The 7 most important success factors for more efficiency in omnichannel marketing
Omnichannel marketing means engaging your users personally on all channels and providing them with a consistent customer experience across all of them. Whether on your website, your app, on Facebook and LinkedIn, or in your newsletter. Your users want to switch channels at will and expect the same customer experience on all channels.
"Omnichannel is what consumers expect, but hardly anyone offers smoothly. Whoever succeeds first will own the future."
Achim Himmelreich, Director Digital Transformation at Capgemini and Vice President of the German Digital Economy Association (BVDW)
Omnichannel marketing means engaging your users personally on all channels and providing them with a consistent customer experience across all of them. Whether on your website, your app, on Facebook and LinkedIn, or in your newsletter. Your users want to switch channels at will and expect the same Customer Experience on all channels.
No easy feat. With the right strategy, however, no atomic physics either. Read about the success factors that decisively increase the effectiveness of your omnichannel marketing.
Success factor #1: Know users inside and out
To address your user with an optimal customer experience, you should know your target groups very well. Please, please do not underestimate this point at all. Classic surveys are still a very suitable method for this. But much more important is the continuous analysis and evaluation of your own collected user data.
Start by asking your employees from the individual departments for relevant information about your users. Place particular emphasis on your main target group. In other words, the target group that is already spending money to purchase your products or services. Of course, structured and prepared data will help you the most here. However, interviews and personal impressions sometimes also give you a very good initial overview.
In a second step, gather all available user data from the various sources. This absolutely includes information from Google Analytics, social media insights from your various platforms and user data from your CRM. If your company uses other tools, get that data as well. Using all of your compiled data, now create detailed marketing personas of your main target audience. The more precise the picture you have of your ideal user, the better for you.
Through your marketing personas, you are now able to address your users as personally as possible. And not only that, ideally you also have a precise picture of the problem points of your target group. If this is the case, your goal is now to offer attractive solutions through different content.
Once again, your overriding goal should always be to create an exceptional customer experience for your users. And that, according to the consulting firm McKinsey, gives you a big advantage over your competitors: "Companies that create exceptional customer experiences can set themselves apart from their competitors. I say, "Very true."
Success factor #2: Bringing content together
To publish content in a scalable way, it's important to bring all of your content from different corners of your organization together in one place.
Chances are, many places in your organization are already producing great content that you can ideally repurpose for your purposes. This could be presentations from your product team, insights from the last conference, or HR videos from new employees.
It's best to establish clear responsibilities and workflows with each department once. In addition, be as specific as possible with your colleagues about what type of content you are interested in and what you are not interested in. Once this is accomplished, you won't have to ask each team weekly if there is content for your target audience.
With regular updates from different areas of your business, you can now plan and work much more efficiently. Properly implemented, this is omnichannel marketing at its best.
Success factor #3: Focus on the right channels
If you have analyzed your target groups based on the first success factor, you now know exactly which channels your users use and which ones they do not. In addition, you should also have found out how your users use the relevant channels.
For example, is a large number of your target group active in certain Linkedin groups? Or do your users particularly like to post photos of your products on Instagram?
In a nutshell, this means: Only be where your users are. Evaluate your data and analyze which channels your target groups actually spend their time on.
Of course, it sounds tempting to be equally present on all channels. However, it doesn't make sense to be on Pinterest if you sell HR software and your customers can't be found there.
When you're first building your omnichannel marketing strategy, it's important to start with your users' favorite channels. Later, you can always review and optimize your marketing strategy by adding more channels as needed.
Once you have a solid foundation in place, you can start investing a small amount of your time and financial resources in alternative channels and trends. This way you can test how your target group reacts to them. Possible exciting alternatives at the moment would be voice assistants, content hubs ornews aggregators, e.g. from Google and Apple.
Success factor #4: Plan content precisely
We've already looked at your user data and your users' favorite channels. Now let's look at the heart of your omnichannel marketing strategy: Your content.
In the third step, you have already defined the relevant touchpoints and channels of your target groups. For example, this would now mainly be your website, e-mail, and newsletter.
Next, take a look at the phases of your users' customer journey. What problems do your users face in the individual phases? What questions do your users have? Your next task is now to create solution-oriented content for each step of the customer journey and thus accompany the customer in your funnel.
Many well-known tools can assist you in finding topics. My favorites are Buzzsumo, Quora, Answer The Public, Moz Keyword Explorer and Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator.
In this context, a content plan is also indispensable. This is where you combine the relevant touchpoints with the individual phases of the customer journey.
Another tip: It is also important to take the time aspect into account. Your users will probably not use all the different channels at the same time. You should take this into account when planning your content. After you have already analyzed your user data, you know how your users behave and at what times they prefer to use relevant channels. Don't just serve the right content to your users. Serve them the right content at the right time. That's how you get the most out of your work.
After you have created the core content, you should prepare your content in a channel-specific way. If you also want to work efficiently here, it is of great importance that you create structured content, i.e. channel-neutral content.
This means, for example, that there should be a clear assignment of individual blocks (title, subheading, text, image, quote, video, embedded Twitter post, etc.) at editor level. This is the only way that software is able to automatically adapt your content to the conditions of the individual channels . If you do not observe this point, a smooth publication of your content to all channels is unfortunately not possible.
One more thing regarding content reuse. Make it easy on yourself and reuse your content multiple times. For example, turn a case study into a white paper. Or create an infographic from a webinar you've already held.
Not all content is suitable for every format. The important thing is that no matter which channel your customers use, they get a consistent customer experience. Using a content marketing pyramid can also help you achieve the quantity of content you need.
Success factor #5: Ensure a consistent brand presence
There is no such thing. The one, typical customer journey. As a rule, your customers don't want to be tied down and switch channels as they like.
Omnichannel marketing enables you to offer your customers a consistent brand experience across all channels. Because familiarity creates trust. So as soon as your customer switches channels, for example from LinkedIn to your website, they should find the same brand experience there with an identical structure. This way, you enable a seamless transition for your customer and create a familiar environment in which they already know their way around.
Therefore, you better make sure that all formats of your content, be it texts, images or graphics, comply with your corporate design.
Success factor #6: Tell stories
A study by the consulting firm Walker found that customer experience will have replaced price and product as differentiators by 2020 at the latest.
It will become increasingly important to get customers excited about your brand and the brand experience. But what is the best way to do this? With storytelling. Stories make it possible to transfer information into emotions. Stories increase credibility because they are more memorable than facts. Stories arouse curiosity and capture attention.
But finding a good story is not always easy. Good stories require unusual products, surprising encounters or fascinating service. Embark on a search! Exciting stories can often be found within the company itself, e.g., among its own employees and through special projects, or among its customers (see success factor 2).
For example, you can report on the successes customers have already achieved with your services. It can be very effective to let the customers themselves have their say. Their testimonials are usually more credible than stories you circulate yourself.
Like any other content, prepare your stories in a media-specific way. For example, tell the full story on the website and spread it across multiple posts on social media.
Success factor #7: Rely on the right software
Companies that want to offer their users a consistent customer experience across all channels are faced with numerous digital challenges. They need to deliver high-quality, personalized content and publish it to multiple channels in a timely manner - with just a few clicks and without much extra effort.
A suitable publishing platform makes your job much easier and is worth every penny. With a good platform, you can create and manage your content in a channel-neutral way. For example, you can quickly and efficiently adapt your content to the different channels with additional assets, interactions and animations.
The development in content creation is clearly moving in the direction of holistic thinking and action. At the same time, one question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer: How and where do I best reach my users?
Without the support of a professional platform that brings your entire content process together in one central location, this is an impossibility. From efficiently creating structured content, to quickly distributing it to numerous channels, to intelligently optimizing it using data-driven analytics tools. These days, simply no one can perform all these steps themselves in an economically viable manner, i.e. without software support.
The most important things are quickly summarized for you: For efficient omnichannel marketing, high quality of your content and the management of it on a central platform are essential in particular.
Companies that rely on the right content, the right channels, and the right platform for their omnichannel marketing strategy will enjoy efficiencies they never thought possible. And thus gain a very decisive competitive advantage.
Finally, I'd like to get rid of one more point about the omnichannel strategy that sometimes gets a bit lost next to the increase in efficiency and the associated benefits. If implemented correctly, such a strategy leads to a significantly better customer experience, which in turn leads to much stronger customer loyalty as well as customer acquisition and thus ultimately to more sales for your company. All in all, you become both more efficient and more successful.