Omnichannel marketing is a cross-channel sales/marketing strategy that unites content delivery and shopping experiences across different channels, in line with each stage of the buying journey. For customers, an omnichannel approach ensures an integrated and personalised shopping experience – whether this is in store, via desktop or mobile. This customer experience-centric strategy focuses on forging a positive relationship between customer and brand and promoting products in a way that best suits the customer.
Using this method, a customer could find a product online using their computer and then use their mobile to find the exact location of the product within a store. This improves both the speed and simplicity of their buying experience and means they have a positive experience that suits them. Someone else, on the other hand, might want to ring to check whether a product is in stock, then order direct delivery from the store to their home address.
Here’s an example of how omnichannel marketing is used to encourage customers to make a purchase:
Example customer journey
The difference between omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing
Multichannel marketing is a term used to describe sharing information about your brand, product or services through multiple channels. If you have an e-commerce store, each channel in a multichannel strategy is considered as an independent purchase opportunity. It’s worth noting that multichannel puts the brand at the core of marketing activity. This strategy usually results in increased engagement from customers, rather than purchases.
On the flipside, omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the core of marketing activity and ensures that that the customer experience is unified and consistent through all channels and content. This integrated strategy ultimately results in conversions.
The rise in omnichannel marketing
As consumers increasingly desire personalisation and consistency, omnichannel marketing is ever-growing in popularity. The unison between on and offline means offers, pricing strategies and familiarity are expected as standard to gain trust – whether customers are physically in the store or shopping on mobile devices. Google has confirmed that about 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another.
Connecting the content on your marketing channels is an excellent way to symphonise your brand messaging and ensure your audience stays in tune with what’s happening.
If you haven’t already, start by identifying your key communication channels. It makes sense to keep these channels flowing with fresh content and brand news, rather than trying to cover all bases and post on all channels (even the ones your audience aren’t reading).
Once you’ve nailed your main marketing channels, create a content plan a month or so in advance which details how you’ll keep these updated and what you want to share, when. To make things easier to track, split your plan into owned content, earned content and paid content. This will give you an overview of what you can do yourself and where money needs to be spent to amplify your message. Depending on the message, your content can be shared through channels you own, earned through media coverage and boosted using paid marketing activity.
Understanding owned media
Owned media is content that you own and control on your business marketing channels. Think blogs, websites, social media channels and email marketing. The harder you work at producing unique content for your owned channels, the more media you’ll earn and the more customers you’ll naturally attract. You’ll also notice that this will gradually uplift your companies SEO rankings too.
Understanding earned media
Earned media is content that’s shared on third-party channels – ranging from recommendations to news articles. This all links back to creating content that’s worth sharing. Company updates, unique start-up stories, informative blog posts, a strong SEO strategy and engaging social media posts can all support your brand’s quest in achieving earned media, so it shouldn’t be underestimated.
Understanding paid media
Paid media is what it says on the tin – content that you pay to promote. It’s an effective way to expand the reach of your owned and earned media, reaching new audiences that might not see you without the help of an extra boost from advertising. Paid media might come in the form of boosting social media adverts, paying influencers to wear your product/use your service/promote your brand or advertising on Google to appear at the top of search engine rankings for specific keywords/terms.
Shaping the perception of your brand
Connecting your content across these channels will help shape the story of your brand and allow your audience to follow the progression of your business. It also means you’re in control of shaping the external perception of your brand. Decide what you want your audience to know, learn or see and explain this in different ways, tailoring your content to each channel. This also makes your content sweat more, reaching a wider audience and saving you time (we know all too well how difficult it can be to market your own business when you’re busy providing a service or selling products to your customers).
For content and PR support in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and beyond – get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 07792734259 to discuss marketing your business in the right way.
The process of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves two main aspects – technical/on-site and off-site activities. For the purpose of this article, I’ll refer to them as on-site and off-site.
First, the basics (and a good way to remember the difference between the two). On-site activity constitutes any changes made to your website - either ‘behind the scenes’ in the coding or actions that are taken to optimise the content and appearance of a website. Off-site SEO refers to techniques performed outside of your website that help with it's overall ranking.
Most clients almost always seek on-site activity ahead of off-site, but importantly, the two activities produce the best results when they’re carried out in tandem – influencing and complementing actions taken by the other to increase organic success in search engine results. If you’re only investing in one of these elements of SEO activity, choosing which to go for really depends on the SEO you have implemented previously and how your site is currently performing.
Google, for example, uses over 255 different ranking factors in its algorithm to determine where your website appears in the search results for specific terms and keywords.
What is technical/on-site SEO?
On-site SEO defines the actions taken on your business website to optimise its appeal and compatibility to Google and other search engines. These actions help search engine spiders index and crawl your website more efficiently.
On-site actions include optimising all the aspects of your website’s architecture and content, such as robots.txt and meta tags (stay with me here) and ensuring that the pages are designed to consider the ‘customer experience’. Other on-site actions consist of simpler tasks such as implementing best practice for images and adding internal linking and keywords in the right places and pages.
On-site SEO also delves deep into the speed of your website, mobile friendliness, site architecture, data mark-up and duplicate content, setting your business up for the best chance of digital success.
What’s off-site SEO?
Moz’s definition explains it well: “off-page SEO (also called off-site SEO) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs)”.
Off-site SEO activity combines several different techniques, but the strongest is building natural links back to your website from reliable, third-party websites. Think of it as similar to a recommendation from someone on LinkedIn for example. Search engines deem quality, organic links to be an expression of trust.
Search engines also consider other important factors of off-site activity when determining your website’s ranking position. Although they don’t carry as much weight as links, brand mentions are significant and help contribute to your businesses overall presence and identity online.
A good, organic link carries more value depending on the linking site’s popularity, the relevance of the link and the trustworthiness of the linking sites, among other things. Content marketing is one of the best ways to build high-quality links for your brand.
How on-site and off-site SEO work together, and do you need both?
You can carry out one tactic without the other, but the most effective way to see results is to combine your efforts and seek both on-site and off-site SEO specialist support.
An initial audit combining both elements is one proven way to see an overview of what needs actions need to be taken on your website to increase your brand’s ranking position for certain keywords. Owners of small business websites should even be able to complete some of the quick-win actions on their own, with little support.
On-site SEO requires a bulk of actions to be completed initially, and on an ongoing basis, informs your short and longer-term keyword strategy, ensuring these terms are used naturally within on-site (e.g. product/service descriptions), It also informs your off-site content and activity (e.g. content marketing published on third-party sites).
Potential SEO results
The results of implementing a solid SEO strategy can be far-reaching. From combining the two key SEO activities, I’ve seen brands jump from the third to the first page, or from the eighth position to first for carefully targeted terms/keywords.
SEO activity not only helps to improve the search engine friendliness of your site and boosts your ranking for specific keywords, but it also helps to focus what’s on your site and in turn is effective at increasing enquiries, digital presence and sales.
Ongoing strategy and actions are the most effective way to achieve results month-on-month. Consider that your competitors will also be trying to optimise their SEO performance - not to mention - the requirements for SEO are always changing to incorporate different factors.
On-site and off-site SEO require two different skills but have the combined power to positively influence your ranking position – whether it’s local or national customers you need to target. LIT Communication works closely with a technical SEO specialist to deliver initial SEO audits or full-service SEO packages that bring together the key components of the process to help you climb the search engine rankings and be discovered online by potential customers.
Get in touch at email@example.com for advice on SEO.
Sophie Marsden, owner and PR specialist at LIT Communication