Great marketing means adding new channels and formats into the mix continuously. Organizations are also realizing the need to be present on multiple channels, and to keep their customers and community engaged. One of the outcomes of this is often that there are far too many channels to keep track of.
Well, this is probably because you may be approaching it all wrong. If you are trying to create content for various channels independently, you are likely to run into trouble. The customer experience may be disjointed as the various channels are in silos, and not feeding off each other.
Cross-channel marketing is what you need to think about. A cross-channel marketing strategy takes a more holistic approach to content and makes sure that the different channels are working in sync, and there is a more coherent customer journey.
And no, it is not about investing a lot more time and effort into your processes. Rather, we are talking about a smarter way to think about and use content that gives you more optimized results, and of course, impacts the way your brand is perceived.
This blog will discuss how cross-channel digital marketing works and how you can get started with this approach in simple steps. Let’s get started.
What is Cross-Channel Marketing?
Cross-channel marketing aims to synchronize the content across various customer touch points.
This would mean that the various social media channels, email marketing, paid ads, push notifications, etc are all communicating the same brand message, but in formats that work best on each platform.
This is very different from a one-size-fits-all approach. For a cross-channel marketing campaign to be successful, every channel needs its own strategy and approach but the base content remains common. It is also about taking content produced in one format, like a research paper, and using it across different channels in different ways, like making it into an infographic or a short video and using it on social media.
Cross-channel marketing aims to provide your customers with a coherent experience across the various channels and ensure that no matter the channel that the customer finds you with, the kind of content and brand stories remain the same. This is particularly helpful if your product has a longer sales cycle, and the buyer’s journey happens through different stages.
What are the Benefits of Cross-Channel Marketing?
There are quite a several reasons why leading marketers and organizations are talking about making content marketing work across multiple channels seamlessly. Customer experience is perhaps the primary reason behind this shift. Customers today are very adept at researching online, and they do this quite thoroughly too. It is highly unlikely that a customer reaches out to you without proper research across various platforms.
The research is also not just limited to visiting the website. This also involves social media channels, emails, and more. Having a presence across various digital channels thus becomes important. So the question is how do you create content for each of these channels. This is what the marketers are trying to solve via cross-channel marketing.
Creating a superior customer experience and brand experience are some of the most critical KRAs for any marketing team. Having a seamless experience is the expectation most customers have, and they rely on the channels that they are comfortable with, rather than going to other channels. If you do not have an Instagram account, you should not expect the demographics that rely heavily on Instagram to research for you on Facebook.
At whatever stage the customer is at in the marketing funnel, there is a growing understanding of the role of marketing in enabling the sale. The best marketing organizations today rely on real-time customer data from different channels to optimize their marketing efforts and achieve better marketing ROI.
The key benefit of cross-channel marketing comes in the form of improved brand awareness, a better user experience, and increased customer loyalty.
How Can You Get Started on Your Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy?
We at FVG are great fans of cross-channel digital marketing campaigns, and we make sure that our clients have a coherent strategy while they engage in multichannel marketing. These are some of the top things we do to integrate content marketing strongly across various channels.
Start from the Strategy
Being cross channel effectively does not happen by default. You will have to do it by design. This process thus begins right when we begin working on a marketing strategy. We like to define goals and KPIs for the overall campaign and also have specific metrics and goals for each. A content calendar is our favorite tool to use after this.
Create a content calendar that covers all the various messaging pillars you would like to cover, and also include the different channels you want to be present on. Having messaging pillars or content themes to talk about makes it easy to implement across various channels, and also makes it process-driven.
Having a good sense of customer personas will be of great help in this process. Understand how these customers interact across the various channels, and this information is critical. Marketing messages can then be crafted according to the different personas.
Process Makes Perfect
The most important part of this approach is to clearly define processes. Having a process makes it easy for your various teams to coordinate, and the content creators to do more at the same time. Let’s take the example of a blog. You can use this same blog in many different ways across different channels. For LinkedIn, it can be just a blurb and the link while on Instagram, it can be an image post with an excerpt from the blog. The same blog can also be repositioned as a short video and used on Instagram. You can also include the same in your mailers.
Having a process would mean that while creating the blog, the content creators can also provide additional information that can be used on the different channels. So it comes as a package, and the content dissemination is easier. Automation is of great help here and you can use a simple tool to get the content posted across the various channels. Having a CRM is also important as it makes the collection and analysis of the data easier, and also gives you automation capabilities. CRMs can be used to send direct mail, SMS campaigns, and much more.
Track the Metrics
We love measuring everything, and you have to do this for cross-channel marketing too. The overall impact of a piece of content you create is coming from various sources. You can measure impressions, engagement, reach, views read, and ultimately conversions. It is important to attribute the leads coming in as well so that you can be granular in your measurement.
Tracking the metrics carefully will give you a good measure of how the content is performing across various channels. Say a content piece is doing well on social media, then this content can further be broken down and used as smaller insight posts across various channels subsequently. Having this real-time analysis of data is going to be critical.
Beyond the lead metrics we talked about, you should also focus on lag metrics. Customer retention, brand awareness, overall user experience – all these are important to track to ensure the overall effectiveness of the campaigns.
Don’t Forget Paid Campaigns
One of the most common trends we see is how paid campaigns are often not considered in a cross-channel strategy. Your PPC ads, Facebook ads, and even offline campaigns can be brought under the same strategy to make sure that you are not missing anyone in your coverage.
Paid campaigns should be based on the data that is being gleaned from the campaign, and this will make your spending more effective. You will already have a set of ideas that you can explore in paid campaigns based on the best-performing content on other organic channels.
Putting together a cross-channel marketing strategy is the need of the hour. Your campaigns are not doing the best they can if you are considering it in silos and not having a coherent strategy. Cross-channel marketing unifies the messaging and content across the various channels for a more seamless experience.
As customers become more aware and they have more choices, it is important to stand out amongst your competition. Omnichannel is the key, and research shows that a higher number of touchpoints are needed today for conversion than ever before. This also calls for organizations to invest in cross-channel marketing.
Wondering how to get started? We are experts in cross-channel content marketing, and we would be happy to help you with your efforts too. Talk to us today to get started on your cross-channel strategy.
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