Omnichannel marketing – still hot and happening
In the old world of traditional marketing, it would be press, outdoor and television. That involved logistical issues, managing teams and vendors across physical geographies and the popular jargon was 3600 marketing. In digital, it’s Omnichannel – using several digital modes to deliver the marketing message.
The costs and resources required to execute are substantial. Email may be low-cost at one level but it requires proper segmentation, ensuring that you don’t flood inboxes and get the messaging right to keep prospects or customers coming back for more. Social media advertising may be less expensive but over time, the costs add up when you have to target customers across multiple platforms. And simply adapting posts will not bring about the results required.
What works on Instagram many not have the same allure on Snapchat. Or Pinterest. In each of these, the audience interest points change subtly or even dramatically. They are in a different frame of mind when they leave one app and slide into the next one. Like we adjust our social conversations depending on the company we are in. Office conversations are different from the ones at home with parents and that again changes with friends.
HubSpot helps manage the complexity
Even after adapting creative to various channels, they have to be scheduled, released and monitored. HubSpot offers a single point execution and that changes the game for marketers. They gain granular control, in addition to being able to understand how audiences in each of the channels are reacting.
Omnichannel marketing works when you determine what channels to concentrate on, instead of just maintaining a presence
An omni channel approach is good but at the end of the day, spreading the marketing message too thin makes depth and connecting with core customers harder over time. What needs to be tracked is where customers engage and convert best. Then, that can become the prominent channel for conversations.
FOMO drives most marketing strategy. Getting to the platform that has the most traction, even without any relevance. Instead, careful analysis of customer behaviour, not competitor behaviour on platforms is a long-term solution. If a majority of your customers is on LinkedIn, there’s no need to be present on Instagram over time. Experiment by all means but dedicating resources to any of these activities beyond a point means money spent without commensurate returns.
There was a recent feature about a lady making substantial money (for an individual) on TikTok by selling Excel courses. Now, If Microsoft were to attempt something similar, it won’t get the same traction because people see the company differently and it is almost like role play. Besides, getting into every single digital stream dilutes focus to the point where it becomes counterproductive.
Instead of channels, experiment with modes
Most posts are combinations of text and images, whatever the channel. It makes sense to use video to reach a completely new set of prospects – the ones who don’t read and prefer to watch instead. Audio is another mode that is growing in popularity. And product information delivered through these modes expands the audience base and allows for fresh kinds of interactions.
Video and audio are going to be big as bandwidth costs drop and the base of users increase. Video especially allows for better storytelling in a concise, impactful and consistent form.
Channelise content modes, including video and audio. That helps discover new audiences and build traction.
And these two are genuinely different ‘channels’. The expertise required to create content is evolving, but it will stand companies in good stead later. And establish a lead because the ranking in text and images is hard to upset when competitors have been creating content for years.
As the internet evolves, augmented reality and virtual reality will be the next stages where brand battles will be fought. This will create a fresh set of competencies that need to be developed – and they depend on multimedia capabilities as the foundation.
Be where your customers congregate
It’s the one rule to follow. Even while customers switch between platforms, find out which one resonates best with your brand. For example, if it is to do with vacations and family time, Facebook and Instagram offer the best backdrop for interactions and conversion because it is what people are used to engaging with in that environment.
On LinkedIn, things get a lot more business oriented. While the occasional cat video may be posted, the conversations are about business and growth and technology. Twitter is more about engagement at a personal level by C level executives. Some of them spend an enormous amount of time growing their base and companies who have the right set of products will be able to draw their attention much faster when their own C level executives can engage directly.
The beginning, of course, is testing a hypothesis and figuring out what the data tells you. Assumptions can be made but at the end of the day, there is no doubt that data helps determine directions. Unless you use video and audio, you can never gauge how effective they may be.
That’s the true omnichannel approach, not merely posting on different platforms. Today, there are podcasts going into 3 and 4 hours per episode. That kind of attention from the target audience is a marketer’s dream state. But it won’t happen unless podcasts are first recorded, tried out and engagement tracked.
HubSpot is your lab for every single content experiment. Or for tracking what works best. Do what you like in a limited way to begin with. Study audience behaviour and then adapt to what prospects provide feedback on. They may not comment but the time spent is a good indicator.
Talk to our consultants on starting and executing an omnichannel strategy. We’ll be glad to provide details.