The Skinny on Omni-Channel Marketing

     

Published: June 5, 2017

A “marketing channel” refers to the various ways that customers will contact and interact with your brand. From traditional print channels like newspapers and magazines to digital channels like social media, blogs, and smartphone apps, today’s consumers flip between different forms of media without fully realizing it. What this means for you is that you not only need to be present on a variety of channels, but also that the experience for the user must be a seamless one.

Enter Omnichannel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing means engaging your audience on a variety of channels. Omnichannel marketing means taking that multi-channel experience to the next level by providing an integrated experience for the reader. 
 
Your goals for a successful omnichannel marketing strategy should be consistent and cohesive content on all of your channels. The look, feel, style, and tone of your content should all match and relate to the others. It should bring readers from one channel to another effortlessly, and your content should be recognizable wherever it appears. Sound like a tall order? Maybe, but it’s the only way to market across channels effectively.

Tips for Successful Omnichannel Marketing
Let’s take a look at three aspects of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy:
  1. Cohesive Messaging. It is important for all of your content to reflect your brand’s identity and goals. You can achieve this by building your strategy first, and then creating content for different channels at the same time.

  2. Consistent Look. It is absolutely critical that your content has the same look and feel across every channel. Customers must be able to immediately identify your branding before reading a single word.

  3. Movement Across Channels. Achieving this takes lots of planning and a lot of “putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.” You want your content to direct people to different channels when it’s appropriate to expand their experience. Getting this right means truly understanding the different paths your customers take as they move toward a sale.
Thinking About Your Customer’s Journey
Every business is different so there’s not going to be one good way to bring customers across different channels. However, if you spend some time observing what your customers are doing now, finding where they seem to get stuck, and listening to what they are asking for, then you can find the method that’s right for you.
 
To help get you thinking, here are two big brands that are putting omnichannel marketing to work:
  • Kohl’s. This clothing giant knows that their customers want good deals and easy shopping. One way they make this happen is by providing a “store mode” for the smartphone app that searches the inventory of a store as well as any available coupons or discounts. They have also improved their mobile wallet to store and retrieve accumulated rewards so customers can shop in-store or online without having to worry about keeping track of digital rewards and paper ones.

  • Starbucks. The coffee giant is possibly dominating the smartphone-app arena by continually working to integrate the in-store experience with smartphone capabilities. The app allows customers to track and reload gift cards and rewards, and recently Starbucks has implemented a way for customers to order and pay from their phone and pick up in-store to save time. The app is also packed with information, promotions, and links to other content around the web so consumers feel in control and connected at all times.
Making it Work for You
Your business may not be big enough to warrant a heavy investment in smartphone apps and integrations, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from smaller efforts. For example, simply maintaining consistency across blogs, social media content, and printed materials will go a long way toward improving the customer’s experience and in the end, that’s what omnichannel marketing is all about. 

Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing, Omnichannel Marketing, Omni-Channel
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