Hope you had a successful sales season that propelled you into 2022, looking forward to more. The first few months of the year are a great opportunity to reset after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and set intentions for the months ahead. The first quarter is also the perfect time to update your strategy to maintain that holiday marketing momentum throughout the year.
Of course, undertaking a change in marketing strategy is a big undertaking, especially for small businesses. So if you want to make a change, it better be for a good reason. This year, reframing your perspective to take an omnichannel marketing approach will solve three critical marketing problems you may not even know about and set your business up for success in 2022 and beyond.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that assigns specific roles to all of your platforms based on where your customers are in the marketing funnel. This approach also allows you to set more realistic goals, make targeted improvements, and measure progress. Here’s how it works:
The elements of an omnichannel strategy
An omnichannel strategy divides your marketing efforts into three distinct categories, each with their own goals.
- Traffic: This bucket encompasses activities that reach new people. Activities could include targeted pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising on Google or Microsoft networks, or prospecting advertising on social networks. Either way, the job of the traffic bucket is to constantly drive potential customers to your website.
- Conversion: This bucket covers activities that improve your website’s conversion rate. These efforts are essential because even modest conversion rate improvements can result in substantial revenue gains.
- After purchase: After your customers make their first purchase, these bucket activities encourage them to come back and buy again and again.
An omnichannel marketing strategy helps ensure that you reach the right people at the right time with the right tools. Dividing your efforts in this way will also help you solve three of the most common marketing problems small businesses face.
Problem, find solutions
Adopting an effective marketing strategy is always a challenge. Getting started, figuring out where to invest your time and money can be overwhelming. Second, staying consistent with your strategy takes a lot of effort. As a result, small businesses typically make many of the same marketing mistakes. Fortunately, developing an omnichannel approach naturally addresses these issues. Here’s how.
Problem #1: Traffic sources are not diverse
New traffic is the lifeblood of any business. However, many people make the mistake of relying too much on Google to generate this traffic. This overreliance is understandable as the platform understands consumer search behavior and therefore is fantastic at capturing existing demand. However, it is not as good at generating demand. As a business owner, you certainly want to reach people who are already actively searching for your brand or offerings. But you also need to reach potential customers who have never heard of you.
The omnichannel solution
An omnichannel approach assigns roles to each marketing platform. In this case, the Google and Microsoft networks will pick up the existing search demand. Here you will use cost-per-click metrics to set goals and measure success. You will also include Facebook and Instagram prospecting campaigns to reach people who have never heard of your business. When these campaigns start working, you will see an increase in direct traffic or an increase in search traffic.
Issue #2: Unresolved Website Conversion Issues
Every website has hidden obstacles or bottlenecks that prevent a number of new visitors from making purchases. Unfortunately, most business owners have very little information about where these barriers exist. As a result, potential customers leave their sites every day without buying and are lost forever. That’s why finding and fixing these conversion issues is such a valuable activity. Not only will you capture additional new revenue, but you will also have the opportunity to turn more new visitors into lifelong customers.
The omnichannel solution
In an omnichannel setting, you’ll focus on increasing conversion rates as one of the three pillars of your marketing stool. Start this process by determining where your visitors start to fall off in their customer journey. In Google Analytics, navigate to Behavior -> Site Content -> Exit Page. This data tells you what point in the buying experience is causing the most friction with potential buyers. Then create segments for home page visitors, product page visitors, cart page visitors, cart abandoners, and shoppers. This gives you an idea of the most necessary adjustments. Users don’t like your product pages? Maybe the checkout process scares them away? Adjust your website accordingly. By reviewing this information, you’ll gain a better understanding of your customer’s online experience so you can decide where to start making improvements.
Problem #3: Ignoring Customer Retention Efforts
Another common mistake business owners make is focusing all of their attention on generating new traffic while completely ignoring their existing customers. The problem here is that new traffic is the most expensive to acquire because so many people drop out as they move through the funnel. However, you have already spent the money to acquire existing customers, so making efforts to increase their lifetime value with subsequent purchases is a much more profitable marketing activity.
The omnichannel solution
The inherent value of existing customers is why there is a dedicated post-purchase bucket in an omnichannel strategy. You can start targeting these customers by investing in a high-quality email service provider that can send automated emails based on important website behavior. You can also use email to send shopping anniversary messages, discount codes, or exclusive offers. Loyalty programs are another effective way to reward loyal customers. You can find great providers in the messaging and loyalty spaces that offer fantastic features at a relatively low cost.
A renewed approach brings many benefits
Refocusing your 2022 marketing strategy to take an omnichannel approach will take some work, but it will also pay dividends when you’re done. Not only will your marketing work more effectively by targeting critical consumer behavior, but it will also help you prioritize your marketing activities based on what works best while addressing a few critical issues along the way.
There’s no better way to keep your marketing momentum going than by taking a fresh approach and looking at your customers from a new perspective. The discoveries you make will drive your business forward throughout the year.