How to Use Multi-Channel Digital Marketing To Grow Your Revenue
Multi-channel marketing is nothing new and has been a critical part of growing a business for several years now. Before we get started on the importance multi—channel marketing, let’s take a step back and look at how media consumption has changed over the years.
A Brief History of Modern Media
Before the 1950s, you could easily capture someone’s attention by utilizing newspaper and radio as your primary marketing drivers. Readership/listenership in relation to population levels were at all time highs during this period. Both have seen a steady decline over the last decade with the rise of digital media.
After World War II, the public had a 3rd major form of media to grab their attention. THE TELEVISION. Television completely changed the game by being able to capture sight and sound. Even still, we only had a few channels to chose from and it was relatively easy to capture someone’s attention. Flash forward to 1990 when over 50% of the United States had cable television. Cable opened our eyes to dozens and dozens of niche television networks and consumers were able to watch media that catered to their interests.
At the same time cable television was expanding into more and more homes, the holy grail of entertainment and information was gaining traction. The internet completely changed the game from both a content consumption and creation standpoint. Now, everyone had the opportunity (with some skill and knowledge) to create content and have it post instantaneously.
In its early stages, internet was clunky, slow, ugly and mostly text based, but it allowed users to connect with others from around the globe that shared their common interests and desires. As network speeds increased towards the late 90s, so did quality of content. What went from mostly text and pixelated photos, came video and better-quality content.
During the same time, companies were beginning to realize the power of the internet and the dot-com craze exploded. Companies from every niche wanted to be online and wanted to sell their products over the internet. While the bubble did burst, it set the tone for all consumer purchases going forward. Companies were expected to have an online presence.
Moving closer to modern day, we’ve seen a titanic sized shift towards social media consumption. Facebook and Instagram dominate the landscape giving users even more options for consuming and creating their own media. It’s safe to say, we now have more options to market our businesses than ever before. Radio, newspaper, broadcast television, cable television, streaming television, streaming radio, social media, and so on. We are truly in a state of fragmentation, with so many unknowns going forward.
Introduction to Multi-Channel Marketing
With so many media options, multi-channel marketing has never been more critical to the success of a growing business. Multi-channel marketing allows a business to interact with potential customers across a number of platforms (Google, Social Media, Mobile, Television, Radio, & etc.).
Today, only 1 in 3 shoppers are considered “mono-channel.” Furthermore, platforms are constantly changing the rules and if you rely on one channel and that traffic suddenly goes away, can your business survive? We’ve seen this time and time again when Google suddenly changes their algorithm and you’re getting 30% less traffic over night, or when Facebook made their shift away from organic reach. We saw it recently with Instagram, with organic engagement numbers decreasing by over 50% in the blink of an eye. Relying on one channel today is simply too risky.
The Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing provides a number of key benefits. As mentioned before, it mitigates risk when one platform suddenly increases their costs or your current strategy stops working. It also allows you to reach a new audience and potential customers that have never been exposed to your brand before. This allows for additional touch-points to your customers. Most branding experts now say it can take 7 or more touch points before a customer makes a purchase. Another key benefit is that all these platforms work better together. It will give you a consistent message, allowing you to reach someone with a targeted message on the platform that they prefer!
Deciding What Channels to Focus On How to Tailor Your Messaging
Do your research! If you have an established brand and you’re deciding which platforms to be on, then you already have lots of data on your current client base. Use purchase data, Google Analytics or any other resources you have to create ideal customer personas. With so much data and research available, creating a profile for your ideal customer is a no brainer. Don’t forget that most purchases are made emotionally, so it’s important not just to focus on the numbers, but rather the whole picture of what needs your clients have. If you’re not sure or uncomfortable working with data, then a marketing agency like ours is exactly what you need. We are data freaks and love creating marketing strategies from various sorts of data sets and research.
Multi-Channel Marketing in Action
So, we get it. Multi-channel marketing is a no brainer, but how does it work in real life? Let’s go over a few examples of how we utilize a multi-channel approach online.
Example 1: Multi-Social with Organic and Paid Traffic
Modern consumers don’t like being sold right away. Social media is a great way to begin nurturing consumer relationships so that they can turn into leads. Social media marketing allows you to get to know the unique needs of your audience - this understanding will inform you as to what will make them click on an ad. And while Facebook and Instagram fall under the same parent company, consumers view them as separate platforms. Therefore, utilizing both expands your reach and frequency, thus giving your brand increased exposure and additional touch points.
With a social presence, you can gain a better understanding of the types of content your audience prefers and serve ads to those who regularly interact with your content. This will bring vetted, high quality leads into the sales funnel. It also gives you great retargeting options; should a consumer interact with an ad or a product/service on your website, you can serve ads to them that are tailored specifically to their step in the buyer journey and successfully reel them back in. At the end of the day, a multi-channel approach will stretch your ad dollars.
Example 2: How SEO + Google Ads + Social Ads Work Together
Organic search traffic is gold. Leads from Google organic search tend to be higher quality and convert at a higher rate, but SEO takes a lot of time and dedication. We recommend a minimum of a 12 months for an SEO and content strategy to start yielding big results. That being said, we believe a strong SEO/content strategy should be at the core of any marketing strategy that relies on an online presence to generate business.
Whereas improving your page’s SEO can help it rank higher in a Google search, Google ads, a type of pay per click ad platform, are paid ads that populate alongside relevant searches, allowing them to reach a specific audience that is similar to organic search traffic. Ever wonder who clicks on sponsored ads? A ton of people click on them. Paid search clicks outperform organic clicks nearly 2:1 when consumers are looking to buy an item online!
At the end of the day, both PPC and SEO have the same objective: get your business seen. However, they go about customer acquisition differently.
A strong SEO strategy ensures that more people see your business in the long term and can give you a strategic foothold over the competition. PPC ads, on the other hand, pop up immediately and fulfill consumers’ need for instant gratification. Albeit, these are not as solidified as a strong SEO ranking.
Combining both allows you to tap into both type of customers. This allows for the maximum number of consumers to be exposed to your offering, both familiar and unfamiliar. Even if you’ve been working on your SEO for years, PPC still has a ton of value. No matter how hard you try, there will always be certain keywords that you’ll struggle to rank for on the top of Google results. We love targeting these “keyword gap” opportunities with PPC to rank above the competition.
Combining SEO and PPC is a great multi-channel strategy, but let’s take it one step further! Utilizing social ads to retarget users who find your site organically (from SEO) as well as retargeting users who click to your from Google Ads but don’t convert is a great way to leverage multi-channel marketing.
Additionally, we love creating compelling social advertisements using SEO rich blog content to generate even more traffic and site engagement. Get into your Google Analytics account and find out which blog content performed the best (look for sessions/time on page/conversions as indicators of strong content). Now utilize this content for your next social ads and generate even more traffic to your best pages.
Example 3: Google Ads and Social Ads Work Together
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the two biggest players in modern advertising. For this example, we’ll focus primarily on incorporating Facebook Ads with Google’s AdWords Product.
When you’re looking at driving awareness to your brand it’s important to consider the many stages of a consumer has to go through before they make a purchase. Google ads go after consumers who are actively looking for something, otherwise known as hot traffic. They are in immediate need of a product or service. Many of them are intentionally seeking a business to use in order to fulfill their needs. Social ads tend to be more discrete, delivering to consumers who may not know exactly what they’re looking for yet - otherwise known as cold traffic.
While many go after hot traffic, we think both traffic temperatures are critical to pursue. If you’re able to successfully warm up cold traffic, they may present themselves with stronger brand loyalty - essentially, they’re like a blank, impressionable canvas. In addition, your cost-per-action tends to be higher when you’re going after hot traffic as it’s easier to convert.
We use social ads to generate traffic from cold audiences, directing them to your website to “warm up” to your products and services. When they’re ready to make a purchase, they will likely perform a google search to find you, and BAM! There you are with your Google Ads and Organic SEO placement.
Catering to warmer audiences can speed up transaction time but may not result in as strong a brand loyalty. To remedy this, you can stay on top of nurturing the relationship with consumer, post transaction. Nonetheless, catering to both effectively doubles the number of consumers you are able to engage with.
There you have it - media has come a long way over past 70 years and especially in the past 20. In a continuously changing media environment it's more important than ever to make sure your marketing is kept up to date. As usual feel free to reach out with any questions.