Your Prospects Are Multichannel. Are You?

in order to engage, we must go to the watering holes where our customers and prospects hang out. We have to be in the channels they frequent, in addition to having relevant content for them to consume and share.

Last month on our Revenue Marketing journey, we discussed content marketing strategy and the steps to developing the best content editorial calendar. This month, let’s talk about channels for multichannel distribution of your content.

If you have a “field of dreams” wherein, if you create great content and put it on your website, somehow, “they will come …” well, good luck with that. The reality is that, in order to engage, we must go to the watering holes where our customers and prospects hang out. We have to be in the channels they frequent in addition to having relevant content for them to consume and share.

Ask Your Customers What Channels They Use

We have many clients who simply don’t believe their customers are on Facebook. So, we upload 5000 of their business email addresses to Facebook and show them the result: Usually a 65 percent match rate for business email addresses. Business people are on Facebook and they “hang out there” every day:

  • 63 percent of Facebook users are age 30 and older
  • Facebook has more than 1 billion visitors per day
  • Facebook has many more video views than YouTube

I only bring this up to highlight that our assumptions about which channels are best for reaching our customers may be wrong. The best thing you can do is ask your customers. The next best thing to do is to experiment with multiple channels and see which ones currently work best for your firm.

No doubt you noticed I didn’t even mention email yet. Yes, it is a channel, perhaps the one you are most accustomed to using. And it is easy and inexpensive. But it should not be the only channel you use. Increasingly there are issues with:

  • Information overload in inboxes so your communication gets lost
  • Automatic “junk” designation and filtering
  • Spam traps (so you decide to do an ABM campaign to 250 contacts at your biggest customer and you email all of them at once…guess what is going to happen.)

My point is that your attempts to engage your audience will be better if you use multiple channels to nurture them. Upload the email addresses in Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels, establish a connection to your contacts through these channels, and start sharing content over them.

Syndicate Your Content

Syndicate and promote are becoming synonymous today because organic social is pretty much defunct. You have to boost or promote your content to your audiences or targeted marketing groups.

For video, it’s simple; YouTube is owned by Google. They have 77 percent of the search market. Since videos are quickly becoming the hottest form of content, it makes sense to place it where it will be found. If you have a podcast, use a podcasting hosting site such as Libsyn to set up your audio RSS feed. This feed can then be used on podcast distribution platforms such as iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher to ensure your audience can access your show regardless of which mobile device they use. Set up a podcast promotion plan for your social media sites as well to drive new listeners to your episodes.

Look for Multichannel and Cross-Device Remarketing Opportunities

Multi-channel and cross-device remarketing are really hot right now. I would suggest adding in some reference or weaving in some of that in this section. The following is an example of a multi-channel campaign.

Let’s say you are going to run a webinar next month. What should that campaign design include in terms of channels:

  • One to three emailed invitations and a few variations of follow up emails
  • Up to three impressions per person promotion in Facebook image ads
  • Blog post promoting the webinar on your blog
  • Promoted blog post on LinkedIn, Facebook and a promoted tweet
  • Facebook media ad — video promoting webinar
  • Retargeting campaign to known contacts in Facebook and Twitter
  • Lookalike campaign in Facebook
What a campaign design document could look like.
What a campaign design document could look like.

Hopefully this example makes it clear that your campaign design document has to be very clear on all the channels for a promotion. The graphic and copy (assets) needs vary by channel, and the logistics for lining up all these assets at the same time are much more complex than when you are simply using a single channel such as email. But the results for going multi-channel will be much better of course.

Track Everything

If you have content on your website and you point to it from other online digital content you control, your blog for instance, you can and should be tracking all those clicks by content type and channel. But when creating links to your content from digital properties you cannot fully control, or with embedded links in documents you share, ensure you use UTM codes with the links.

UTM codes were formulated to track channel and content performance. Make sure you use them religiously on all links on ads and promotions and in embedded links in documents. Set up a shared Google doc or spreadsheet to automatically generate UTM codes for your team with an approved picklist of values for Medium and Source. Minify the links to ensure their integrity before using them. Here is an example, a link to a white paper on strategic planning and budgeting for marketing. It goes without saying that you use your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) form capabilities to grab the UTMs and save them in the contact record.

Use a tag manager, and make sure you “pixel” visitors to your content no matter where they found the link. That way to can add them to your “pixeled” database of unknown but interested parties and do promotions to them through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

By tracking everything you will gradually start to learn which channels and content work best for you to attract visitors to your website and drive revenue.

Next month, we will continue the Revenue Marketing journey conversation, and focus on the marketing technology stack.

Please feel free to share your experiences with content marketing strategy and other insights on the above topics in the comments section below or email me at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com.

Cross-Device Is the Cornerstone of Your Marketing Plan

As smartphones and tablets evolve, the bright lines that previously separated digital, print, TV, mobile and PC are now beginning to fade away. Advertising, now more than ever, needs to be wherever and whenever the consumer wants it be, and “mobile” is not so much a device-type as it is a behavior or state of mind

As smartphones and tablets evolve, the bright lines that previously separated digital, print, TV, mobile and PC are now beginning to fade away. Advertising, now more than ever, needs to be wherever and whenever the consumer wants it be, and “mobile” is not so much a device-type as it is a behavior or state of mind.

The spend on cross-device campaigns that target the same users across smartphone, tablet and laptop devices is growing as marketers discover their effectiveness. In a recent survey, 75 percent of marketers said they have seen increased effectiveness with cross-device campaigns.

Marketers are already investing quite a bit in cross-device campaigns as they follow consumer behavior, but now they want to better quantify the results. The rush to develop mobile advertising campaigns is coupled with the desire for better measurement and understanding.

More than 50 percent of marketers surveyed by ValueClick Media and Greystripe reported that cross-device campaigns expand the overall reach and help optimize the performance of the campaign. But marketers point to the time and money needed to track, build and maintain a mobile experience as the main reasons why mobile campaigns are underperforming.

Marketers want to move deeper into cross-device marketing, but they also want more from their campaigns. Specifically, they want to better understand the impact of each medium and the path to purchase.

While cross-screen advertising is becoming increasingly commonplace, it still presents a range of challenges for brands—challenges that are holding back spending growth. The key challenges are:

  • Difficulty tracking audiences across multiple devices and a lack of common performance metrics were cited as the largest issues facing agencies and marketers when deploying and measuring cross-screen campaigns. Research shows that one in four marketers are yet to execute campaigns across multiple screens. For 59 percent of marketers and 68 percent of agencies, difficulty with tracking audiences across multiple devices is what’s holding them back.
  • Media planning and execution often take precedence over the creative. To successfully launch a cross-screen campaign, creative cannot be an afterthought. It’s clear why reaching consumers across multiple screens and devices is appealing, but brands need to reevaluate how they resource creative and technical production to ensure they have the assets needed to run effective cross-screen campaigns.
  • Cross-device advertising budgets typically are managed separately, making it difficult to keep the consumer at the forefront of planning silos. It’s time to start thinking about how to remove the silos and have a more holistic approach to mobile advertising campaigns.

If brands and agencies can come together to unlock the promise of consistent and rich ad experiences across different device screens at scale that many long for, the future of mobile advertising will undoubtedly be cross-device and creative will be able to adjust to the context in which it appears—whether that’s a phone, tablet, desktop, wearables, connected TV, or an automobile.