Is managing multiple channels getting increasingly harder for your business? Here are some best practices you can do to avoid that.
If you’re trying to grow your company, you’re probably managing multiple digital marketing channels. At least, you should be.
Businesses can’t survive and thrive in today’s environment with the help of just one marketing channel.
However, it’s not that easy to handle several channels. Each platform can be quite unique, which means they utilize different technologies, require different strategies, and produce different results.
This isolated or siloed nature of multichannel marketing isn’t doing anyone any favours. It’s not working for the consumer’s benefit, and it’s definitely putting a massive strain on organisations and companies like yours.
Fortunately, there is a much better alternative to a multichannel approach to marketing – and that’s omnichannel marketing.
This strategy is by no means a new concept, yet it’s been constantly improved over the years, especially with the advent of digital marketing.
To help you get your marketing to the next level, this article will discuss:
- What omnichannel marketing is and how it works
- The benefits of omnichannel marketing
- The best practices and tips to roll out your custom marketing strategy successfully.
Now, let’s start with the basics.
Multichannel vs Omnichannel Marketing
The best way to explain what omnichannel marketing means is by comparing it to multichannel marketing. See, many business owners have a hard time differentiating these two approaches.
That’s because both multichannel and omnichannel marketing distributes content through several online and offline channels. As a result, many newbie marketers assume they’re engaging in omnichannel marketing just because they use a myriad of marketing platforms.
However, there’s a reason why these two terms and marketing strategies are not interchangeable.
Multichannel marketing is more simplistic. It distributes content via multiple channels, allowing consumers to choose how they want to connect and interface with your brand.
Omnichannel marketing takes all that a step further by offering a seamless experience across each channel used in the marketing process. Consumers may move across devices and platforms, but omnichannel marketing ensures that such transitions would be seamless, and all prior encounters are accounted for.
The idea is to maintain consistency everywhere, from your social media pages to your customer service channels. This consistency is achieved by implementing an identifiable company vision, brand tone, imagery, and personalised messaging across all channels and platforms.
This ensures that consumers get to enjoy a familiar experience when interacting with you even when they switch devices, channels, and online platforms while doing so. By all accounts, it’s a more customer-centric way of interacting with the target market.
In contrast, a multichannel approach doesn’t emphasise the same consistency across different engagements, which can make the channels feel siloed or fragmented.
Aside from offering a better user experience and a comprehensive customer journey, omnichannel marketing provides other significant benefits. One of them is clearer brand identity.
By building an identifiable tone across all your marketing channels, your audiences will have an easier time recognizing you and engaging with you. This often results in better messaging and increased loyalty.
Furthermore, omnichannel marketing generally contributes to increased revenue.
By allowing customers to engage with you seamlessly on different devices, channels, and platforms, you remain visible and recognizable at different stages in the buyer’s journey. This becomes a powerful strategy that boosts the repeat customer rate in combination with more loyalty.
However, to enjoy all these benefits of omnichannel marketing, you’ve got to do it right. The good news is that you’ve already taken one step in the right direction by taking the time to know what makes omnichannel marketing different–and a lot better–than multichannel marketing.
The next step is, of course, putting that knowledge to practice.
7 Best Practices for Omnichannel Marketing
If you want to make omnichannel marketing a core part of your business, you can start by exercising some of the best practices associated with this approach:
#1: Collect Accurate and Relevant Data
To make your omnichannel strategy successful, you need information on your customers and target audience. If you’re not speaking directly to them, if you’re not reaching out when and where you’re supposed to, or if your content isn’t on point, you won’t succeed.
That’s why data collection is crucial. You want your data to be accurate and gathered in a timely fashion to create and tweak a winning omnichannel strategy.
Information is king and will open your eyes to various vital factors like:
- When people prefer to interact with your brand
- What devices your target audience uses the most
- What features do people look for in products and services
- Online and offline channels with the highest engagement rate
There are various ways to categorise this data, such as historical trends, individual preferences, demographics, regional elements, and other factors that directly influence interest and conversions.
You can’t wing it when it comes to data collection, which is why it’s important to have the right tools in place before putting together a strategy.
#2: Incorporate All Channels (Website, Social Media, Apps, and More)
Once you have reliable data to work with, it’s time to choose your channels. Ideally, you want to use as many channels as possible to maximize your omnichannel marketing strategy. But that doesn’t mean you have to build out all channels simultaneously.
You’ll want to take your time to do it the right way. Start small with maybe three channels at the same time. If you look at the collected data, you should be able to identify the three best channels for your brand based on your target audience’s preferences.
For example, if your ideal customers spend more time on Facebook compared to Twitter or TikTok, that’s where you should focus your efforts. If they prefer shopping from their phones instead of their desktop PCs, you’ll want to make the customer journey super mobile-friendly.
Of course, as you flesh out your strategy, you’ll want to cover everything from social media, to the official website, to apps, and everything in between. But expanding to different and new outlets will demand a robust foundation.
#3: Always Focus on Providing Solutions
Because everything is about customer experience and consistency, your channels should be built to solve problems.
They’re not just about making your brand more visible and getting online or offline exposure.
Whenever you expand your strategy and add new channels, do your best to create an issue-free experience.
In addition, creating new channels should also solve pre-existing problems affecting your customer base.
#4: Keep Your Tech Up to Date
Businesses that fall behind on technology integration have a lot to lose in terms of revenue, lead acquisition, and conversions.
Moreover, not using the latest tech can affect the accuracy of your data. Unreliable information can lead you to make inefficient business decisions. It can cause you to focus on the wrong channels, miss the mark on your messaging, etc.
You should also understand that omnichannel marketing strategies depend on the cohesiveness of your systems. The better your backend software, the easier it is to manage your channels.
Often, businesses fail in their omnichannel marketing attempts because they have no holistic view of what’s going on. Upgrading your tech will help simplify and clarify your systems and allow for more efficient management. This makes your job easier and prevents compromising the customer experience.
#5: Make Sure Your Whole Team Is On Board
The siloed multi-channel marketing approach is easy. People are so used to it.
That’s why switching to a customer-centric omnichannel strategy won’t come easy for everyone. Some of your employees and partners may willingly adapt this new strategy, while others might not.
What you have to understand is that everyone moves at a different pace, and a lot of it has to do with their understanding of the omnichannel approach.
That said, the strategy’s success depends on cohesion. It relies on everyone working in unison and towards the same vision and goals. Before going with an omnichannel approach, you’ll have to get everyone’s buy-in by explaining to them why this strategy will get your business the best results.
If people don’t understand why or how to make the consumer the focal point of your brand, it won’t work.
#6: Targeted and Consistent Messages Across All Channels
Every good marketing strategy stands on the shoulders of personalisation. This is what engages consumers and turns them into loyal followers and customers.
The same thing applies to omnichannel marketing.
So, you’ll want your messaging to be both consistent across various mediums and targeted towards your ideal audience.
How do you do it?
You can do it by analysing the collected data. Use campaign engagement results, profile data, shopping trends, and other key metrics to determine who you should be speaking to and how to curate your content.
Keep the same tone, style, and ideas across all channels, and you’ll be good to go.
#7: Create Device-Appropriate CTAs
CTAs are often misunderstood and underutilised. Many businesses think they should have just one central CTA. In reality, your organisation should be using multiple CTAs when engaging your target audience.
That’s because almost every step in the sales funnel requires a stage-specific CTA. Consumers should have a guide to every step of the journey. They need to know the exact next step they have to take.
That said, your CTAs should be appropriate to the channel, device, or platform the consumer is using.
For example, ending an email with an app download link might not be the best idea. Why? Not everyone reads emails on their phone. On the other hand, scheduling a meeting is the type of multi-device-friendly CTA that works well in emails.
Social ads tend to work well when paired with CTAs redirecting to mobile websites. Why?
People mainly check their social platforms from mobile devices. Therefore, redirecting them to a desktop, non-optimised version of your site could be counterintuitive.
As a side note, CTAs should contribute to the customer’s seamless experience with your brand.
Going omnichannel is definitely the way of the future. It can expand your reach, boost visibility, and make your target audience feel important and taken care of regardless of what platform people use to interact with your brand.
This will directly impact your trustworthiness, ability to turn in new followers, conversion, and revenue.
That said, we also understand how difficult it can be to take an omnichannel strategy off the ground and expand on it. If this is an area in which you’d like assistance, Automation Agency can help!
Our Concierge Service handles a wide range of tasks from creating channel-specific lead magnets, scheduling campaigns, setting up payment gateways, and integrating email automation and other systems and processes for a streamlined omnichannel experience.
Feel free to schedule a call with our Concierge Service, and let’s find out how we can work together.