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The importance of having a multi-channel content strategy in your marketing

Sophie Thompson
21st December 2020

Using a multi-channel content strategy shows how you plan to attract your customers based on their means of consuming marketing. Often people think of it as solely about social media, considering different platforms (e.g. Twitter or Facebook) as the different channels. This will indeed make up a large part of your multi-channel content strategy, but it also includes other channels such as email newsletters, your website, printed adverts, leaflets, promotional events, and other means.

The idea is to use various different ways of reaching and communicating with your audience and providing the right type of content for the audience in that channel. Obviously, with multi-channels, it can become very complex and that is why content planning tools and using a content strategy planning template are essential.

Why take a multi-channel approach to marketing?

It might be complex, but there are a bunch of reasons why having a multi-channel content strategy makes excellent sense.

Even without diving into the reasons, (which we of course will), the stats about multi-channel marketing are compelling. 74% of businesses with a multichannel strategy experience more sales. Furthermore, 64% see better customer loyalty.

Multi channel marketing strategy

Beyond the stats, a multi-channel approach, using a content strategy planning template and following the content planning tips below, will bring you the following benefits:

  • Boost your brand awareness: Your audience aren’t just in one location. They use multiple channels, and so they need to see you in various places. This increases their awareness of your brand, especially if you manage to nail consistency across channels.
  • Easier conversions: Fundamentally, the modern customer needs you to be there when they are ready to make a purchase. You are more likely to get a conversion if you just ‘happen’ to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Increased conversions: As the stats above show, you can expect to make more sales because your customers have more opportunities to buy. Add in additional cross-selling and up-selling and you’ve got a winning formula.
  • You get to know your customers better: Knowing your customer is potent information. You can gather insights through tracking and analytics and really get to understand your customers.
  • Better ROI on content: Even with fabulous content planning tools like ContentCal making it easier, there’s no getting away from the fact that great content takes time, effort and money to produce. By using content, albeit maybe in slightly different ways, across multi-channels, you maximize on your investment and that content has a much better reach.
  • Increased brand consistency: The modern customer expects to get to know and love a brand persona. The way this happens is that, whatever the touchpoint, they have a consistent experience. That consistency is really compelling when it means the positive message about your brand is coming from different angles.

Which channels should you use?

Before you download a content strategy template and get to work on filling it in, you need to consider what’s right for your business. Your multi-channel content strategy should reflect the unique nature of your business. If your audience isn’t on Pinterest, but they are on LinkedIn, then don’t waste your energy using Pinterest!

Some of the main channels you should consider are:

  • Different social media channels
  • Your website (including your blog) and contributions to other websites
  • Digital ads and PPC
  • Email marketing
  • Direct mail
  • Printed content, e.g. editorials, and ads
  • TV and radio
  • Text messages

Whilst your campaign needs to be consistent across channels, your choice of channel may reflect different purposes. For example, Instagram can be good for showcasing products and building a good relationship with your audience, whereas email marketing can be a way of sending them to your website through an alluring offer.

How should you optimize your content across different channels?

In order to make your content effective across different channels you’ll therefore need to optimize it, or tweak it, to work on that channel. Your multi-channel content strategy needs to denote how different channels will be used in slightly different ways so that you get the most out of the fact you are using different channels. On Instagram you can go wild with the hashtags, on Facebook you can’t. It won’t work if you simply copy and paste the same content into different places.

How to approach a multi channel content strategy

There are various content planning tips to optimize your content and make it effective:

  • Analyze your customer behavior: Take a look at analytics across channels and across campaigns and see what your audience likes where.
  • Identify your buying personas on different channels: There will be common elements across channels, but you may find that your buyer will tolerate a meaty newsletter but they want something snappy when they are scrolling through Facebook.
  • Be realistic about resources: It’s better to create less and create high quality content over fewer channels than to overstretch and churn out tonnes of poor quality content that just becomes background noise.
  • Work on content collectively: With multiple people creating content for multiple channels, it’s easy to diverge. Content planning tools make it possible for multiple content creators to still sing from the same hymn sheet.
  • Understand the rules of the channel: Different channels work in different ways. You can’t use the same piece of content for a printed article as you would for a text message. You need to know that on Instagram you go visual, for example.
  • Use automation where you can: A core part of any multi-channel content strategy should be which content planning tools you will use. This will ensure that content can be scheduled and automatically published.
  • Continue to optimize over time: As you learn what works best on different channels, make further tweaks to your approach as time goes on.

The best way to save time publishing content on multiple channels

The single biggest way to save time when you’re doing multi-channel content marketing is to have the best content planning tools being collaboratively used. Most of these tools will provide you with a content strategy plan template which prompts you to create a multi-channel plan which can then form the basis of the content creation itself.

If you then follow the content planning tips above, your multi-channel content strategy will prove workable, efficient and worthwhile.

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