How To Create An Omnichannel Content Strategy
How do you keep up with the ever-growing digital landscape where there seems to be a new platform every week? Strategy, of course! The reality is that there is not a new platform released weekly, but it can certainly feel that way when you lack an omnichannel content strategy set for what exists now and what's in the pipeline.
This article covers the ins and outs of omnichannel content marketing, helping you develop a strategy that speaks to your target client on each platform while providing seamless experiences for your company and customers. In this article, we will teach you the ins and outs of creating omnichannel content strategies, including:
- The benefits of having an omnichannel content strategy.
- The key components that make up omnichannel strategies.
- How to Implement an omnichannel strategy.
- Best practices to keep in mind throughout the process.
- Future omnichannel trends.
The Importance of Going Omnichannel
Not only is it the ever-evolving digital era that demands an omnichannel approach, it is integrated commerce where online and offline shopping is no longer two separate worlds but integrated, becoming the best way for customers to communicate and do business with a company. Just look at this short list of touchpoints.
We will cover all these and much more as we get further along in the article, but setting up omnichannel marketing and selling through these touchpoints already feels overwhelming. However, this is how we do business in this omniworld, and there is no getting around it. If you don't, you will surely lose out against the competition that takes each of these seriously, creating a strategy for omnichannel content.
What is an Omnichannel Content Strategy?
An omnichannel content strategy is creating (or editing) and communicating content that we tailor to each channel in a way that upholds brand consistency. Sometimes, it means repurposing content on different platforms until you have further research. Still, in most cases, it means amending or creating new content where you consider each audience's unique characteristics and preferences.
While they sound similar, omnichannel is different from multichannel marketing as it often includes three or more physical or digital marketing and selling platforms.
When you effectively engage in omnichannel marketing and selling with the right strategy, your brand will experience greater brand recall, customer loyalty, and sales.
Benefits of an Omnichannel Content Strategy
While creating your omnichannel marketing strategy can seem burdensome, the omnichannel approach provides benefits worth the investment. Here's a look at some of the key benefits that your omnichannel strategy will provide.
Leveraging Existing Content
Sometimes the best way to further a marketing effort is to squeeze more juice out of the lemon. Anytime you invest in a single marketing channel, you will have data that makes the next channel easier to execute; brands miss out on this opportunity because they need more resources to implement the content delivery.
The answer is to avoid burdening your internal team with content distribution services, as it typically results in poor execution. To maximize omnichannel content, your strategy should include engaging with a third-party agency with a system to make content customizable yet repeatable.
Increased Brand Visibility
Channels may share the same omnichannel customer, but each platform has a small group of highly active users, visitors, or shoppers. An omnichannel content strategy increases your brand awareness with these select groups, enhancing your chances of being discovered and strengthening brand recognition.
Consistent Customer Experience
Even if you make zero content edits and people see the same message on three platforms, it creates greater stickiness in their brand, reinforcing the message you hope to get across. With a comprehensive omnichannel content strategy, you will be better able to tell your story, enhancing the customer journey and deepening your relationship with the customer.
Improved Customer Engagement
From in-store demos to the live chat feature on your website, delivering personalized content through an omnichannel strategy will help you provide a better customer experience across all touch points. When trained to understand and implement your content strategy, your team will understand each individual's preferences and behaviors, tailoring their prompted content to the audience. The result will be greater customer loyalty and increased revenues in a sales environment.
Platforms For Your Omnichannel Content Strategy
If I've done my job, you have lower angst for omnichannel, and your excitement is increasing. Please hold tight here as I comprehensively list omnichannel sales and marketing channels.
As you consider this list think about them in two ways, first, from your brand's content and second, from user-generated content.
- Social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok)
- Mobile apps
- Physical stores
- Ecommerce websites
- Email marketing
- Blogging platforms
- Video-sharing platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo)
- Podcasting platforms
- Online marketplaces (e.g., Amazon, eBay)
- Live chat platforms
- Messaging apps (e.g., WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger)
- SMS marketing
- Digital advertising platforms (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook Ads)
- Content syndication platforms
- Influencer marketing platforms
- Customer review platforms
- Online communities and forums
- Webinars and online events platforms
- Content aggregators
- Voice assistants and smart speakers (e.g., Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant)
Let's ask two questions. First, How many of these channels is your brand currently on? Second, how many of these platforms do you have a strategy for?
Is this omnichannel approach making you feel overwhelmed again? Don't be. The most important thing to remember when creating your omnichannel content strategy is that Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time, and you will soon be selecting your most impactful platforms and then prioritizing them accordingly in your omnichannel campaign.
What An Omnichannel Content Strategy Must Include
Implementing a successful omnichannel content strategy involves several vital components. Let's explore them in detail:
Customer personas and journey mapping
Before taking action on your content strategy, you must understand the details specific to your customer personas. Then map their journey in life and how they interact with your company. To understand the target audience, you must deeply understand their needs, motivations, and pain points.
This information forms the foundation for an exceptional omnichannel experience throughout your sales channel and multi-faceted marketing campaign.
Content planning and creation
An effective content strategy demands discovery. While you may "think" you know what is most appropriate on each platform, careful planning must occur before you hit the engage button on your omnichannel strategy.
Through market research and competitive research, you will understand the right content to place on blog posts, social media, and paid ads.
Channel selection and integration
Both in sales and marketing, every channel has its pros and cons. Big brands with investment capital also must say no to many channels as they grow their company. If you are still determining how many channels to start with, it may be a good idea to recognize the rule of 3 in that our brains must chunk things down anytime more than three tasks or responsibilities occur. Then again, going all in on a single channel to gain traction and capture data may be the right move.
Test New Channels
At the risk of seeming hypocritical, even though you should focus on specific channels taking a "less is more" approach, every good marketer understands the need for continuous testing to be confident they are meeting the potential customer where they are. Whether this is a social media platform or a new ecommerce platform, allocating a small amount of time and resources to new platforms should be a part of your omnichannel content strategy.
Assignment Of Responsibilities
A fast way for an omnichannel strategy to fail is by not correctly delegating responsibilities to the marketing team and ensuring they keep on top of this task. Be intentional about assigning duties before you begin the campaign, as it is much harder to put this in place when an omnichannel approach is active.
Choosing The Right Partners
When your marketing strategy responsibilities go outside your internal team, you must diligently choose the right partner. As an extension of your marketing team, the right partner can make or break the campaign's success based on their ability to properly execute an omnichannel delivery in quality assurance and a strategy with a strong ROI.
Data Analysis And Optimization
Regularly reporting on actionable data is critical to the success of an omnichannel strategy. Brands that do not measure the performance of Omni are bound to spend lots of money for little return. On the sales channel side, they will likely lose retail partners due to flat-line or declining sales.
Data analysis can include internal reports such as Google Analytics, email marketing reports, and channel data. Then, you pair this with customer feedback, surveys, and social listening to understand what future customer retention and new customer acquisition look like for your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Taking a data-driven approach is how you win with omnichannel. Thankfully there is software there are specialists who can help you understand how your content strategy is performing. Through strategic iteration, you will see an improvement in the campaign's success.
Best Practices for Implementing an Omnichannel Content Strategy
To make the most of an omnichannel content strategy, consider the following best practices:
Aligning Content With Customer Needs (In Real Time)
Personalization is at the heart of every successful omnichannel marketing campaign. When you understand and meet a customer's needs in real-time, you capture their attention, earn their trust, and build brand credibility. But you can only accomplish this when you have performed significant research to understand your target audience.
Admittedly, this is more challenging than basing your content strategy on historical data, but the more relevant you can be to your target audience, the better.
Consistency In Branding & Messaging
Maintaining consistent branding and messaging across all channels is more important than most companies realize. A solid and recognizable brand identity builds trust, helping customers easily recognize and connect with the brand, regardless of the platform they are using.
Ensure a seamless experience for customers as they move across channels. Consistency in design, tone, and user experience creates a sense of familiarity and reinforces the brand's positioning, making it easier for customers to engage and convert.
Seamless experiences require attention to detail. Here is where the assignment of responsibilities comes into play. Your creative team may not be the best point of accountability for this assignment.
The Challenges of Implementing an Omnichannel Content Strategy
Implementing an omnichannel content strategy comes with its own set of challenges. Let's explore a few common ones:
Inconsistent data is the enemy of proper omnichannel execution. Integrating data across multiple channels is difficult, so sales and marketing omnichannel platforms must ensure we capture accurate insights as we optimize our content strategy.
Proper training is necessary for effective decision-making; most SaaS platforms offer this service. Even if it comes at an additional cost, it will be well worth the investment, so you can be confident that accuracy continues as you grow.
Ensuring Consistency Across Channels
In most cases, a company will have multiple people handling content across the various platforms. This presents a potential issue in maintaining consistency across your content. Brands must find harmony between customization and consistency so the overall experience doesn't create friction, confusing the target audience.
Managing Resources And Budget
The decision to go omni means you will spend greater human capital and money on the effort. An omnichannel approach without sufficient resources is sure to fail and is a far worse decision than focusing on a single platform. Every touchpoint should receive adequate attention to ensure it meets your strategy expectations.
Future Omnichannel Trends
To overcome the challenges and stay ahead in the evolving digital landscape, brands can consider the following strategies:
Companies must keep a close eye on technology as it accelerates faster and faster. The brands that look at technology with fear or treat it with latency will surely be passed up by those who get excited and engage with new tools. Embracing AI, machine learning, and automation strengthen your company's ability to improve efficiency while personalizing the experience for your target audience.
Omnichannel Content Automation
Strategic use of AI will be the difference maker for many omnichannel strategies. While nearly every company has an AI integration built into their software, it's essential to understand what has value and is in the way. Your company can create content with speed, agility, and accuracy with the right AI tools.
Evolving Customer Preferences
Just as technology is moving faster, so are customer preferences. Brands must pay close attention to customer behaviors, preferences, and their level of engagement with your company. Otherwise, you will risk losing relevance with the target customer, giving them permission to work or purchase from competitors.
Digital Marketing With A Personal Touch
The Nine is a digital marketing agency with a passion for content marketing. Our team of content strategists will create a custom content strategy to support your omnichannel effort. Schedule a time to speak with one of our specialists to learn how our content strategy services can help your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a small business implement an omnichannel content strategy?
Yes, small businesses can implement an omnichannel content strategy. It's important to understand your target audience and the channels they frequent. Focus on consistency, personalization, and effectively leveraging available resources to deliver a cohesive and engaging brand experience.
How can I measure the success of my omnichannel content strategy?
Measuring the success of an omnichannel content strategy involves tracking various metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and brand recognition across different channels. Analyzing data and utilizing analytics tools can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your strategy.
Is an omnichannel content strategy only relevant to online businesses?
No, an omnichannel content strategy is relevant for online and offline businesses. Regardless of the nature of your business, customers expect consistent and personalized experiences across multiple touch points. By integrating your online and offline channels, you can provide a seamless brand experience to your customers.
How often should I update my omnichannel content strategy?
Your omnichannel content strategy should be regularly updated to align with changing customer preferences and market trends. Monitoring your content's performance, gathering customer feedback, and adapting your strategy to ensure its effectiveness is crucial. Most brands commit to a quarterly review, but a monthly review may be necessary during the ramp-up period.
How can I ensure that my omnichannel content strategy remains relevant in the future?
To ensure your omnichannel content strategy remains relevant in the future, stay updated with the latest technological advancements and emerging trends in the digital landscape. Continuously analyze customer behavior and preferences, and be open to experimenting with new channels and formats that resonate with your target audience. Flexibility and adaptability are vital in future-proofing your strategy.