Have you ever noticed that the moment an idea pops into your head, everywhere you look there is a constant reminder of it?
I’ve been dreading it – my New Year’s resolution. I’ve put it off for long enough, so I finally decided to make it official and announced on Facebook that I was cutting dairy from my diet. I know, it’s not the dramatic announcement you were expecting, but I love my grande Frappuccino, so this was going to be tough!
Day one rolls around and I jump on my computer and I start looking for some dairy-free recipes that I can make on the weekend. I start my usual round of sorting emails, and open up my Facebook feed to see what’s going on with my friends. As I start scrolling, I think to myself, “This is a huge mistake, I’ll be bombarded with pictures of perfectly crafted grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate fountains posted by friends and family oblivious to my plight.” But I was wrong.
There it was, unfolding before my very eyes; inbound marketing in the form of dairy-free chocolate mousse cake and soymilk smoothie recipes. Facebook had never looked so delicious! My favorite café knew what I wanted to see and was inviting me in for some dairy-free brownies with a soy chai latte. That was multi-channel inbound marketing at work.
How Multiple Inbound Marketing Channels Work
You’ll know from reading our previous posts, “Inbound Marketing Does Not Work” and “Marketing Automation Best Practices to Boost Your Online Efforts”, that inbound marketing is about letting people come to you, and then engaging with them with relevant and useful content.
Multi-channel marketing is communicating with, and marketing to, prospects and customers across many channels, including online and offline. As opposed to traditional, static marketing tactics, multi-channel marketing analyzes the movements of consumers, and follows them across the entire spectrum of the digital experience to create a cohesive user experience.
Many Channels Means Many Opportunities
If you were that dairy-free chocolate mousse cake, and I was your perfect buyer persona, would you confine yourself to showing yourself off in only one place? I didn’t think so. You’d Tweet, you’d splash yourself all over Facebook, you’d blog about your recipe, and you’d probably send an email too! That’s the beauty of a multi-channel approach.
The more channels you present your content through, the more opportunities you’ll have to drive potential customers to convert. Inbound marketing channels can all be used as mediums for nurturing your leads and maximizing your conversion rates.
Effective marketing channels and inbound activities for B2B marketing can include:
- Organic search (SEO)
- Social media
- Display ads
- Search ads
- Retargeting ads
- Third party emails
- Mobile and web applications
- Affiliate marketing
- Conferences and events, just to name a few.
When these are all used in conjunction with one another, they work together to develop an experience that envelops all angles of your customer’s buyer journey. Developing a multi-channel inbound marketing strategy means that you make it easier for your content to be consumed and amplified.
A prospect or customer can easily re-tweet a valuable nugget of information to her followers, or print out a double-sided white-paper to present to his boss, or bookmark a long-form blog post to read on the commute home. Personal preference will dictate engagement from across your buyer demographic.
Challenges of Using Multiple Inbound Marketing Channels
There are some challenges to consider when using multi-channel marketing; however, they’re rarely unmanageable. Here are a few examples of issues you may encounter, and how to resolve them if they arise.
Developing Multiple Inbound Marketing Channels Sounds Expensive
Adapting your content to make it relevant in different channels will take some additional time for each campaign. It also requires a good understanding of your buyer persona and his or her user behavior and preferences. Some insight into your analytics, as well as some trial and error will go a long way in telling the story of your buyer personas.
Organize a multi-channel plan ahead of time and approach all campaigns with the intention of amplifying the message through multiple channels. If you have a team, delegate responsibility amongst your team members and have each of them narrow in on their channel and develop content slightly tweaked to resonate in each channel. Usually, this requires some changes in copy and visuals, but requires far less resources than engaging a brand new campaign.
Potential for Less Cohesive Messages
One of the trickiest components of multi-channel marketing is ensuring that your message is consistent across all channels.
Outline a consistent brand voice and message and aim to maintain it throughout each channel. When crafting your content, always keep your target persona in mind and be aware of the platform you are engaging in.
Being exposed to the same message across all channels can become slightly overwhelming for some consumers who aren’t accustom to the volume.
In general, it takes between 6 and 8 touch points to generate a lead. So in order to avoid consumer fatigue and keep your audience interested, be sure to have some variations of each message.
When planning for a multi-faceted campaign, your budget can become diluted with the more outlets you integrate.
With inbound marketing, you’re promoting a single piece of content across multiple channels, as opposed to running separate budget consuming campaigns. If you’re going to spend the money to develop a content piece, you might as well get the most out of it by spending a little more time and effort promoting it.
Getting Your Word Out There
It’s likely that you are already targeting a few channels with your marketing efforts. Transitioning to a multi-channel marketing strategy will help circulate your campaigns further, and engage your customers in more than one space. If you neglect these opportunities, you are missing out on valuable information about your potential customer’s buyer behavior and preferences.
Your aim is to land the right piece of content in front of the right eyes at the right time, and provide a positive user experience for your potential customers, with your brand. Research what channels you might be missing out on and plan to incorporate those into your next campaign.
If you are interested in increasing the reach of your marketing efforts through multiple inbound marketing channels, contact our team at Total Product Marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about inbound marketing, download this case study on how we helped one of our clients increase leads by 400% without spending a single dollar on ad campaigns!