Multichannel marketing is here. Startups and small businesses can’t get away with single-tactic marketing any longer. Gone are the days when referrals were enough. Gone are the days where it was enough to have a retail establishment located in the busy part of town. Done are the days when a really good direct mail campaign was all it took to stay busy and to build success.
Today, variety is the key to marketing success.
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is exactly what it sounds like: marketing via multiple channels. A “channel” is just a fancy way of saying “ways to reach your customer.” Consider a few simple multichannel strategies:
- Combining e-mail marketing with digital advertising and social media.
- Combining public relations with content marketing and radio advertisements.
- Adding an e-commerce store to your existing brick-and-mortar business.
Some common combinations of multichannel or cross-channel marketing include:
- Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) + Content Marketing (e.g. blogging)
- Public Relations (e.g. press releases, media hits) + SEO (search engine optimization, e.g. Google rankings)
- Content Marketing (e.g. downloadable content) + E-mail Marketing (e.g. newsletter) + Digital Advertising (e.g. remarketing)
- Direct mail (e.g. postcard) + Digital Advertising (e.g. Google Ads)
- Brick-and-mortar store + Online Catalog + Mobile Store
Why Should I Embrace Multichannel Marketing?
You should embrace multichannel marketing even if you feel like your single-channel strategy has been working for you. When you do, the sky is truly the limit. There are a multitude of ways to creatively and inexpensively combine marketing strategies to increase your brand awareness, gain leads, and convert leads to customers.
Another great reason to embrace multiple marketing channels is that people are looking for you in more places than ever before. They’re not just searching Google for your website. They’re looking up your Yelp reviews and checking out your activity on Facebook. They’re checking in at Foursquare and hoping for a perk while sharing a photo on Instagram about their experience at your establishment. They’re in your retail store loading up your website on their phone to see if there’s a coupon before they hit the checkout line. Customers are more savvy and more connected than ever before. You should be, too.
How Can I Be Sure This Isn’t Just a Fad?
Because it’s not – plain and simple. It’s everywhere. Look at your competition. Chances are they’ve got social media, a blog, a newsletter, specials and promotions, Google Ads, Facebook remarketing…
Here’s another way to prove multichannel marketing is here to stay. The arc of my own career in marketing, culminating in my current position as Marketing Director for SharedTEAMS, pretty much sums it up:
During the “content is king” era (content is still royalty, by the way…it just doesn’t rule alone anymore) my job was, entirely, to churn out that content. It was all about delivering high-quality material that lead to greater search engine hits and positioned clients as experts in their field. The key was to create content that offered something to potential customers in exchange for their interest, brand loyalty and often their business.
But content alone wasn’t enough once social media marketing became everybody’s darling. Pretty soon, I was having to drive the content out on social media to get attention and better client SEO. And that led to the “communications is king” period.
In this secondary phase of my career, I was a Communications Manager, and I oversaw content marketing, social media, community management and public relations. These all worked in tandem – my earliest experience with multichannel marketing – to raise brand awareness, capture leads, increase SEO and provide customer service. Media hits were shared on social media, as were blog posts, both of which in turn increased search engine rankings as the brand’s digital footprint grew. It was a heady, busy time in my professional life. But it only got busier as the “multichannel marketing is king” time really took hold.
Currently, I oversee all marketing strategy for SharedTEAMS. And that means knowing something about just about everything. From the optimum frequency of a direct mail campaign to the best ways to increase engagement on Facebook, the only thing that exceeds the number of hours I spend working on client strategy is the amount of time I spend learning about each of the channels that now comprise a solid multichannel marketing strategy. There are so many options and so many ways to combine them that every day is a new and different adventure. I love it…and you might too, if you give yourself over to multichannel marketing in earnest.
Where Do I Start with Multichannel Marketing?
A good place to start is right here at SharedTEAMS, where our expert shared marketing department has been juggling multiple channels since the company’s inception. The marketing strategy and tactics we develop and deploy for our members are the very essence of multichannel marketing. Learn more about our memberships here.