Omnichannel has become a marketing buzzword over the last few years, but marketers aren’t always sure what it means exactly, or how they can implement omnichannel tactics into their own practices. While omnichannel marketing is associated with a number of benefits, fear of the unknown holds brands back from adopting more omnichannel strategies.
Fortunately, switching to an omnichannel approach doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. In this article, we’ll cover three simple steps that can help you transition to omnichannel marketing in order to increase traffic, generate more sales, and improve the customer experience in a variety of ways.
1. Identify Your Buyer Persona
The difference between single-channel and multi-channel marketing is obvious, but the distinction between multi-channel and omnichannel strategies isn’t always as clear. In general, omnichannel campaigns use each channel as a unique touchpoint in the sales cycle.
On the other hand, brands with more traditional multi-channel tactics often use each channel to distribute a similar message. With that in mind, moving from multi-channel to omnichannel is typically a matter of integrating your channels for a more cohesive customer experience.
That process starts with using customer information to develop a robust buyer persona. Buyer personas are idealized versions of typical customers that give your team someone to market to. From there, you’ll have the opportunity to develop more personal messaging that responds to the unique needs of each lead.
A strong buyer persona could contain different types of information including age, gender, location, income, values, and more—whatever you think is relevant to their brand loyalty. If you’re primarily selling to parents, for example, you might want to highlight your own experience as a parent to give yourself more authority and build common ground with your target audience.
Depending on the scale of your brand and the characteristics of your audience, you can either create a single buyer persona or develop a few based on common customer archetypes. Developing multiple buyer personas will help you craft unique messaging that’s relevant to customers in different groups rather than sending the same ads to everyone on your list.
You can gather some of this data when a user subscribes to your email list, but asking for too much information will only turn customers away. In ecommerce email marketing, it’s critical to identify the most important data points and leave the rest out of your subscription form.
Another option is to offer a small gift in exchange for customer feedback. For example, you might ask what types of products they’re most interested in or what specifically drew them to your brand over the competition. Adding more details to your buyer persona will help you narrow down your messaging even further.
2. Choose Communication Channels
Omnichannel marketing typically involves several channels, but the specific channels to use depend on your audience’s tendencies. This is particularly true for social media since different demographics lean toward different platforms. Older users, for example, are more likely to be on Facebook, while younger audiences might be on Twitter or Instagram.
With that in mind, identifying preferred channels is a key step toward creating useful buyer personas. Putting resources toward the right channels will help you use your marketing budget more efficiently and engage with your audience in a way that’s convenient for them. All the channels, for example, Facebook or Instagram, could be automated to drive the highest value for your brand.
Along with social media, you should also consider targeting leads via email, SMS, and push notifications. More and more brands are going further by allowing customers to choose which channels they want to receive notifications on.
Regardless of the channels you wish to use, it’s important to invest in a strong presence on every platform you’re targeting. Even though adding channels will give you more opportunities to reach out to new users, it’s better to develop a captivating feed on a few platforms rather than offering generic content on as many as possible.
3. Find Omnichannel Marketing Software
Automation is crucial for any digital marketing campaign, but it’s especially relevant in an omnichannel setting. Marketing automation gives you the opportunity to configure sophisticated cross-channel workflows, setting particular patterns in motion and letting your software take care of the rest.
Skilled marketers can leverage automation in virtually every area of each campaign, from customer acquisition to long-term retention. For example, automation software allows you to set up exit-intent popups that will be triggered when a user starts to leave your site. The popup will redirect their attention back to the page and give you a chance to extend the interaction.
If they subscribe to your email list, your workflow can continue filling in by automatically sending a welcome message that keeps them engaged with your brand. Over time, you’ll gradually develop workflows based on customer tendencies, making it easy to send personalized messages without spending too much time or money perfecting your ad timing.
4. Practical Tactics for Implementation
1. Get Your Organization to Buy in
As described earlier, transitioning from multi-channel to omnichannel isn’t as simple as making a few adjustments. It involves a complete transformation in your approach, and it requires changes at every point in the customer journey.
With that in mind, getting your entire team on board is a crucial aspect of successful omnichannel communication implementation. Everyone from marketers and product development staff to your customer support team needs to understand the changes and why they’re important. Omnichannel marketing can’t simply be imposed from the top down.
2. Test Your Own Site
Customer feedback is a valuable resource for both omnichannel and conventional marketing, but it can’t replace the experience of using the site on your own. Even seemingly minor glitches and hangups can turn users away and have a substantial impact on your sales.
Make sure to visit your site and go through the checkout process at least once every few months. You should also try to contact customer support to make sure that the support team is both fast and helpful. These steps will give you a better idea of what customers experience when using your site.
3. Keep Fine-tuning Audience Segments
We’ve outlined some basic segmentation guidelines, but the best way to segment your audience ultimately depends on their unique characteristics. In other words, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to effective audience segmentation.
It takes time to develop segments that match your audience, so don’t be afraid to continue experimenting with different groupings in order to see which ones lead to the best results. Segmentation is an ongoing process rather than a single task.
4. Always Test
A/B testing is an incredibly powerful tool in general, but it can be even more effective in omnichannel marketing. With an A/B test, you’ll have the opportunity to compare different ad variants on a small scale before releasing them for a campaign.
Like segmentation, A/B testing requires constant attention to detail. You can test anything from subject lines and sender names to product images and calls to action. Over time, you’ll gradually identify more of your best ideas and get the data you need to move on from any strategies that aren’t working.
Omnichannel marketing takes time to implement effectively, but the long-term results are well worth the effort. These tips will help you integrate omnichannel strategies into your upcoming campaigns and craft a more responsive customer experience.
Image credit: Pexels