How to Build a Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy

Although marketing has never been simple, one could argue that it has never been more complex than it is today. Modern technology has revolutionized the way that businesses and consumers interact. Platforms like social media and smartphones allow customers and brands to connect more than ever, while technology has turned marketing strategies upside down by making every decision data-driven.

Thanks to all of these changes, it is now necessary for every brand to adopt a multichannel digital marketing strategy. It has been estimated that up to thirteen separate interactions with a brand are needed before a consumer can even become a potential sales lead; therefore, businesses should be making the most of all possible marketing avenues in order to generate more touchpoints with consumers.

However, casting a marketing wide net and hoping something sticks is not exactly the most effective method. Not to mention that digital marketing campaigns can be costly, so businesses should be wise and strategic when it comes to multichannel methods and should be knowing all the latest digital marketing tips.

So, how can businesses establish a smart multichannel digital marketing strategy?

Quick Takeaways:

  • Don’t get on any digital media platform just because it’s gaining traction. Dig deeper to see if there is ROI.
  • Identify the tools and solutions that will help you set up and automate digital processes.
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin. Master one area first and then move on to another.
  • Always keep an eye on your KPI dashboard.

Identify Your Audience and Determine Their Preferences

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make in digital marketing is assuming that they need to utilize every single platform to reach their customers. The truth is that not every marketing channel is appropriate or necessary for every business. Not every business needs to market on Snapchat and LinkedIn. Some would do well with blogging content, while others should put their focus on video or audio content like vlogs and podcasts.

In order to ensure that your digital efforts are going to have the biggest impact, you need to first clearly define and understand who your audience is. Demographical factors play an important role in audience preferences. Take social media use as an example – according to a study by Pew Research, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are preferred by younger consumer groups, whereas Facebook and YouTube are used more widely by older generations.

Consequently, if your audience is primarily made up of consumers that are above the age of 40, Snapchat wouldn’t exactly be the most effective marketing channel to utilize.

Take a look at your audience makeup and see only where they are consuming the most content and advertising and where your brand can meet them. Be sure to pay attention to how they are consuming content as well. Do they read blogs or would they rather watch YouTube tutorials? Are they more likely to engage with visual posts or do they want informational content like case studies?

You may need to conduct your own market research among your target audience or survey a few focus groups in order to obtain this information. Do also take a look at industry reports and benchmark studies to give you a general idea of consumer behavior in your niche.

Strengthen Your Martech Stack

You need the proper tools to help you establish a presence, track results, and keep track of important metrics and customer accounts. But creating a great martech ecosystem that supports your efforts doesn’t happen by accident.

As you start to develop your multichannel strategy, pay attention to the areas that will benefit the most from technology. While there are tools for nearly every aspect of digital marketing, you may benefit from utilizing tool “suites” or “solutions” that can be applied to multiple channels and have use cases across industry verticals.

For instance, Marketo offers different products called Engage (for brand building), Bizible (for revenue attribution), and Adobe Experience Cloud (for improving CX), which between them, enable organizations to automate email and mobile marketing, manage and nurture leads, implement ABM practices, create and distribute content with predictive analytics, find appropriate influencers on social media, and track important metrics all of these channels.

Start with a Pilot and Expand

One of the major pitfalls of a multichannel marketing strategy is the lack of focus. When numerous new channels are introduced, it can be extremely overwhelming and have a negative impact on the quality of your team’s efforts.

Sadly, a major mistake that many digital marketing teams fall prey to is trying to implement too many changes at once. This can lead to some costly mistakes as teams struggle to keep track of all the new strategies and approaches.

There is no need to overwhelm your marketing team with tons of strategies all at once. Start with simple but effective marketing, such as building an email database and creating a solid email trigger-based system. Then move on to SEO focused content, like blog posts, videos, and external links. Expand into other paid sources like social ads, PPC, or even televised commercials.

Again, the order of the most effective methods is dependent on your business’s specific audience, so researching their preferences and behavior is critical in order to determine which methods will be likely to have the biggest payoffs.

Track Things Closely But Give Them Time

Great marketing strategies do not happen overnight, so you shouldn’t expect the results to occur that quickly either. Marketing is a nurturing process that helps to move customers down the sales funnel through influential content. If you aren’t seeing immediate results from these new digital channels, don’t quit. It can take time for these marketing strategies to really bring about conversions.

The most important thing here is that your team has access to real-time tracking programs to keep an eye on KPIs. Again, give these strategies time to cultivate and develop, but look for signs of growth or stagnation over long periods of time to see where changes are needed. If a method is not bringing about results after a few months, then look for ways to improve rather than scrapping it altogether.

The questions you need to ask yourself for each channel are:

  • Which consumer segments will you target?
  • How will you position your product?
  • Will you set sales targets? What if you fall short?
  • How much will you spend on advertising?
  • How will you retain customers you acquire from that channel?

Dig Your Tentacles In

Since the modern world is more connected through technology than ever before, businesses have the opportunity to connect with consumers at nearly every digital turn. A strong multichannel marketing strategy is far and away the best way to cultivate relationships and convert customers – if it is done correctly.

In order to get things started off on the right foot, you need to

  1. Really understand who your audience is and how to best connect with them.
  2. Look into all of the data sources you can get your hands on to gather demographical and behavioral data to see where you need to focus your efforts.
  3. Identify the most profitable channels and look for tools and technology that will help your team the most.

Remember too that there is no need to rush and dive in head-first to multichannel. Instead, use your data to find the areas that will make the biggest impact – whether it’s targeted email marketing or a stronger social presence. Start to slowly integrate other channels and methods, while constantly keeping an eye on your revenue.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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