“Omni-Channel” seems like a term everyone is getting sold with nowadays.
Dozens of websites, blogs, and forums all use this all encompassing term to describe why their service is better. Yet, “Omni-Channel'' is vague. Its name is almost as ambiguous as its ability to perform.
Luckily, we’re here to dispel the myth for you.
We're here to tell you, Omni-Channel Outreach doesn’t actually achieve too much… unless you are keeping the following considerations in mind during your next campaign.
What is Omni-Channel Outreach?
Before we share the considerations to keep in mind during your next Omni-Channel campaign, there are a few points we should go over first.
Omni-Channel Outreach is a marketing and outreach strategy that utilizes various digital or physical platforms, such as email, social media, online advertising, traditional media, newspapers, etc, to reach your target audience.
Omni-Channel Outreach is used to market products and services on / to multiple channels simultaneously in order to reach a wider range of viewership and create brand awareness with your ideal audience ( read more about ideal customers here).
Why is having an Omni-Channel Outreach strategy important?
An Omni-Channel approach to your outreach efforts is important because adopting this strategy allows your business to reach out to customers where they are most likely to be found.
Reaching customers or prospects on a platform they use most frequently and are most comfortable with is a sure fire way to increase conversions, and customer loyalty.
Furthermore, Omni-Channel Outreach can be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies. By doing so, customers are nurtured through all touch points of the customer's journey, including pre-purchase, purchase-consideration, purchase, and post-purchase.
The journey starts with identifying potential customers and ends with selling to, then retaining those customers for a long customer lifetime value. In order to create a successful omni-channel strategy, you need to know what channels your customers are using, what needs they are trying to meet, and what points in the journey you can most effectively reach your customers (more on this later).
Once you have researched the customer journey you want your ideal prospect to take, you can then tailor make a plan for each stage of the journey, then map your plan to the channels your customers are using. The plan should include all of the channels you will use and how they will work together.
No, not that scary, all-knowing omni-presence. The omni-presence of your brand. How much exposure of your brand is out there. Put simply, brand omni-presence is your company's ability to be present in every aspect of your customers' lives. This includes targeting customers through their preferred marketing / communications channels.
Oftentimes, brand omni-presence campaigns don’t directly increase your conversions or results.
For example, Formula 1 racing cars have sponsor logos plastered all over them. This is a business’s attempt to expose their brand to more viewers. Further, there is usually no call to action in these campaigns. The objective is to increase the amount of views or impressions of your brand.
In addition, tracking metrics using an omni-presence strategy is very hard. It can be hard to determine whether the change in your metric is a direct result of the strategy.
Let's use our Formula 1 example again. After placing my logo on a race car, I can see the amount of viewers on my website has increased. But is this increase due to exposing my logo to a new audience? Or is it because our other campaigns are generating new interest?
Usually the results of using a brand omni-presence strategy is not as black and white. The degree to which your campaigns are working can be identified a couple ways. The way we have done it in the past at Dreamline is:
Leverage “Acquisition” Data from Google Analytics to subtract all known mediums that generate traffic from the amount of Unique visitors. This gives us a rough ballpark figure of new visitors as a result of extra brand exposure.
Create incentives for customers / prospects to explore unique landing pages. This way we know the customer most likely visited our brand as a result of the extra brand exposure.
The reason brand omni-presence is relevant to omni-channel outreach is because the entire impact of your omni-channel outreach campaign cannot just be determined by your usual sales metrics (conversion rate, click-through rate, cost per click, etc).
The extent to which your omni-channel outreach campaigns end up exposing your brand to new visitors is great and potentially far reaching.
Channel strategies: What are the different types of channels?
In general, when it comes to omni-channel outreach, there are 2 main channels.
Paid channels refer to any type of advertising that you purchase, such as TV / radio ads, or online ads through platforms like Facebook or Google.
Organic channels refer to any unpaid efforts you make to promote your business, such as content marketing, social media engagement, or public relations campaigns, corporate social responsibility initiatives, etc.
Selecting channels: How do you choose the right channels?
When it comes to choosing the right channels for your omni-channel outreach campaign, you need to consider your business goals and target audience. You also need to take into account the different channels available and how each can help you reach your target market.
Paid channels can be a great way to reach a large audience quickly, and it can be targeted to specific demographics based on your needs, while organic channels can be a great way to build trust with your audience and create long-term relationships with customers.
Arguably the most important aspect of choosing the right channel for your next omni-channel outreach campaign is understanding your ideal customer. Meeting your customer on a platform they use the most / are most comfortable using will increase your campaign efficiency in almost all metrics.
( read more about demographics here )
There are 2 ways to find demographic data:
1. Search for a demographic breakdown provided by the channel
Usually widely available
2. Conduct your own primary research on individual channels
Most accurate and tailored to your business
Campaign data can be leveraged to guide future campaigns
Can be costly for short term economic gain
Choosing the right channel for your target audience can end up saving you a lot of time and effort.
Mixing and Matching: How do you combine different channels?
Combining different mediums to reach your ideal customers in your Omni-Channel outreach campaign is crucial when it comes to campaign success. Incorporating appropriate mediums will increase your chance of achieving your campaign goals. That being said, the combinations of channels you can possibly mix and match are innumerable.
It’s safe to say that there isn’t a “best combination” of channels. Your best channels highly depend on your industry and your ideal customer. For example, a hair salon might use different channels than a concrete manufacturer.
Besides your ideal customer, there are a few factors we also take into consideration when picking channel combinations:
1. Content Lifespan
Content lifespan refers to the amount of time a unique piece of content will stay relevant.
For example, think of a Instagram Story versus a Youtube Video. The instagram story stays relevant for 24 hours ( the duration the story stays “live”), while the youtube video will say relevant and “live” for as long as Youtube exists.
In the context of content lifespan, your business would ideally want to pick multiple channels that have different content lifespans
Long lifespan content can also be cut down and repurposed to be used for shorter lifespan content, but that's a whole other blog in itself…
2. Content Objective
What’re you trying to achieve with your content?
If my omni-channel outreach campaign objective is to generate leads, it would probably be better for me to tailor my content towards facebook groups rather than make a youtube video (for the most part).
Matching content objectives with picking your channel combinations will increase the efficiency of your campaign.
3. Content Duration
Content duration refers to the amount of time it takes to consume your content. A post may take a few seconds to read. A carousel may take 1 minute, a blog post 3 minutes, a video 10 minutes, and so on.
Choosing a combination of channels featuring multiple content duration lengths is important to keep up content diversity.
Channel Integration: Consistent Messaging
When it comes to using omni-channel outreach strategies, staying consistent across all platforms is key. That’s where having consistent branding guidelines come in handy. By having a set of branding guidelines in place, you can ensure that your message stays on track, no matter what medium it’s being delivered in.
Branding guidelines are specific rules that dictate how you should present your company and its products or services. They can include everything from the colors you use in your marketing materials to the tone of your advertising campaigns. By following these guidelines, you can create a unified brand presence that will make you stand out from the competition.
Developing and sticking to a set of branding guidelines may seem like a lot of extra work, but the payoff can be worth it. Not only will your customers appreciate the consistency, but you’ll also be able to measure the success of your campaigns more easily.
You want to be able to quantify what elements of your campaign are leading to changes in results. Keeping the messaging consistent will remove a possible variable - allowing you to have a more accurate and realistic representation of how your campaigns are actually performing.
Measuring Success: Keep what works, remove what doesn’t
When it comes to measuring success in omni-channel outreach, keep the channels that are working, and remove the channels that aren’t. Sounds simple enough right?
The key here is to understand how long it truly takes for each channel to run efficiently. Unfortunately, the duration of time to run a campaign will be extremely industry and budget specific. A good general rule of thumb is: longer than you think.
Even if you have great targeting from using tailored ideal customer profiles, it could take various channels an inordinate amount of time to actually start delivering your content to the right people.
After you’ve given all of your channels sufficient time to generate results, review your entire campaign, and identify poor performing channels. Here you could either change the content in the poor performing channel, or pause utilizing the channel altogether.
TOP TIP: If you’re choosing to change the content on your poor performing channels, change 1 variable at a time.
The reason we want to change 1 variable at a time is so we can easily identify change giving you better results. For example, If I want to post on Facebook with my content, and I change the picture, copy, call to action, and my offer all in the same post, it would be hard for me to decipher which change actually leads to more results. Whereas, If I changed things on my facebook posts 1 at a time, I can easily point to the change as the catalyst for my new results.
The truth is, omni-channel campaigns work exceptionally well when done right.
If you’re patient enough to develop a branding guideline so messaging across all channels stay consistent your campaigns will have a better chance of success.
If you’re patient enough to give your campaigns enough run time on their different platforms before making drastic changes, your campaigns will have a better chance of success.
If you’re patient enough to detail your ideal customer profile and to select the proper channels while mixing and matching different content types, your campaigns will have a better chance of success.
We understand how hard this process can be, so If you’re interested in how we can help you with omni-channel outreach, please don’t hesitate to contact us via Email or Phone. We’re looking forward to helping and understanding how omni-channels can help you win your next campaign.
Tel: +34 672-370-947