As a small business owner, you understand the value of marketing and digital marketing strategies. You know that by putting in the work, you can get better results for lead generation, online visibility, local search rankings, and other important marketing metrics. You also likely know how difficult it is to get a marketing program successfully launched and keep up with it.
Marketing tools and automation software like Surefire Local can go a long way in helping small businesses and their owners take control of their marketing activities. But it also helps to develop better overall strategies for your marketing efforts so that you can get the best results without overwhelming your already busy plate.
Multi-channel marketing is a philosophy in digital marketing that can help you target a wider audience with more effective methods than a single-channel approach. In this article, we’ll discuss the most effective multi-channel marketing strategy for small business owners and help you understand how marketing software can help you in the long run.
Introduction to Multi-Channel Marketing
To begin, let’s define what multi-channel marketing is.
Multi-channel marketing mixes different platforms, distribution channels, and promotional channels into a unified strategy for your marketing program. It helps you communicate your value to as many relevant audiences as possible by using the strengths of different marketing platforms in the same strategy.
In today’s increasingly complicated digital landscape, it’s crucial to have a multi-channel marketing strategy. No business of any size is able to completely run its marketing through a single channel only. Instead, you need to dip your toes into many different channels and use the combined strength of those platforms to build an effective marketing approach that successfully works for your business model.
Understanding Customer Engagement
In order to understand multi-channel marketing, you first need to understand customer engagement. Customer engagement is the way in which customers interact with and learn about your brand. That might include coming across a social media post on their feed, signing up for a newsletter, listening to a podcast, clicking on an ad, following your accounts, buying a product, or purchasing a service of yours.
Customer engagement is significant because it is the cornerstone of relationship building between your business and your customers. It helps you build brand loyalty and provide more value than just a product or service to your customer base. It also helps you grow your business through word-of-mouth marketing and reviews from your most engaged customers. The more engagement you can build with your customers, the more likely they are to come back and give you more business in the future.
The Power of Multiple Touchpoints
Combining multi-channel marketing with customer engagement leads to the idea of multiple touchpoints. A touchpoint is an interaction point your brand has with a customer. The more touchpoints you can create with a potential customer, the easier it will be to convince them to purchase from your business. A multi-channel marketing strategy allows you to create these essential touchpoints on multiple platforms.
For example, a customer journey might start with someone seeing an ad for your business on a website they frequent. Then they see a boosted post on social media and go explore your profile. From there, they visit your website and download a guide. That gives you their email information, so you can drop them into an ongoing email marketing campaign. Through that campaign, they click a link to go to a landing page and purchase an item. They then leave a review for that item on your business profile and join your loyalty program.
All of these interactions and engagements are touchpoints. And they happened across multiple marketing channels. If you only were involved in social media, or expected your website to do all the work, you never would have had this customer journey. Multi-channel marketing allows you to create unique touchpoints that guide leads through their journey to become your customers.
Types of Marketing Channels
There are many types of marketing channels. Some are more frequently utilized than others, but they all can be a positive part of your multi-channel marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common channels that are used and how they help improve your engagement levels.
- Social Media: Social media is great for customer engagement. It allows you to speak one-on-one with customers, answer questions, post relevant content to their feeds, and track follower conversions.
- Email: Email is another one-to-one communication channel for marketing. You can get a message like a deal, a promotion, or a new product or service in the inbox of your leads and customers to get more engagement from link clicks.
- Website: Your website is really the core of your business. It’s where you try to funnel your leads so they can learn more about your business, and your offerings, and figure out the next steps in order to become a customer.
- Directory Listings: A directory listing is another key channel you can use to increase engagement. With an online directory listing you can answer questions, respond to reviews, offer links to your website or social media platforms, and give your contact information for direct messaging.
- Review Platforms: A review platform is another channel that helps you increase your engagement with customers. You can reply directly to reviews, thanking customers for positive feedback or apologizing for less desirable experiences. You can also utilize your good reviews for further marketing opportunities.
Creating an Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing Software for Your Small Business
Having a multi-channel strategy isn’t an optional approach for small businesses that want to succeed in the modern digital landscape. You need to consider all of your marketing activities from a multi-channel approach in order to successfully grow your business.
However, this doesn’t come without challenges. One of the biggest roadblocks to a successful multi-channel marketing strategy is trying to align messaging and branding across channels. Each channel is unique, but each should have the same core values and messaging, so customers can have stability in their touchpoints. Having a strong branding strategy that centers around the value you provide can help you remain consistent with your channels.
Personalization Across Channels
Multi-channel marketing is all about balance. You need to balance out having the same values on each channel with personalizing it enough to make your messaging fit into the style of each platform. For example, you might have social media profiles for TikTok and LinkedIn. The core of what your business does should remain the same, but there should be enough personalization that TikTok remains fun and LinkedIn remains professional.
By personalizing the experience on each channel you utilize in your multi-channel approach, you can increase engagement and get better results from your touchpoints. People want the content they consume on different platforms and channels to fit with the experience they go to that platform to get.
Utilizing Data for Insights
Another important part of your multi-channel marketing strategy is to collect data to make better insights and more informed decisions in the future. Trying to get information from multiple channels and pull it into a single, cohesive report is one of the biggest challenges of multi-channel marketing. However, you need to do this in order to succeed.
Using technology and analysis platforms in conjunction with your multiple channels can help you gather the right details to get insights that can be leveraged to refine marketing strategies and improve engagement on all your channels.
Leveraging Surefire Local’s Platform
Crafting an effective multi-channel marketing strategy for small business owners requires the right support. At Surefire Local, we provide marketing and business intelligence software that is designed to make marketing, including multi-channel marketing, easier for small business owners. Our platform facilitates multi-channel marketing campaigns by being an all-in-one solution for marketers.
All of your marketing channels are accessible on the Surefire Local platform, so you don’t need multiple logins and different tools to create an amazing multi-channel campaign. You can also pull data and metrics from your multi-channel campaigns within the platform and get a real sense of what channels are working best and which need more work. With Surefire Local by your side, you can craft campaigns that center on engagement and track each touchpoint in a customer’s journey with simple and user-friendly tools.
To learn more about the capabilities of Surefire Local, schedule a demo of the platform today. There you’ll learn how you can leverage the power of Surefire Local in your multi-channel marketing approach to improve your results and get more customers coming your way.