adapt omni-channel strategies to fit the customer’s needs
We’ve reached a point where a large portion of our every day may incorporate a social media component to enhance and complement our activities. As such, the collective whole of communications and marketing professionals have spent countless hours and written thousands of words on how to engage target audiences through the social fad du jour.
While many have rushed to embrace the myriad channels and the social media obsessed culture pushing them, not every company has adopted a comprehensive plan to managing and growing these channels in the long term. In fact, the CMO Council found 45% of marketers feel they lack the necessary talent, technology, and processes to master omni-channel brand marketing. Those marketers need to push their budget holders to move the dial on those strategies – brands with strong omnichannel customer engagement have an 89 percent customer retention rating, compared to 33 percent for brand rated at weak engagement, according to research by Aberdeen Group. It’s clear a dedicated and clever omni-channel strategy pays off.
Those who are successful will find a way to pick the channels appropriate to their brand and remain cohesive between them, without regurgitating the same information give or take the allowed character limit. Unless your company only uses one social platform, you need to have more than one social strategy – You need individual plans and campaigns created independently for Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Though overarching themes will permeate all channels, you shouldn’t be regurgitating the exact same copy on each platform.
So how do we as marketing and communications professionals avoid this “social regurgitation?”
First, define what the overarching goals are for your marketing strategy and how they may differ between each channel, and then make sure you have defined the type of content best suited for each channel based on those parameters. If you’re a retail company, you’re likely using Instagram to gain awareness, as an active shopping destination and for consumer research, while your LinkedIn page would be telling the corporate story and offering related news, job postings, etc.
Second, harness the power of each of those channels and their features to keep your followers interested, but not overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by the amount of content. Rather than explain a new product via multiple posts or too-long captions, explore the engagement you receive with the ephemeral content provided through Instagram Stories. Take care to keep those fresh and your followers will eventually come to expect a new installment from you at a set pace: whether it be a series of quick educational bites, demos, or behind the scenes looks into your greater product campaign.
Brands are also now aware it is becoming harder and harder to get their feed posts across to consumers thanks to Instagram’s updated algorithm. Advertising can help reach through those algorithms and bring your content directly to the intended consumer and brands are catching on to the opportunity: Sprout Social reports social media advertising spend in the US is expected to reach $18.4 billion in 2019.
While the impact of these trends on the consumer world is obvious, other industries, such as Financial Services, should take note of the efficacy of these channels for their strategy as the millennials using them grow their wealth. An excellent example is Robinhood’s sponsorship of YouTube videos from the Funhaus channel, which primarily produces video-game focused content, from gameplay to industry news reporting. In one video, Robinhood offered listeners a ‘FREE stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint to help you build your portfolio’ alongside a dedicated sign-up link, allowing Robinhood to track the referrals from this advertising effort. I’d expect these are dollars well spent for the diverse range of Funhaus viewers – falling into the ever-muddied waters of social media, advertising and influencer marketing.
Until we reach a point where one social media platform trumps them all, give your audience a clear path to engagement with your brand in various channels, in the way that best suits them. With fresh content applied in new ways across each, followers won’t find you stale, and you’ll see the positive feedback reflected in engagement, followers, and ultimately revenue.