Research shows that, on average, consumers need 6-8 touches before making a purchase. As the path to conversion becomes more complex due to the increasing number of sources of information and channels for communication available, consumers have to be exposed to different messages to keep your brand in mind and convert. That is when multichannel marketing comes in handy.

A multichannel marketing strategy that includes social media advertising can be the key to help you achieve your goals and drive sales.

Today's consumers are more independent and research things by themselves. Internet usage on mobile devices surpassed desktop in October of 2016 at 51.3%. This means that customers are checking their smartphones or tablets on their commute to work, while waiting in line at the supermarket or while sitting in front of their TVs. It also means that many are using their smartphones inside a store to research more information about a product before buying it.

This brings a wide array of possibilities for brands to reach potential customers through social media advertising, especially because paid social can be an excellent complement to other marketing strategies.

But how can you create a multichannel advertising strategy to keep your brand at the forefront of customers' brains when the time to buy comes? Let's take a look at how multichannel marketing works and understand how you can use it to your benefit.

Related: How to combat mobile ad blockers with social media ads

Why multichannel advertising?

About 15-30% of multichannel customers spend more money than single-channel users. This drives home the fact that repetition is key and implementing multichannel tactics provides multiple outlets for your message without being annoying or intrusive. That, along with advertisers seeing a 24% increase in conversion rate with multichannel strategies, makes for a pretty convincing argument.

Social media platforms also offer a deeper look into data marketers can use to analyze the behavior of potential customers and their preferred channels to improve response rates. Customers who access your website through Instagram spend about 192 seconds per visit, with YouTube not far behind at about 164 seconds per visit. Social media has proven to be an effective channel to attract an engaged audience.

When should you use a multichannel marketing strategy?

Considering you need to be where your customers are and the need to reach your customers multiple times, multichannel marketing is the ideal strategy for any company looking to maximize opportunities to interact with prospective customers.

Remember, though, that each platform has different strengths. Multichannel advertising requires you to craft your ads to the specificities of each channel.

Commercials that are shortened and tweaked for YouTube have shown better ROI than TV ads alone.

Social platforms are suited for messages that are designed to go viral or that use a more informal tone, similar to what you would use to speak to a friend. When using paid social as part of a multichannel advertising strategy, remember to adapt your ads to the platform you are using.

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How much does multichannel advertising cost?

The cost of multichannel advertising will depend largely on the channels you ultimately decide to use. Seeing as TV typically costs more for advertising placements, social media platforms run a little cheaper.

Facebook studied the impact of paid social combined with TV ads, and after analyzing 13 video campaigns run in the U.K. on TV and Facebook, they found that 11 out of 13 video campaigns produced positive Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Three of those had returns that were more than double the initial investment into Facebook. They concluded that Facebook could create significant incremental reach with smaller budgets.

No advertiser has the particular desire to spend more of their budget, but seeing larger returns than the initial investment makes it a savvy business decision because the advertiser is making back more than what they spent.

Which platforms are best suited for multichannel advertising?

For the best campaign outcomes, use channels that work cohesively together. For instance, TV ads can go hand-in-hand with YouTube or Facebook and Instagram videos. Facebook and Instagram have shown to improve the audience reach and boost frequency among light TV viewers.

The same is true for YouTube. In a campaign for the Chevrolet Trax, TV commercials were edited to work with YouTube’s TrueView ads. The experiment confirmed that irrespective of length, high-quality content works online.

As TV viewers become more distracted, using online platforms to increase your reach can pay off and boost your results.

Related: The ultimate guide to social media ad specs

Goals that can be met through multichannel campaigns

By spreading your message across channels that customers frequent, multichannel messaging provides more opportunities to reach them. Multichannel campaigns have seen many positive results in areas other than their ROI and ROAS. The short list is provided below.

  • Increased site traffic
  • Increased mobile visits
  • Higher retention rate and completed video views
  • Expanded reach
  • Organic growth in followers on social media accounts
  • Increase in subscription numbers
  • Higher level of impressions
  • Increased level of engagement
  • Reduced cost per acquisition

Multichannel advertising bring in multi-level benefits

All in all, multichannel advertising provides huge benefits to the advertiser without a huge increase in cost. With social media generally having a lower cost than TV ads, it’s a no-brainer with the returns it provides that it should be included in the advertising mix.

Taylor Schaller

Taylor Schaller

Taylor is the Social Media and Content Marketing Intern at Strike Social. A graduate from The University of Alabama, she is now an MBA candidate at Loyola University Chicago.