Multi-Channel Publishing part 2 - What is Multi-Channel Publishing?
Some people might read your content on your website using a desktop, while others might access your content via social media using mobile phones or tablets. Others might see your content from a display in a physical store or find your products on websites like eBay, Amazon etc.
The possibilities with Multi-Channel Publishing are numerous and companies can leverage their content in many different channels. However, managing the channels and different types of content can be a complex process and requires technology platforms that support the incresed complexity.
The illustration below shows some of the most important channels to consider in relation to multi-publishing.
Social Media Publishing
Getting your content to the social media platform is an excellent way to interact with your customers and also an efficient way to generate valuable traffic.
Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their own social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.
Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and is a relatively inexpensive platform.
The challenge with social media is, of course, how to cross publish your content to all the social networks in an efficient way if you do not have multi-channel capabilites implemented in your online platform. In section 4 we will describe how these exact capabilities are included in the Dynamicweb solution.
Publish to any channel using JSON and XML
With technologies like XML, JSON or HTML (content services) you can deliver data to numerous applications in order to support your multi-channel setup. The possibilities are endless, but we have listed some of the more common used scenarios:
- Native mobile apps Native apps access your content or products via services, which allows you to reuse content from your current website or ecommerce platform.
- In-store kiosk If your in-store kiosks are implemented as native applications, then the multi-channel platform is capable of delivering content via content services, similar to the native apps.
- Partner sites or portals Expose data for a third party via content services and use it for co-branded microsites or on partner portals etc.
- Print catalogues Multi-channel capabilities are still very valuable for managing printable content and deliverables, especially if there is a possibility of tight integration between the print document format and the platform for data. Images, however, still require DAM functionality since images for print and online differ in format.
With multi-channel ecommerce, a company can leverage its products to various marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Google Merchant.
A marketplace is an online store offered by Amazon, eBay etc. where other companies can sell their products. It a unified place where customers can view catalogues, compare prices and make orders via online payment gateways. Listing your products at a marketplace therefore offers a unique and efficient opportunity to reach a larger audience.
The challenge, however, is managing multiple marketplaces for your business. Your products are typically stored in your own ecommerce store, but how to distribute to other marketplances like eBay, Amazon, Pixmania and Google Merchant might be a technical challenge for many businesses, since it requires updated data and integration on stock levels, prices etc.
In the next section we take a closer look on what Google Merchant Center is and how to distribute your products here.