shopping and worldwide shipping. There’s lots of competition in virtually every industry, so it’s important to stand out. Content needs to have a human touch and voice. By engaging customers online and being responsive, your brand can stand out from competitors. It’s not about interrupting people. Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be too salesy or intrusive.

On social media, it’s important to make it customer-centered. No one wants a one-way interaction of a brand shouting at them to “buy!”, it’s a two-way conversation between brands and people these days.

The Inbound Approach

With compelling content, a brand will draw in their target audience. The inbound approach to marketing will drive traffic by giving value to the audience. Essentially, you engage potential customers before converting them into leads. This can build relationships, promoting customer loyalty.

Whether a brand is big or small, the inbound approach will help to attract attention and gain happy customers. It’s a more subtle approach than the outbound approach but garners results as well.

In contrast, outbound is entirely focused on the sale. This might involve activities like cold-calling or the distribution of sales fliers. It isn’t focused on starting a conversation but instead on informing, selling, and leaving it at that.

Integration

Content, in particular brand messaging, should be consistent across platforms. Give the customer essentially the same experience of your brand no matter where they find you. This includes having the same prices and offers on your products or services across all channels. Don’t just save the big sales for one channel.

Be sure to have a fully integrated strategy across all channels and be well aligned in all marketing efforts. The voice of your brand should be distinct and recognizable whether in email newsletters, social media, blogs, or website copy.

Tips to integrate:

  • Add social buttons to email marketing so that recipients can interact with your brand through social media as well.
  • Another way to integrate with these buttons is by including them on blogs so that readers may share the content with their contacts and circles.
  • Allow different mediums to work together. Cross-promotional efforts can produce great results if done in the correct manner. If you’re having a contest on Instagram where people post a picture with a specific tag, don’t be afraid to tell users on Facebook or Twitter about your Instagram campaign as well.
  • Blogging is an amazing way to attract completely new visitors to your site. It can also benefit social media efforts directly by providing content to be shared on those platforms. Blogging consistently keeps both the brand’s blog and social media fresh with new content, a must for attracting and keeping the attention of customers long term.
  • Make a specific hashtag to engage viewers on an ad campaign. Include this hashtag on any videos, photos, or print ads so that customers can engage with you on Twitter as well.
  • Make a social media calendar to keep track of events, holidays, and other special occasions. For example, if your company is attending an industry event, be sure to promote that across all platforms.
  • For videos your business produces, have them available to share across multiple social media channels.

 

Make It Easy With Mobile

Make it easy for the customer to learn information about your site from whichever channel they’re coming from. Whether they’re clicking through on a computer, tablet, or phone, your site should be seamless on any device. When your site is mobile responsive, Google’s algorithm will rank it higher for mobile searches.

Being prominent in searches online will ensure that your business comes up to the people searching for relevant terms and keywords.

The Benefits Of Multi-Channel Content Marketing

  • When your brand is on multiple platforms, brand awareness is increased. Simply put, there are more eyes on your brand with actual referrals to follow. There are more chances that someone in your target audience will encounter your brand and get to know it.
  • You will have a greater chance of receiving feedback directly from your audience. With this feedback, you can hear directly from customers on how they’re feeling towards your brand and any concerns. This feedback will make it easier to improve the marketing plan.
  • More sales and more new customers are an additional benefit of this type of marketing. As brand awareness and your online audience grows, so will your profits. There are more channels for prospective customers to learn about your brand and decide to give you their business.
  • Associations with your business will be more positive than with outbound marketing. People will recognize that your brand has humanity and react better to that than a salesy message. When an audience believes that a brand shares their values, they feel more comfortable giving them their business.
  • Gathering data through all these channels lets you get a clearer picture of who exactly is buying from you and interacting with you. This lets you better understand how to sell to them.

Paul Schlanger
author

Paul Schlanger is founder and CEO of World Wide Web Solutions Inc.
A Full Service Web Agency that specializes in web design, website management and internet marketing.

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