Marketing theory tells us that, in order to reach our audience, we need to use the channels where they are most active.
This makes sense. As brands, we create content and then naturally cherry pick the touch points where our ideal customers spend the most time, so they see it and hopefully engage with our message.
Only a few years ago, this was quite narrow and selective.
However, what if your customers are now everywhere?
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The marketing landscape today has expanded at a phenomenal rate, and with it, the number of channels connecting people with other people, businesses and brands.
For example - according to Wikipedia, there are almost 200 social media sites! Let alone how many other digital platforms that people use every day.
As you’re reading this, you probably have several Internet-connected devices at arm’s length right now, each with access to quite a few of these.
The reality that marketers need to understand is that people still only have one attention span, but so many more ways to spend it, both on and offline. So, how do you get your content in front of them successfully?
The channel numbers keep growing!
What does this mean for individual customers?
Everyone has an abundance of choice right at their fingertips when it comes to how they access, interact with and consume content. This provides them with the option to select which ones they like best for each specific need at the time.
If they’re looking for news and updates about friends and interests, chances are they’re heading to Facebook. For more corporate information, they’re probably checking LinkedIn. Need inspiration? They’re scouring Pinterest or Instagram. And for those live updates? Twitter.
Then there’s blogs and YouTube for ‘how to’ content; and should they want a more human interaction, they’ll come to your store or attend an event.
There’s literally a platform available to deliver content they’re looking for, in a format they want.
What does that mean for businesses?
With choice and information comes power - and our customers now have them both in spades.
We have to appreciate that people are becoming more discerning with content and more comfortable with self-curation. Because of this, they demand content that engages them when and where they want it – on their terms.
Otherwise, it gets ignored.
We can’t expect customers to come to us; we have to be going to them.
If businesses want to earn a piece of our customer’s precious attention, we need to be delivering content that’s ready for them at the right place and at the right time.
This is called a multichannel approach.
A multichannel approach to content marketing is a great start towards extending your reach.
It involves distributing your content across many platforms, such as your website, print, advertising, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google Business, YouTube and more. This means that your target audience is able to cross paths with your brand, in their preferred way.
Of course, it’s still impractical to utilise every possible channel - so you need to make the decision about where your audience is. However, gone are the days when you just used your website and Facebook. They want Instagram and much more now or you’re not getting seen.
To implement a multichannel approach, you simply replicate or amplify your content to spread your net wide and catch your audience wherever they may be.
While this is a step in the right direction, and you should notice an improvement in views and interactions, an omnichannel content marketing strategy is even better.
What is an omnichannel content marketing strategy?
An omnichannel approach to content is similar to multichannel, in that your brand is utilising many platforms to reach your audience. However, the difference is that the focus is on providing a completely seamless customer experience.
Why? Because people have different expectations when they use different channels.
How they feel when flicking through Facebook will be very different to searching on Google, listening to a Podcast or attending a live webinar.
So, adapting your content to meet these different expectations across each is what provides your target audience with a consistent, positive user experience. When you do this well, people will start to build a relationship with your brand.
How to master your omnichannel content strategy
To implement an effective omnichannel approach, your business must produce content that has a consistent look and feel, messaging, goals and objectives across all of your chosen channels, whether it’s online or offline.
Each piece of content must be cohesive and complementary, and perfectly suited to each medium so that your customers can easily move between each and always know it’s your brand.
This way, they get a familiar and welcome feeling, no matter which touch point.
For example, if your TV and print ads are promoting a new Winter range, then your website has a Winter theme with a BUY IT NOW button, your Instagram is showing off some of the Winter Products, YouTube has videos featuring the Winter range, your blog is discussing the latest Winter trends, and your store has the Winter products ready for purchase.
And so on.
Imagine what a comprehensive experience your customer is getting from a well-executed, united content campaign!
On the other hand, a poor omnichannel marketing execution means that your content feels disjointed or inconvenient because each piece of content seems to be random. They can’t get to know your brand if you do this, and it provides no incentive to stick around.
Today, people don’t see your content in the order you intend. They capture fragments here and there which they piece together. An omnichannel approach ensures that you’re giving them the whole story, even though it’s inevitably non-linear.
The advantage of an omnichannel content marketing approach is that no matter where your customer picks up their journey with your brand, they’re getting a complete picture which compels them to act.
Remember the “marketing rule of 3”? – where a customer has to see your brand three times before they pay attention? This still applies except, it’s now more like the rule of 10! But all ten need to be aligned.
As people interact more with your business over multiple touch points (which they are very likely to do), then your omnichannel marketing is there, when they want it, however they want it.
Behind every effective omnichannel marketing strategy is a great content marketing strategy.
To master omnichannel marketing, you need to create content with a consistent message and branding and then tie that content together across multiple platforms.
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You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!
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