Think about your own habits: We have enormous choices facing us every day, between thousands of TV channels, numerous screens and devices, and millions of websites and individual pieces of content.
That means you might want to perform research and execute a purchase in a lot of different places — by reading a blog post on your tablet,by checking for deals in your inbox,or by visiting a store so you can speak to someone in-person.
Multi-channel marketers,then,are ones who identify the channels their target customers are usingand understand how their target customers move from one channel to another to create a congruous experience.
Multi-channel marketing seeks to establish a marketer’s presence across these many places. Online, that includes search engines, blogs, social networks, email, and more. Offline, that means print, TV, and radio among others.
Success, however, doesn’t come by just being present on these channels. Nope — just like the inbound methodology describes, marketers need to address their multi-channel marketing in several areas to be successful:
Once you know that multi-channel is the right thing for you, here’s how you get started:
Having a clearly definedbuyer persona(or multiple ones) that entails specifics about their ideal buyer is a necessity. This information helps marketers decide on which channels they should focus their efforts and what kind of tone and messaging to have.
If youcouldshow up everywhere, no doubt you would, but the fact of the matter is that effective multi-channel marketing can be costly. With each channel comes a larger time and monetary investment as you craft strategy, produce content, and pay for ads or sponsored placement.
That’s why you need to decide which channels to target. Depending on your buyer persona and your unique goals, there may be some channels that make more sense than others. Start with those and expand to other channels as you see increased success.
That said, don’t be afraid to experiment when resources permit. You might be surprised at the channels that end up performing.
You likely have team members who specialize in different channels, so it’s easy to end up with a siloed approach where each team or department operates independently. However, with multi-channel marketing, it’s important to have a cohesive experience across channels. Otherwise, your audience will be jarred or confused when switching from one platform to another.
Ensure that each member of your team understands your persona and the messaging that you’re using to target that persona.
Marketers also need to be useful and helpful, sharing relevant, consumer-first content instead of pushing me-first marketing messages. This useful philosophy — in other words, the inbound approach — must be apparent in every tactic deployed.
Even though the messaging must be consistent, you’ll also have to be strategic with regard to what works on each channel. For example, extremely visual channels such as Instagram may see more success with images while articles may perform better on more editorial platforms like LinkedIn.
For that reason, despite having similar messaging, you’ll likely need to create individual strategies for each channel and create varying types of content.
All channels marketers decide to use must also work together. It’s not enough to just set up and use Twitter, Facebook, email, a website, a blog, et al, if they don’t work in harmony to attract and convert business. The same consumer moves across all of these places quickly, so your strategy and your analytics need to adapt similarly.
An integration strategy may include using a unified inbox to track customer communication across channels, an all-in-one marketing management platform to help you manage your publishing and analytics efforts, and a CRM to track interactions and engagement.
Speaking of tracking interactions and engagement, marketing automation for your multi-channel marketing efforts is a must. Paired with a CRM that stores information such as pages visited, CTA clicks, and email opens, your marketing automation can help you make make decisions and take action personalized to your leads’ unique paths.
Given consumers use multiple platforms (from social, to email, to blogs) and devices (from desktops, to tablets, to smartphones) to get their content, marketers implementing multi-channel efforts will need a responsive website — which can be created inHubSpot’s COS — so that their audience will have easy, uniform access to all marketers have to offer them.
With multiple channels in play, marketers will need to carefully measure the results of their multi-channel approach. Closed-loop analytics (through HubSpot or other analytics software) will inform them as to which channels were effective, which channels influenced other channels, and which channels they can eliminate from their efforts.
As you’re evaluating performance, you may want to consider attribution models, such as:
Retargeting — a form of advertising that targets your website’s bounced traffic on other platforms — is powerful when used in conjunction with multi-channel marketing. By having multiple platforms from which your audience can find your website, you’ll end up increasing website traffic. Anyone who bounces away will see retargeting ads on other platforms, ones that you may have a presence on.
In the end, your goal in this consumer-first world is to step beyond just being present on multiple channels and start connecting them all together into one, thriving, multi-channel approach to inbound marketing.
Originally published May 20, 2020 2:00:00 PM, updated May 20 2020