Why Omni-Channel Marketing is a Myth.

The availability of so many digital marketing channels presents a dilemma for businesses. Should we be omni-present? This dilemma is most pronounced when choosing a social media platform.

Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat are the five biggest social networks in the world, according to the latest figures compiled by statistics portal Statista.

Surprising, isn’t it? These five have more active users than popular networks like Instagram, which came in 7th, Twitter (11th) and LinkedIn (14th).

So why not use all of them, or at least a few? After all, some of your target market might prefer looking at pictures on Pinterest or Instagram to wading through text-heavy tweets.

Using multiple channels helps you target customers at different times. Someone might use LinkedIn at work, for example, and YouTube at home in the evening.

It also makes sense if your customers are from different age groups. To target young people, for instance, try Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. These are the networks favoured by 18-24 year-olds, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre.

And then there’s location. Want to reach customers in the world’s second-biggest economy? You’re in luck. WeChat, QQ and QZone – all Chinese networks – have huge numbers of active users if you can crack the language barrier.

In summary, omnichannel marketing means your messaging is everywhere your customers are. It’s surely a no-brainer for big corporations like Unilever and Tesco. But is it right for you?

I’ve worked with many businesses who feel obligated to adopt an omnichannel approach. Small business owners feel especially pressured to be present across multiple networks. This approach is time-consuming, spreads your message thinly and may not deliver the impact on your customer that is desired. I’ve had experiences with new business owners who wanted to use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn daily. Instead of growing their business, they invested thousands into posting information endlessly on line.

The problem is that it’s a lot of hard work. And it’s probably not the only marketing you do – you may also have mailing lists and traditional advertising to worry about.

So if your online content isn’t already winning you business, I’d advise you to stop producing all those blogs, tweets, blasts, ads and newsletters. You’re spreading yourself, and your message, too thin.

Instead, you should feel good about ignoring channels that don’t serve your customers. Use one channel for six months and, with the help of analytics, do more content of the kind that gets results.

When you’ve cracked it – and only then – it’s safe to add another channel to the mix.

To choose the right channel to begin with, ask yourself the following questions:

[1] Where do my customers find out about me?

[2] Where can I position my product or service so they see it?

[3] Where would I place an advert so that my customer would see it? Where would I place content? How are these different?

[4] Where shouldn’t I position my product or service?

That approach – making the most of your time and money – is what Lean Content is all about. Contact me if you need help on the road to social media marketing success.