Today’s blog post is written by Nick Rojas, who shares his expertise about creating multi-channel marketing strategies. Thanks, Nick! Here’s what Nick has to share with you.
With the ever-expanding field of digital media, advertisers and marketers around the globe have had to adapt to an increasingly fragmented media and retail landscape over the last few decades.
During most of the 20th century, consumers would gather around a handful of devices like televisions and radios, where advertisers could reach them directly. In the 21st century, however, digital media has introduced a myriad of new platforms that have made touch points with potential customers more and more indirect and widely spread across a virtual universe.
That’s why the concept of “multi-channel marketing” has become one of the most popular strategies among marketers who are reevaluating how they spend their promotional budgets to accommodates their company’s sales needs.
Multi-channel marketing is rooted in the idea that different customers, with more and more platforms at their fingertips, are showing increasingly diversified behavioral patterns spread out across different media types, time zones, and locations. In order to reach a brand’s target audience, marketers can no longer just focus on a linear approach, but instead have to cast a much wider net across a growing range of consumer platforms. They have to reach across multiple channels, hence, create a multi-channel marketing strategy.
Here are eight ways you can start creating a multi-channel marketing strategy for your own business:
- Paid Social Media Posts
While in the early days of social media, you had to get attention with clever headlines and glaring visuals, most of the major social networks now allow you to promote your posts by paying a certain amount of money per click or impression to expose a user to your content, which then hopefully entices him or her to check out what you have to offer.
The great thing about “promoted posts” is that you can select which audience to target based on location, interests, gender, and other factors important in determining and reaching your target audience.
- Paid Advertising On Other Relevant Sites
Paid advertising can include formats like banner ads, in-text links or video pre-roll ads that you produce on your own to then pay another site who will expose it to their audience for a certain amount of time based on your budget.
These transactions are mostly charged based on CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mille) basis and you can initiate a conversation by contacting their ad sales team, which should be listed under “Contact Us” or “Advertisers” in their site index.
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
This technique entails paying for PPC (pay per click) ads on search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The advertisements you create (promoting your website or other destinations of your choice) will pop up as a promoted search result based on search words or phrases that you specify while creating your ad.
Then, every time someone clicks on your ad and is taken to your target destination, you pay a price below or at the same level as the maximum “bid” you offered (depending on how high other “bidders” set their bid range for the same or similar keywords / phrases).
This method works well at the beginning of any campaign to increase initial brand awareness. Select keywords that match what your target users are searching for, and use strong Calls To Action (CTA) in your ad copy.
- Business Cards
Even though they have been around for many years, business cards are still an effective tool to connect with potential customers. Challenge yourself to think about how you could make them more interesting. Maybe include a CTA on the back or promote a coupon code that might convince your client to make a purchase?
- Social Media
Because there are so many social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest), it is important to focus on just a few – it can otherwise become unmanageable. They are called “social” networks for a reason, because at their core they are all about interacting with people, which is what your marketing team needs to do to build a relationship with potential and existing customers.
This can quickly turn into a very time-consuming task, so focus on the ones that make sense for your product and most importantly the ones that your target audience is using frequently.
- Emails and Newsletters
One of the biggest advantages of this free promotional technique is that it helps build a more consistent and deeper relationship with your audience over time. If they trust you with their email address, you know you are doing something right; and every time you send out a newsletter, you increase the chances of them returning to your destination site or store.
This is the digital equivalent to in-person meet-ups and industry events or conferences. We all love to talk to real people for a change rather than merely interact via email or social media channels. So if you are comfortable “hanging out” with your audience, creating opportunities for virtual live events (e.g. Google Hangouts) can be a great tool to build a deeper relationship with your audience.
The goal of a webinar – or other forms of virtual live events – should be to offer some additional value to your audience that they are not already getting through one of your other, existing channels. This technique also helps building your free email list since, in most cases, people have to sign up to the “hangout” by providing their email address.
- Blogger Outreach
Instead of paying other platforms to place and promote your ads, you can build relationships with publishers online and set up cross-promotional scenarios so both the blogger as well as your business can benefit for free.
The key to making this a success is to think of ways that make this relationship a true value exchange. You might, for example, consider offering the publisher’s audience an exclusive discount on a product you (and the blogger) know they would love.