Are you communicating with your customers and prospects as frequently as you should be? Is your message consistent and properly targeted? Is your content current, and is it working as hard as it should be for you? Your answers to all these questions can be a resounding, YES, if you remember and follow these key rules for mastering the effective use of multiple channels of communication when telling your company’s story.
Rule 1 – Not all channels are created equal.
To reach a diverse set of demographics, you need to be on multiple channels. Your business base is diverse, and you need to be, as well. So consider carefully what messages need to be included in your newsletter, repeated on your website, posted to socail media, or considered for a direct mail, blog or email campaign. One message might be perfect for your newsletter audience, but not exactly the right fit for those dependent on mobile communication and social media.
Rule 2 – Match your message to your medium.
Your brand story should be consistent, but your storytelling style will vary by channel. For example, ‘keep it moving’ is a good mantra for web copy. Short, punchy sentences and lower word counts enable visitors to find the information they’re looking for quickly. If the web is a sprint, newsletters are a brisk walk, providing more room for detail. At the opposite end of the spectrum, magazines are a stroll in the park—the perfect place for less time-sensitive people and concept stories that tell a bigger story. Contrast it all with the 140 characters available on Twitter and you get the picture.
Rule 3 – Timing is everything.
Someone once said the key to successful multi-channel marketing is to be wherever the consumer is when he or she is ready to receive your message. So let’s consider a couple of timing issues:
- Not everyone keeps your business hours. Sometimes the best time to communicate is when others are quiet.
- Aside from time of day, another timing element to consider is consistency. If your customer knows he can get your video “tip of the week” every Tuesday morning at 7:58, that’s when he’ll tune-in—and you’d better be there, or you’ll lose an important audience.
Rule 4 – Moderation, please.
When you drink out of a hose, you don’t want it to be hooked up to a fire hydrant! This is particularly true with multi-channel communication. Some channels require a large volume of information to be heard, while other channels value smaller volumes of quality content. Know your brand, know your audience and know your channels.
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