To reach your audience, you need to be doing both on- and offline marketing. Before you scratch your head, wondering, “Weren’t marketing experts just telling me to go digital?” listen to this: when it comes to media, people want a digital-tangible blend. That’s become clear in marketing and business alike. Omnichannel strategies are effective because they harness this reality.
So how can your business reap the benefits of omnichannel marketing? And how does it work?
Tuning in to your customers’ need
Omnichannel marketing is not harnessing a trend, because neither digital nor tangible marketing materials are going anywhere soon. In the age of the smartphone, paperback and hardback books are on the rise in sales, vinyl records and tapes are making a comeback, and direct mail is seeing a surge in popularity. Why?
Digital communications are nearly universal because they’re quick and convenient, but consumers are also starting to feel digital burnout, and value time away from the screen. Digital represents a universe of quick information, but staying there can make your head spin. Dipping into the digital pool needs to be combined with a return to the solid world of the senses and face-to-face relationships.
When you embrace omnichannel marketing strategies, you’re tuning in to your customers’ need for balance. You’re meeting them where they are, whether on- or offline. But you’re also anticipating that, in a while, your audience will want to switch gears, and will be operating in a different channel. If you’re omnichannel, you’ve already got a presence in that new channel, too.
Making yourself easy to find
The point is not to be overly aggressive with a strategy or to be the ubiquitous presence in prospects and clients’ inboxes, mailboxes, and Twitter feeds. (That’s a recipe for getting tagged as spam.) The point is to make yourself easy to find. It is like a server at a restaurant who comes by at regular intervals and simply asks briefly whether you need anything, versus a server you can never find, or one who constantly comes by and interrupts your meal to chat.
Omnichannel marketing makes this far easier because you’re not relying on one avenue to get your message out. You can spread out ads, communications, and campaigns over emails, letters, business cards, postcards, social media posts, blog posts, and digital business channels like LinkedIn. You get increased exposure, and therefore an increased audience.
Another advantage is that the different channels interact, building on one another, even leading to one another, as when a postcard offers a free consultation, or a social media post guides readers to your website. Even when the message repeats many times, the medium doesn’t, so you don’t create advertising fatigue or lose attention through repetition of a message through an identical channel.
Becoming an industry leader through content
Content marketing is a powerful omnichannel tool. It’s more than a blog. It can cross over into video, eBooks, podcasts, or any place where you can share industry wisdom and advice.
Sharing content is one of the most powerful ways you can connect with potential clients and build existing relationships. By sharing content, you are offering a free service that, if well-curated and stocked with helpful information, readers will remember you. This adds to your credibility, builds readership, increases your standing on Google, shows off your expertise, and even targets particular audiences through topic selection and tone.
It’s sometimes recommended that when expanding content, businesses hire a professional copywriter. If you are a natural writer and have time for this task, excellent. But don’t struggle and waste precious leadership time. Most professional copywriters will either come from a relevant professional background and/or conduct their own research into your chosen topics. In any case, their content will be closely guided by you and your marketing team.
There are benefits to producing your own content, too. Giving your business a personal face is always important. And keeping the faces of your business upfront also helps connect your digital platforms with real life. Some leaders find success in connecting their businesses to their personal blog, for example, so that their personal brand boosts their company. This could work well if your name or blog are well-known, but your business isn’t getting the same level of attention.
Going out into the community
When’s the last time you thought of marketing as happening not only offline but outside your office? Some of the most fruitful connections are made when a business reaches outside of its walls—including its digital walls—to offer a free and relevant service to the community. Lectures, workshops, Q&A sessions, and open discussions about some aspect of your industry can be a great way to do this.
Think about your target audiences, but don’t be shy about expanding beyond them. If you handle investments for upper-middle-class baby boomers, try offering financial health workshops for college students, or host Intro to Investing 101 at a local library. Your audience will receive helpful information, and you can make the experience easy to continue by sharing brochures or business cards, connecting with them on social media, and pointing them to your website.
Making yourself known to your audience through multiple channels is vital. Though every option might not be a fit for your business right now, don’t be afraid to experiment. Get out of your comfort zone. Find what works for you, and dig in until you see the growth in revenue, respect, and relationships.
To explore your creative omnichannel marketing options with a professional partner, contact us at Range, a Deluxe company. We make it our business to grow other businesses through comprehensive marketing and communications services. Call today.