We’ve heard plenty of cliche names thrown around such as digital marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, but the term that we actually prefer to use, Multichannel marketing doesn’t get enough mention. Maybe its not sexy enough, or maybe the right guru hasn’t used the term yet, but hey it does have it’s own Wikipedia listing, and there are people hiring for multichannel SEO specialists as of my last search today.
Multichannel can mean many different things to different people. If you are in the printing business, it may mean lots of print exposure, and if you are on TV and media it could mean lots of coverage on the boob tube. But in reality, it means just what the name implies, “multiple channels of marketing” and while multiple can mean more than one it can also means dozens.
Today’s small businesses require TRAFFIC from as many channels as you can get, and the more the merrier really rings true here. The more sources of traffic you have, the greater ability you have to mitigate your risk or exposure to catastrophe. If you can own your traffic, you will own your business, because your traffic (which hopefully converts) is a form of client acquisition. We as business owners have to mitigate risk, while we also want to ride the waves of trends that are occurring, we have to do that with caution and with an eye toward the future as well. Trends and fads are just that, fads, blending trends and fads with scalable marketing principles, well that’s where the balancing act comes into play for some.
For those that are wondering how exactly do you go about this multichannel marketing? Well you may already be doing it to some extent, but there are ways to expand it and make it more efficient. Here are some examples of multichannel marketing
- Paid traffic – You may be running Google PPC like many small businesses today are doing, after all they kind of forced you too. And you may believe that to be enough – you are paying for traffic, you are doing your job. While this is admirable, this is only one small and miniscule form of your paid traffic funnel. First if you have a converting PPC campaign you should be growing that beyond just Google, you can take that to the other search engines, and I don’t just mean BING, there are many PPC sources available, but that is outside the scope of this post, but I suggest you check this out. But beyond PPC if you have a paid campaign and funnel that is working and converting for you, you need to scale that up by taking that to other sources, such as running banners ads, or possibly solo or email campaigns, or PPV traffic, or Facebook ads. And you can also be retargeting all of your visitors and following them around with banners to bring them back. Furthermore, you may be paying for traffic, and its just not converting at all, you are paying for the sake of paying, and that really doesn’t do you much good. Your entire paid traffic funnel may need to be revisited and reworked by professional. So while you may think you are dong multichannel marketing, and to some extent you are, as you can see, their are many forms or channels just within the paid traffic label that you could expand into.
- Content Marketing – This is very broad stroke, because so many things fall into this umbrella or channel. The art of not only creating killer content, but also getting it out to where your clients are is called content marketing. This can be something as simple as creating a awesome blog post for your site, and then socializing it out via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or a guest post on a related and relevant site. It can also be creating a video and posting it to Youtube, and then embedding it on your site, and sharing it via the same social channels. And while you are at it, have your video transcribed and post the transcription on your blog and don’t forget to use that transcription for your Youtube video for SEO and closed caption purposes. And how about you create a presentation, and then take that document and distribute it out to Slideshare and other document sharing sites. You can also go through your presentation while recording your screen, and you place that screen recording on Youtube with transcriptions as well and you embed that Youtube video once again on your blog, and finally you take the audio from you video and distribute that to some audio upload sites. Does that sound multi-channel enough for you? Not only is it multichannel, but do you see the web you are creating between all of your stuff, all roads lead to you right? This is powerful for many reasons. First off, ever channel mentioned above, can bring you traffic. Youtube videos bring traffic, so do SlideShares and Audio uploads, etc. And they all create a symbiotic social presence around each other and create a ring of trust for the search engines to give you some love and trust and rankings so you get the added benefit of search engine traffic as well. And finally – by making sure you distribute your content everywhere that you can, you are getting your name out and branding your business – which is extremely important and is a something that is hard to measure. But brand recognition is always important. Those big companies don’t pay $4 million dollars for a super bowl ad for immediate ROI – that’s for sure – it’s for branding and recognition.
- Social Marketing – Everyone has a Facebook account, or so it seems. and most small businesses have a Facebook fanpage, but many have a page just to have a page, they aren’t truly using it correctly for marketing. But when you socialize with your clients/subscribers/readers it builds relationships, and businesses are built on relationships. So taking it seriously just makes sense for everyone. Additionally there are inherent benefits to socializing your content on social channels for relationship and SEO benefits. However, I have only mentioned Facebook. There are so many other social outlets such as Twitter, Pinteretst, LinkedIn, Tumlblr and the list can just go on and on. It is impossible to be everywhere unless you hire people to do it for you, so our advice is to pick one social medium and stick with it. Social distributions run parallel with content marketing and they are in essence the icing on the content marketing cake in my opinion, not to mention search engines like to see your content socialized.
- Offline Exposure – If you are small business, don’t by any means think that you can only advertise online. We have seen many online businesses prosper by offline advertising. Be it a local newspaper or billboard ad, or street signs or parties or just old fashioned direct mail (yes, it still works). Get creative here, we have seen people going to local meetup groups and coming home with business, we have gone to the mall to make a purchase and returned with a new client, and we have also seen some businesses exploding by simply placing signs at street corners. There is also classified ads, postcards, tshirts, sponsoring local teams, etc.
- Email Marketing – Yes this is a channel of marketing – now you typically use other channels to create your list of subscribers to email market to it, but then once you have subscribers and a list – you market to them. And if you are not building a list, then you need to get on it right away. Because if all traffic stopped coming to your site today, you could still email your list and get them to your site or offer or something.
- Media – Podcasting actually deserves a line in and of itself. It doesn’t directly bring you traffic that is easily measurable – but there is a direct correlation with the days that podcast are released with traffic spikes – its not a coincidence, especially since we get people asking us questions at AskMikeAndTroy.com and contacting us. We have been helping a few clients with their podcasts, and so far they have seen the same results as us. Other channels of media of course are radio and TV ads – something we have not yet delved into- but who knows what the future may bring!
The above list is by no means meant to be exhaustive, but to show you just how wide your marketing can and should be if you have the capabilities, so that you will find yourself relying less on one channel for your traffic. It is more important than ever today to take control of your own destiny, you owe it to yourself and your business to market your business as wide as you can. And if the above were not enough of an example, then you only need to look a the devastation that Panda and Penguin left behind in 2012. 1000′s of people’s businesses were literally destroyed over night simply because Google made changes to THEIR algorithm. If you didn’t have alternative means of traffic, you were dead in the water with no way to recuperate. We personally know of many people that folded their businesses, and others lost 100,000′s of dollars in revenue. We offer multichannel services as well as paid traffic funnel management in the new TMS Store in order to assist those that require help. Typically our multichannel service offerings are customized to match clients needs and requirements.