By leveraging multiple channels, your association can reach as many potential members as possible. Learn how to master multichannel marketing in this guide.
Since 72 percent of consumers prefer to connect with brands through multiple channels, it’s no surprise that multichannel marketing has emerged as an essential form of outreach, particularly for associations looking to effectively engage with members.
Multichannel marketing is the process of disseminating a similar message across several different communication channels—both online and offline—to boost your visibility and direct your audience toward a target action.
Whether you run an alumni giving association or a special interest group, the goal of multichannel marketing is to reach supporters on their preferred platforms, build brand awareness, and increase revenue.
This article will outline four tips for developing a successful marketing strategy that leverages multiple channels and drives meaningful results for your cause.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
Before launching a multichannel marketing strategy, take the time to get to know your target audience. An ideal target audience will have a strong likelihood of supporting your current initiative.
For instance, if an alumni association is launching a capital campaign to construct an on-campus art museum, they might focus their marketing efforts on art school graduates who have high incomes and a strong connection to your cause. This helps to ensure that the association is investing its time and resources in reaching the right people on the right channels, which can lead to greater ROI.
To identify your target audience, begin by:
- Conducting prospect research. According to Double the Donation, prospect research is the process of using public data records to determine a potential member’s capacity and desire to support or join your organization. After taking into account both philanthropic and wealth indicators, you can target people who you know will resonate with your cause and respond positively to your appeals.
- Analyzing membership data. Scan through your supporter database to find current members who are highly engaged and involved in your objective. Segment these supporters based on shared characteristics to tailor your messaging.
Once you identify your association’s target audience, you can send them surveys to better understand their preferences and create more effective marketing campaigns.
2. Ensure Contact Information Is Updated and Complete
Suppose your association has a full list of potential and current members to target, but only a few of their email addresses, social media handles, or phone numbers. In this case, you might benefit from investing in a data appends service.
Data appends is the process of using a third-party source to update or add information to your database, including phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, and social media profile information. With updated and complete contact information, you can ensure that your messages are being delivered on each channel.
3. Develop a Strategic Plan for Each Channel
Now it’s time to select the channels that are most appropriate for your target audience and develop your content. Let’s say your association's goal is to increase attendance at an upcoming virtual conference. After identifying that your target audience is association members and industry professionals, you can then reach out to them through the following channels:
- Email: Send biweekly email newsletters leading up to the event with conference highlights and speaker profiles.
- Website: Add landing pages to your association’s website with conference details, networking opportunities, and registration forms.
- Direct mail: Send out “save the date” cards with the time and location of the event, along with a QR code that links back to the event registration page on your site.
- Social media: Promote the conference across social media using images of speakers, short promotional videos, and relevant hashtags. Reach out to influencers within the space and ask them to share the content with their own networks.
Be sure to track engagement and conversions on each channel and adjust your campaign as needed.
4. Create Consistent Branding
Consistent branding ensures that your message is unified across each marketing channel. When the same logo and visuals are repeated throughout your outreach, people are more likely to recognize and remember your association.
To add consistency to your marketing materials, establish clear guidelines that define your association’s color scheme, typography, logo, and brand voice. These guidelines should be standardized across all channels and shared with everyone on the marketing team to ensure that promotional materials are consistent with your brand's identity.
With these tips in mind, your association can provide its target audience with a seamless marketing experience. Remember to measure the effectiveness of each channel and refine your strategy over time. Doing so will help you increase engagement, acquire new members, and ultimately achieve greater success.