It may very well be true that, as an industry, we have entered into the golden age of marketing. Consider this: Although marketers have traditionally been strapped to three basic mediums—print, radio and television—today, digital has opened up a number of new doors and new opportunities for those who operate within the space.
In this new digital vertical, content is king, and the king’s realm has a myriad of channels available for dispensing messages. Here’s a fairly complete list of those channels:
- Email marketing • Web copy
- Blogs • Social media
- White papers • Case studies
- Webinars • Videos
- Podcasts • Interactive advertisements
As digital marketers are aware, today’s consumers have evolved and are now accessing marketing content through a number of these different channels via a multitude of devices. In fact, the U.S. ranks fifth in the world with 2.9 connected devices per capita.
That said, it’s baffling that half of marketers surveyed said their companies don’t use integrated marketing technology, according to an Adobe quarterly digital intelligence briefing. Furthermore, 68 percent of B2B businesses don’t have a documented content strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B benchmark survey. Therefore, as we head into the final quarter of 2015 and begin to look at the year ahead, it is becoming increasingly obvious that marketing success will largely hinge on the ability to conquer multichannel marketing.
But where should marketers who are struggling in this respect begin? It all starts with integration. If you’re serious about conquering multichannel marketing in 2016, here are three tips to consider:
- Marketing automation: As the bulleted list above indicates, content can be created and delivered through multiple channels to reach the consumer, and this applies to B2B and B2C operators. While crafting content is time-consuming, so too is sending it. Leaving this important task to the last moment will result in missed opportunities for digital marketers. This is where marketing automation comes into play. For example, use it to schedule tweets, emails and blog posts for regular delivery—handling the execution of your integrated marketing plans—and then your team can focus its energies on creating high-quality content.
- Content calendars: Speaking of integrated marketing plans, content calendars are the perfect way to gain a bird’s eye view of how different pieces of content, across different channels and mediums, interact with one another. If you’ve never crafted a content calendar before, take baby steps: First and foremost, create a list of assets and topics you’ll cover over the next month or so. Once you’ve got your topics, look at events for the month ahead, and make note of marketing events, brand milestones or significant days that are approaching, as well as events taking place in pop culture. Doing so will give you an idea of how your digital content will interact with the rest of the non-marketing content your customers are rapidly consuming online. Finally, you’ll want to fill in your calendar, noting the dates content will be created, when content will be fed into your marketing automation platform, when those assets will be published and, most importantly, how every asset will be organized to push online traffic (i.e., social posts that lead to blogs and blogs that lead to registering for enewsletters).
- Content outsourcing: Many businesses don’t have the in-house fire power to take on and execute the integrated strategy they need to be successful. Rather than overworking copywriters and content marketers—and, as a result, risking a drop in quality work—many organizations have opted to address their content marketing needs either entirely or supplementally with a third-party content strategy vendor. This takes the burden off your in-house team, allowing them to focus more time and energy on the execution of an integrated multichannel strategy.
When it comes down to being successful in the multichannel digital space, you need a robust in-house team armed with the right marketing automation tools. Still, only 17 percent of marketers surveyed said they are capable of analyzing the complete customer experience across all touch points, according to the Adobe study.
If your brand continues to struggle, consider a third-party content marketing vendor that can aid your efforts and advise on digital best practices.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Content Boost site and was reposted here with the Author’s permission.