Anyone who has started a business knows that the key to making sales is marketing. You have to go out and find your customers, rather than just hoping they will find you. In this ever-advancing age of technology, and with today’s Internet users spending more than thirty-two hours a month online, marketing yourself over the internet is essential, however, as tempting as it sounds, you should really create a marketing plan that considers Multichannel Marketing.

What does it mean to have Multichannel Marketing? Multichannel Marketing is a diversified approach to traditional promotion strategies. Let’s elaborate.

MGR Multichannel Marketing

The first roadblock most business owners face is how to get started. Logo creation, business cards, handout brochures, social media, and of course, creating their new website. Even the best new websites can be buried under a heap of websites that offer similar services. A simple Google search will give you a very good idea about which competitors are ranking ahead of you and what services they offer. Initially, you will be surprised that their ‘not so good’ websites are ranking ahead of yours; however, your best ally will be time. With the proper Multichannel Marketing plan in place, all the pieces will come together for you and your new brand.

Most small businesses will find it easier to create a Facebook page. This is a great place to start, especially for local businesses that don’t require national exposure. You can attract clients through deals offered only to your Facebook fans, and if people “check-in” at your location, your name will be viewed by all their friends, giving you even more exposure. But having a Facebook page is not enough. Everyone who uses Facebook has seen how quickly and suddenly the company makes changes to the set-up of the pages and to the terms of use. The same goes for Twitter and Tumblr. As important as social media is, it should only be one of the components of your long term Multichannel approach.

Engaging in a Google AdWords campaign is another great avenue for new and existing businesses to achieve top paid rankings for instant exposure, however, it should also be considered as a parallel action to a more steady Organic campaign. Although you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your particular ad, those clicks do not necessarily translate automatically to sales. Your actual conversion rate will determine what type of AdWords Campaign and budget will work best for you. You can read more about How Google AdWords Works in this past article.

SEO—search engine optimization—is a great way to climb the rankings of Google’s search results, but as opposed to an AdWords campaign, this solution is more long-term and less effective in the short run if you’re looking for an immediate boost. However, it is always recommended for the long run as a more reliable approach towards achieving Search Engine Rankings. Google has also been very active over the past 18 months with constant Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, so any shortcuts and black hat techniques that may have worked in the past, will certainly get your website black listed today. Be sure to stay away from companies that “guarantee #1 rank” at all costs. Instead, manually apply known techniques and add fresh and original content without getting into “keyword stuffing” situations and your website will steadily rank higher.

As you can see from the infographic attached, a true Multichannel Marketing Plan goes beyond each individual marketing avenue. The center of your marketing should always be your BRAND, and everything should revolve around it. You will always want your customers to remember your brand so that when you promote new products in the future, half of your marketing is already done.

Like diversifying a financial portfolio, diversifying your marketing portfolio through a Multichannel approach will minimize the effects of any individual channel changing its policy or suddenly no performing as originally expected. Whether it is Facebook changing its advertising policies or Google applying a new algorithm that cancels out your previously achieved rankings or YouTube not displaying your videos for some unknown reason, or your Email Marketing provider flagging your account for review, with a Multichannel Marketing approach centered around your brand, you will be able to enjoy more consistent and long lasting ROI than any company that simply relies on a single source for all of its marketing.

How do you approach your own marketing? What plan do you have in place? Please, share your thoughts with me below.  And if you have any questions, my team at MGR Consulting Group can help you design the proper Multichannel Marketing Plan for your company.

Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)