By John Rampton
Though multichannel marketing has been around for a while, that doesn’t mean it’s become any easier to figure out. Adding digital and mobile environments—website, blogs, display ads, emails, SMS messages, and social media—to traditional channels, like print media and television, means considerable work for marketers. However, that work pays off as multichannel marketing offers opportunities to reach a wider audience of prospects and future customers.
Yet, even within the channels, there are further channels that might require a specific tactic within your content marketing plan. For example, social media has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube, and more. Each comes with a specific audience and interest focus, as well as differing ways to present your content.
Multichannel content planning means deciding which channels and platforms you want to focus your content marketing efforts on and then determining how this impacts your overall content strategy.
Here’s what may change in your content strategy when you migrate to a multichannel marketing effort.
Although your audience may be defined, smart brands strive to better understand which audience members frequent which channel, when, and why they prefer those channels over others. With individual motivations for buying products or services and a desire for personalized approaches, smart content addresses these differences in a way that a singular channel content strategy can’t do.
Define customer personas that describe the audience members that you uncover on each channel.
While you previously created both short- and long-form content, the length of your future content becomes even more varied with a multichannel marketing program. In fact, your content could be as short as 200 characters or as long as 10,000 words—maybe even longer! Each channel has its own content quantity requirements.
Spend time studying each channel to understand how to craft content length to engage with that audience.
Campaigning across channels also involves moving beyond just the written word. Although you may be using images in your campaigns, some channels require visual content that goes beyond images, such as video content. Or, you may discover the benefits of creating infographics, webinars, and even memes.
Look at what content your competition gets the most likes and shares, so you begin to understand what type of content gets the most engagement for each channel you choose.
Where to focus
With so many channels and content possibilities, it can be difficult to know how to develop a strategy that covers the most relevant channels for your audience and marketing objectives. Some channels are a must, such as owned-content properties like a website and blog. Not only do these channels help boost your SEO tactics, but they also create a location to funnel your leads.
Email marketing is another channel that can yield results and provide an ongoing stream of data insights. Social media is also important, but may vary from business to business, depending on what you offer and where your audience spends their time. For example, not every business will need to be on TikTok or SnapChat while others may choose to avoid Facebook or Pinterest.
Tools of the trade
Since your content becomes more complex with a multichannel marketing approach, consider turning to tools that can help you map out what is necessary for each channel.
One of the best tools for this is a content calendar. It helps to organize the type of content, publication date, channel, writers, and influencers involved. Tabs can also be set up related to seasonal and evergreen content, as well as how and when repurposing existing content is possible.
Anything that automates the process of delivering this varied content across all the channels and at the optimum time is helpful. This means using a content scheduler and publisher, as well as tools that trigger content based on an audience member’s action. For example, if a prospect signs up for an offer on your website, an email welcoming them will automatically get sent.
Most importantly, consider tools that monitor, review, and improve your content strategy. It will take time to understand how to deliver the most effective content to each channel. Analytical tools will help gauge click-through rates, engagement, and conversions, and can guide how to update your content length, subject matter, format, and timing as you go.
For more information about multichannel marketing and content strategy, please read:
- How to Craft a Winning Content Strategy
- 4 Keys to a Successful Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy
- Go Further with Cross-Channel Marketing