Most businesses today try to engage with potential customers through a range of different platforms, all within an overarching marketing strategy. This approach is known as multichannel lead generation.
When this idea is executed well, it can deliver truly amazing results. But getting the most out of every channel, and making all the individual parts work in harmony, is a serious project for any marketing manager.
To make things a little bit easier, we decided to put together a complete starter guide. Keep reading to discover the key steps in building a killer multichannel lead generation strategy!
As the name implies, multichannel lead generation is a marketing strategy where reps conduct outreach through multiple channels.
Those channels might include email, several social media platforms, content marketing, real-world events, and even direct mail.
The potential benefits of multichannel lead generation are obvious. The more ways you can effectively engage with potential customers, the better.
However, the stats show that there is a sweet spot: marketing teams see the maximum number of responses through 4-6 channels.
This is almost certainly due to the complexity of fitting together this marketing jigsaw. The more channels you include in your strategy, the more connections you need to make.
In addition, each channel needs plenty of time input in order to produce positive results. Add too many channels, and your reps won’t have the hours in a week to give each channel a proper amount of attention.
But even taking that into account, adopting multichannel lead generation can make a massive positive impact on your business.
Surveys show that 73% of shoppers regularly use more than one channel, and as an average, consumers that interact with retail brands through four or more different online channels spend 9% more in-store.
To unlock numbers like these, you first need to construct a complete multichannel lead gen strategy.
Not sure where to start? You have come to the right place.
Here are the five key steps for building a multichannel strategy from scratch:
Getting to know your target audience is an important part of any marketing campaign — but this task takes on special significance in the context of multichannel campaigns.
Before you can decide which channels to focus on, you first need to know which channels your target audience is likely to prefer, and what kind of content will attract their attention.
In some cases, the answer might be pretty obvious. For instance, you could see where your brand currently has the most cut-through, or survey existing customers to discover which channels they use regularly.
However, these methods are far from foolproof. To find all the possible channels where your brand is likely to resonate, it’s a good idea to create some detailed buyer personas.
Demographic data offers very accurate predictions when it comes to channel preferences, and you can glean more information through targeted research.
Checking out potential buyers on social media can help you understand your overall audience better — from the type of content that they share, to the groups they belong to.
Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, the next step is to study the competition.
Chances are, other big players in your niche are using multichannel marketing to generate qualified leads. In some cases, you might be able to compete directly. But in other cases, you may find that claiming different channels for your own will deliver better results.
To make these decisions, you first need to collect some data. Tools like SimilarWeb and Semrush are really useful here; they allow you to analyze the traffic generated by your competitors across a range of different channels.
Just as importantly, you should get some insight into the amount your competitors are investing in paid ads for each platform. Consider whether you have the budget to compete; if not, you should probably look at alternative options.
Your competitor research should also reveal where your competitors are seeing traction, and which channels seem to be a waste of time.
With all the key information in your hands, it’s time to choose some channels.
As a starting point, we would recommend looking at the demographics of your buyer personas.
If your target leads are established professionals and business executives, LinkedIn is probably the right place for concentrating your efforts. In contrast, teenagers are more likely to spend time on TikTok. The majority of users on Twitter and YouTube are male; the majority on Pinterest and Snapchat are female.
The same kind of trends can be found outside of social media. For instance, research shows that most Americans between the ages of 18 and 39 prefer to receive direct mail rather than email. Meanwhile, 57% of C-level executives and VPs prefer talking on the phone over any other forms of communication.
Demographics alone should help you create a shortlist of between 4 and 10 channels. To narrow it down further, throw into the mix all the insights you picked up during your competitor analysis.
Ideally, you want to end up with that magic number of 4–6 channels, each with users that match your buyer personas, and a manageable level of competition.
While the core traits of your brand should come across on every platform, successful multichannel lead gen usually involves building a specific strategy for each individual channel.
Say you decide to include Pinterest and email marketing within your lead generation campaign. To cut through on a visual social network, you’re going to need to post some highly shareable images. In contrast, email lead generation is all about crafting a snappy message that stands out in a busy inbox.
The differences are not only about content. If you want to fill your sales funnel with high-quality leads, you need to optimize your landing pages, your CTAs, and your ad spend for each platform.
The same goes for your lead magnets. While potential customers coming from LinkedIn may be looking for case studies, people responding to an email or cold call might be more inclined to sign up for a webinar.
It’s also worth thinking about how all the separate pieces fit together. While your work on each channel should be separate, remember that customers will often interact with your brand through more than one platform.
As such, it’s important to provide a seamless experience through multiple touchpoints.
Marketing automation can help here. By hooking up all your channels to your CRM, you can ensure that progress made on one platform is saved and taken into account on other channels.
In addition, you can use retargeting to engage with people who have interacted with your brand on another channel. The most common set-up here is to run social media ads or paid search results after a potential buyer has visited your website.
Putting this all together is a major task, but it’s likely to be worth the effort.
Given the complexity of multichannel lead gen, it’s unlikely that you will build the perfect strategy at your first attempt. By collecting data, you can analyze your early performance and make necessary adjustments to your individual channel strategies, or your overall lead gen campaign.
There are certain key metrics to look for here. For each channel, try to grab the follow data points:
- Cost of acquisition
- Number of qualified leads
- Ad spend
- Time input
If the numbers stagnate or move in the wrong direction, you know that it will be time to try something different.
It’s also a good idea to look at how well your channels are working together. The more channels that a lead uses to engage with you, the more likely it is that they will convert into a paying customer.
If you find that this isn’t happening, take another look at your strategy and figure out how your channels could be better integrated.
In this post so far, we have been looking at how to develop a strategy for your multichannel lead generation efforts.
But to help you fill in the details and build an effective marketing machine, here are some specific tips for your multichannel efforts:
- Utilize drip multichannel campaigns — One advantage of multichannel marketing is that lead nurturing becomes easier. By running drop campaigns across several different channels, you have a much better chance of pushing deals across the line and re-engaging with people who have drifted away.
- Track users across channels — In order to understand the sales journey of your leads, it’s really important to track individuals as they move between channels. The data you collect can help you to optimize your campaign, and your sales team will appreciate having a complete buyer profile to reference during sales calls!
- Create a personalized multichannel experience — Another reason to build lead profiles is in order to provide a highly personal sales experience across every channel. Even if your engagement is semi-automated, people appreciate being remembered.
If you want to enhance your multichannel sales even further, it’s definitely worth doing some research on your hottest leads.
All the information comes from GDPR- and CCPA-compliant sources, and there are 120 million professionals in the database.
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