We live in a world where people use dozens of platforms to make connections both in-person and online. As a marketer, it’s your job to leverage those opportunities to promote your brand, products, and services.
You cannot focus solely on one or two marketing channels to get your message out to the masses.
Instead, use a marketing strategy that leverages multiple, varied platforms and mediums to connect with audiences. This can be accomplished through hybrid marketing.
What Is Hybrid Marketing?
Hybrid marketing is a promotional approach that combines traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Instead of focusing solely on online platforms or in-person touchpoints, hybrid marketing merges both approaches to create a more effective and extensive outreach plan.
It mixes and matches marketing approaches from both categories.
- Mailers and flyers
- Trade shows
- Print ads
- Radio ads
- Television ads
- Static signage
- Public relations
- Search engine marketing
- Social media
- Inbound marketing
- Text advertising
- Email marketing
- Display advertising
- Guest posting
Hybrid marketing is a new and evolving term and is sometimes referred to as omni-channel marketing or multi-channel marketing.
The terminology is flexible, and so is the concept. Hybrid, omni-channel, and multi-channel marketing are fluid approaches to promoting a brand, product, or service through varied, yet cohesive methods.
So, how do you plan a strategy like this?
Outlining a Hybrid Marketing Plan
Like most marketing strategies, a hybrid marketing plan starts with defining your audience and goals. As you put together a campaign or promotion, start by assessing:
- What is the core message you want to share?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where are you most likely to reach that target audience?
- Where do they spend time both in-person and online?
- What is the outcome you want to create?
- How can you measure the results of your campaign?
Once you have the answers to these questions, identify the journey and platforms that will be most likely to connect with your target audience and help you reach your goals. Let’s say you were marketing for promotional products in Orlando then, your first step would be to outline two or three buyer’s journeys that lead prospects to your conversion. List each potential marketing touchpoint they could encounter on that journey. Create plans for both the digital and traditional platforms they will come in contact to utilize a full hybrid marketing strategy.
Hybrid Marketing Best Practices
As you lay out your hybrid marketing plan, keep a few best practices in mind.
Use consistent branding. Hybrid marketing messages are spread throughout multiple, varied platforms, but they should always feel like they are from the same place. Use consistent branding elements, colors, and fonts so audiences always recognize your brand. Get our free branding guide for tips on creating a cohesive look and feel for your businesses.
Make experiences feel seamless. Like branding, the hybrid marketing experience should also feel smooth and coherent. Each customer touchpoint should feel connected and united. Consider how your in-person and online touchpoints interact with each other. Ensure that if a customer sees something in your store or at a tradeshow, they will find the same message on your online platforms.
Adjust content for the platform. While branding, messaging, and experiences should be consistent, they should also feel natural in their environment. Don’t take content from one platform and simply reuse it on another. Consider the nuances of each platform and use creativity to adjust your content so it matches the medium. For example, don’t republish printed brochures as PDFs on your website. Change the content to blog post text to match the native platform.
Collect data at each touchpoint. Always think about how you can turn in-person connections into valuable digital data. Collect information from prospects you meet in person and add them to your client relationship management (CRM) system so you can continue to keep in contact with them through online tools.
Enhance and Grow Your Marketing Reach
Audiences have more platforms and ways to make connections than ever before. As a marketer, you need to be aware of all of these unique networks. You must identify the best entry points, both online and offline, that will lead your target audience to your brand.
Hybrid marketing will help you do that.
But, this is just a brief introduction to a larger marketing strategy that all businesses must embrace to keep up with growing competition in the marketplace.
For more tips on how to combine digital and traditional marketing to attract high-quality leads, download our FREE guide that explains how to lay out a strategic multi-channel lead generation map.
Also published on Medium.