Lest you think the marketing world hasn’t undergone a major change in the past decade or so, consider the process of learning to ride a bike.
If you had to learn today, though, you’d probably go to Facebook for advice and search online for an article or two to help you get started.
You’d then see several bicycles popup later while you surfed the web, further reinforcing your decisions about what equipment to buy as you set out on your new adventures.
“That’s the seamless experience that omni-channel marketing creates for the audience,” Rebekah said at the outset of her Inbound talk, “How to Scale Successful Omni-Channel Marketing Campaigns.”
That experience can also be daunting, as the proliferation of content can muddy the waters just as often as it can clarify things for consumers — a full 71 percent of whom say that they rely upon the internet to help them make buying decisions.
“This is a fundamental shift in how we communicate,” Rebekah said, but to harness its power, she cautioned that businesses need more than just an online presence.
3 Keys to Success in Omni-Channel Marketing
To make the most of omni-channel marketing campaigns, Rebekah said that businesses need to focus on creating consistency and smoothing the buyer’s journey.
She offered three main ways to make this happen:
1. Get Clear on the Journey
The old-school buyer’s journey — awareness, consideration, decision — is outdated, Rebekah said. It also tended to put sales and marketing departments at odds with each other, especially since “72 percent of B2B sales end in a ‘no’ or ‘no decision’.”
On the other hand, omni-channel marketing provides multiple ways to reach an audience, and that can help unify the goals of sales and marketing teams.
Rebekah recommended merging all online and offline channels with your store, app and product to create a consistent customer experience. “It’s simple to understand, but tough to get it right,” she said.
To illustrate successful integration, Rebekah gave the example of the way the Best Buy app pushes location-based coupons to users when they enter the store.
They’re more likely to purchase, and they also feel catered to, as their needs were met in the moment, even when they weren’t actively researching Best Buy and their products on the web.
“You need to take them from one device or network to another without missing a beat,” she concluded.
2. Build Your Content Strategy
Rebekah’s biggest piece of advice for marketers? “Figure out who you want to connect with, and write to a specific reader.”
To this end, she recommended using Google Analytics for attribution modeling to learn what creates conversion instead of relying on assumptions about your customers. “Audits can be eye-opening,” Rebekah said.
Especially important is to prioritize your content marketing goals. Choose and rank which of these outcomes you want to focus on:
- Building brand awareness
- Generating new users
- Attracting and retaining users
- Innovating and providing thought leadership
- Engaging your audience
All are worthy goals, but your whole company needs to be on the same page about which ones you’ll prioritize to streamline your content.
Once you’ve defined your audience and have a strategy in place to reach them, remember that your content is not an end goal in itself. “It’s a catalyst to retention and satisfaction,” Rebekah said.
To implement your content strategy, Rebekah suggested beginning with a single objective from the list above and identifying three key results that will show you when you’ve reached that objective.
Set a baseline and benchmarks to track your progress, or you won’t know what success looks like.
Rebekah also suggested focusing only on data and metrics that matter to all areas of your business — engineers, sales, customer service, etc. — to get the most out of your work.
The final step of a smart content marketing strategy, Rebekah said, is to measure the impact of your content.
Once you identify what is successful, you can leverage and re-purpose those pieces across social media and repackage them seasonally to get more use out of them.
3. Leverage Social Media
“Social media supports everything,” Rebekah said, “but it’s not its own strategy.”
To make social media work for you, you should flip the buyer’s journey. Instead of blasting out your message with a bullhorn, you need to make your audience want to come to you.
She recommended a deep social media audit to see where your audience is coming from — and to check out your competitors. Once you see where your messages are most likely to be heard — and engaged with — create a posting plan and schedule.
When you have clear guidelines laid out, it’s much easier to measure engagement and find correlations to the time of day you post and the types of messages your audience responds to best.
“It’s harder than ever to be seen,” Rebekah concluded.
To make your customers notice, you need to be flexible and willing to market to them across all channels, so your message is in front of them at the very moment they are ready to act.
It should be a seamless, delightful journey for your buyers.
Elizabeth T is a talented freelancer available here at WriterAccess. Find out how our clients have connected with expert freelance writers to create powerful stories on behalf of their companies and agencies.