Updated: May 27
Is multichannel digital marketing the best way to delight your audience? When promoting yourself or your business, a multi-platform strategy is a must. When we talk about a multi-platform approach or a multichannel digital marketing approach, we are talking about the multiple different locations that you post your content and the adjustments that you make to your content to fit each of those platforms.
Some platforms that might form a multichannel digital marketing strategy include your personal website, emails and newsletters and the many social media channels.
What is a Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy?
A multichannel content strategy is not as simple as just copy and pasting one piece of content everywhere. Each platform has their own optimisations that you need to keep in mind to have the maximum impact. A successful multichannel strategy will look effortless to your audience as each piece suits it medium perfectly, giving you a sleek and professional presence across each platform.
You want a strategy that allows you to leverage the strengths of each platform to your advantage. In reality, these campaigns take a lot on planning and consideration to stay consistent and allow each piece to complement each other. Through this series, we’ll give you everything you need to know on how to create an effective multi-platform approach.
Why You Need a Multichannel Digital Approach
You might think, “why do I need a multichannel approach, isn’t posting on my website enough?” - and the brief answer is (probably) no.
Your site can play an important role in the approach, though. A hub and spoke approach is great if you are trying to drive traffic to your site. In this model, your site acts as the hub with the core long-form content while the other platforms are the spokes, posting supplementary content that tries to drive traffic back to your site. Let's go through the benefits of a multi-platform approach and highlight some potential problems.
Choice: Realistically, it is asking a lot of your audience to seek your content on a platform that they rarely want to use for any other reason. A multi-platform gives you the perfect solution to that. It does, however, require you to have a good understanding of what those platforms are that your audience like to use and when you should post your content to most effectively get them to see it. You should aim to give your audience as much choice as possible, and they should be able to use the platforms they want and still have access to your content.
Of course, if you’re only posting your content in one place, you are limited in the reach of your content. Being on more platforms gives you not only a larger audience but access to different audiences. Consider what the demographics are of each of the platforms you are considering. Is that audience valuable to you? A multi-platform approach doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere, but you certainly should aim for the largest possible relevant audience across those different channels.
Brand Consistency & Brand Building
A multi-platform approach is a great opportunity to build a strong and consistent brand image across different platforms. There is a tricky balance between matching the tone of the platform and keeping the brand image consistent, but when you pull it off, it gives your content an element of authority and professionalism. Brand consistency does absolutely not mean posting the same content everywhere.
Understand that people are on different platforms for a reason and leverage the strengths of each medium to your advantage. There’s a spectrum here from copy and pasting the same content everywhere on the one hand, to creating unique but unrelated and inconsistent content on the other. You want to be somewhere in the middle and allow each platform to highlight the many facets of one coherent brand identity.
While a multi-platform approach can offer these tremendous benefits, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with these potential hazards; First, you will naturally gravitate to your favourite platforms you are most comfortable with, and a multi-platform approach can often push you out of that comfort zone. Particularly when you are adding a new platform to your strategy, it's worth taking some time to understand the platform deeply. This will, of course, take time but as mentioned above; you can get much more out of a platform if you are more familiar with it and understand its potential audience, the overall tone and features of the platform.
This extra effort involved in a multichannel approach has obvious benefits, but that comes at a cost of time and therefore money. For many, this investment is still a straightforward decision as the reach of a wider audience and a chance to build a strong brand identity across many platforms is well worth that investment. However, you shouldn’t be blind to the potentially significant time investment required in getting this right and weigh that against what you’re seeking to gain from being on these platforms.
Implementing a Multichannel Digital Marketing Plan
A successful multi-channel digital campaign is going to take some planning, and this is what can make it sometimes tricky to pull off. Before you post, you need to have a sound idea of your current level of engagement relative to where you want it to be and what a successful strategy will look like. This includes, as we mentioned earlier, understanding your audience deeply.
Understand the platforms that they like to use and how they like to use them. If you’re struggling to know where to start, look for competitors on these platforms and see what they’re doing and see what methods you think they are employing successfully or not so successfully. Think about the platforms that you're going to target and the type of content that will be suitable for each of those platforms. Multichannel approaches need a level of planning to ensure that one channel doesn’t overshadow or contradict another channel too.
Time your content to ensure that you're not over-saturating different platforms with your output. We all know those pages that post way too much and how disinterested we become with them. It's also important to consider how this multichannel approach will intersect with your broader goals. If your aim is to drive traffic, then what is your strategy to convert that into sales.
Consider the RACE acronym to help you think about your brand strategy and the role that a multi-platform approach can play in it:
R - Reach: Reach is the goal of any multichannel approach. You want to maximise your reach with the relevant audience by utilising different channels to get your content to them.
A - Act: Once your content has a broad reach, how successful is it in encouraging the reader to interact with it and click through to your site. Click through rate is a great metric for analysing your content’s success here.
C - Convert: Of the customers that interact with your content, how many of those translate into sales.
E - Engage: This step is a measure of continual engagement. Building long-term relationships through your content is really powerful, and it's useful to think about the percentage of customers that regularly come back and engage with your content.
So that’s your overview of a multichannel content strategy. These can be difficult to plan and manage, but the benefits when done correctly can be enormous. Keep your channels manageable and don’t feel you need to be in places that don’t bring value for the extra effort that they require. Check out our next post to get a deeper understanding of your audience.
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