Can you hear that? It’s the sound of Instagram influencers closing this tab, STAT.
All jokes aside, and we know it might be a hard truth to accept, but multi-channel marketing is (and honestly, always has been) a must for any business.
The recent Facebook Newsgate highlighted how easy it is for social media companies to change their platforms to negatively affect and, in some cases, outright ban company pages and users. Yes, they have now reversed that decision, but it’s been a necessary wake-up call for many brands and businesses.
When you consider the power social media companies hold over us as both businesses and consumers, it makes perfect sense to expand your marketing efforts beyond the scope of just one channel (sorry influencers, but it’s true!).
And we don’t mean just multiple social media channels because that’s a given, right? It’s important to utilise multiple marketing channels across social, digital and (shock horror) even traditional media marketing, including SEO, search, email, radio, and of course, the ever-changing social media platforms we know and love.
This way, regardless of the type of business you run, your multi-channel mix provides a safeguard against losing your entire audience due to circumstances outside of your control (ahem, the Facebook or Google gods changing everything. Again).
Let’s take a look at these other marketing channels and explore how you can use them as part of an overarching marketing strategy.
And if you don’t have a website, you should get it set up ASAP!
Your website is one of your only owned assets in the marketing mix, something you have sole control over. It’s the key point of contact for all potential customers and is usually where you’re driving traffic to through all other external marketing activities, both on and offline.
You also have the privilege of being able to control the messaging, meaning you can utilise your business’ branding, tone and key messages that your audience is already familiar with.
In essence, your website is the heart of your marketing efforts, so it’s crucial to get a good, effective website up and running before you start marketing your business elsewhere.
“If you want to hide a dead body, put it on the second page of Google search.”
After all, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google, according to Junto Digital, so the odds of a body being found are pretty low, don’t you think?
You might be wondering what this has to do with SEO. To put it simply, SEO helps you get out of that dreaded second page and brings your website to life on search (‘scuse the pun).
A successful SEO strategy will increase your search ranking, meaning you’ll continue to move up the listings on Google. If you have the highest ranking for any particular keyword, you’ll appear at the top of Google’s organic searches for that keyword, meaning potential audiences can easily spot you among the tangled mess that is the world wide web.
In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, the first three organic listings get a combined click-through rate of 55.2%, so if you’re not ranking at the top of that first page, it’s worth optimising your website for SEO.
Keep in mind that you want to be ranking for keywords relevant to your industry. Let’s say you’re a beauty brand, but you’re ranking in the top organic results for avocados (maybe the SEO on your avocado sheet mask is just absolute GOLD, who knows?!). Your website is likely landing in front of people who want to buy avocados, not your target audience of people who want to invest in beauty products. As a result, your high keyword ranking is irrelevant because it’s not actually attracting the audience you want to attract.
Do you know those top few searches that have a little “Ad” symbol next to it?
Those are SEM results, where companies create paid ad campaigns that target the best keywords for their industry, products or services. When users search for those keywords, they see the custom ads at the top of the search engine and the company only gets charged when a user clicks on their ad (AKA: the handy little pay-per-click model).
SEM is a great addition to your multi-channel marketing efforts because it increases your website’s reach and provides instant results. As soon as you launch a campaign, your ad starts showing up in search and as soon as you turn it off, they stop showing.
Quick, easy and effective? Check!
Another piece of owned media never hurt anyone!
Email marketing is so often replaced with social media marketing, with the idea that social media can be free, it’s easier to attract followers than email addresses (we’d beg to differ on that front) and you can reach a larger, more expansive network of your target audience.
The flipside, however, is that social media marketing relies on algorithms beheld by third parties that you have absolutely ZERO control over. There are so many factors affecting the distribution of your messages on social media that you can’t guarantee they’re actually landing in front of your audience (you know, those wonderful people who have shown interest in investing in your product/service/business? Let’s not forget about them!).
This is where email marketing comes in. When you’ve collated an email database, you can immediately open up a direct line of communication with this highly relevant audience. Your marketing communications are no longer subjected to the social media algorithms because they’re landing directly in the inbox of those who’ve shown a vested interest in your business.
What’s better? The average email open rate in 2021 is still 18%, with some industries reaching an open rate as high as 26%, according to Campaign Monitor, as opposed to organic social media reach rates as low as 2% on some platforms. This just goes to show how important it is to have effective email marketing to support your overall marketing efforts.
Ah, this old chestnut.
Yes, we’re revisiting all of our old favourites, including TV, radio, outdoor marketing and even press, despite being overlooked in recent years due to the allure of digital.
While results might not be as easy to measure, traditional marketing is essential if you want to build a memorable consumer brand. Traditional mediums are substantially more successful in creating memorable brands than digital, which is why digital giants, including UberEats and Netflix, still invest heavily in traditional channels. They know the quickest way to build a brand is to switch off the screens and take their marketing offline.
Like all marketing channels, it’s important to have clear objectives and keep an eye on your RoAS to be able to monitor your campaign performance. While it might be a little harder to adjust as quickly as a Facebook Ads campaign (a few clicks and a half-hour load time and you’re done, right?), it’s important to collate the data and use this to improve your traditional marketing performance in the future.
So, let’s take it back to the good ol’ days and create memorable marketing campaigns offline as well as online, shall we?
It’s not just about Facebook…
While Facebook Newsgate has ignited the conversation of multi-channel marketing, it’s always been a pivotal component of any good marketing strategy! By utilising other marketing methods like SEO, SEM, email and traditional media, you reap the rewards of having an extensive and cohesive marketing strategy that’ll attract audiences both on and offline.
We’re not saying you should forget about social media and only utilise these means. Instead, we’re saying you should consider the control (or lack thereof) you have over certain marketing methods and do what you can to grow your owned media channels.
After all, who knows what Facebook will do next? #ThanksZuck