Business practices change with changes in technology. As technology continues to develop, improve, and launch new trends, so do the business strategies and operations. If you think about the old ways of reaching out to a potential customer or informing your audience about your business, there were only a couple of ways you could do it. You could do it in person, via phone or using some printed materials.
Nowadays, things have changed extensively. There are now dozens of options for a business to reach out to potential customers, engage them, keep a relationship with loyal ones and grow their audience. The rise of the internet gave us social media, websites, blogging, emails and all the other tools we couldn’t imagine doing business without.
But, with all the different channels and possibilities for approaching a customer, a marketer needs to have a clearly defined, unified method, across all of the above mentioned. This is possible by using omnichannel marketing which can be powered by your content marketing strategy.
To learn about what omnichannel marketing is and how you should use content in order to power it, just keep reading.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a business strategy aiming for creating a flawless, seamless brand experience to customers using different kinds of channels and platforms for brand interaction.
Let’s break it down a bit and show you how it all works one step at a time.
First of all, let’s define it:
Omnichannel marketing implies a smooth and continuous customer experience across all the channels. All departments need to work together to provide a unique, consistent experience throughout any touch points of a shopping journey, such as social media, apps, emails, in-store experiences, catalogs, etc.
To clarify even further, let’s think about what a channel is what are the typical channels a customer uses from the beginning of their buyer journey, until the end.
Customers have two way of interacting with a brand:
The online customer interaction is performed and carried out via social media, websites, blogs, emails, etc. You can perform these online actions using all kinds of devices, such as laptops, android phones, tablets, etc.
The offline experience is actually a face-to-face live interaction with the brand in the retail store.
Let’s think of a typical way you may interact with a brand:
- You scroll down your Instagram News Feed.
- You stumble upon an ad for a brand and its product.
- You like it, so you click the ad.
- The ad takes you to their website.
- You continue browsing until you’ve found a product that you like.
- You save it in your cart and decide to go to a retail store and buy it in person.
- You enter a store, give your personal information and the salesperson comes back with the product from your cart.
This is what omnichannel is all about.
You start your journey using one online channel (social media), continue on another (website) and finish it on an offline channel (the retail store).
During the entire process, you weren’t interrupted, slowed down or given a reason to step back and abandon your cart.
On the contrary, omnichannel marketing made the whole process:
- more convenient
- less confusing
This is what omnichannel marketing is and what it provides to each of your customers. Let’s take a closer look at the idea behind it.
The Mission of an Omnichannel Marketing
So, is this omnichannel marketing worth the effort? What is the end goal of setting it up and working hard for making it work?
When we analyze the idea behind omnichannel marketing, we can pinpoint the main ideas and goals it has. Omnichannel marketing is about:
- Creating a brand identity and making it recognizable across all channels.
- Making it easy for your customers to interact with your brand.
- Sending a unified message across all channels.
In other words, omnichannel marketing aims to maintain its image and identity, and provide the same type of service to every single customer, regardless of their means of communication.
If you think there’s no need for all the fuss, Zendesk Study showed that 87% think brands need to work harder to create a seamless experience for customers.
It creates a bond between the customer and the brand but it also integrated all brand departments, motivating them to work together towards the same goal.
This is why you need to work on improving the execution of omnichannel marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
As we’ve already defined, omnichannel marketing implies everybody in the brand chain to work together to create a seamless, flawless experience for the buyer.
Content marketing plays an immensely important role in this system and can be considered one of the main tools for powering omnichannel marketing and making it work.
Let’s pause for a second and remind ourselves what content marketing actually is. Here’s the definition:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. (Content Marketing Institute)
This form of indirect marketing is considered an obligatory link in the chain of building a business and running it successfully. Without it, you can’t go very far and you have no chance of standing against your competitors.
- social media posts
So, now that we’ve got everything covered, it’s time for you to learn how content can boost your omnichannel marketing efforts and help you create the seamless customer experience across all channels.
Using Content to Power Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing and content marketing are closely related and connected. Content marketing is used to enable the proper functioning of omnichannel marketing and give the customer the experience they deserve.
Let’s take a look at different ways in which content can fuel omnichannel marketing and help you build and maintain a stable brand experience for all your customers.
Every successful brand is based on a vision defined by its founder at the very beginning of its creation.
A brand’s vision can differ from niche to niche or from product to product.
For example, Fossil defines its mission in the following way:
“We strive to create high-quality designs that preserve the best of the past while updating it for today.”
This is their goal and what they want each of their customers to know and feel, across all channels.
In order for you to power this message and make it an omnichannel message your customers will appreciate, you need to make it visible in your content marketing as well.
Use content marketing to make this message loud and clear by creating content revolving around the same message:
- social media posts emphasizing your vision
- videos with the same clear message
- blog posts rooted in the same message
Be consistent in stating the same idea in all your content marketing efforts, and ensure each of your customers knows exactly what to expect from you regardless of the channel they’re using.
This way, content marketing is helping you boost your omnichannel marketing and carry a unified brand message.
If we were to ask you to close our eyes and think about Coca-Cola, what the first thing that would appear in front of your eyes? Somehow we have a feeling it would be the color red.
Did we guess right?
This is the exact effect you want to create for your customers and have them recognize your brand anywhere they stumble upon it.
To create this effect, you need to be consistent in yet another dimension of your content marketing strategy: the design.
A brand’s design consists of:
- types of visuals
This means that you need to create a standardized design for your brand and make it visible in all your channels.
That means that all your content marketing platforms need to feature the same design and be unified in terms of the visual representation of the brand.
For example, that includes:
- your blog’s design to be in the predominant brand color and fonts
- your social media posts using the same brand colors and fonts
- your videos being in accordance with above mentioned
Everything you do, write, and publish needs to be designed in a unified manner, evoking the same type of emotions, and making it clear it’s your brand in question and something else.
Content marketing can help you create this effect and carry it onto the omnichannel marketing, as well.
This is passed on to other omnichannel instances, such as retail store interiors and packaging designs.
Valuable Content to Engage More People
You can use content marketing strategies to create a base of loyal followers, who you can then turn into long-term customers.
Content marketing is a valuable tool for encouraging new people to become members of your brand’s family and make the first step in the process of buying your products.
In other words, content marketing can help you get the people to tackle the first channel in omnichannel marketing.
Here’s how it all works.
- When creating content, make sure what you’re publishing is
- Be consistent in providing the same type of content in terms of quality and trustworthiness.
- If you have something valuable to offer, your customers may be more willing to offer something in return.
- Use the quality of your content and the relevance of the information you’re providing to ask for an email address or a membership on their behalf.
- Use the information they provide to learn about their preferences, the type of content they enjoy and inform them about the different channel they can use to stay in touch with you.
To sum it up, you’ll be using content marketing to encourage people to start their buyer journey in the omnichannel marketing of your brand.
Create Omnichannel Campaigns
When you have a new campaign on sight and you plan on launching it big, you know you can’t do it without the help of content marketing.
To power this omnichannel marketing venture and ensure the campaign is successful and productive, you need to create a clear plan of execution and use content as the main tool.
Before you start, you need to define:
- the goal of the campaign
- the target audience
- the timeframe for execution
- what it gives to the customers
- what it gives to you
Once you define your campaign and know where you’re headed with it, you can start using content to ensure all your customers are well-informed:
- write about it on your blog
- create social media posts
- give detailed information in videos
- send email to loyal customers
Content marketing will help you launch a successful campaign and keep it up and running on all the different channels that you’re using, providing guidance to your customers.
This will boost your omnichannel marketing efforts extensively and ensure your customers are properly informed about your latest activities.
Running a business is not a simple task. It takes a lot of effort, planning and strategic thinking to make things work and run a successful business. Therefore, you need to show the same amount of dedication and professionalism in all your channels, both online and offline. In other words, your omnichannel marketing needs to provide a seamless customer experience and ensure your customers have zero troubles interacting with your brand.
As you can see, content marketing is there to help you power your omnichannel marketing efforts and succeed in making your brand a highly professional and successful one. Content marketing can help you get a unique message across, show your audience all the different channels in the omnichannel chain, provide proper guidance and information about your brand’s ventures and simply help you stand out.
Therefore, don’t ignore the power of content marketing and use it wisely to boost your omnichannel marketing efforts and win a new victory every day.