How The Multichannel Strategy Has Changed

Elise Ngobi
May 20, 2020
Lasted Updated On

As consumers are spending more time online, the multichannel approach is changing.

  • Time spent in apps is increasing all over the world, and our reliance on technology is higher than ever.
  • Birchbox, Vogue Magazine, and MATCHESFASHION are taking unique approaches to multichannel marketing.
  • Brands with robust digital marketing and ecommerce structures in place are thriving.
  • Now is the time to build a foundation on new channels to secure your future.

We’re spending a lot more time on our screens than we were at the beginning of 2020. Internet usage has increased since late March, when much of the world found itself in various iterations of lockdown. More screen-time meant more pressure on internet servers, and articles started to emerge highlighting the issue. This resulted in streaming services including YouTube and Netflix, as well as Facebook and Instagram, reducing video quality in Europe. Facebook beefed up the infrastructure which supports Whatsapp as call surges rivalled New Years Eve levels.

There’s no doubt that the type of content brands are sharing has changed. The great move to “At Home” has swept communications departments and brands are changing the way they generate, choose, and share content.

The Stats:

  • Time spent in apps is increasing. In Italy, time spent in apps is up +30%, while the US, France, and Germany, have seen between +10% and 15% growth.
  • In the UK 40% of people are using more social media, 33% are using Facebook more and 39% are streaming more.
  • Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in one week in Italy.
  • Among Gen Z, 51% are watching more online videos.
  • The advertising industry in the US is looking at $26 billion losses as ad spends decline up to 50%.
  • Microsoft said they’ve seen two years of digital transformation in two months.

How Brands are Embracing New Norms—and Thriving as a Result

Social distancing has pushed nearly all brand and consumer interactions online. Brands with a strong ecommerce presence and a well-oiled digital marketing funnel are thriving, while others struggle to pivot to digital and ecommerce. And as our reliance on technology increases, platforms including Instagram, Amazon, Pinterest, and Facebook have become essential to marketers.

In mid April, Jean-Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify, recently tweeted that the platform is seeing Black-Friday levels of traffic every 👏 single 👏 day 👏. He also predicted that it wouldn’t be long before they’re seeing traffic double.

So in this new and constantly changing climate, how have brands strategies changed when it comes to maintaining a presence and engagement across multiple platforms?

Birchbox has always taken a community-first, educational approach. The differences we see today include more longform video on IGTV.

Heading over to YouTube, we’re met by hundreds of unboxing videos, proof of this brand’s robust digital presence. Playing into the world of beauty on Pinterest, Birchbox is sharing tips and tricks, shelfies, wellness and self-care content, and videos with their 1.1 million monthly viewers. Facebook is a hub for community management, and with over 2.7 million followers in the UK, Birchbox engages their audience via Facebook-specific content and speedy replies.

Vogue Magazine embraced YouTube long before the pandemic hit, and they’re reaping the rewards of having a tightly refined video strategy. From at-home guides on self care to Anna Wintour discussing Met Gala alongside a performance from Florence + The Machine, Vogue is using a mix of influencer content, archive content, and new video content generated from the homes of celebrities, singers, designers, and influencers. And, with the rise in online video views coupled with big names, the brand is amassing hundreds of thousands of views by the day.

In print, Vogue Italia scrapped their April cover plans and printed a plain white cover, as they said to speak of anything else during this time is not the DNA of Vogue Italia. The long and heartfelt caption also featured in the print edition, as did the much-hyped shoot with Bella Hadid which was directed and shot on FaceTime. Vogue Italia has brought our reliance on technology into print with incredible agility.

Vogue Paris is making the most of their archives and sharing a mix of nostalgia and iconic moments with new food-related content, partnering with chefs for Vogue Kitchen Week via an IGTV series. Over on Facebook, Vogue Paris interestingly is sharing Facebook native content as well as links to articles, which diversifies the feed and receives fair engagement given the changes that the publishing world has undergone on the platform.

MATCHESFASHION was quick to make their pivot to WFH style and content that resonated with their audience. With their #CheckingIn campaign on Instagram, they have kept their classic aesthetic alive whilst sharing messaging that makes sense. This includes designers sharing what’s bringing them joy these days, book clubs, podcasts, and “At Home With” videos from industry figures, models and designers.

When it comes to YouTube, MATCHESFASHION is sharing snappy yoga classes to do at your desk or in the evening.

A Multichannel Marketing Strategy Built for Long-term Success

Amidst the huge level of uncertainty that surrounds us, brands are transforming processes and taking away time-consuming workflows that were the status quo until we all moved to working from home.

Brands that have the systems in place to foster agility are proving to be more resilient. In a similar vein, brands with robust digital capabilities are seeing their engagement and sales rise, while those who neglected to invest in the power of social media and digital marketing are desperately trying to pivot to be profitable in the “now normal.”

When it comes to managing a multichannel strategy, we’re seeing brands dive deep into what they’re good at. They’re utilising their communities and going where their followers are, whether that’s the same three platforms they’ve been using for years, or building foundations on a brand new channel. Honing in on engagement and maximising your return in places that you’ve seen wins in the past will fuel your survival now, while using this time to find your feet on new platforms will fuel your growth in the future.

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