Multichannel selling is about increasing exposure for your product beyond your website and exploring other ways to sell including marketplaces, social media, and comparison shopping engines (Google Shopping).
The concept is simple: be where your customers are. However, execution looks a lot more like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Competing for attention in crowded spaces like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping is challenging, requiring sellers to win over paying customers by creating individual user experiences.
But like a jigsaw puzzle, a thriving multichannel sales operation benefits from being able to see the whole picture. In this article, we will walk you through five strategies to boost your online visibility and optimize your conversion rate.
What is multichannel marketing?
A multichannel marketing campaign is a coordinated plan targeting multiple lead acquisition channels. The goal is to unify the customer experience on the channels where your customers are. Well-planned multichannel marketing helps you make the most of your online presence without costing an arm and a leg.
To be successful, you need to evaluate user behavior on each platform to develop strategies to engage your target audience and monetize each engagement. An orchestrated effort using a well-designed plan will improve engagement and profits.
One of the single most differentiating factors between small businesses and large corporations is the lack of a centralized marketing approach. This lowers ROI and jeopardizes your online presence. While it might appear that your sales funnel is leaking, the reality is that your marketing efforts are spread too thin and lack focus on or optimization of any one particular channel. Your efforts are better spent leveraging creative work from one channel to apply to another.
The good news is that any business can do this using the right tools and applying the five strategies outlined below. These are based on time-tested principles and provide a replicable roadmap to improve your online sales.
1. Build an integrated content stack based on research
The first step to boosting multichannel selling is market research – you need to understand where your target audience hangs out and why. This includes analyzing engagement patterns and user behavior. Begin by analyzing those channels where your company already has a presence. Then study different marketing channels that might be suitable for your products. Learn the number of ways to monetize your products on all of the platforms available to you as well as the marketing tools available on each platform.
Analyze industry benchmarks to understand the return on investment (ROI) you can generate from each channel. Identify which channels are more likely to generate sales. Learn how each channel works independently and as part of an integrated approach to multichannel marketing.
Using this research, develop an integrated content stack that can be repackaged and used on all your marketing channels. To do this, create a brand style guide that ensures consistency. Your brand style guide will serve as the guiding document for your marketing team.
Include a comprehensive library of content including ebooks, short- and long-form blogs, social blasts, headlines, etc. Your content library should contain all the templates used on each of the channels where you are present using channel-specific vocabulary and monetization methods. When created effectively, your target audience should be able to quickly identify your company no matter what type of content is posted.
2. Create a centralized branding and marketing strategy that includes a cross-platform feedback mechanism
Multichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy to build your presence on various channels, devices, and platforms. It is also an effective strategy to connect with your target audience on the platforms they prefer. However, you will need to establish a cross-platform feedback mechanism to streamline the user and customer experience.
Establish a cross-platform feedback mechanism that centralizes your branding and marketing strategies and governs the pathway once a lead is captured. Not only does this integration provide a feedback mechanism, it also can increase ROI.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of your sales funnels and requisite automations. These will support multichannel marketing by reducing duplication and capturing warm leads. In short, the inputs received from a user on one platform can be used to make changes on other platforms depending on its relevance. This automation optimizes the buyers’ journey.
3. Distribute personalized content using individual sales funnels
A personalized approach that considers the customer journey adds value to your marketing message. Using a multichannel approach, you will need to develop content targeting each channel using channel-specific vocabulary and monetization methods. In the end, you will have a truly valuable resource that can be used on all your sales platforms but it does require a heavy upfront time investment.
Concentrate your efforts on one channel at a time. Repackage the process to coordinate campaigns on other channels. Keep in mind the objectives of your marketing and branding efforts. Add value to the customer journey and help them connect with your brand. Focus on increasing content relevance with channel-native qualities while incorporating dedicated sales funnels. This will enable you to make coordinated changes congruent with your overall sales strategy based on revenue streams and user behavior.
Ultimately, you will have multiple channel-specific sales funnels that use customized content geared towards each target audience.
4. Review analytics to optimize marketing campaigns
Analytics are the key to coordinated marketing efforts. Each platform has some form of analytic tools to help you determine engagement and overall success of each campaign. These tools allow businesses to restructure their outreach strategy in real-time to respond to consumer desires.
When a campaign is successful on one channel, leverage the information to cross-pollinate other platforms with the same campaign using channel-specific language based on the content templates you created. Use indicators from various sources to shape your marketing activities and operations in real-time.
The benefit of multichannel marketing is the ability to create a synergy between channels which help you appear like a larger brand.
5. Integrate sales funnels to nurture customers along different touchpoints
Integrate sales funnels with tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software, inventory management software, and other martech solutions to streamline the customer journey. Sales funnels should be coordinated with drip campaigns, cross-channel communications, discounts and offers, retargeting, remarketing, and customer queries.
No matter where your customers begin their journey, you will need to maintain a unified lead nurturing plan throughout the buying journey. As an example, you may make a sale on Facebook but continue to nurture that lead using email marketing, or customers may seek support through direct messaging but expect in-mail ticketing and resolution reporting.
A lead nurturing campaign is a way to upsell to your customers while offering value at each touchpoint.
Overcoming challenges in multichannel marketing with DEAR Systems
Multichannel marketing can be an effective way to reach your customers, but as your business grows, the system becomes time consuming and tricky to manage without investing a significant amount of time. Maintaining focus on maximizing revenue and relevance is a continuous process.
Using a standardized marketing system is the best way to streamline your marketing process and avoid bottlenecks – regardless of the platforms you use. While collaboration and marketing prowess are at the center of any successful multichannel marketing plan, having the tools to implement the plan are essential.
DEAR Systems provides the backend support needed to orchestrate your multichannel marketing efforts while maximizing efficiency and profitability – coupled with these five strategies to boost multichannel selling.