Omnichannel Marketing: Pick Your Platforms Wisely

Match the channel to your target audience to maximize impact

By William Glade, AVB Marketing

At AVB Marketing (AVBM), we offer a full range of solutions to help members achieve a true omnichannel presence. But in a marketplace filled with literally hundreds of digital channels — hence the term “omnichannel”— it’s important to identify the most effective ways to connect with a target audience and capture demand.

Back in June we covered search and social in all its forms (see Omnichannel Marketing: An Embarrassment of Riches). In Part II of our omnichannel primer, we will discuss several additional channels that are core to most digital marketing strategies: Content marketing, first-party data, SMS and email.

Content Marketing

It’s been said before and is worth repeating here: content is king. Content marketing takes many shapes and forms depending on the industry. Video, eBooks, buying guides, infographics, images and blogs are all types of content that are commonly used to help educate and inform consumers of what a business can offer them. A content creator looks to help consumers progress down the marketing funnel all by themselves.

As Jazmin Garcia, AVBM’s digital content writing manager, said, “Our job as content marketers is creating valuable and relevant content to garner the interest of would-be consumers and, ultimately, drive profitable action for our members. Our content can range from top-of-the-funnel design inspiration blogs to bottom-of-the-funnel product reviews.” It is important to note that content marketing is a long game; it doesn’t drive immediate benefit but can provide a huge amount of traffic and conversions as time goes on, and it establishes its value among consumers.

First-Party Data Channels

With the rise of consumer privacy laws in the E.U. and U.S., first-party data is the new marketing gold. Carefully cultivating lists of consumers who are interested in a business’s brand and products will be a primary focus for future success. At AVB Marketing we focus primarily on SMS (text) and email. Both channels have smaller volumes in terms of traffic but pack a punch when it comes to generating revenue.

Rather than targeting the broader user group via social or search, text and email is more efficient because members are marketing to people who have already indicated they are interested in what goods and services members offer. As Chris Swift, AVBM’s Director of Digital Strategy said of first-party data channels, “The simplicity and power of the automated one-two punch that is SMS and email marketing drives online and in-store growth for the digital-first retailer, big and small.”

SMS Marketing

Text marketing is a fantastic tool for members to leverage to grow that first-party data list. By offering something compelling, they can get users to provide their personal data to them. Some members are currently seeing a 6,000% ROI in 60 days via this channel! However, an important element of SMS marketing is to be judicious in how the data is leveraged. The consumer has trusted members enough to provide them with their phone number, and a quick way to break that trust is by abusing this channel. As the old saying goes, “We give you our trust; it’s your responsibility to keep it.”

Email Marketing

Along with SMS marketing, email is a first-party data channel that all members need to develop, albeit with an eye on consumer privacy laws. A carefully curated email list of consumers who are offering up their emails willingly for something in return will help members identify individuals who are already signaling that they are qualified leads. And by using email to augment other marketing channels, members will be able to drive more value to their loyal customers.

“Email drives 40% higher online AOV [average order value] when used in tandem with other digital tactics,” Swift said. “What’s more, there are 100% co-opable programs for members to cut their teeth on with this new first-party data tactic.”

Tying it All Together

If members are truly looking to reach their target consumers, it’s important to consider how each of these channels play into their overall marketing strategy. For a healthy digital marketing footprint, members should be investing their budgets to reach more consumers via the channels consumers are on. Whether members go all in and invest in every channel, or start with a few and build over time, it is now more important than ever to have a strong online presence. The omnichannel approach will drive more success to members’ businesses … and AVB Marketing is here to help them get started.

William Glade is director of SEO & analytics and a 40 Under 40 honoree at AVB Marketing, the advertising, e-commerce and digital marketing arm of YSN publisher AVB Inc.