Advancements in mobile internet technology have made significant changes in consumer buying habits and preferences. Not only do 73% of shoppers use multiple channels when deciding on their purchasing decision, but they also access these channels on various devices.
Creating an omnichannel content marketing strategy ensures that your customers can start the buyers’ journey using one device and marketing channel and complete this in another.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a consumer-centric approach, the goal of which is to deliver a seamless customer experience across different channels or platforms, both online and offline. It is about making different platforms work together to make the buyers’ journey as smooth as possible.
This shouldn’t be confused with multichannel marketing, where the way you communicate and engage with your customers differs for each marketing channel.
How to Create an Omnichannel Content Marketing Strategy
1. Lay the Foundation
Venturing into omnichannel marketing means that you have to be willing to make some changes in your business.
The great news is that there are already existing brands that have used omnichannel marketing to their advantage and had terrific results that might convince you enough to get started.
Start by creating a customer-centric culture within your business.
By putting the customer first, you can then create a fantastic experience or customer journey from awareness to purchase to loyalty.
The next step is to build your cross-functional team.
Cross-functional teams are made of experienced individuals from different departments of your business.
Since the members of your cross-functional team come from different backgrounds and specializations, you get a comprehensive insight on what type of content works depending on what stage they’re in your marketing funnel and channel they’re accessing it.
At the same time, your team can also bring to light other channels that your customers are accessing that you may not have thought of. So your content becomes more visible to your target audience.
2. Determine Your Buyer’s Journey
Hubspot explains the buyer’s journey as “the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.”
Knowing this journey can help you pick out what channels and platforms to include in your omnichannel content marketing strategy.
3. Establish Your KPIs
To know if your omnichannel content marketing strategy is effective, you will need to measure the performance of your business.
How long do your visitors stay?
What is your site’s bounce rate?
Which landing page do they spend the most time on?
From there, you can figure out what you can do to improve, be it the website’s layout, content, or something else.
4. Segment Your Audience
Grouping your audience into segments based on their characteristics allows you to create personalized content based on where your leads are in your marketing funnel.
One brand that does this job well is Amazon. They make use of powerful algorithms to tailor the homepage, search engine, recommendations, and emails to your search and purchase history. They will also offer products you didn’t even know you wanted.
That is why their “frequently bought together” or “customers who bought this item also bought” recommendations work. 44% of customers buy from Amazon’s recommendations alone.
And if you aren’t in eCommerce and can’t follow Amazon’s footsteps, one way you can send personalized content to customers is by segmenting your email list.
5. Identify the Channels You’ll Include and Exclude
Omni-channel marketing might mean that you get to use different channels cohesively. But as a Bluetree.ai employee points out, it doesn’t mean you should use every single channel available.
“It all depends where your audience can be reached,” the rep explains.
“Remember: each marketing channel has its preferred content type and format, and content creation takes a lot of time and effort to do. If you try to create content for every one of the channels you can think of, you’re going to be stretching your resources too thin.”
Knowing your channels will also help you perform an effective content audit. You can see your top-performing marketing channels, then repurpose or recreate content from other channels to save time and resources.
6. Invest in the Right Tools
There are, fortunately, several tools that can help you set up an effective and efficient omnichannel marketing.
For instance, you need to make sure that your eCommerce website platform provides you with the tools you need to launch an omnichannel marketing strategy.
This will help you provide your customers with seamless omnichannel experience without you have to stretch your marketing budget.
Shopify, for example, gives you a host of features and integrations you can use to create and launch your omnichannel content marketing strategy.
For example, aside from merely publishing your content on popular social media sites, it can also allow you to create shoppable posts on Instagram and Facebook.
So not only can your customers see what you’re offering, but now they can even purchase them without them leaving the social media platform.
At the same time, you’d want to make sure that you include productivity tools like a Pomodoro app to make sure that you and your team won’t spend too much time on social media and other marketing channels.
7. Engage With Your Audience Across All Channels
Publishing your content across various channels is only half of the equation.
If you want your omnichannel content marketing strategy to be a success, you’ll want to maintain a consistent voice throughout all channels.
Apple does this exceptionally well. All their channels would emit a familiar, unified feeling that makes Apple so easily recognizable, even if their ads were not so obviously branded.
Potential customers can also take a trip to the Apple store to test out what they have researched and get help from the people behind the Genius Bar. All of these work together to create a seamless, engaging experience.
8. Track and Evaluate Your Results
After doing all of the above, what you have to do now is assess your omnichannel marketing performance. Adjust accordingly to the strengths and weaknesses of your strategy. Remember that it’s all about trial and error in the beginning.
Don’t be afraid to adopt new channels or ditch low-performing ones. Experiment with different content types, and A/B test what you can.
Tips and Best Practices
Now that you know how to create an omnichannel marketing strategy, here are some best practices to make sure your plan works well.
Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes
It’s easy to look at things only from our perspective as marketers and then forget how our customers might be seeing their problems and goals.
So, as you create and implement your omnichannel content marketing strategy, always ask yourself this fundamental question: What would your client do or want next?
Maximize AI Within Your Omnichannel Content Marketing Strategy
Artificial intelligence will help you to create the seamless experience omnichannel marketing is always striving for.
Take Sephora’s Virtual Artist, for example.
The virtual makeup artist provides Sephora customers with a list of product recommendations based on their previous purchases, skin color, and skin type.
The more the customer uses the app on their smartphone or in one of Sephora’s makeup counters, the more refined the product recommendations become.
Optimize Content for Mobile
In 2019, mobile phones over 50% of website traffic came from mobile devices. This tells you that people are continually accessing new sites on the go.
That said, you need to ensure your website is easy to navigate, regardless of which mobile device your leads and customers use.
Focus on the Experience
Customer experience (CX) is so crucial that 80% of consumers are willing to pay extra for better service. And we know omnichannel is all about the customers.
So this is all about planning your strategy to provide consumers with the best experience. From the moment they first see your product (be it from ad or in-store), you should be able to take your customers through one channel to another and delight them in every step.
It’s also essential to ensure that changing from one channel or device is seamless.
Crate&Barrel, for example, launched the successful “Mobile Totes and Connected Store” experience.
Customers were given tablets that serve as a “shopping cart,” where they could check out items from the tablet or save items on a wishlist and get that emailed to them – where they could check out at their convenience.
Omnichannel is still a rising marketing trend that more and more brands are adapting. It is establishing brand presence both online and offline, but still being cohesive and seamless throughout every touchpoint.
Consumers today expect more highly personalized messaging and content, and the best way to meet that need? Your own omnichannel content marketing strategy.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Kevin Payne is a Growth Marketer at Kevintpayne.com. He also is advises high growth startups on using HubSpot to implement inbound marketing, growth hacking and social selling strategies.