Change happens fast in the business world. And while it may seem like the entire sales and buying process has evolved with the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and social media, it’s really only the path consumers now take to make purchases that has changed, explains the National Retail Federation.
This is why your business need to embrace multi-channel marketing, a practice that allows customers to interact with your support staff in any number of ways, including email, online chat and social media.
According to Invesp, consumers who contact companies via one or more multi-channel options spend three-times more than those who don’t subscribe to this practice.
To attract customers willing to spend more time and money with your brand, consider these three multi-channel marketing trends:
1. Mobile-First Marketing
You already know your website and marketing campaigns need to be responsive and optimized for mobile visitors, but even ensuring this level of accessibility isn’t enough. According to experts, Google has removed its right-hand rail to showcase paid ads at the top and bottom of its search results.
Additionally, the Silicon Valley giant is also continuing to boost mobile-friendly rankings and is even penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. And if your company website doesn’t show up on Google, chances are you’re not getting much attention from your target market in the first place.
Today, optimizing your website for smartphones and tablets goes beyond providing an easier means for accessibility. In fact, you may need to rethink how to display certain features on your website in order for consumers to have an easier time digesting them. For instance, consider the following:
- Does your website really need those side bars to display information?
- Can you cut down on the use of heavy text and replace it with captivating visuals?
To truly make your marketing mobile-first, you need to think about how mobile users use their devices. Forbes recommends using video and images to catch your audience’s attention in the vital, first three seconds they visit your website and, more importantly, before they exit it completely.
The magazine also recommends implementing location-based and context-based marketing campaigns, as your content will be more relevant for mobile, on-the-go users.
2. Visual Campaigns
Just like using video and images helps boost your mobile-first strategy, it also should inform your social media strategy. Instagram and Snapchat receive a lot of attention from brands — and for good reason. According to Sentance, Instagram is outpacing its competitors in month-to-month follower growth by the tune of 6 percent to 8 percent.
Instagram also competes with Snapchat with its Stories feature as well as with its more text-based competitors, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, both Facebook and Twitter have begun prioritizing images, GIFs, video and live streaming over text-heavy posts.
Visuals also help you stand out and continuously earn your audience’s attention. Furthermore, images and videos help you make an emotional connection, whether it’s funny, sad or inspiring, to your potential customers and enables them to better consider your message.
For example, Canadian Blood Services makes it a point to post images and infographics on a variety of its social media platforms to inspire people to donate. To underscore the importance of these donations, the nonprofit uses the color “red” in its visuals to convey to donors that they’re enabling others to live longer, healthier lives.
Without the use of images on its social media posts, Canadian Blood Services could arguably have more difficulty soliciting blood donations and having the public feel connected to its cause.
3. Multiple Buying Routes
Despite a wealth of options at consumers’ disposal, one of the challenges of multi-channel marketing is customer fragmentation.
Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that follow a more linear path, multi-channel marketing has to entice customers from a variety of touch points. This is why your business needs to have a clear brand message for every campaign.
From the Canadian Blood Services example above, you can tell the nonprofit understands how to connect with its target audience at each and every touch point.
By sticking to the “red” blood theme on its social media posts, Canadian Blood Services is making a more human, emotional connection to the public through inspiration and hope.
As your company attempts to reach current and prospective customers on a variety of online channels, you need to first determine ways to keep them connected to your brand.
With that in mind, it would benefit your company to use familiar verbiage, color schemes and emotional ties to create more long-lasting connections.
In the end, the more you open up and share your story with customers, the more likely they will remember you when it comes time to buy.