You know that old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one basket? This also applies to your marketing. It’s 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, tunnel vision on one channel is usually not a good idea at all. It’s almost as bad as having your entire marketing strategy driven by giving a kid a couple bucks to stand next to the highway and spin a sign – which I honestly can’t believe still happens but I’ll save my thoughts on that for another day.
Whenever I talk to people about multichannel marketing, I usually hear one of two things:
- Look, I know I should be concerned about different channels but, really, I don’t have the time/budget/staff/knowhow, etc.
- Why should I care about SEO/PPC/Content/Social/Email Marketing when I’m making so much on eBay and Amazon?
Well, keep reading and find out.
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is exactly what it sounds like: It’s diversifying your presence and not just focusing on any one individual channel as your source of income and/or traffic. Also known as Omnichannel Marketing, the main goal is to make your business as visible and as easy to access no matter where your customers are from store retail locations to Social Media Platforms and everywhere in between.
Why is Multichannel Marketing Important?
I’ll answer that the simplest way possible: Multichannel Marketing is important to better serve and engage with your customers and to make it easy as possible for people to give you money. When done correctly it helps your bottom line and delights your customers.
It’s all about customers. Some people like to search on Google for deals when they shop while others always 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 but others don’t care and are willing to accept their friends’ recommendations on Social Media. All those people have money they want to spend so why not be there to help them do it?
Ok, I Sort of Get It. Can You Explain these ‘Channels’ a Bit More?
Sure I can.
- SEO: This is my personal area of expertise. Organic (unpaid) Traffic from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
- PPC: Short for ‘Pay-per-click’ this is your Paid traffic on Search engines, most commonly via Google AdWords.
- Social Media Marketing: Paid and Organic (focus on paid if you actually want results) advertisements and Content Strategy on Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and more.
- Content Marketing: These are your blogs, infographics, videos and things like that.
- Email Marketing: Email newsletters, sales blasts, autoresponders and more. Yes, email marketing is still a thing and it works. Boy, does it EVER work.
- Marketplaces: Also known as the big guys of eCommerce. Amazon, eBay, Jet, Walmart.com and more.
- Retail: This is your physical location promotional stuff like store signage, events and more – including that guy you paid ten bucks for an hour of sign spinning on I-40.
- Referral: This is for all other sites and entities that send traffic to you via links and the like.
Simple enough, right?
I See. How Do They Effect 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, traffic. Well, you can still do this today in theory, but due to quality scores, you’re going to be paying through the nose the second a competitor comes in with a good Content Marketing and SEO strategy.
Conversely, if you’re a brand new business with a site that sells shirts, do you really think you’re going to rank number one organically on Google with even the world’s best SEO strategy? Even if you ranked, who’s going to buy from a place that no one has ever heard of? This is where paid Social Media Marketing, Referral Traffic, Marketplaces and Content Marketing come in.
Made a sale and want to keep your customers engaged afterwards? Having a Flash Sale on your site or a scheduled event at your physical store? Needless to say, SEO, Marketplaces and PPC probably aren’t going to be the way to go for that and you’ll need timely Email Marketing, Retail and Social Media campaigns to promote these.
Established yourself and now you need 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 to make sure no one sneaks up and gets in ahead of you.
Each channel has its own unique purpose but they all complement each other. If you neglect one, it’s like putting a jigsaw puzzle together while you’re missing a few pieces: you can do it but the picture isn’t complete.
Got it. But Who Has Time To Do All This?
It’s really not that time consuming because they all flow so naturally into each other. For example, let’s say you want to do AdWords. Sure, you can just start doing paid ads but if you want to maximize your advertising budget, you need a solid SEO strategy because that will make your site easy to find and relevant, which will decrease your spend and help you win more auctions. Well, as we all know (or at least should by now!) a quality SEO campaign is driven by quality Content Marketing like blog articles which you can copy into your Social Media Channels and maybe even put into your next email marketing campaign.
See how easy that was?
OK, But Why Should I Care When I Got All That Sweet Marketplace Money Coming In?
Ok, look. Marketplaces are the meat and potatoes over at my day job so no one, especially me, is telling you to stop selling on marketplaces! That being said, there are pros and cons of using marketplaces and there are also many advantages to focusing on your own site and building that up alongside your marketplace efforts. The ones that immediately come to mind are:
- Brand Presence. Be on every channel because your customers probably are – and so are your competitors just waiting to take their money.
- Search Engine Results Page Presence. Yes, you’re on Amazon but what happens when someone searches your name? Do they see your official website you haven’t updated since 1997 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.
- 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 on directories with weird names, that doesn’t inspire much confidence. A good SEO campaign can help tons here.
- Brand Building. Yes, you’re on Amazon and we all know them but, guess what: no one knows you. SEO, PPC, Social Media and other channels provide you with an excellent way to let your customers know who you are, not the platform, and build trust.
- 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.
- 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 marketplaces.
Sounds Great! Where do I Start?
You’ve probably already gotten some of these underway already, you most likely just need to flesh these out and understand how they all come together. Once you realize exactly how each channel effects the others, it will all start to flow together and become second nature.
Do yourself, your marketing department and your bottom line a favor: take a line from the Gza: