Do you have a handle on multichannel marketing? Do you have even the foggiest idea what the term means or how it can help you be a more successful small business owner? If not, you’ve come to the right place.

What is multichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing is using a combination of different marketing types to reach your customers. There are lots of different avenues, or channels, you can use to reach your audience including websites, social media, phone, text, email, direct mail, TV, radio and even your physical advertising.

Chances are you’re participating in multichannel marketing even if you didn’t know there was a name for it. For instance, if you send out an e-newsletter and have a Twitter account for your small business, you’re a multichannel marketer.

Why should you use multichannel marketing?

The whole idea is to get your small business’s message out to your customers. When you make use of traditional and digital marketing channels at the same time, your chances of reaching those customers is multiplied. The more you are able to amplify that message, the more effective it’s going to be.

Multichannel marketing will take some coordinated effort on your part. It’s not enough just to toss out a few random messages on a couple of different platforms and call it a day. Multichannel marketing is all about synchronization. And, as we all know, that can be difficult to accomplish, considering all of the day-to-day tasks we already have on our plates.

How can you do it better?

Contrary to what you might be thinking, coordinated multichannel marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. Here are some tips for using it more effectively in your small business:

  • Combine digital and traditional channels to maximize your marketing power. For instance, you could send out a direct mail postcard announcing your next sale and include URLs for your Facebook and Twitter profiles on the card.
  • Create an editorial calendar for your marketing promotions. You don’t have to use all the channels out there, but the ones you do use should be coordinated. Hosting a giveaway on your blog? Then promote it on Twitter and Facebook and advertise in-store too.
  • Don’t think once is enough. Don’t make an announcement on social media one time and think you’ve done your job. Repeat the message several times leading up to your event or throughout your promotion.
  • Get the timing right. If you’ve got customers across the globe or across the country, stagger your messages throughout the day to catch people in different time zones. If you’re a local business, get your message out during peak hours and make the most of physical marketing channels like signs, ads, and direct mail.

Used purposefully, multichannel marketing has been proven more successful at generating customer response than traditional marketing alone. Tracking your response rate can help you determine which channels are most deserving of your time.