Omnichannel Marketing: Conquering Social Media And Customer Retention
April 19, 2021
April 19, 2021
With the hundreds of social media sites that customers use, it can be tough to secure business through a single media outlet. This is why many companies of all sizes utilize multichannel marketing: the use of multiple social media platforms at once to target customers. As social media continues to grow and grow, however, this alone doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
To make the most of digital marketing, potential customers need to be constantly updated and involved in your business. This is where omnichannel marketing comes into play.
So, let’s start with the obvious; What is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing refers to the strategy of using at least 3 marketing channels to reach a customer at every possible touchpoint. It also adjusts to customer needs based on behavior or platform characteristics in order to create a more effective and personalized outreach. This provides the customer with a seamless and integrated shopping experience regardless of the medium.
Omnichannel marketing can be tough to understand through words alone, so here are some examples to differentiate omnichannel marketing from regular social media marketing:
Some omnichannel marketing techniques include:
The idea is that the omnichannel strategy crosses between both physical and digital platforms to reach the customer as often as possible and not just when they go on social media or into a store. The goal is to create a seamless brand image, presence, and experience across all platforms by staying present with customers from the first engagement, throughout, and after the entire closing process.
A big point of confusion with omnichannel marketing is how it differs from multichannel marketing.
The biggest difference between the two is that multichannel marketing has a static message to all customers and the various channels are not seamlessly linked to each other. The omnichannel strategy puts the customer at the forefront as the message adapts to the customer based on a number of factors. This could be seen by a customer getting a welcome email at the beginning of their engagement with a company, a thank you email after a purchase, and email updates tracking their package after the purchase has been made.
Multichannel marketing doesn’t make use of personalized marketing. Instead, in multichannel marketing a company could use 3 different social media outlets, but post the same content on all of them with little customization to the individual customer. This difference is the key idea that separates the two marketing strategies from one another.
Consumers drive business and their demands change over time. In the 2019 Salesforce report, it showed that over 67% of customers used multiple channels to complete a transaction, and that 40% of consumers won’t do business with a company that doesn’t use their preferred channel. This potential lost revenue from using single or even multichannel marketing is completely made up for in omnichannel marketing. By being on as many channels as possible, you are much more likely to be able to connect with buyers through their preferred channel and make a sale. On top of this, 80% of in store sales are preceded by at least one online visit to the store, so creating an omnichannel that directs customers between channels is critical.
By creating a cohesive shopping experience for customers, they are more likely to enjoy the experience and gain more trust in brand. According to mGage, 75% of customers that had a good experience with a brand are likely to return. MGage also says that businesses with an implemented omnichannel strategy see an annual increase in customer retention rates of 13%. By implementing a more cohesive, cross-channel strategy, both new and returning customers enjoy a more satisfying shopping experience which leaves them more likely to become long term customers.
The core idea of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to create a cohesive brand image across all platforms. This means that a company no longer needs to spend extra time developing different strategies for different marketing channels. It also saves the business from needing to collect data at every touchpoint, but rather just the first time the customer visits a store or site.
The key to a successful omnichannel is having all of the data you need to make it work. If you plan to send out SMS messages you’ll need customer phone numbers; if you plan to send out emails, you’ll need customer emails; if you plan on sending out abandoned cart emails, you’ll need to know when a cart has been abandoned. Any and all data can be useful to an omnichannel, it just depends on when, where, how, and to whom you are marketing. Once a large chunk of data has been collected, then you can best see how your omnichannel should be organized.
The first step of planning out the organization of an omnichannel is knowing all of your touchpoints. Do customers find your site or store on social media, then click a link or go in person, and then receive an email? If so, then that is 3 separate touch points that can be optimized with an omnichannel. The next step is to get creative! Think of ways to make your various channels work better together. Keep in mind your brand image and how you want the omnichannel to be received by your audience. Don’t be afraid to add more touch points if necessary, or to expand your social media presence. An omnichannel should be both cohesive, but still uniquely relevant to the individual channels on which each piece of content is being broadcast on.
Now, by using the customer data that was collected, look out for any trends. Look for things such as the most popular social media sites used, and streamline the experience on them. Do not forget to take into consideration customer feedback! If a customer has an issue somewhere along the line, listen to their concern and fix it! The customer experience should always appeal directly to customer needs.
Get creative with your design of the omnichannel. There are a million ways to streamline the customer experience and connect all of a company’s channels, it’s just about what works best for your customer base, industry, and company needs.
Now that you have your data, and an idea for how and where the omnichannel will function, it’s time to actually execute it. Make sure that everyone is on board with the plans to execute the plan that you devised, and are committed to putting in the full effort required to make it successful. An omnichannel strategy can be extremely valuable when done correctly, but far too often it is not taken seriously enough, much to the detriment of both a company and its customers. If you are looking to build out an omnichannel solution, but are still not ready to take these steps on your own, StratDev and our rockstar team of digital marketing specialists can help you take your business to the next level. By putting in the time, effort, and resources early on, your business’ omnichannel will be running itself in no time!
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