Put simply, multi-channel marketing is getting the message out about your products and services through many different methods. The goal of multi-channel marketing is to get the information into the hands of as many of your audience as possible. How many channels you use will depend on the ways in which you sell your products as well as where your audience is located.
The different ways you can market and sell products today include:
* Web paged
* Social media
* Mobile commerce
* Call centers
* Catalogs (online and off)
* And more…
The benefits of multi-channel marketing are many, the main one being that your audience can interact with and buy from you in numerous ways depending on where they are when they choose to buy. In order to take advantage of the many ways to sell something, it’s important that you inform your consumer through many different ways, as well as sell to them in many different ways.
Getting the message to your audience requires a multi-pronged effort using various marketing channels.
You may want to use a combination of:
* Mobile advertising
* Website advertising
* Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
* Content marketing (SEM)
* Newsletter ads
* Social Media ads
* Email marketing
* TV ads
* Print ads
* And more…
For example, the process might look like this:
A lead sees a PPC advertisement on Facebook regarding a free webinar that you’re having in the next seven days regarding a topic they’re interested in. They click through and sign up for the free webinar. This triggers your email marketing software to send them pre-formatted and created information on a periodic basis, as well as signs them up to come to the free webinar.
Via email they learn about all the different products you offer, and are reminded to attend the webinar. At the webinar they listen to the information you promised and are given a link to buy the promotional items you mention in the webinar. They click through to buy, and are then prompted to give more information such as their snail mail address, email address or whatever other information you’d like to be able to contact them through. Each step pushes/pulls your lead, then customer, through your product funnel - one thing leading to the next.
But, you have other entry points too, not just the Facebook advertisement. You keep your blog populated with regular and informative articles and information about your niche in which the calls to action point to your products and/or services and, of course, prompts them to sign up for your email newsletter. In addition, perhaps you guest blog post regularly too. The link within your bio at the end of the blog posts points your audience to more information.
Each thing works with the other and independently as well, thus forming many different channels that all lead to the same or variations of the information you want your audience to know about.
An in-demand job or work-at-home career, the social media consultant might be known under different names such as social media specialist, social media manager, and others. However, typically consultants will tell a business what they need to do rather than perform the tasks themselves. A social media consultant might also have a staff that works with them to do the tasks that need to be done.
Skills a Social Media Consultant Needs
* Good organization skills – If you work for several clients, you’ll need a system in place to help you keep everything organized. Consider using a system like Basecamp to help you keep each client as well as contractors organized.
* Excellent communicators – The ability to communicate with a wide variety of people from your clients who may not speak “social media” to contractors that you hire to do the work, will be necessary to make everything run smoothly.
* Understanding of social media technology – It's imperative to stay on the cutting edge of social media technology in terms of social media itself, as well as the apps that make it easier to use. Plus, understanding the intricacies of each network helps, too.
* Knowledge of online marketing – While a general knowledge of marketing is essential to success as a social media consultant, having a particular understanding of social media marketing will get you far.
* Experience in creating or having created SEO content – Content makes the internet go round, and it’s no different for social media marketing. In fact, a good social media consultant understands that website content is crucial to social media marketing.
* Superior leadership skills – A consultant typically does not perform much of the work themselves. Instead they design, organize, systemize and lead others to do the work necessary to run social media campaigns.
* A good understanding of marketing metrics – There are many tools that need to be used in order to test whether or not the strategy you’re using is working. You will need to be able to prove to your clients that what you want to do is working.
* Cross-channel marketing knowledge – Social media marketing is about using many different channels to get the message out about a business. Learning about different channels, including new ones, will keep you on the cutting edge of social media marketing.
How to Get Started as a Social Media Consultant
If you have some or all of these skills, you can get started by setting up a website to promote your new business. Set a good example of how good your business knowledge is by being an example of what a social media marketing consultant does. Perform social media marketing consulting with your own business first.
* Set up a website – If you can’t do it yourself, have a professional set up one for you. Your website is your calling card and a demonstration of how good you are at the job you want to do for others.
* Set up your social media accounts – Once again, your social media accounts are necessary to demonstrate to everyone how great you are at social media consultations. If your accounts and information aren’t top-notch, they won’t realize how much they need you.
* Create awesome social media content – The content you create is essential to your social media presence. Create, or have created, content for your social media accounts that get you noticed by the people you want to hire you.
* Develop great images that go with content – Locate or have created images that go with the social media content that will enhance your message. Today, people are very visual and will be more likely to contact you for business if your message is clear.
* Find an internship or education – You’ll need experience, and sometimes you might have to do some free work or low-cost work to make a name for yourself. Contact local non-profits that you want to help with their social media campaigns.
* Gather testimonials from satisfied people – As you work with people as an intern, volunteer or for low fees, collect testimonials to add to your website so that you can attract the high value clients you need to make this business work.
If you set up your systems and everything in such a way as to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and understanding of social media marketing and what a social media consultant can do for someone, you will be in high demand.
One the best ways to give your own business a boost is to check out your competition. Your competition, even if your business is more popular, can give you a lot of insight to your audience and how you can improve to make your business even more profitable. One way to do that is to analyze your competition’s social media efforts. Here's how.
* Follow Them on All Social Media Accounts – See how they are using each social media account to give information to their audience and how they get more followers. Does it appear that they are using automation software?
* Sign Up for Their Email List – Email lists are a really good way to check out your competition and see how they’re using their email in conjunction with social media to market their products and services.
* Read Their Blog Often – Set up their blog on RSS feed so that you can keep track of the type of information they’re disseminating to their audience. Do they ask their audience to share blog posts? Do they make it easy to share?
* What Do They Share Using Social Media? – What does their goal seem to be using social media? Do they try to lead you back to their email list, blog, other social media accounts, or something else?
* How Do They Get People to Like or Follow Them? – Did they incentivize their audience to like or follow them on multiple social media accounts? If so, are they giving new or the same information on each account?
* How Often Do They Send Out Updates? – Track how often your competition sends out updates.
* Track What Time Your Competition Sends Updates – What time is the most common time that your competition sends out updates?
* What Is the Reaction of the Audience? – Is the audience engaging with your competition based on their updates?
As you ask these questions, you will need to keep track of the answers. Some good ways to do so are to:
* Create a Spreadsheet – Enter the information you collect into a spreadsheet in order to keep track of the questions you have about how each of your competition uses social media.
* Use Evernote – This is a great way to keep track of different things that you would like to try that your competition is doing. Make a note of it, and then put it into practice on your own.
* Write a Report – Taking each of your competition separately, write a report with the information so that you can easily look at it for future reference.
Tracking what your competition is doing, as well as how your audience responds to the competition, will help you know what to do more of in your own social media marketing efforts.
Instagram has developed some preferred and native tools, and keeps getting better. So before you use one of these tools, make sure you check what’s available through Instagram and see what they recommend themselves. If you still don’t see what you like, try these.
This platform offers scheduling, monitoring, curation, and so much more for many different types of social platforms, including Instagram. Hootsuite is one of the most popular social sharing platforms. It lets you automate a lot of your work, as well as get it all on one dashboard so that you can engage with your audience too.
You can visually add, plan, and schedule your Instagram posts using your PC with this software. It will auto publish individual images too. No more having to push it out on your phone later. You can just schedule and be done with it.
The premium plan offers a dedicated manager to work with you, as well as widgets, content management, and so much more. It uses visual marketing and works well, although the price is higher than others.
If you want to make smart choices with social media marketing, you need data. You’ll be able to get more insights and make better decisions. Manage your conversations with your audience and plan and schedule your content on your dashboard easily.
This app works on either Android or Apple smartphones and can be downloaded through your app store (either App Store or Google Play). This app lets you repost other people’s content while giving them the proper credit.
Create and schedule posts from your computer, manage your followers, monitor engagement, increase follower growth, and more. You can interact with your followers from the dashboard. Easy to use and learn.
Want an easy way to put words over your photos before you share them on social media? Download this app for either iOS or Android applications. It will make your text overlays look professional and amazing.
This graphics software is cloud-based and lets you set up branding and upload fonts, images, and more for your business. Then you can automatically resize any image to the right size for Instagram and other platforms.
This software will help you get more click-throughs and helps end the problem with the fact that your only link is in your profile. You can use this software to help make your photos link to the content you want them to see.
Try out these tools to find out if they help you get more from Instagram. Marketing on Instagram will help you reach more of your audience, especially if your product is visual in nature. But you can always figure out ways to make all sorts of products stand out using video.
Instagram specializes in visual content with a little text info thrown in for good measure. It was created to give people the ability to share a variety of visual content such as photographs, videos, messages, and memories with people they know, such as family and friends. It allows you to follow those people, as well as others, who have similar topic and product interests.
In addition to pre-created videos, the platform also allows you to do video chats with up to six people. If you’re using your Instagram account to do sponsored posts, you may need some ideas for the content. Keep reading to discover a number of suggestions.
Product features are often overlooked as companies try to engage with their customers and potential customers. To alleviate this problem, they may hire those with Instagram accounts to show off their products either as a demonstration or explanation of its features. As a business, be sure to do promotional posts – no more than one or two a week – that show your product in an unusual way or by using videos.
Famous quotes can make a bad day better. Find quotes that pertain to your product or service and share them with your followers. Quotes can be informational, inspirational, or help to pick someone up. You can use quotes, or other text-based images, to create simple ways to help boost engagement on your Instagram account. Create text-based images of feedback or positive reviews from customers, promotional items or sales information, or facts and statistics related to your business.
Daily hashtag posts can be fun and informative. For each day of the week, look for ways you can share your products or services. In case you don’t know what the daily hashtags are - #MotivationMonday, #TipTuesday, #WednesdayWisdom, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FridayFact. You may also find hashtags for the weekend by searching on the internet, as well as other hashtag days if you look.
A tutorial is a great way to create a sponsored post on Instagram. Depending upon what the company is trying to teach, you can use words, videos, or photos to teach.
Explain how you use a product in your daily routine. If the company you’re doing a sponsored post for sells makeup, take pictures as you apply their makeup. If it’s a haircare product, take pictures before and after washing your hair with their product.
If you are thrilled with your latest shoe purchase, and are doing a sponsored post, you can take photos of the shoes and share why you’re so thrilled with them.
Describing a new app that would be helpful for your followers would likely be appreciated. Spread the word about it. Share why you find it helpful.
Give your followers a sneak peek into a new product or project you’re working on. Post a single photo that doesn’t give too much information. Create a mystery for your followers to solve.
Companies often have giveaways for products they sell – either a new product or something that people love. For a sponsored post, if you have the item that is being given away, you can post the give away on your Instagram account.
These are a few ideas for sponsored posts for Instagram. You can find others by going through the posts of the people you follow or come up with some ideas that are completely your own. No matter what idea you use for your Instagram account, be sure to include some sponsored posts, to give your followers a good variety of options. However, make sure that you target the right audience, particularly for your sponsored items.