Whether you’re a solopreneur or CEO, chances are the vast and ever-changing world of marketing has left you feeling overwhelmed. Long gone are the days (if they ever actually existed) of simply creating an incredible product or offering a standout service. Today, in order to be successful, you have to get your brand and merchandise in front of customers. To ensure all your hard work is not done in vain, it’s vital to identify and utilize the best marketing channels for your business.
Marketing isn’t one size fits all. What works for one company might not be right for your business, and the strategy that raked in leads last year might be useless for achieving this quarter’s goals. Your business can’t stop at identifying and utilizing one marketing strategy — regular and active evaluation is necessary to identify any gaps your strategy may have.
To minimize gaps, digital marketing experts recommend implementing a multi-channel marketing strategy. While this may require extra effort upfront, marketing over multiple channels and focusing on convenience for the customer will mean more revenue for your business and less work for you in the long run.
Multi-channel marketing capitalizes on current shopping trends. As customers shop online more and more, new digital marketing strategies such as social media, email, an affiliate advertising, and endorsements are quickly outpacing traditional practices. Today, according to the Northeastern University School of Business, only 1 in 3 marketers use print as part of their marketing strategies.
But, before your business can reap the benefits of, often, more effective and more affordable digital marketing strategies, you will need to understand the idea behind multi-channel marketing.
What is multi-channel marketing?
In the rapidly changing world of marketing, brands and businesses struggle to capture the market in totality. Likely, you fear your business’ current marketing strategy has gaps causing you to miss out on customer connections and income. In addition to ensuring all your bases are covered, defining and optimizing a multi-channel marketing strategy will lead to faster results and greater profit without wasting time and capital.
The first step to faster results and greater profit is understanding that multi-channel marketing is “promoting and selling anywhere your customers buy,” according to Shopify Plus writer Aaron Orendorf. Multi-channel marketing takes commerce to various channels where your target audience organically spends time such as email, social media, messaging apps, and online communities. The best multi-channel marketing strategy focuses on consumer choice, purchase patterns, and platform usage. Keep in mind that before you get started, though (and especially if you’re diving in with a lot of initiatives all at once), you should ensure you’re properly covered financially, just in case. More online activity via social media, email marketing, and so on, makes yours and your customers’ information more vulnerable to cyberattacks, phishing scams, and worse.
How to identify the best marketing channels for your business
Since a multi-channel marketing strategy involves, literally, multiple marketing channels, it’s important to understand how to identify the best digital marketing channels for your business. To help in the identification process, keep in mind that customer convenience needs to be at the center of your digital marketing strategy. Ultimately, the channels you choose will make your customers’ lives (including their decisions about how to spend their money) easier.
The more you know about your ideal customer, the easier developing your marketing strategy will be, according to Forbes writer Kathleen Griffith. As you begin to narrow your focus, consider where, when, and how your customers spend time online.
- Is your ideal client a busy mom who checks her inbox early in the morning before having to wake her kids up for school?
- Do your customers scroll Instagram on their lunch break?
- Who do they follow on Twitter?
- What questions are they typing into the Google search bar?
Understanding how and where your ideal customer spends their time online is the first step in identifying the best marketing channels for your business. Griffth advises seeing where your competitors are advertising and marketing to help you make decisions about where you want to focus your strategy. By evaluating the competitive landscape, you can gain valuable insight into where your ideal customers are spending their time online.
Once you understand where your ideal customers are spending their time online (and, equally important, where they are NOT), you should have a much clearer idea of where you need to focus your marketing efforts. For even more clarity, Griffth suggests spending time thinking about what it is you want to achieve. What are your goals? If it’s to grow your audience, your marketing strategy could look very different from someone whose goal is to sell a product.
Regardless of your specific goals and the marketing strategies you ultimately decide to implement, Griffith reminds businesses that it is essential to track efforts and identify which channels are giving you the best results. By measuring your progress, you’ll be able to see what works for your business and amplify that success in the future.
Gaps in your strategy? Implement email marketing
For success in the future, businesses of all sizes and across industries should consider email marketing as part of their multi-channel digital marketing strategy. Unlike other forms of advertising that consumers frequently try to avoid, consumers often seek out email marketing campaigns from their favorite brands and businesses. Nielsen reported that 95% of global consumers have made a purchase online, and a significant portion of those consumers subscribe to store or product emails to stay informed.
Furthermore, as one of the most inexpensive digital marketing channels available, it’s a solid option for all marketing budgets. Email marketing is a powerful way for businesses to reach their consumers without needing to invest a lot in new technology or software, according to Inc. contributor Peter Roesler.
But, the fact that it’s inexpensive isn’t the only reason your business shouldn’t overlook email marketing. Unlike social media platforms and Google search results, email marketing is one of the only channels that you have almost complete control over. While an Instagram marketing strategy can produce results, it’s not enough on its own. Even when unexpected algorithm changes threaten to derail your social media marketing efforts, you can count on your email list to continue working for you.
With your subscriber list in hand, email marketing is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor your strategies to best fit your customer. From personalized product recommendations to unique welcome messages, you can personalize your email marketing campaigns to serve an audience that, by handing over their email addresses, has already expressed interest in your brand and business.
While email marketing is an integral part of a successful multi-channel marketing strategy, you will need to identify additional digital marketing channels to round out your business’ strategy. From gaining insight and soliciting customer feedback to giving your marketing a human touch, social media platforms are other digital marketing channels worthy of your consideration.