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Why is Multichannel Marketing, or ‘Layering’ Tactics, Important?

January 17th, 2023 | 5 min. read

By Julia Elliott

Why is Multichannel Marketing, or ‘Layering’ Tactics, Important?

We don't spend all our digital time in one spot. We toggle from email to social media to Google to YouTube. That's why 54% of marketers use 3-4 methods to reach prospects, according to the latest "The State of Multichannel Marketing" report by PFL.

It makes sense: More marketing = more people. But what if you're a small- to mid-size business with a smaller budget? Or you're only using a couple of methods and feeling satisfied?

Making the shift to multichannel marketing can feel intimidating. We understand. At Zoe Marketing & Communications, we've spent 15+ years transitioning clients into holistic marketing plans that "layer" different digital tactics to create results.

The first step is understanding why it's all worth it. In this blog, cover these key points:

  • Multichannel marketing expands your reach

  • Different tactics work in various stages of the "buyer's journey"

  • It boosts brand awareness, relevancy and competitiveness

  • Different tactics have different strengths

  • Multiple channels grow engagement and conversions

  • It optimizes your marketing efforts

By the end of this article, you'll better understand the power of a multichannel, "layered" approach." And you'll be able to decide if moving in this direction is right for you.

Multichannel marketing expands your reach

This one is the most obvious. Your audience is in many places. If you're limiting yourself to one or two tactics, you're likely missing out on some key contenders.

For example, say your Meta (that's Facebook and Instagram) ads are doing solid. But you could also reach an untapped stream with programmatic or retargeting ads.

In part, that's because each platform has various "targeting" criteria. You can find people based on their past behavior, interests — even if they've visited your webpage.

Choosing the "right" tactics takes some experimenting and tracking. You might think your audience is in one space when they're actually more responsive in another.

Sometimes folks aren't in the "headspace" to receive your message. For instance, take a Facebook ad that's luring them to visit your site. That's a tough sell when they're content scrolling their feed.

Different tactics work in various stages of the 'buyer's journey'

There are three stages people cycle through when considering doing business with you:

  1. Awareness: They start to realize you exist

  2. Consideration: They're thinking well of you and beginning to trust you

  3. Decision: They feel comfortable choosing you

This is the buyer's journey. It's a natural progression that takes time, depending on your product or service. Which means you want to stay in front of people at all stages of the journey.

The trick with layered marketing: Some of the same tactics work at different stages, just with different messages. For instance:

  • Search engine marketing (i.e., Google Ads) or programmatic ads work at all three stages, as people discover you, start to recognize you and, ultimately, choose you.

  • Retargeted ads and emails come into play after someone visits your website. They play a larger role in the consideration and decision stages.

  • Targeted email marketing also plays into all three. A different tone is key at each stage, as people move from "cold" to "warm" to "hot" — i.e., buying something or reaching out.

It boosts brand awareness, relevancy and competitiveness

As people see you in more places, you establish yourself as a leader and brand that understands people — and is there to help them. This helps build three things:

1. Brand awareness

You take people from "I've never heard of them" to "Oh yeah, I've seen their ads!" You're building legitimacy through visibility. The more you're "out there," the more recognizable you are.

2. Relevancy

People expect businesses to find them. An oft-cited stat says 72% want an "integrated" or multichannel marketing approach. It's from an older study, but that demand has only grown.

3. Competitiveness

More and more companies are embracing this layered approach. Odds are good that includes your competitors. Multichannel marketing ensures you're a contender for new business.

Different tactics have different strengths

One digital marketing tactic can't do it all. Each has a strength it brings to the party. This list of seven common types illustrates why a mixture helps you cover more ground.

  1. Programmatic ads: These ads drive clicks and awareness on websites and apps. They exist to get you to click and go somewhere. They're interest-based and help awareness.

  2. Search engine marketing ads: There's high "intent" here. People are "Googling" for a topic, and your ads pop up in the results or sites they click to. It helps them consider you.

  3. Social media ads: These excel at awareness and branding. Thanks to form-fill options, they're also effective if you have an enticing offer in exchange for people's emails.

  4. Retargeting ads: These show up for folks who've been "warmed up." They've gone to your website. Your reach is smaller, but they're higher-quality prospects.

  5. Email marketing: It's popular: 90% of companies that do multichannel marketing use it, PFL notes. It offers initial awareness; then, with retargeting, it builds steam.

  6. Content marketing: Whether it's your blog or sponsored content, this helps establish you as a thought leader and creates trust and esteem. It's not a direct conversion piece.

  7. Events: Think webinars and virtual events. Like content, these can help establish you as a trusted leader (sponsoring an aligned event is another tactic).

Multiple channels grow engagement and conversions

By layering your efforts, you're also increasing the quality of your prospects — and the chances they'll "pop" and choose you. This happens because you're building:

1. Engagement

The more people see and interact with you, the more invested they feel. They may comment on an Instagram ad (be sure you reply!). Then they get a retargeted email with information that speaks to them. Next, they decide to attend your virtual event.

These "touch points" all create a sense of connection — in convenient ways for your prospects.

2. Conversions

Your conversion rates also improve by offering people many ways — and opportunities — to take action. Folks often don't buy something or give an email right away, after all. They need time to research and reflect. Or they forget (until they get your reminders, of course).

Keeping your branding, message and offers consistent across your channels only helps. Create a seamless experience and offer various "portals" for people to hop on board.

It optimizes your marketing efforts

Finally, a multichannel approach helps make your marketing more efficient and effective. You can stretch and streamline your efforts. And you'll increase your ROI, or return on investment.

Marketing works best with support

Some tactics get more conversions than others. But in reality, those "workhorses" need help from "friends." Retargeting, for instance, relies on ads and emails to drive website traffic. Emails can perform well, but people are likelier to click if you've built up trust elsewhere.

You're getting a better impact by marketing in several arenas.

Your 'creative' gets more traction

You can repurpose and repackage your words and images when you run campaigns across channels. In other words, you don't need to reinvent the wheel; just tweak it a bit.

Your investment goes further

This approach also helps your marketing money make more impact. You're reaching more potential customers and increasing your conversion rates.

Next steps for creating a multichannel marketing strategy

Multichannel marketing is essential for nearly every business. In this blog, we explained how it helps you reach more quality prospects at different stages of consideration.

We also discussed how layering tactics boost your competitive advantage and optimize your campaigns.

If you're ready to explore what multichannel marketing can do for you, talk to your advisor at Zoe Marketing & Communications. Using our deep expertise and experience, we'll develop a layered marketing approach to drive your business growth.

If you're still exploring your marketing options, get your bearings with these articles:

Julia Elliott

For 17 years, Julia Elliott crafted strategies and stories for Zoe, along with its sister companies, Metro Parent and Chicago Parent. A deep background in journalism helped her create customized content marketing to drive client success.