Large companies tend to take a multi-channel approach to their marketing. They will promote themselves across a range of social media platforms, they will also incorporate TV, radio, podcasts, offline events, print marketing, e-marketing and videos in their mix. Businesses of their size can afford to employ a marketing team to look after all these channels, with each individual focused on specific channels and projects, rather than the whole lot.
Small businesses will probably use a few of these channels and will likely have just one person tasked with the management of them all. This one person then tends to only have the time to ‘fight fire’—rather than approaching each channel separately and strategically. A bit like shouting into a vacuum, this often becomes a waste of their time, energy and the company’s marketing budget.
Here are our tips if you’re contemplating an omni-channel approach.
Think about what you want to achieve
Whilst you may not have the luxury of planning out your content on your chosen channels for the upcoming months, at least consider what you want from each individual platform/marketing approach before you begin creating posts, videos and/or content for it.
This may involve some market research and study of your analytics. For instance, where does your online traffic come from, i.e. where do they find you? What seems to engage them?
You could be turning people off with the content you put out, but you won’t have a clue about this until you consult your target market. Book a stand at a local business event, create a poll on LinkedIn or simply ask clients for their honest feedback about what they like and don’t like about your marketing messages and approach.
You’ll no doubt have similar things to say or promote across your various channels; however, the outcome you desire from each one will help to tailor the content you put out.
Think about the channel
Some channels may be more suited to informing your audience about what you do rather than encouraging people to buy…LinkedIn, for example, is business orientated and welcomes information, value and debate; it’s less likely to respond to fun videos, whereas a platform such as TikTok is the opposite.
What does other people’s content on the specific platform look like? How do people respond to it? If appearing at a business event, what do the other businesses put on/across their stand to make people stop and talk to them? If creating a newsletter or eshot campaign, what can you put in the message headline that will make your audience open your message in the first place…what makes you click through?
Think about the return
Though it may be exciting and fun to incorporate TikTok in your marketing mix (after all, it seems to be the current ‘big thing’), would you actually see any return from it? If you’re appealing to an older generation, for example, this would not be the ideal channel. Over the long-term, TikTok may bring you the odd opportunity or lead, but if there are other marketing channels that could bring you quicker wins because they’re better suited to your audience and the message you wish to convey, these should be your first priority. If you really are the only person in your company who deals with the marketing, you won’t have the time to be indulgent.
When choosing an appropriate channel, consider how much time and effort it will take you to produce your message in line with, or better than, your competitors, and base your priorities from that. Time is still a cost to the business.
Aim for complete consistency
The adage that a prospective customer will need to see your brand 5 to 7 times before they buy is true; many people won’t act on the first mention or sight of your brand/message.
Clicking through to a ghost site or looking at your company’s social media profile on a particular platform and finding the last activity to be three years ago are not good things for your customer to find. It’s better to do one or two things well than try and juggle more but do them less well.
Consistency is key, and this stretches to your message, your logo/graphics, to the tone you use…but mostly, consistency of delivery. Show up on your platform/marketing method of choice and continue to do so, on and on—that will have more impact on your results than anything.
Online isn’t everything
Whilst it’s tempting to believe social media is the only way to reach anyone in this day and age, it’s not true…offline marketing tools and techniques are as effective as they’ve always been—perhaps even more so, because everyone else has flocked to the digital world. With less competition and more room to create a persona, a voice, a brand, offline activities shouldn’t be discounted in your omni-channel approach.
These are just a few points to consider when forming your omni-channel strategy. Be kind to yourself—Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re the one person tasked with tackling various channels, you can only do so much, which is even more reason to be strategic, measured and consistent in your approach.
If you’d like help and an extra hand to tackle the channels of your choice, contact the team at Novus on 07983 575934 or through our contact form on our website