Any great marketing firm or any great marketing pro will tell you that approaching a strategy and campaign requires addressing multiple channels. For example:
To magnify this point, let’s quickly consider traditional marketing and advertising prior to the Internet:
For this example, let’s use the ultra-visible brand Tide.
Prior to the Internet, when Tide sought to acquire and retain more customers, they most likely produced television commercials and had those commercials run at strategic times and on strategic television channels. Most likely on the big three networks:
Of course, they also utilized print, billboards, radio, etc. Those are most definitely additional channels (or multi-channel marketing and advertising); however, for the sake of this point, let’s keep the example simple and focus on the multiple television channels Tide used to magnify and spread their brand footprint in the analog world.
The point is, the parent company of Tide would have been proverbially shooting themselves in the foot if they chose to advertise only on CBS and leave its target audience that had television-show preferences on NBC and ABC ‘in the dark’, so to speak. They didn’t, thus, illustrating that Tide understood that they had a multi-faceted audience that had similar goals and needs, it’s just that they ‘consumed’ marketing and advertising messages on various channels, not simply one channel. Skipping the other channels would have stunted business growth.
It almost goes without saying, today, in the digital age, that same sentiment hasn’t changed. Target audiences not only consume messaging on multiple channels (search engines, social media, email, etc.), but also from diverse types of content (text, graphics, video, audio, etc.).
Today’s Multi-Channel Approaches Are More About Search Than Typically Thought
That’s a bold statement that may catch the eye of other marketers, those who may say, “Prove it.” Saddle up, because here we go:
First, understand how people buy: The Buyer Behavior Process is rooted in science and its definitions can easily lead us back to Search.
In the first step, consumers have a Needs Awareness moment. They recognize there is a need or a problem to solve, thus, they NEED a solution.
It’s this critical second step that forms the foundation for this post’s argument:
The second step to the Buyer Behavior Process is search; an Informational Search. Let’s broaden our definition of search and get out of the confines of thinking simply of digital search (i.e. Google searches).
People, especially in American culture (but not exclusive to), start search with this:
INTERNAL SEARCH: this is when a consumer starts searching for information, but often the first place he or she looks is to his or her own experience or memory.
The average consumer thinks about the brands he/she already knows and can include the experiences he or she has had with those brands, but doesn’t always have to be a direct product/service experience with the brand that comes to mind. The brand(s) that a consumer recalls from memory are a reflection of his or her top of mind awareness. Upon recalling brands from memory, a consumer disregards any options that would be obviously unsuitable.
See that? We mention search in a digital marketing blog post and many readers expected a dissertation on Google, Yahoo, and Bing! However, this is where we have found the foundation of our point: internal search is first — this can lead to branded searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but also on social media channels, Youtube and more.
To take this behavioral idea one step further, think of the multi-channel examples we referenced above:
When a brand is actively pursuing a marketing strategy and campaign from a multi-channel digital perspective, no doubt they would be strategically creating high-quality, consumable, meaningful, valued content on platforms (i.e. channels) such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, et al), email marketing with active segmentation strategies, ad campaigns (including text ads, banner, retargeting, search ads, social ads, etc.) and SEO (think stellar UX and content on their responsive website properties).
Even if a consumer hasn’t necessarily experienced, first hand, the products and services of some brands, the power of campaigns rooted in great content get shared and spread far and wide. Brand awareness, therefore, is also a hugely under-represented factor in marketing and advertising campaigns — where typically, marketing agencies and business owners can often seek targeted traffic mainly for the sake of conversions only.
And, they often report campaign progress from a baseline standpoint compared to the number of conversions over time. Not a bad thing, just making the point not to forget the power of brand awareness in a digital world that is suffocating us all with the sheer amount of content and sheer number of choices.
Circling back, internal search can be influenced by brand awareness (not always brand experiences) from a multi-channel marketing strategy/campaign.
Internal Search Triggers External Search
Consumers conduct an external search by some of the following:
- Looking through search engine results
- Asking for information on their social networks
- Checking and evaluating review sites
- Asking friends for recommendations
Let’s again look at multi-channel approaches from an external search perspective using our examples directly above:
Looking through search engine results
This is the typical/conventional definition of search when thinking about and talking about digital marketing strategies.
Asking for information on their social networks
Brands need to be present (and active) on social networks for numerous reasons, but for this post: search doesn’t always start and end with Google. Social networks have powerful search functions and powerful influential aspects that brands can either benefit from or give away that power of social influence to their competitors.
Checking and evaluating review sites
Beyond the obvious reasons why reviews matter (from a pre-Internet definition), we know that humans are social animals and are influenced by the opinions of and buying habits of others. And, of course, reviews can influence search results in some cases.
Asking friends for recommendations
These inquiries can be from real-world/offline friends, but the Internet has created a massive online community of ‘acquaintances’ that cross borders and industries. These types of searches harken back to our previous point (we base buying behavior on the buying habits of others) but they are directly influenced by the buying habits of friends/acquaintances who have already been influenced by multi-channel marketing and advertising of particular brands.
In other words:
A multi-channel campaign influences people and their purchases. Those people are later queried by their friends for opinions about brands/products/services; thus, multi-channel campaigns affect those who are directly influenced, but their experiences then can directly influence the buying decisions of others who may not have any touch points online for a particular brand/product/service. Therefore, multi-channel approaches both influence directly and indirectly and to a larger audience than first considered at the outset of the campaign itself.
While marketing can certainly serve as an external cue to trigger need recognition, the various channels a brand utilizes in its marketing toolbox can serve as internal search and external search opportunities. Multi-channel marketing is more about search than you think, just not the modern default definition rooted in search engines.
When it comes to social media in business, we find that many only believe it is necessary to post and engage on their business pages, but this is simply not true. There are many reasons as to why branding oneself as a business owner is important, and we’ve compiled the top three that we believe you should not ignore.
Your LinkedIn profile is your online reputation, your digital resume, and your virtual footprint. When building your profile, it is imperative that you remain honest, consistent, and strategic, utilizing industry-specific language. Highlighting experiences and accomplishments, as well as sharing informative and engaging content will also aid in managing your professional reputation.
Through skill endorsements and pulse articles, LinkedIn is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. The idea of becoming credible works hand-in-hand with what you’ve posted and that helps to manage your reputation. For example, if you write in your LinkedIn summary that you have 15 years of experience in human resources, you have the ability to validate that statement by publishing an article on your page about talent recruiting that showcases that knowledge. Similarly, if you decide that “leadership” is one of your skills, your connections will be able to endorse that skill, allowing the element of social proof to come into play.
LinkedIn has evolved into a platform that goes far beyond “connecting with people you know,” or finding a job. LinkedIn has become a way for professionals and business owners to virtually network with anyone, from any industry, from anywhere.
LinkedIn allows you to search for professional individuals in any specific niche, and instantly send them a connection request followed up by a message, opening the door to a phone conversation which can quickly turn into a referral partnership.
Using LinkedIn as a networking tool about three times per week will not only increase your connections, but may increase your number of referral sources as well.
Some powerful Instagram marketing tips for success
Instagram growth has been phenomenal since its inception; it has grown to be the essential place for people to share photos. Today Instagram boasts over 800 million active users a month. The number of photos posted every day is north of 60 million and the number of likes on a daily basis is 1.6 billion.
The site also has a large subset of influencers on the platform — many with a massive number of followers. If you play your cards right, you can also turn into an influential brand on Instagram. You just need to post the right type of content to ensure your relevance among your current followers; while you also attract new followers.
The problem is knowing what kinds of posts will resonate the best among your growing audience.
Get a business profile – Do it ASAP
Make sure you have a Business Account on Instagram before you start laying down your marketing plans for Instagram. If you already have a personal account, it is very easy to switch to a business account. You just need to go to your account settings and change it there.
There are a lot of benefits of having a business account compared to having a personal account on Instagram. For starters, your followers can just click on the contact button and they will be able to contact you right from the Instagram page exactly like they can on your website.
If you have a business profile, it will allow your creation and publication of Instagram advertisements without having to use advertising tools from Facebook. You will also get access to the analytics tools of Instagram, which are called insights, which will provide you statistics about the number of impressions and the reach of your posts.
Now, once you have unlocked the free benefits that you get because you now have a business profile, you need to use them in tracking metrics and understanding your audience.
Use the free Instagram tools
The business profiles that you have on Instagram are not different from the business profiles on Facebook. If you start using insights, you will be able to see statistics like engagement data, impressions and more.
You will able to get a better handle on the demographics related to your followers by breaking it down on the basis of gender, location, age and most active times. Insights are just not about general things. You can get very specific details on the posts you have made for the week and you will be able to see the number of impressions that occurred during that time period (as well as your top posts).
Put out product teasers – urge them to buy
How would you feel about being able to sell more of your products and services merely by posting product teasers?
With Instagram, you can. Instagram is a wonderful place to be advertising your products on. Now don’t get too pushy or your followers will drop. Posts with product teasers are merely a way of speaking about your service or product and create excitement without coming out looking as if you are trying too hard to sell.
When you start with teasing people about the services and products that they may be interested in, and you do not push them too much into buying something, they are more likely to end up buying something.
Even if they will not buy, they will at least be engaging with your posts, they may comment on it, or share it with a friend. So, don’t shy away from showing off your products or posting photos of your products.
Bringing it all together
Instagram has become a dominant force in the world of social media.
Try to find partners with influence who have a wider reach inside your industry. They will have followers who will trust the recommendations coming from them. Leverage the power hidden in the content generated by users by reposting photos that the customers are sharing.
Every month or every week, pick a photo that goes with the message of your brand and share it. Finally, ensure that you are tracking the correct metrics to keep an eye on how your marketing efforts on Instagram are doing. Always have a close tracking on the engagement rate, the growth rate of followers and the click through rate on your URLs.
Creating content that will capture the attention of people in a short period of time
You may have great content on your web pages, but perhaps at the same time, few, if any, get to see it. This is quite pointless as the content will be of no value if no one gets to consume the content — but startups, entrepreneurs, and even small business owners have one thing in common — that is the scarcity of time.
If you fall in this category, then you may realize that you may not have any time to concentrate on white papers, videos, blogs, as well as other content types. Remember, having great content ends up increasing your traffic, authority, and trust — and in turn, conversion rates.
You should apply some strategies that can help you to have a connection with readers so that they can remain engaged and encourage them to share your content with others. Having some working strategies allows you to know where you stand and exactly what needs to be done so that you can be more successful with your content efforts.
Know Your Audience
You need to think about your target audience. What makes them tick?
When you are dealing with formal papers such as press releases and white papers, then you may apply third person style of writing so it may be more effective.
You should always strive to offer people the right kind of information — based on their needs, goals, and intent. It is also important to inform them exactly how the information can be used to their advantage (think: benefits). Conversions are usually much easier to achieve when you appeal to people on a ‘value-based’ perspective — don’t be the ‘barking dog’ and yell from the rooftops about how great your products and services are.
Time Is Of The Essence
Time must always be respected. You cannot know the situation of each and every reader who visits your site — but one thing is for sure, consuming your content has to be worth the readers’ time. Create shorter, more concise paragraphs and use subheadings to keep them intrigued — while the content is ‘scannable’. Stick to a particular topic and stay on task — avoid being lofty. If you stray, not many people will not stick around, won’t convert, and they quite possibly won’t be as willing to return to consume new content.
Your Header Matters!
You need to take your time on the header. This should be compelling, but also be a great summary of what to expect in the paragraphs that follow. Don’t use misleading headlines — use headlines that are not meant to be click bait.
A magnetic header can improve time on page, share rates, and traffic in general.
You should add meaningful photos and graphics to your content. on your website. A well-done video can add a great deal of value to your content.
There are many tools that can be utilized online today so that you can come up with a better design, video, and image that will help you keep the audience occupied. Even when you are adding videos and photos, you have to ensure that they are related to the messaging in your content. Don’t simply add image content for the sake of doing so — each image (just like each word) should add to the conversation, not distract from it. E
Great Content Isn’t Easy!
The hardest part is creating content that people can actually relate to. It needs to be relevant at all times; otherwise, people will simply lose interest before you capture their attention fully.
After creating content that you feel is worth attention, you need to let people know about it. You should promote yourself in every platform that is available to you (but platforms that make sense to your desired audience).
LinkedIn can be a great help if you want to have strategic partnerships, create brand awareness, and generate leads. The platform is a great way in which your brand can connect to millions of professionals that are located in different parts of the world. The fact that it is a professional platform means that it can actually offer you great returns on the investment that you make.
You should be ready to engage with people if you want to grow a business online. Knowing how to do it can mean the difference between failing and succeeding. We all aim at winning and even though there are some who are luckier than others, utilizing all the available tools can open you up to more possibility and ultimately success that we all yearn for.
Your Linkedin profile
The profile is one of the most important things for any online account. This is what people look at when they want to find out more about you and your brand if it is a business account. In as much as you want to use LinkedIn to market your business, you will still need a personal account. Make sure that everyone else who is associated with the company also has a profile because at the end of the day, people will be dealing with you and your representatives. It helps when someone conducts a search and can find you.
Your profile is what will give the target audience a first impression of you since you are not meeting in person. This is when they will ponder on the possibilities of conducting any business with you. In this area, you definitely have many chances to impress the viewers. Try to complete your profile as much as you can and then optimize it as time goes by. Give examples of your work; add achievements, and even new skills.
You will also need a company page. Your company page needs careful creation. This is the face of the business and therefore it should offer your target audience the kind of content that will help them associate and understand your brand. It is a simple thing to do and it is actually free to create one on the platform.
Define your goals and the audience
In marketing, you need to have a clear definition of what your goals are. The most common goals have to do with lead generation and brand awareness. When you know what it is you really want to achieve, then defining the audience becomes a walk in the park. You may be dealing in a particular product or service and you want to encourage pros in that particular field to try it. If they happen to use it, then you can be very certain that they will recommend the same to influencers and even their bosses in some cases. In such a case, you should target members that are within the niche that you are targeting. Look for titles that will get you the kind of audience that you really desire.
On that same note, the company page has to be optimized, so that people can find it when they do a search. Optimize the page so that people can locate you regardless of whether they are on-site or off-site. The page can be SEO friendly and SEO principles can be applied here. Use keywords that represent what the company is and what it does. Many tools can help you find keywords that are relevant to you.
Even away from LinkedIn, you need to share your page as much as you can. This helps you to boost the rank that you get in search results. Keep all the profiles updated. If you have workers, make sure that they add a link of your company page in their profiles. This encourages more traffic to your website where the audience can see more details about you and your brand.
The content is always an important aspect in any marketing campaign. You should not work so hard to attract people to you only to disappoint them with poor content. Make your content good and relevant and this will definitely improve the search results and ranking that you receive. When you make any kind of update on the company page, ensure that the same appears on the public page. This is what allows Google to index it. When you have content, then followers actually engage with, you will end up ranking even higher in search results.
Company followers Linkedin
When you notice people following the company page, make sure that you add them. You usually get an update whenever someone starts to follow the company page. This is information that you can check within the LinkedIn feed. When you add the company followers, your updates will have an even better chance of being viewed and appreciated.
To grow your list of followers, you should begin with the employees you already have. These persons are likely to believe in your brand. This makes them some of your most valuable advocates. When you have their loyalty, you will not have to ask them to share content with any other networks that they have.
Apart from the workers, you need to promote the page away from the company. You could start by inviting customers as well as other partners who happen to be important to actually come and follow your page. You should also promote the page using blog posts, newsletters, and emails. Always ensure that you encourage anyone who is a potential lead to follow your page.
Even on your website, you should have a follow button and make it easy to use. This allows the visitors to find the company page without searching. You can create a follow button using a plugin.
If you take your business seriously, then you will also take marketing very seriously. More and more people are making use of social media platforms today and you should not be left behind. Technology is slowly, but surely, changing how we do things. Being in step with the latest trends and strategies can give you success that may have only been a dream.