As a marketer or executive trying to reach pet parents, there’s nothing worse than seeing your content sent out into the world and returning without results. A social post that receives no engagements, a free offer that falls on deaf ears, or a product launch that produces zero sales can all cause your heart to sink a little.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to get the results you aim for without expending an enormous amount of time, money, and effort.
However, my decades in the pet industry combined with years of PR, influencer, and marketing experience has taught me a few tricks of the trade that I now want to share with you. It all starts with a simple, yet effective, multichannel marketing strategy.
First, let’s talk about a few marketing strategy mistakes to avoid.
The Biggest Marketing Strategy Mistakes
Giving up too easily.
In working with various pet brands through the years, I’ve found that the successful ones understand that any success they have isn’t accidental. It’s the result of months, sometimes years, of careful planning and strategy.
While it most definitely won’t take years to craft a killer social post, honing your message and refining your audience likely will.
So, when you send something into the universe, recognize that it’s not the final edition. You’ll refine, and then refine again until it’s just right. Don’t give up right away. Coca-Cola has rebranded about 10 times since its’ creation.
Spending too much of the budgeted time creating and not enough time marketing.
It’s not enough to create great written content, produce excellent video, or craft an amazing set of social posts. You must spend time promoting what you’ve created. It can take months for a blog post to gain organic traction to the point where it’s a traffic driver. You must be willing to spend time promoting your creation.
Not recognizing the power of paid.
When I first started my Pet Living page on Facebook many years ago, it was easy to get engagements, fans, and likes. These days, you must be willing to put money behind your brand if you want to even show up in feeds.
Facebook, like all platforms, is in the business of delivering a product to its audience. If you want something delivered, you need to pay for it.
Not expanding to multiple channels.
If we all relied on direct mailing to reach new customers, where would we be? Yet, that was the thing to do many years ago.
I’m not saying you have to hop on the bandwagon with every new platform. However, sticking with one platform that’s no longer serving you is akin to holding on to direct mailing.
Expanding into various channels will serve to diversify your traffic. For example, did you know that there are over 2 billion monthly searches on Pinterest? Are you active on this sales-producing platform?
If you’re going to see success, you need to not only be present on a variety of channels but be active on them as well.
How to Create a Simple Multichannel Marketing Strategy
Multichannel marketing is not a new concept. In fact, it’s one I’ve been putting into practice for years with my TV + Digital Influencer Program.
You see, although my Pet Living segment receives more than 1.25m impressions, I know that I can reach an even greater, more targeted audience when I combine it with a strong digital presence on my blog, and on social channels.
Step 1: Determine your objective
Are you launching a new product? Are you trying to raise awareness for a cause? Do you hope to increase sales?
When I get ready to go on air, I have my product talking points laid out, thanks to brands who are clear about their objective. This clarity allows me to present the product messaging in a way that encourages my audience to take action.
Whatever your primary objective, be very clear about it and make sure that all of your assets support it.
Step 2: Identify your channels.
You can’t be, and likely don’t want to be, present and effective on every single channel. So you must identify the ones that work with your objective.
For example, when I tape a segment on the TV show Daytime, I know to repurpose that video on Facebook and YouTube, thus extending the reach.
I also create blog content and push traffic to the post on Facebook and Pinterest. I’ve learned that Twitter, in some cases, is not a large driver of B2C traffic for me, so I often don’t use it in that arena.
Neil Patel states that there are three questions you need to ask in order to prioritize your channels:
- How easy is it for the company (platform or influencer) to deliver the message to its target audience?
- How cost effective is the delivery?
- How likely is it that the customer will buy using this channel?
Narrowing down your channels also means that you have to be willing to expand to new channels that will effectively support your messaging and goals.
Step 2: Create your assets
Now that you have your objective and channels identified, it’s time to create your assets. It’s likely that you’ll need:
- Graphics for social and blog content
- Copy for social, email, and blog content
- Ad content
- Talking points for TV and social (if pairing with an influencer)
- Supporting content
Step 3: Distribute your content
This is the exciting part! You now get to distribute your content across your identified channels.
Remember that you need to include paid promotion in your budget, whether that be AdWords, Facebook Ads, or Promoted Pins.
When you’re distributing content via email, be sure to do A/B testing so that you can send your emails at the best time.
Once you’ve executed your campaign, continue to promote it in the months that come. This means regularly checking analytics, making sure that influencers report metrics to you, and prioritizing hot content on the right platforms.
A Case Study in Multichannel Marketing
In my work as an influencer in the pet industry, each month I focus on a pain point that pet parents have expressed. For instance, during the month of April, I answered the question, “Why is My Cat Meowing Non-Stop?“
I create content on my blog, share it with my email subscribers, and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. I support my theme on social channels by leveraging user-generated content, shared content, expert interviews, and product reviews and recommendations.
I also promote my content on Facebook and Instagram in order to increase visibility and awareness.
When I started using this multichannel approach, my site traffic went up 138% over the previous year! In addition, I’ve been able to reach a 3.2% conversion rate on visits to sales with my most popular blog post, while the average e-comm store converts at just 1.6%.
Does a multichannel marketing strategy work? Absolutely!