Whether you realize it or not, your brand has an entire ecosystem that usually spans several channels. Of course, you want your user experience to flow and remain consistent across each channel, but that is often easier said than done. That’s where omnichannel marketing comes in.
The omnichannel approach requires you to tailor your content strategy to connect your marketing channels so that your content flows easily between them, allowing your customers to have a more seamless experience as they transition from one channel to another. Providing an omnichannel experience for your leads and customers helps create a more cohesive experience throughout the customer journey.
And if you are thinking that you don’t have any channels, think again. You probably have more than you realize. Social media platforms, blogs, mobile apps, email campaigns, podcasts – these are all examples of different channels that you use to reach your customers. And creating a strategic content marketing plan that delivers relevant content to each digital marketing channel will help you reach more of your target audience in more places.
What are channels?
Simply put, channels are how your customers interact with your brand. Some of the more common channels include:
- Your Website
- Social Media Platforms
- Brand Blog
- Mobile Apps
- Email Marketing
Not only is the channel important, but so are the devices that customers use to access these channels. In the U.S., 91% of adults have a cell phone and 56% of those have a smartphone. The popularity of mobile devices makes it essential for businesses to have a mobile friendly website. (Not to mention the fact that Google seems to place favor on sites that are mobile friendly.)
When marketing on multiple channels, you want to keep your branding consistent. You want people to have the same great customer experience when they visit your website that they do when they visit your social media profile or talk to one of your representatives through SMS.
That is where content strategy comes in. Content strategy is the glue that holds it all together. When your customer visits your website, they will encounter the same tone, ideas, facts, that they would on your Facebook profile or on your blog. Consistency is key.
How do customers use and choose channels?
There are a number of reasons why customers choose certain channels when interacting with your business. The devices they have play a part, but often it comes down to convenience. It is faster and easier to make a phone call or engage a chatbot to see if you have a product in stock than it is to drive to your store and run the risk of you not having what they want.
It is easier to pull up your banking mobile app or access your account online than it is to drive to the ATM or go to the bank to get the same information. Potential customers who aren’t sure whether they want to do business with you or not may access your blog, e-commerce site, or social media profiles (did you know that 72% of Americans are on social media?) to get a feel for what your company is all about.
How can content connect your channels?
Content is integral in cross channel mapping. Great content can link channels and increase conversions by leading your customers from one channel to another.
Content also helps solidify your brand. Your customers come to know your brand before they buy from you. And one way that consumers get to know your brand is through your content. From the content on your website to the content on your company’s LinkedIn profile, it tells a story of what your business is like and what it stands for. When you take a multichannel approach to content marketing, you want to make sure that your customers have the same experience across touchpoints. That means that the messaging on your website should match the tone and style of your blog posts, social media posts, and emails.
Contrast that with companies that don’t put much stock in a multichannel content strategy, and the result is a Sybil-esque multi-personality experience. We’ve all seen at least one of these companies that does not unify its messaging across channels. It can be quite confusing to not know which personality you are going to interact with on a given channel.
It is unsettling and disconcerting. It’s hard to trust a company who doesn’t even know who they are.
Tips for creating a content strategy that flows between channels
How do you keep your content flowing seamlessly between channels? Here are a few tips to help you get started implementing an omnichannel strategy for your content:
- Create a brand persona. Give your brand a personality. Create a persona that defines your brand and speaks to your target audience. Then tell your brand story through the words of that persona.
- Develop a style guide. When you start developing content, a style guide is important. When you want consistent branding, it is a must. Decide on fonts, brand colors, logo, layout, types of graphics, every little thing that will allow you to remain consistent across all channels.
- Define your brand voice. Is your brand funny? Friendly? Down to business? Down to earth? Decide what your brand voice is and let it be reflected in all of your content. If you are casual on your blog, using slang and contractions, then don’t get stuffy and business-like on your social media. Many companies find a happy medium with a relaxed yet professional tone, but you know your brand best so find its voice and let it ring.
- Stay consistent. The importance of consistency across channels has been addressed, but it is so important it needs to be said again. Keep everything consistent especially when it comes to your content! Use the same logo (or logo version) and the same messaging across all digital content channels. Take a page from the books of major corporations like McDonald’s and Apple. They have consistency down to an art.
- Plan, plan, plan. It’s hard to successfully pull off omnichannel marketing if you don’t have it baked into your content strategy. Your content marketing strategy is not a fly by the seat of your pants endeavor. It takes planning and intention. It can be a pretty major project, so you may want to get the help of a content strategist. This person will help plan your content and oversee content management while making sure that your messaging and branding is consistent across channels.
Are you ready to tighten your content and get your brand messaging consistent? Our writers are ready to make it happen. Join us today and see what a difference quality content can make for your business.
Stephanie M’s works with businesses to create web content that leaps off the page (or screen) to inform, educate, and engage, leading to social sharing, conversion, and return visits. She does it: blog posts, articles, social media management, website content, press releases – you get the idea. Her work as an analyst/disaster response specialist with FEMA in Washington, D.C. gave her a unique insight into disaster prep, response, and recovery. She helped individuals and businesses recovering from major disasters (including hurricanes Katrina and Sandy) and provided educational material for disaster prep.