02.08.2016 Multi-channel campaigns: Why one is never enough

Multi-channel campaigns: Why one is never enough

It should go without saying that communications agencies and professionals should be using as many channels as possible in their campaigns to reach out to customers.

But while a lot of agencies say they are using a multi-channel approach, a large percentage are using it ineffectively, or not at all.

A recent study found 84 per cent of agencies claimed to use the approach, but only a third claimed they were successful, and just under half claimed they only launched fewer than six multi-channel campaigns a year

We firmly believe in the digital age multi-channel campaigns are essential; just using traditional PR or just using social media will never create the impact you need.

But we also understand some of the challenges professionals face when launching a campaign.

Agencies often feel they lack the time and resources to develop multi-channel campaigns and some feel they don’t understand how to develop one.


Why agencies should get behind multi-channel


People are consuming more online content than ever before across many different channels. Sticking to a single channel will therefore limit coverage for your campaign message.

A multi-channel approach will ensure greater target audience reach and increase the chance of engagement, ultimately delivering better results.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow people to share conversations. These platforms should be at the forefront of campaigns because of their incredibly wide reach.

We understand it can be hard to develop material that works across multiple channels, so here’s our how-to approach:

  • Understand your target audience

How will different audiences consume content across different channels? A clear understanding of how audiences think and behave online is essential for developing effective campaigns.

  • Make sure your clients understand how (and why) to tailor content for different channels

Effective campaigns make sure material is tailored for specific channels. Making sure your clients know how to do this (and just as importantly why they are doing this) is key.

  • Multi-channel does not necessarily mean multi-message

Multi-channel strategies benefit from cohesion – messages should build upon and complement one another and never contradict. The key to an effective multi-channel campaign is making sure all material supports the same message.

One of our favourite examples

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US phone giant AT&T launched the It Can Wait campaign to raise awareness among teens of the danger of using their phones while driving.

To break this trend AT&T launched #X, a simple shorthand message signifying a pause in a conversation.

Influential YouTube and Vine users developed tailored teen-relevant content to promote the campaign, and various celebrities added their support.

Alongside multiple press releases and video content, an inter-school Twitter battle was held to encourage students to back the campaign.

With over 1.2bn impressions and 5.5m pledges the campaign was incredibly successful and was credited with helping to achieve a drop of 57 per cent in the number of teens texting while driving.

Ultimately the campaign succeeded because it showed a clear understanding of the audience; relevant media channels were targeted successfully to ensure the best coverage and messages were communicated effectively.