Multichannel MarketingIt’s not easy figuring out how to connect and interact with consumers, especially through one singular platform. Actually, it is almost impossible to do so, which is why your business should implement various platforms. In other words, implement multi-channeling in your targeting strategy.

We now know that the internet is not just a fad, but in the grand scheme of things, there are so many ways that individuals use the internet. So how can businesses know how to target their audience? Well, that is where multi-channeling comes in handy.

At BMA Chicago’s February breakfast, Joe Chura, CEO of Launch Digital Marketing, discussed five different ways to use multi-channeling to improve your business’ marketing targeting strategy: paid search marketing, social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), website optimization and IoT (Internet of Things).

1. Paid Search Marketing

Over 80% of transactions start with search, and the amount of time spent on mobile devices has doubled in just a few short years. Those are significant statistics, and ones that all businesses should know and understand. Paid search marketing is such an important concept in the marketing world, and it is much more effective than using organic advertising alone. Businesses that use paid search marketing within Google and Facebook are coming out on top, because they are the ones at the top of searches. As Joe Chura said, they are “in the moment.” Thinking ahead of your competitors and bidding on specific keywords will provide an advantage for your business and attract the right audience.

But you have to be careful. “The mistake a lot of businesses are making now is thinking that Facebook and Google are competitors,” explained Joe Chura. Facebook is a discovery engine, whereas Google is a search engine. When you understand the difference, you will optimize your paid search budget.

Best Practices
I. Own the moments
II. If you’re not bidding on your name, you need to start
III. Look at proximity, and be smart with budget

2. Social Media Marketing

Just as we know now that the internet is not and will not be a fad, the same goes for social media. At least 20% of time spent on mobile devices is on Facebook, and 1 billion individuals use Facebook Messenger, which is positioned to be as big as Facebook itself. Auto-communication using Messenger is growing as brands start to use chatbots, making it easy for them to answer questions that come up time and time again.

Just like Facebook Messenger, Instagram is growing rapidly, even surpassing Twitter. 500 million users are on Instagram, most of whom are non-U.S. citizens. While statistics say that 75% of users take action on ads within this platform, Joe did not fully agree. However, he does feel that the investment in Instagram is one that needs to be made.

Best Practices
I. Create a Messenger strategy and be first to market
II. Adopt Instagram advertising
III. Think about multicultural audiences

3. SEO

As said before, bidding on keywords and being mobile are very important aspects to capturing your audience. Consumers demand quality and personalization, which is why it’s crucial to choose keywords selectively based on your audience. Visual content will be key to bringing in business. Most consumers do not want to have to dig through pages and pages of text, and they want the answer right in front of them. Make it easy for them by giving them the answer without hurdles.

So how do you outsmart Google? You can’t. But Joe gave us a few tips to get better results …

Best Practices
I. Write about your customer
II. Try to hit the shorter tail (for example, instead of trying to be the best restaurant in all of Chicago, try to be the best in your specific area: Bucktown, Old Town, etc.)
III. Think mobile

Joe breezed by quickly with these next two points, but they are still essential to your business’ multi-channel strategy.

4. Website Optimization

Now, this may seem obvious and straightforward, but there are businesses that make this mistake multiple times: Do not create your advertisement before your landing page. Simple. If you want to optimize your analysis and the efficiency of your ads, you have to create your website and / or landing page before the advertisements.

Best Practices
I. Connect the dots
II. Don’t treat mobile search like desktop

5. IoT

I’m sure we all know what this means, but we might not have put a name behind it before. Essentially, IoT means “everyday objects connecting to the internet.” This will be even more prevalent in the future, but businesses should make it a priority sooner rather than later. We have already seen this happening with household items like TVs, coffee makers and even refrigerators. Technology will be part of almost everything, whether we like it or not, and businesses need to adapt to this.

Best Practices
I. Embrace technology — it is not an option anymore

Are you multi-channeling within your business strategy this year? If not, don’t worry: It’s not too late. But to avoid playing catch-up for too long, start now, because other businesses have already started.