Your prospective customers use every existing channel to socialize, have fun, find necessary information, and even make purchase decisions. If you want your eCommerce business to thrive, you need to build a presence on a variety of those channels. In other words, you need a multichannel marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know first.
Your prospective customers use every existing channel to socialize, have fun, find necessary information, and even make purchase decisions.
In the morning, they check their Instagram feed. While commuting to work or walking their dogs, they listen to podcasts. When they get down to work, they log into their LinkedIn accounts and check their emails first thing. And these are just the first two hours of their typical day. Throughout the day, they also chat with their friends through Facebook Messenger, see billboards, watch TikToks, read news magazines, and more.
If you want your eCommerce business to thrive, you need to build a presence on a variety of those channels. In other words, you need a multichannel marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know first.
What’s multichannel marketing?
Multichannel marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It involves running marketing campaigns across multiple channels.
It’s a strategy that allows you to reach more potential customers by building a presence on various channels, online and offline.
Multichannel marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It involves running marketing campaigns across multiple channels. It’s a strategy that allows you to reach more potential customers by building a presence on various channels, online and offline.
91% of retail brands are present on two or more social media channels. Multichannel marketing is beneficial for eCommerce brands for many reasons. Below are just some of them:
Increased brand credibility. Say, you’re a customer. When you see branded campaigns a lot of times, you remember the brand name. Even if those campaigns don’t lead you to a purchase decision, you’ll recall the brand image when you land on a page where a variety of similar products is listed. You’ll inevitably favor the brand you’re familiar with.
Increased loyalty. Even after your customers convert, your relationship with them doesn’t end. In fact, it’s only the very beginning. Driving repeat purchases is way easier than converting first-time customers. The best way to boost repeat purchase rates is by increasing customer loyalty. Displaying your campaigns across multiple channels to existing customers reassures them they’ve made the right choice and encourages them to keep buying from you.
Increased reach. By displaying your products on Amazon, you reach only the type of audience that’s actively researching solutions. However, when it comes to buying behavior in eCommerce, you can speed up the customer journey by showing up in the right place at the right time. For instance, you can display your ads to on news sites during the holiday season and present your products as gift ideas. This way, you’re reaching people who wouldn’t go search for your product deliberately unless they see your ads.
Last but not least, lower competition. Multichannel marketing is a good way to identify untapped promotional opportunities and keep ahead of your competitors. On Shopify, your products stand in line with hundreds of different alternatives. Do the research, check your competitors’ ads, and expand to marketing channels where the competition isn’t so fierce. By doing so, you’ll increase sales fast.
Sounds good? Unfortunately, multichannel marketing isn’t all roses.
Multichannel marketing challenges
On one hand, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities when you market your products only on one channel. On the other hand, chances to get traction on most of the popular marketing channels are very low – especially when you split your limited resources into several campaigns at once.
Expanding to other channels requires the creation of content types you’re not used to – like videos, influencer-generated content, customer stories, and more. Moreover, aligning all those messages distributed across several channels to make them work toward one goal is also a challenging task.
It takes time and investment to gain engagement on a new channel. Why take risks while you can just spend some money on a sponsored campaign on your eCommerce platform?
How do you build a multichannel marketing strategy for your eCommerce business and ensure strong results? Let’s figure it out.
How to do multichannel marketing right
Very few brands are good at multichannel marketing. The good news is that you can succeed by following these tips.
Master one channel before you move forward
Right, rushing into expanding to every popular channel at once won’t bring any positive results.
Pick one channel to begin with and master it. Start with a channel where your rivals are most active – although we’ve highlighted the importance ofexploring channels untapped by your competition, they’re not the best place to start.
It’s likely you already have an idea of a channel most suitable for your needs, but in case you don’t… do a simple competitor analysis. Pick a few brands and do the research across various channels: their own websites, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.
Where has your competition reached the best results? Double down on this channel.
Tip: Let yourself give up on the channel if it doesn’t deliver results after you’ve taken consistent action to make it work. Recognizing approaches that don’t work for you is one of the essential steps towards building a successful multichannel marketing strategy.
Develop a consistent image
Regardless of how many channels you use, it’s crucial that you
Establish your visual identity. Your brand name, logo, and brand colors will follow your campaigns from one channel to another, distinguishing your brand in prospects’ minds.
Define your brand values. Are you standing for family values, environmental safety, integrity, or accessibility? Try to align yourself to specific values to resonate with your target audience across every channel.
Create a brand style guide. Specify all the regulations for visual and written messaging, including collor palette, fonts, copy, brand values, etc. This guide will help your new employees or an agency you might work with to clearly communicate your brand identity.
You don’t need to be present everywhere
When it’s time to expand to more than one channel, which option(s) should an eCommerce marketer choose?
These are the most promising promotion strategies for eCommerce brands in 2022:
Brand website or landing page
Don’t you have a website yet? Start with building a landing page for one or several products. You’ll be able to drive traffic to this page from all the other marketing channels. Since some eCommerce marketplaces provide limited opportunities for traffic and conversion analysis, setting up an advanced solution for tracking is easier when you have your own domain.
Affiliate and influencer marketing
There are influencers on most channels for B2Cs, for example, YouTube stars, Instagram models, bloggers and Facebook experts. Team up with a few of them to market your brand on your channels. If you are selling Yoga leggings, you can team up with famous yoga teachers. If it’s an energy or protein product, fitness models are a good one.
This is probably the best alternative to Google Ads and Facebook Ads for eCommerce marketers. Native ads are cheap, non-disruptive, and scalable. Most often, eCommerce customers use native advertising to promote customer stories, influencer-driven content, or other forms of engaging stories that eventually draw attention to the product itself.
Obviously, Instagram is the best platform for brands that can take advantage of visual content marketing.
80% of weekly pinners claim they’ve discovered new products and brands on Pinterest. You can either build a powerful account and market your products organically or use Pinterest Ads to display relevant products to people browsing certain categories (or both!).
Use targeted email campaigns to boost customer loyalty, win back cart abandoners, cross-sell, upsell, or encourage repeat purchases.
In the book called Marketing Metrics, Paul Farris highlights a repeat customer has a 60% to 70% chance of converting. The data also explains why retargeting ads are 10 times more effective than typical display ads. As an eCommerce marketer, you’d better enjoy the opportunity to cross-sell or upsell your existing customers before trying to reach cold audiences with large-scale ad campaigns.
Set a specific goal for each channel
Many marketing channels don’t drive sales directly. Therefore, when you see your Pinterest account isn’t responsible for any of the recent deals, it’s too early to write off Pinterest marketing. While it might fail to drive people to the shopping cart, it can be highly effective for encouraging them to read your blog or sign up for your newsletter.
Some channels work well for boosting brand awareness (e.g. TikTok and influencer marketing), others are effective for lead generation and customer acquisition (e.g. native advertising and affiliate marketing) – and it’s fine. Just make sure to consider it when building promotion strategies for different channels and defining their KPIs.
Think of attribution before it becomes a problem
Figuring out which channel should get credit for a sale is the biggest problem multichannel marketing causes.
It’s essential to create an attribution strategy that recognizes each touchpoint on the customer journey that has led to a purchase.
Use a CRM tool that will put together the data from all the platforms, allowing you to streamline your campaigns and measure the results. And if you use Google Analytics as a part of your tech stack, you can do attribution modeling for determining the relative impact of each marketing channel on conversions happening.
If taken at the early stages, these steps will allow you to solve the problem of attribution marketers often face.
Move on, step-by-step
When you get started with multichannel marketing, take time to revisit your goals and develop a strategy.
First, understand how your customers use each channel and where you can add value to them. Next, map out the buyer’s journey and identify content types you can deliver for each. Make sure that this content aligns with your brand image.
Set KPIs for each channel and stay consistent. Test new approaches, measure the results, and test again.
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Adelina is a Content Marketer at Joinative, a native advertising agency and SaaS. She’s responsible for building marketing partnerships, establishing content collaborations, and developing actionable resources for advertisers.