Why a multi-channel approach is more effective
How customers interact with marketing has fundamentally changed, and the way marketers work has to follow. Instead of using a single channel to share content, businesses need to have a seamless brand experience across various channels.
While it can be tempting to reduce complexity (and cost) by using a single channel, this approach isn’t likely to deliver the results you’re looking for. A recent study into marketing effectiveness found that shorter campaigns focused on one or two channels were much less effective than those that lasted longer and used a broader range of media options. The more channels you use, the more likely your campaign will have ongoing success.
Here’s what you need to know about the multi-channel method:
One message, many channels
Multi-channel advertising involves multiple channels targeting customers with a single message. For example, instead of advertising on Facebook alone, you use several social platforms, display ads on different sites, email marketing, SEO and other channels. It’s not exactly revolutionary, but it’s an approach that has consistently proven effective. Research by Digital Doughnut and Episerver shows that 95% of marketers find using a multi-channel approach important to their success.
So why are some marketers set on a single channel? It comes down to budget. With customers demanding better quality content and marketing budgets shrinking, reducing channels can seem like a viable way to cut costs. But, with consumer attention increasingly fragmented across channels and a lot of noise and competition in the digital space, gaining a decent share of voice is no longer as simple as it was.
Memory and the rule of seven
If your goal is brand awareness, using multiple channels is effective in a very literal sense: repetition helps build memory structures in a consumer’s brain, making it more difficult to forget your message. In a world where consumers are likely to see hundreds of advertising messages in a single day, that’s invaluable for your brand.
The ‘rule of seven’ suggests that it takes seeing your message seven times to drive curiosity and recognition, bringing new customers to your brand. For this reason, being visible across multiple channels is important. More channels = more opportunities to see and internalise your message. If a customer only sees your message once, it’s far easier to get lost in the online shuffle.
Common sense and context
When choosing channels, don’t follow the crowd. Instead, focus on relevance to your product, service and target audience. For example, B2B sales are more likely to be effective on a social platform like LinkedIn, while retail sellers find audiences on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Consider contextual targeting to place your messages alongside relevant online content. Use eDMs to target your mailing list and SEO to draw in browsers. SMS marketing and traditional channels like radio, television and print also have a place. Developing your digital strategy should involve finding out exactly where your target customers are spending their time and are, therefore, most engaged.
Making the most of your marketing budget
We understand that budget constraints mean you can’t do it all. You want to choose the marketing approach that gives you the best chance of long-term success and the best return on your advertising spend. According to research and our extensive experience, a multi-channel approach is your best bet. Focus on content that truly adds value and make sure as many customers see it as possible by pushing it out on several channels for an extended period. Squeeze it for all it’s worth!
If you’re not sure where to start, we can help you develop your digital strategy, choose the right channels and allocate your ad spend in the most effective way possible. Get in touch to chat with our team and get your plan heading in the right direction.