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December 8, 2020



How to Create an Effective Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

These days, we consume an incredible amount of content in a single day, thanks to advancements in technology and information sharing. We pass billboards on our way to work, see posters in grocery stores, read dozens of emails, scroll for hours through multiple social media platforms, watch TV, play video games on our computers and phones, and more. That sounds like a lot – and it is. But as a business owner, you can take advantage of this. All these different communication channels can be useful to you if you know how to harness them for your business. This is where a multi-channel marketing strategy comes in.

What is a multi-channel marketing strategy?

A multi-channel marketing strategy is a plan for how to market your business across different channels. Although you might immediately think about digital marketing and different strategies for various social media platforms, that’s not the only thing we’re talking about here. More traditional options like retail store marketing, TV commercials, radio promotions, billboards, and more can also have a place in your multi-channel marketing efforts. It all depends on your business and the goals you have for it. For example, you might choose to market yourself on social media, through email, and on TV. Or you might find retail stores and cold calls to be more suitable. Either way, you will need an effective strategy to coordinate your efforts across multiple channels.

A multi-channel marketing strategy visually represented by three hand-drawn graphs in different colors.
A multi-channel marketing strategy will require planning different advertisements on different channels.

Creating an effective multi-channel marketing strategy

If you want to market your business successfully, you can’t just put a few commercials together and hope they land. Instead, you need a proper strategy. This is especially true when you’re working across different platforms. You need to keep up with developments in technology, marketing trends, and consumer behaviours, not to mention coordinate your own various departments. So take the time to plan things out properly.

Set clear goals

Retargeting lost prospects requires a different approach from building a brand. And building a brand similarly requires a different approach from targeting a new demographic. So what you’re trying to achieve is going to have a massive influence on how you market your business. It can affect the demographic you’re targeting, the channels you’re using, the content you focus on, and more. That’s why it is vital to decide what you’re trying to achieve before you start building your marketing strategy.

Know your audience

Who is your typical customer? A makeup-obsessed Instagram influencer in her twenties? Or a middle-aged long-haul trucker? Maybe a grandmother shopping for gifts for her young grandchildren? These three people are going to respond to very different things. So it’s essential to know your audience when making a marketing strategy. Different demographics prefer different marketing channels and approaches. If you want to succeed, you need to develop a plan that works for your target demographic.

A group of women on their laptops.
Marketing to young women is not the same as marketing to middle-aged men – knowing your audience will help shape your strategy.

Select the channels

Once you know what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re selling to, it’s time to decide where and how you’re going to market yourself. You can use as many or as few channels in your strategy as you want, but be realistic. If you have a very small marketing team, stretching them too thin across dozens of outlets is not a good idea. But if you’re trying to reach a broad audience, a couple of channels won’t be enough. So focus your efforts on the channels that are most likely to yield results while still casting a wide net.

It’s a good idea to look into the current marketing trends when making this decision. We’re already seeing the effects of COVID-19 on consumers – we’re all spending even more time online than usual and shopping for everything we can from our homes. Therefore, focusing on digital marketing right now might be the right move.

Adjust your marketing to the channel

When you’re marketing on multiple channels, you need to make sure that users across the board all have a good experience. This means adjusting your content to the channel you’re using. A couple of well-worded paragraphs are great for an email, for example, but posting them on Twitter is not going to have the same effect. So, develop a flexible strategy that can share your message properly on very different platforms.

Phone screen showing an Instagram feed.
Marketing on social media has a different set of requirements from marketing via email.

Keep track of what works and what doesn’t

In business, there is no room for guesswork. You have to know everything that is happening, what’s working and what isn’t. So you must constantly evaluate your efforts to track how well your marketing strategy is serving you. If you notice that some aspects are not working as well as you’d hoped, you have to adjust. There is no point in investing in marketing that doesn’t work. Identifying the problem can be tricky with multi-channel marketing, but that’s precisely why timely evaluations are so critical.

Engage your customers

One of the great things about multi-channel marketing is that you can engage with your customers through multiple platforms. People don’t really interact with TV commercials and billboards. But if you’re using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for marketing, you can easily make your advertisements more interactive and thus more interesting by encouraging comments, creating polls, setting up raffles, and more. It’s a creative way to get customers interested in your brand.

Be consistent across different channels

One of the most challenging yet most important things about multi-channel marketing is being consistent in your messaging. You have to make sure that the customers who find you through a newsletter and those who find you through a YouTube ad have the same idea of your brand. The only way to achieve this is to create good communication among your departments and employees so that everyone is on the same page and putting out the same message.

The benefits of having a multi-channel marketing strategy

There’s a reason why a multi-channel marketing strategy has become a must in business – it has many advantages. Instead of only focusing on a group of people using a specific channel, you’ll be targeting a wider audience. You’ll have multiple chances to interest someone in your offers. Both you and your customers will enjoy more choice in the content you create and consume. Of course, like any other marketing strategy, multi-channel marketing has its drawbacks as well. It can be hard to track which channel is doing well unless you have an excellent customer data collection and analysis system. It requires good communication between different departments, and it’s harder to implement successfully than single-channel marketing. But all that can be solved by having a good strategy!