Cast a wide net. Benefit from multi channel marketing.
Focusing on one lead generation source can lead to problems for a small business if that source shifts dramatically.
Take for example the introduction of AI and SEO. If you’ve invested a lot in SEO, but nothing in Social Media, how will this shift affect your business?
Let’s talk about some reasons why you should be looking at all the channels instead of focusing on one.
What is Multi Channel Marketing?
Multi Channel Marketing is an approach to marketing that utilizes available channels to reach a target audience. In 2023, the options are endless, but there are important ones that shouldn’t be overlooked.
For us here at Clear Skies Marketing Group, we help clients identify possible opportunities in other channels. If a client has primarily focused on Google Ads, there may be an opportunity on social media or short-form video.
For small business, you can’t ignore the opportunities that exist across the internet and in real life.
If you’re not taking advantage of multiple channels, now is the time to start.
Brand Visibility on Customer-Preferred Channels
TV advertising saw great success because that’s where the customer’s attention was. Marketing here has become costly and there is less attention.
As a small business, you have the opportunity to feature ads right on your potential client’s phone while they are engaged in content consumption.
There are two main types of multi-channel marketing: Brand Awareness and Lead Generation
Brand Awareness in Multi Channel Marketing
Brand awareness campaigns focus on getting in front of their target audience for when they need their product or service.
Example: A local garage door company is expanding into a new town and wants to let residents know that they are open for business. We would want to run a campaign that gets in front of as many people as possible and potential customers aren’t just hanging out on one platform. Casting a wide net for brand awareness is a great strategy because not everyone needs a garage door repair at the time the ad is served, but they will at some point.
Billboards, mailers, Google listings, website optimization, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn are beneficial platforms to reach potential customers where they are. A hard push in the beginning can move the needle to developing a local customer base that is happy with the new company in town and start the word-of-mouth marketing.
Multi Channel Lead Generation Campaign
For lead generation, the main goal of the marketing campaign is to get in front of specific clients with an offer that drives action.
Example: Right before Christmas, a company wants to get in front of their potential client with a gift that can easily be purchased online for a loved one. We would want to run a campaign on multiple social media channels with the same message to the same demographic. As the potential buyer is watching on Instagram, they’ll see an add with a “buy now” call-to-action and then again when they switch over to TikTok. After seeing the message a few times, they’ll say “Hey, I’ve seen that product somewhere and my wife would love it”. It’s rare to see a potential buyer see an Advertisement once and immediately jump to action. These campaigns can run weeks or months to generate interest and then action.
Retention and Loyalty
Multi channel marketing gives small businesses the opportunity to show themselves as a real company to build trust. This approach also offers a way to cater specific offers to specific clients to incentivize them to return. The access to quick responses on social media channels can help a small business interact with their community on closer level. Consistency across multiple channels will help a potential customer really see the small business.
What Channels Should Your Small Business Use?
The minimum channels a small business should be using in 2023 are Google, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. There are other opportunities in platforms like Pinterest, Reddit, Discord, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, and Twitch.
I’ll bring up the garage door company again as an example for which platforms would benefit getting in front of more customers in a new town.
The top 5 for sure, then Pinterest for new garage door installs for potential customers to view the beautiful custom garage doors that they make. Quora and Reddit to help answer questions about garage door issues to build them as an authority in the space.
New tools make it easy to keep your brand consistent like Canva’s Brand Templates and publish onto multiple platforms from one location with a Zappier Auto Post Function.
Developing a Multi Channel Marketing Strategy
The start of the strategy involves understanding the target client. Make up a fictional character and talk directly to them. Get some ideas from Hubspot’s Customer Profiles.
Once we understand WHO the person is, we can understand where they are hanging out by getting data from the social media giants as to the average demographics of people using their platforms. They’re asking for your age and sex when you’re signing up for a reason.
Here’s a great article outlining the demographics: Sprout Social Media Demographics.
From there, you’ll need to develop a consistent posting strategy that hits the different channels with a cohesive message.
An internal team can be tasked with design and text creation, but often it’s better to hire an agency to handle this.
It is so important to keep the communication personalized and targeted, so make sure you work with an agency that understands your business.
Challenges In Multi Channel
The biggest mistakes a small business makes on multi channel marketing are:
- Mixed voice/brand
- Missing key platforms
- No automation tools
- Too sales-oriented always trying to sell something
- Not able to measure effectiveness
- Can’t pivot quickly
- Not enough internal skills
To overcome these solutions, the easiest way is to work with an agency that understands your business. You’ll cost yourself more in the long run by not bringing on an agency that can help with multi channel marketing.
What Does The Future Look Like?
How does a small business stay ahead of an evolving landscape?
We saw great success for companies that adopted Google My Business listings early as their competitors did not have any presence in the space.
As the marketing changes towards the future, it’s important to stay up with trends and at least dabble in new platforms while staying strong in major platforms.
I believe that AI will shake the world of marketing to it’s core and we’re going to see a lot of changes. Companies that embrace the help that artificial intelligence can offer will be able to surpass their competitors in the same space.
With Google Search rolling out Bard with collaboration with Adobe Firefly, we’re going to see a major shift in the way that people interact with AI. Instead of the +plumber +near +me, we’re going to see more natural speech emerge like “my sink is leaking all over the floor and I need someone to help me before my house gets ruined”. The context we give the AI will help it determine the best course of action for us and serve the business that is best suited for our needs. Imagine that AI understands which plumber would be available at 2AM because it knows who picks up the phone at that hour for an emergency. We’re only seeing a glimpse of the capabilities now, but as we move forward, it’s going to create a whole new technology for humans to rely on.
Now is the time to start a multi channel marketing strategy.
Use platforms that your customers are engaged with to reach them more strategically.
Hire a digital marketing agency like Clear Skies Marketing Group to guide you through the quickly changing landscape.
I’m available for consults, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.