You know that old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one basket? This also applies to your marketing strategy. It’s almost inconceivable that in 2016, almost 2017, there are some businesses out there that only focus on one marketing channel. Whether it’s PPC, SEO, social, marketplaces or email, having tunnel vision on one channel is usually not a good idea.
Whenever I talk to people about multichannel marketing, I usually hear one of two things:
1. “I don’t have the time/budget/staff/know-how, etc.”
2. “Why should I care about SEO/PPC/content/social/email marketing when I’m making so much on eBay and Amazon?”
Well, keep reading to find out…
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is exactly what it sounds like: It’s diversifying your presence instead of focusing on any one individual channel as your source of income and/or traffic. The main goal is to make your business as visible and as easy to access as possible — no matter where your customers are.
Why is Multichannel Marketing Important?
Multichannel marketing better serves and engages with your customers and makes it easier for people to complete transactions at your (digital or physical) stores. When done correctly, the strategy both helps your bottom line and delights your customers.
Some shoppers like to search on Google for deals while others go straight to Amazon. Some won’t buy a thing from your business unless they know more about who you are and what you stand for. Others don’t care and are willing to accept their friends’ recommendations on social media. Regardless, all those people have money they want to spend — so why not be there to help them do it?
How do the Channels Interact With and Affect Each Other?
Marketing does not exist in a bubble. There once was a time when all you needed was a couple bucks on AdWords and boom, you had traffic. Times have changed.
Unless your brand suddenly goes viral with consumers, you won’t be ranking on search engines anywhere near where you want to be. This is where paid social media marketing, referral traffic, marketplaces and content marketing come in.
Or, let’s say you made a sale and want to keep that customer engaged afterwards? SEO, marketplaces and PPC aren’t going to be your best marketing options. Instead, you’ll need timely email marketing, retail marketing and some social media campaigns to increase engagement with your brand. The same strategy should be used if you’re having a flash sale on your site or a scheduled event at your physical store.
Maybe you’ve established your brand in the market and just want to keep your name out there. Then you’ll want a great organic SEO strategy that includes content marketing, a good and steady social media presence, a regular email marketing campaign to your loyal customers and a solid PPC strategy.
Each channel has its own unique purpose but they all complement each other. Neglecting one is like putting together a puzzle with missing pieces: you can do it but the picture isn’t complete.
Benefits of a Multichannel Marketing Strategy
Look, marketplaces are great. If you’re doing well, congratulations. But imagine the sales you could be doing if you developed your marketing options alongside your marketplace efforts. Some of the benefits of adding in a multichannel strategy to your existing marketplace presence include:
- Increased Brand Presence – Be on every channel because your customers and your competitors probably are.
- Higher Search Engine Results – What happens when someone searches your brand or store on Google or Bing? Do they see your dated website and a bunch of BBB complaints? Or do they see your Facebook profile, your website, your recent blog articles and more things you want people to see? You need SEO and PPC right here.
- Better Reputation Management — This goes back to the one above. If the only thing that comes up when someone searches your name is a bunch of ancient posts, bad reviews or random citations that doesn’t inspire much confidence. A good SEO campaign can help tons here.
- More Brand Building — Yes, you’re on Amazon and we all know them but guess what: you need people to know who you are. SEO, PPC, social media and other channels provide you with an excellent way to let your customers get to know your brand and, in turn, build trust.
- Increased Customer Engagement — While Amazon and other marketplaces have Q&A sections to let your customers ask questions, it’s just not the same as talking to them on social media and it’s definitely not the same as keeping previous customers coming back with a great email marketing campaign.
- Visible Sales & Promotions — Having a flash sale? Special event at your store? Well, if you’re only on marketplaces, no one is going to know. Channels like retail, social and email really can get those time sensitive announcements out to customers far better than a marketplace can.
Ready to Get Started?
You’ve probably already started some of these tactics already. You most likely just need to better understand how they all work together. Once you realize exactly how each channel affects the others, it’ll all start to flow together and become second nature to you.
Need a hand? That’s what ChannelAdvisor’s here for! Contact us today and see how we can help you become a multichannel marketing powerhouse!