Listen To Our Podcast
Omni-Channel Marketing Organic Strategies for 2020 – If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the marketing industry, you will have no doubt come across the term ‘omni-channel’ by now. But have you taken the time to study and understand this advertising trend? Are you curious to find out how it can impact your business and benefit your brand?
When performed in an organic fashion, this effective marketing strategy can help to take your business to the next level. Interest piqued? If so, be sure to read on. In this article, we will take a look under the hood of omni-channel marketing and delve deep into its many facets and intricacies.
Read on to find out how you can craft an organic omni-channel marketing strategy.
Before you start strategizing…
Before you go ahead and run your first big omni-channel marketing campaign, we should make your aware of a few things. Understanding the basics of this form of digital marketing will help you to optimize your efforts with regard to it.
Here’s a beginner’s guide detailing everything you must consider before you seek to improve your omni-presence:
Omni-channel vs Multi-channel — there’s a difference
True, they are both double-barrelled forms of advertising. True, they do cover a plethora of different platforms/channels at one time. But that’s where all the similarities end.
Omni-channel and multi-channel are not the same, and it’s important that you understand that right from the off. Failing to do so could result in your advertising campaigns losing their personal touch. If that were to happen, not only would you fail to generate any leads going forward, but you’d also be liable to alienate your current consumer base.
Here’s a breakdown of all the differences that you should be aware of in this instance:
Omni-channel marketing is all about providing an optimized and seamless consumer experience. It doesn’t take platform, channel, or device into account. It focuses on the customer and the customer alone.
What makes this form of digital marketing so special? How has it enjoyed such a sudden rise to prominence? The reason behind omni-channel’s current surge of popularity is the fact that it helps to create positive brand experiences. It achieves this by making the customer journey its main priority.
This is a strategy that combines platforms in an attempt to nurture consumer buying habits. It isn’t forceful. It isn’t abrupt or ‘salesy.’ It values strategic segmentation and personalization much more than its counterpart.
Multi-channel marketing is a task that marketers embark on when they want to reach as many consumers as possible. It involves spreading their advertising efforts across a plethora of touchpoints. From social media platforms to in-person demos to pop-up search ads — nothing is safe in this instance.
At its core, multi-channel marketing is nothing more than an attempt to grow a brand’s reach. If it happens to reach a large number of consumers, then it is successful. What it loses along the way, though, is a personal touch.
By targeting so many people, it’s difficult to maintain a high level of personalization.
What the Experts are Saying
Industry leaders are now starting to embrace omni-channel marketing in an attempt to take their companies to the next level. Here’s what a few of them have had to say in the past about this form of digital marketing:
John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable
“Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent.” — source: Marketo
Loren McDonald, Vice President Industry Relations at Silverpop (IBM Company)
“From an execution perspective, [omnichannel] means listening to and capturing data and behavior from a customer across all channels and then responding back through the channel, or channels, that best moves that individual customer on to the next step of the journey.” — source: Marketing Sherpa
Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite
“Stop thinking of your customers in terms of “X” number of leads down the funnel. Treat them as real people and focus on personalizing each of their interactions and experiences with your brand.” — source: Entrepreneur
Clare Price, VP of Research at Demand Metric
“Mobile engagements are driving omni-channel growth across online and offline shopping environments. Solution providers that are enabling brands to embrace the mobile platform and modernize interactions with in-store shoppers will be at the forefront of the omni-channel retail customer experience.” — source: Nuance (née TouchCommerce)
Jacquelyn Wossilius, Director of Bowlmor at AMF
“Omni-channel marketing opens the door for you to provide an interconnectedness among touch-points for your audience as they engage with your brand. You can display one mind and one voice at every point in which you are communicating with your consumer.” — source: Blue Fountain Media
A few essential questions…
Don’t worry, the strategies are coming. To ensure that you’re ready to optimize your omni-channel strategy, it’s important that you get answers to the following questions:
What is an Omni-Channel Strategy?
Starting off with the most important question of them all — what is an omni-channel strategy? What intricacies does it consist of? Is coming up with such a strategy a difficult challenge to undertake?
An omni-channel strategy is a sales and marketing campaign that seeks to meet customer expectations. It unites multiple channels in a bid to win consumers and improve the shopping experience. From the physical store to the mobile app, the omni-channel marketing strategy encompasses it all.
This strategy’s main focus is the consumer. Customer acquisition, engagement, and loyalty — that’s what this form of online marketing is all about. Its main concerns include the following:
- In-store browsability
- App scannability
- Abandoned cart rates
- Paths to purchase
As they are a form of digital marketing, omni-channel strategies are also concerned with social media marketing. Are consumers able to explore the store’s product range on external sites such as Pinterest and Instagram? Do recent posts make a difference to product sales, and vice versa? If the answer to either of those questions is no, the strategy in question is not of the omni-channel variety.
Off-site coupons and voucher codes (so long as they improve the buying journey) are also valued in this form of advertising. Stores that notify their most loyal customers whenever new products are available are very much appreciated as well.
If you want to study some omni-channel marketing examples and success stories, look no further than Disney’s My Disney Experience app. This is a digital strategy that offers personalized experiences for every individual consumer. It achieves this through its plethora of interconnected customer touchpoints. With this app at their disposal, Disney World lovers can buy their tickets, scan their passes, and check ride times with ease. And that’s even before they access the customized content that is available to them via this platform!
How can I improve omni-channel retaining?
Another important question to ask, and one that you must answer if you’re to succeed with your organic omni-channel marketing strategy. It’s quite simple — customer retention is of the utmost importance. If you want to enjoy unbridled marketing success, it must be one of your top priorities.
Here are a few best practices that you must put into practice if you’re to improve your omni-channel retaining process:
- Decentralize customer engagement and make your customer care a business-wide initiative
- Make use of a multi-channel delivery system
- Personalize your omni-channel experiences across all platforms and touchpoints
- Harness brand loyalty and connection by focussing on your existing customer relationships
- Always take a preconceived knowledge gap into consideration
- Plan for disruptions both online and offline
- Produce different types of content (white papers, social proof, blog posts, infographics, etc.)
- Improve your marketing contents to ensure that your different types of content are engaging and intuitive
- Align your marketing plan with your ongoing investment strategy
- Offer an optimized mobile shopping experience
- When a customer reaches out to you via social media, don’t delay with regard to responding to them
- Embrace marketing automation, self-service technology, and live chat
- SMS messaging platforms have the capacity to cross industries, so make use of one
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers and drive sales via email
- Audit your digital channels on a regular basis to ensure they are as good now as they ever have been
- Never rest on your laurels when it comes to search engine optimization… technical SEO is important to lead generation AND customer retention
Attempting to optimize your customer retention through content marketing is never easy. If your content becomes stale, your consumers won’t feel inclined to interact with your business online. As a result, they’ll seek pastures new in their search of a company that can provide them with the level of service that they expect. When you embrace omni-channel marketing, though, you widen your scope in this sense. With more media channels to exploit, you have the opportunity to freshen up your content on a regular basis.
Is omni-channel the future?
Move over Millennials, there are some new kids on the block. Known as Generation Z, these young adults (aged between 18 and 21) aren’t wasting any time in their bid to take over the world’s buying power. Members of this generation are now leaving college, getting jobs, and earning their own money. As a result, they’re the ones that retailers and digital advertisers are now focusing on when they run their marketing campaigns.
Omni-channel marketing plays right into the hands of Gen Z. This is a generation that has used technology from birth. It might be hard for you to fathom, but they’ve had the Internet at their fingertips since before they could walk! This means that they are comfortable with using a plethora of web-based platforms at once… thus making omni-channel marketing an effective way to appeal to them.
Does this mean omni-channel is the future? Yes, and the facts don’t lie!
Here are four omni-channel statistics that prove this is the future of the retail industry:
- Businesses that use a omni-channel strategy are more likely to keep customers over a year-by-year basis (91% more likely, to be precise). — source: Loyalty 360
- A whopping 98% of Americans switch between a variety of devices each day. This has resulted in consumers coming into contact with six touch-points on average per day (and 50% using four or more on a daily basis). — source: Knexus
- Consumers now expect instant contact and seamless shopping experiences. 35% wish to remain in contact with the same representative across all shopping channels. 87% think that customer experience should be the number one priority for shopping brands. Granting these wishes helps to forge customer loyalty. — source: Zendesk
- 50% of customers expect to be able to pick their purchases up from physical stores after completing their transactions online. — source: Business 2 Community
What do these stats prove? They prove that omni-strong businesses are better positioned to attract and keep customers. What can we say… omni-channel customers love being able to complete transactions across a plethora of platforms. In fact, they expect this kind of service to be the norm!
What is Omni-Channel Retail Marketing?
Retailing isn’t what it used to be, that’s for sure. The rise of the Internet has changed the way shoppers think and behave. They want to make transactions online, and they want their purchases delivered straight to their doors. If they don’t receive this optimized service, they take their business elsewhere. It is as simple and as straightforward as that.
Omni-channel retail marketing helps to provide consumers with this high level of service and more. It is a form of advertising designed to give the customer whatever they want, when they want it, where they want it.
For example, a customer visits an e-commerce website, finds a product that they like, but chooses not to buy it there and then. Later, while they are browsing another media channel (Facebook, for instance), they come across an ad that is promoting the item that they were keen on. Only now they feel more inclined to make the purchase because there is a coupon code attached to it. This results in them completing the transaction in their own time and, as they’ve ended up saving money, it has optimized their experience. This is omni-channel retail marketing at its finest.
In this instance, two different touch-points did the job. It would have been easy to add another one, though. There could have been a physical pick-up location used to conclude the transaction, for example.
The point is, whether it’s two touch-points or six, omni-channel retail marketing is an effective way to boost conversion rates. It drives engagement. It improves digital experiences over different marketing channels. And it combines online and offline transactions in a seamless fashion. What’s more, it does all of this without breaching any guide to SEO or organic search rules… which means that the search engines have nothing to complain about.
The omni-channel strategy provides the consumer with all the buying power. This e-commerce marketing trend pushes the customer in a certain direction, but it still gives them full control. You could say it is a very technical and intricate strand of influencer marketing.
Now, for the Strategies…
Are you now convinced that omni-channel marketing is the way forward in the field of digital advertising? If so, be sure to put the following organic strategies into practice throughout the course of 2020:
Strategy 1: Give Holistic SEO a go!
No matter what platforms you choose to advertise your business upon, search is the main driver of your traffic. Forget other forms of digital marketing for a second. SEO is still the most important, which is why you should base your first organic omni-channel strategy around it.
Better still, you should embark on a Holistic SEO campaign. The syntax might sound a bit ambiguous, but there’s no need for you to be so confused. For many, the true definition of Holistic SEO is as follows:
“A synergistic website marketing strategy that utilizes a variety of online channels and other related elements of marketing and web development in conjunction with search engine optimization (SEO).” — source: Webosis
If you’re to run a high-converting and organic Holistic SEO strategy, it’s essential that you put the following advice into practice:
- Make sure that your company website’s design looks and feels professional
- Take Google compliance into consideration at all times
- Optimize your landing pages and on-page activities
- Ensure that your site is quick to load and enjoys consistent uptime
- Upload content that engages your audience
- Showcase social proof of your top product ranges
- Write vivid product descriptions
- Upload eye-catching images with alt_text
- Make sale buttons big and easy to locate
- Optimze your checkout process
Strategy 2: Build some links
Link building may have undergone some drastic changes over the years and its reputation may have taken a bit of a battering as of late. But don’t let this fool you. This SEO tactic is as important now as it was way back at the turn of the century.
To build organic links that adhere to white hat regulations, you must
- Request backlinks from other web platforms in your industry
- Build relationships in your niche-related community
- Provide testimonials
- Start your own blog
- Guest post on other blogs
- Study your competition and unearth their common backlinks
- Gain indirect backlinks from your competitors
- Recover your previous backlinks (even the dead ones)
- Transform your mentions into backlinks
- Avoid penalization by backlinking to safe, strong and relevant links
- Remain abreast of new links in your industry
- Run giveaway campaigns or ‘scholarship’ programs
- Make use of infographics
- Transform your written content into lists and listicles
- Create a digital newsletter and fill it with backlinks
Strategy 3: Undergo a content marketing makeover
‘Content is king’ — you’ve no doubt heard that saying once or twice in the past. This isn’t a cliche or some form of marketing promotion. It’s true — content is that important. If you don’t develop content that is engaging, targeted, and intuitive, you won’t draw any traffic to any of your platforms. In turn, this will make your omni-channel marketing campaign much harder to optimize.
If you feel that your content marketing could do with a bit of a makeover, be sure to put the following advice into practice. Here are seven effective ways to transform your fortunes in this instance:
- Go into every content marketing campaign with a plan
- Understand your target audience’s buyer persona… not their demographics
- Know where, when, and what to post
- Always value quality over quantity
- Mix things up with regards to the type of content that you upload (written pieces of text, images, videos, infographics, etc.)
- Use an analytics program to find out what niche content type is proving popular your field (how-to guides, white papers, vlogs, etc.)
- Never stop testing, analyzing, and improving your content
Strategy 4: Improve your keywords
No matter channels you choose to focus on in your omni-channel marketing campaign, you need strong keywords backing you up every step of the way. These small but mighty features of your written content will provide your organic marketing strategy with a backbone. At the end of the day, they will play a crucial role in how many leads you generate and convert.
Improving your keywords is going to take and effort, there’s no denying that. The generation and conversion rewards that you stand to reap from taking on this challenge will make it all worthwhile, though.
Here’s how to improve your keywords in an organic and holistic fashion:
Measure your rankings
First, you must take some time to measure your rankings. This will help you to understand your baseline keyword performance. With this invaluable data at hand, you will be able to pinpoint all the areas of your keyword campaign that need updating.
Studying this data will give you a clearer idea of:
- Your most valuable keywords
- What immediate areas you must focus on improving
- The keywords that are wasting your time, your effort, or even your money
Understand Search Intent
If you’re to align your keywords with your overarching company objectives, you need to understand search intent. This is the purpose behind your target consumers searching for certain terms related to your industry. Once you know why they are conducting these searches, you will find it easier to create bespoke keywords that draw your audience in.
Focus on User Experience
As mentioned, at its core omni-channel marketing is about the user. It’s about making your target audience feel inclined to check out your content without pushing them to do so. If you want your keywords to start performing better, you should embrace these values by focusing more on user experience.
You can improve your keyword UX by:
- Aligning your keywords with the mother-tongues that your target audiences speak
- Page tagging (title tags, meta descriptions, headings, etc.)
- Cross-linking your pages and filling your site with call-to-actions (CTAs)
Strategy 5: Blend Content with Contextual Advertising
This is where it gets a bit trickier, but a lot more rewarding. Your next task challenge is to blend content with contextual advertising. In layman’s terms, this means sharing the right content at the right times in the right places.
To optimize this important stand of omni-channel marketing, you must first know what channels work best for your business. Do your audience members use a certain social media platform? Do they access specific blogs or websites? No matter what channel your target consumers use, you need to post content on it that links back to your company website or e-commerce store.
Strategy 6: Make sure your Sales and Marketing (smarketing)Departments are on The Same Page
If you’re to run an effective omni-channel marketing campaign, your sales and marketing teams must be on the same page. Should they fail to share a common goal, these two departments will throw your advertising strategy into disarray. It’s quite simple — the leads that your marketing team generate will all be for nothing if your sales team don’t make an effort to convert them into customers… and vice versa.
To optimize your smarketing (what we’re calling the harmonious faction between your teams), you must align these two departments by:
- Forging a singular customer journey
- Agreeing on one buyer persona
- Adopting a ‘marketing first’ perspective
- Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) across the board
- Requesting direct feedback from your customers
Strategy 7: Optimize for Mobile Devices
Failing to optimize your site or store for mobile devices will lead to dire consequences. It’s quite simple — you can no longer ignore mobile commerce… especially when it comes to omni-channel marketing. Here are some m-commerce stats that you need to be aware of in this instance:
- Financial forecasts predict it to reach $284 billion by the end of 2020
- It is set to take over 45% of the entire U.S. e-commerce industry
- Its volume is set to rise at 25.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 4-5 years
- By 2024, it is set to hit $488 billion and account for 44% of all online transactions
— source: Business Insider
If you want to increase your UX over all your platforms, you need to optimize for mobile devices right away. Your first port of call in this instance should be to perform a quick Google Mobile-Friendly Test for your website.
Strategy 8: Invest in Martech
Martech is a buzzword you will have heard floating around in recent times. It’s a clever hybrid of the words ‘marketing’ and ‘technology’, and you need to invest in it — pronto! This will help you to optimize every step that you take in your omni-channel marketing campaign.
The specific martech tools that you should consider investing in include:
- All-in-one customer relationship marketing (CRM) solutions
- Application programming interface (API) tools
- Data-driven benchmarking tools (Compete, SizeUp, Ducksboard, etc.)
Strategy 9: Put the Customer FIRST!
The most important strategy of them all — put the customer first. If you don’t tailor everything your around your consumers, you’ll never be able to run an organic omni-channel campaign.
When it comes to building a customer-centric marketing strategy, it’s essential that you heed the following advice:
Understand the Power Shift
Thanks to the rise of social media, customers are more connected than ever before. As a result, they have more power in the buyer-seller relationship than ever before as well. It’s important that you understand this power shift and acknowledge it in your marketing campaigns.
Think about your Customers all theTime
Your customers should never stray too far from your mind if you want to run an organic omni-channel marketing strategy. It’s quite simple — you must adopt a customer-centric mindset. Look at the transition through the perspective of your consumers, and you’ll find it easier to tailor your advertising around them.
Assumptions are your enemy in this instance. You might think that you have a grasp on your audience today, but this could all change tomorrow. Instead of assuming that you have all the answers, you should make an effort to study your customers at all conceivable points. Once a week, you should set some time aside to collect data about your consumer base.
Make use of Long-term Metrics
If you want to appeal to your audience over a sustained period of time, you need to make use of long-term metrics. This will help you to run omni-channel marketing campaigns that resonate for years to come.
Offer Value Through your Promotions
You must engage in advertising practices that are of some real value to your customers. One way to do this is to offer them value through the promotions that you run. This could entail you entering your consumers into a competition if they like/comment on your social media posts.
Optimize Every Stage of your Sales Funnel
From lead to prospect to committed to transacted — you must seek to optimize every stage of your sales funnel. This will make your consumers feel appreciated no matter what phase they are at in your business’s transaction process.
Conclusion… Never be Afraid to Improve your Omni-presence!
Are you worried about improving your omni-presence? If so, fear not as everybody else in your industry is bound to feel the same way!
You might be wary of taking on this task because you’re afraid it may result in you over-saturating your online content. If you heed the organic strategies listed above, though, you’ll be able to circumvent most challenges that come your way in this instance. The more organic your omni-channel strategies are, the more comfortable your customers will feel with your brand.
Put the strategies listed above into practice, and you’ll be sure to make your SEO rock regardless of the channels that you choose to market upon. Whatever you do, make sure that you tend to your customer journey and UX at every turn.
AS Always, we welcome your comments and thank you for visiting our Website, we have other excellent instructional articles that you can find in our Blog in relation to OmniChannel Marketing strategies check this article on The Benefits of MultiChannel marketing and The Customer Experience or check our Actional List on Boosting Your Sales. we also offer great Plugins and Apps that help you extend functionality. We would love for you to visit our Portfolio, you can also check about boosting tips for traffic, to improve conversions
What are the top Shopify stores doing?
Take what we've learned and use it to your advantage.
Get our exclusive research: Insights from over 500 Shopify Stores.