In 2015, businesses are going to have to focus on multi-channel online marketing. This means creating cohesion in your marketing efforts on different platforms.

Online marketing isn’t synonymous with social media marketing. It also incorporates several other components, like email, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and search engine optimization (SEO).

The best online marketing strategies will arrange these marketing practices so that they complement each other. SEO and social media marketing shouldn’t compete with each other; they should complement each other.

This isn’t always easy to do though, and sometimes it takes a bit of trial-and-error to get things right. Even when businesses focus on multi-channel marketing, they sometimes find discontinuity in their marketing efforts.

A recent Marketing Land article explains why multi-channel marketing is so difficult. According to the article, it goes beyond visual design, which most businesses focus on:

“Consistent multi-channel experiences don’t happen by accident. Furthermore, they are not limited to uniformity of visual design; they should also translate to other aspects of your marketing mix (e.g. variety and availability of products, promotions, and after-sales support reliability). It doesn’t make sense, for instance, not to allow customers to pick up their online purchases from a physical store.”

Businesses obviously need to have consistent visual design in their marketing efforts. It wouldn’t make sense to use a certain logo and color scheme on your website and change things up in your marketing emails.

But multi-channel online marketing is so much more than that. If you advertise on social media that you offer excellent customer service, then you need to back that up with your email management.

In order to practice online marketing successfully, businesses need to create unity in their marketing efforts. To do this, you have to establish a brand identity online and maintain it on all the marketing platforms you use.