Modern consumers are connected, tech-savvy researchers. They like to comparison shop, and they like to buy from brands they know well and feel to be trustworthy. So what does this mean for your marketing strategy? To drive conversions and win loyal, long-time customers, it’s essential for businesses to develop an integrated, omnichannel marketing strategy. In other words, your brand can reach a wider audience by being advertised on multiple platforms.
Increasing Brand Visibility
The top reason to target potential buyers on multiple advertising platforms is that you’ll reach a much wider audience. Not everyone reads e-newsletters, browses Facebook, or listens to talk shows on a regular basis. But by advertising with all three of those channels, you’ll put your brand in front of more consumers. Imagine for a moment that each marketing channel is its own community. When your brand becomes an established member of many different communities, far more of its “neighbors” will grow to recognize it, trust it, and turn to it to meet their needs.
Building Consumer Trust
Speaking of consumer trust, this is one of the most significant hallmarks of a successful business in the digital era. It’s possible for consumers to voice their opinions to millions of people with just a click of the mouse. If they receive substandard service at a restaurant, a child’s toy they buy falls apart, or furniture they ordered is difficult to assemble, there’s a good chance that consumers will leave an unflattering online review—either on the website or on the consumers’ own social media pages.
As every business owner knows, it’s impossible for products and services to be 100% perfect every time. But when consumers trust the brand, they are more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong. Consumer trust is crucial for reputation management and for maintaining a loyal customer base.
One way that brands can build trustworthiness is by promoting the business across multiple advertising platforms. It works by engaging the customer at multiple touchpoints. The buying cycle model suggests that consumers go through the following stages while deciding to make a purchase.
- The consumer becomes aware of the brand.
- The consumer considers how the brand might meet his or her needs.
- The consumer develops an emotional or logical preference for a brand/product.
The buying cycle ends when the consumer purchases the product, and then perhaps makes a repeat purchase. Advertising on multiple channels enables the consumer to be reminded of the brand at each stage of the buying cycle. When the consumer is finally ready to make a purchase, he or she might conveniently see a push notification or a targeted social media ad that links the consumer directly to the product.
Consumers who become aware of a brand throughout the buying cycle are more likely to believe that brand is trustworthy. As an example, during the second stage of the cycle, the consumer may research the product. He or she may compare it to competitors’ products, read online reviews, and see what friends on social media platforms think about the product. A consumer who doesn’t receive enough information about a brand through targeted messaging might not convert to a sale.
Increasing Buying Opportunities
Even after a consumer decides to purchase a product, the conversion isn’t made until that consumer clicks “Submit order.” It’s possible for consumers to change their minds and purchase competitors’ products instead. To win more conversions, your business needs to appeal to the consumer’s love of convenience. Multi-platform advertising accomplishes this by increasing buying opportunities.
Let’s take the hypothetical example of Jane, who is thinking of purchasing a new pair of shoes. Jane isn’t sold on any particular brand until she reads a blog about how XYZ Shoes donates a percentage of their proceeds to charity. She later sees a social media ad about the high quality and superior craftsmanship of XYZ Shoes. Now Jane wants to buy the shoes, and so she goes to the company’s website and adds a pair of shoes to her virtual shopping cart. But then Jane starts to think twice about the cost of the shoes, and so she abandons the shopping cart. Later, Jane gets a push notification about her abandoned shopping cart. The push notification includes a discount code for 10% off, and a convenient link directly to her shopping cart. Jane uses the link and completes the purchase. This conversion was successfully made because XYZ Shoes increased Jane’s buying opportunities by utilizing multiple marketing platforms.
Types of Advertising Platforms to Target
Now that you understand the benefits of multi-platform advertising, it’s time to decide which platforms your brand should target. There are four main avenues to consider:
Of course, within those categories, there is a myriad of choices to consider. If you decide to run a radio ad, for example, you could target both talk shows and music programs. If you run TV commercials, you’ll need to find one or more channels with viewer demographics that align with your own buyer profiles. It’s similar for print magazines, which target a wide range of audiences depending on the content type.
While you shouldn’t rule out the first three, more traditional advertising vehicles, it’s impossible to ignore Internet advertising, particularly if your business is an e-commerce retailer without a brick and mortar presence. Here’s a quick rundown of common advertising avenues:
- Affiliate marketing: Third-party website product pushing for a share of the revenue
- Display ads: Ads on third-party websites (banner, overlays, video ads, or interactive ads)
- Email marketing: Any type of advertising that’s emailed, including newsletters
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising: Bidding for placement on search engine results (Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing)
- Social media marketing: Any advertising done on social media platforms, including company updates and social media ads
Within these categories, there are many possibilities. It isn’t sufficient, for example, to only advertise on Facebook and Twitter. There are plenty of people who only visit those platforms occasionally. There are also plenty of people who do visit them regularly, but may not necessarily trust content found on them. To increase brand visibility and encourage consumers to trust your company, you need to diversify your social media marketing portfolio. Consider using the following social media platforms:
- Google My Business
Case Study in Multi-Platform Advertising
While you’re planning your multi-platform advertising strategy, you can take some inspiration from the companies who have succeeded with it. One shining example is ABCMouse.com, the educational app for early learners. This company has cornered the market on at-home learning, and it accomplished it in part by working its way into classrooms. The company realized that the target audience—parents—need to trust an educational brand before purchasing it for their children. And so it offers the app free to schools, libraries, community centers, and Head Start programs. Subsequently, these organizations willingly provide glowing reviews of ABCMouse.com to the parents who will then purchase the subscription for use at home. The company finished off its advertising campaign by creating tangible sales kits with print materials, and doing digital campaigns like e-blasts and social media marketing campaigns.
Don’t just target your audience. Surround your audience with multi-platform digital presence solutions available from Salem Media Group. With offices across the country, our nationwide omnichannel marketing specialists empower your business to engage your audience wherever they surf, search, socialize, and listen. You can contact Salem Surround today for more information about our broadcast and digital marketing opportunities.