Let me first start with the “Why”. It’s a very simple answer. In order for a brand to resonate with someone, they need to see it seven times or more. So, if you’re only reaching customers two or three times a week via Facebook or Instagram, your business may not be getting the recognition you’re looking for.
And as we all know, once consumers recognise your brand, they’ll be more inclined to learn more about you and what you offer. Once trust and credibility are formed, customers are more likely to make an initial purchase. And this is where the real value of a multi-channel approach comes in.
Once the initial purchase is made, you can use a variety of different marketing activities to keep that customer engaged and make sure that your business remains top of mind for them when it comes to their next purchase.
Which brings me to the “What”.
What is Multichannel Marketing? Simply put, multichannel marketing means not putting all your eggs in one basket and using a variety of marketing activities that work together with an end goal in mind. And that end goal is to ultimately help you grow your business.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how a multichannel approach could work for the owner of a local retail store with an ecommerce offering.
1. Building Awareness:
Social Media: Choose the platforms that best suit your target audience and post engagingly and frequently. Focus on who you are and what you sell. But remember the 20% rule – only 20% of your posts should focus on direct sales – the remaining 80% can focus on “behind the scenes”, testimonials, or stories relating to your products. Facebook ads are a great way to increase awareness and allow you to focus on different objectives and audiences. Running competitions are another option of engaging Followers and potentially growing Follower numbers – although, always take care to follow the rules – you don’t want your account to be penalised before you’ve even begun!
Store Merchandising: Your store window provides a wonderful blank canvas for you to be as creative as you like in promoting your business! Use this opportunity to grab attention. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for easy to create window displays that won’t break the bank!
Sponsorships: As a local business, any support that you are able to provide to the community will always be gratefully received. And, it’s a great way to get your name out there. Sponsoring sports teams, town events, local charities gives you the opportunity to give back as well as build awareness.
Advertising: This is where digital marketing really comes into its own. Google AdWords allows you to create a suite of defined, targeted ads that can promote your brand as a whole or drill down into specific products. As with all marketing activities however, it’s very important that you have your goals, audience demographics and messaging clearly defined before creating your ads, otherwise you will find that your budget is used up very quickly!
Another, more traditional channel, you might want to consider, is radio. According to JNLR listenership figures issued in June 2019, 82% of people in Ireland listened to the radio. And whilst the national radio stations may be out of reach from a budget perspective and indeed may reach too broad of an audience, local radio can also provide a good medium to create awareness.
2. Increase Sales:
Customer Reward Schemes: These are a great way to maintain engagement with a customer post purchase. Whether they buy in-store or on-line, offering them the opportunity to avail of “exclusive” deals and discounts, or build up reward points, encourages repeat sales and gives you the opportunity to continue reaching them through targeted, personalised email marketing. The key here is (1) always adhere to GDPR data requirements and (2) never bombard customers with too many emails as you may end up annoying them and if they unsubscribe, it will be difficult to re-engage with them.
Maximise Your On-Line Store: I’ve spoken before about the importance of ensuring you have cart abandonment emails created for on-line shoppers. eCommerce stores provide a range of retargeting and remarketing opportunities, for example, you could create retargeting Facebook or AdWords ads for anyone who visits your website. These are a great way of gently reminding customers about your online store.
Referral Programmes: No matter how much money and effort you put into promoting yourself, there’s no more valuable recommendation than that from a friend. So, maximise your existing customer base. Reward them for promoting you and your products to their wider community.
As you can see, I’ve touched on a variety of marketing activities here that, when planned and implemented correctly, can work together to help you grow your business.
But don’t forget, for any marketing to be successful, you first need to identify the “Who”. If you don’t clearly identify your target audience, what they’re looking for, and how and where they like to consume information (for example which social media platform, or depending on the age bracket, which traditional media outlets such as print or radio), then you will find that your budget will be used up very quickly without the results you were looking to achieve.
If you’d like to talk some more about how a multi-channel marketing strategy can help you and your business grow, please give me a ring – I’d love to talk to you.