Cross-channel marketing is when your customer is involved with your brand across all your different marketing channels. Cross-channeling will direct a customer into actively pursuing your brand through those channels. Basically, it takes one piece of marketing content and pushes it further by directing a consumer to take more action. It is targeted towards the modern buyer – the digitally empowered consumer – who uses several mediums to interact with your company. This includes the standard marketing media like TV commercials and static advertisements, but it expands that content onto the web with social media and mobile communication.
Sharing through social media is powerful because we are more likely to believe our friends than a marketing campaign. You want to create ideas so contagious that your customers will literally do your advertising for you. The more shares from your followers equals the more power and influence you have.
It’s old news and you should be doing it already, but sometimes its hard to know where to start. So we put together four tips to help you get your cross-channel marketing efforts off the ground in 2014 .
1. Ensure the customer is central, not your advertisements.
Move from imagining your customers as a marketing database. Think of them in terms of an audience. When you understand the demographics of your audience, put them into terms of participation. Who is most likely to participate through email? Who is most likely to participate through in-store advertising?
Remember that we are dealing with a new generation of consumers. They are used to analyzing different sources and receiving access to information easily. Using the same messaging and similar content across platforms will allow consumers to easily identify your brand.
2. Create liquid content.
The point of cross-channeling is to direct the consumer into action. Now that you are thinking in terms of you customer, understand what would drive them into going further. You want them to take in an advertisement and link to a separate one with little-to-no effort on your part. Ensure that the different channels match up with the other and that they: offer the same promotions, provide the same information, have the same or similar photos, and can allow the consumer to transition smoothly through the different mediums being used.
It’s important to create liquid content. Create a video so funny that it gets posted to YouTube. Create an advertisement so heartwarming, that it’s shared on Facebook. Focus on your content for a TV commercial, and you’ll find the public finding it on the internet and sharing it with the world. I mean, how often do you see the favorite Super Bowl commercials floating around?
3. Make the customer’s interaction with your brand consistent through all your channels.
This comes through excellent communication, and can be one of your biggest challenges. In larger companies, separate employees will often be in charge of managing the different marketing channels. To ensure that a customer’s interaction with your brand is consistent, you need to ensure that those in charge of marketing to a customer are given the same information. Find a way for all your employees, wherever they may be in the world, to have access to the most current products and sales your company is employing.
Also ensure that the different channels support each other. A consumer only wants to learn how to navigate around a page once—set up the content on each channel to be very similar.
4. Confirm all communication is relevant and personal.
The point of cross-channeling is to target marketing to customer’s specific communication styles, not to give them more marketing. Bombard them with too much and you’ll find them unsubscribing to your Facebook posts and filtering out your emails. Coax the consumer into coming to you and make them feel like they’re in control.
Take Apple’s Facebook strategy, for example. Instead of creating one giant Facebook page and trying to recruit fans, they’ve segmented their audience by creating several different pages based on their products. The audience has already grouped themselves, and now Apple can target promotions to the group they really want to target. Implementing a strategy like this could be very beneficial in customizing content to your customer.
Wal-Mart has created an app called My Local Walmart on their Facebook page. Here customers enter their zip code, and they now have customized marketing. Now someone in Alaska is receiving information about snowshoe sales instead of surf boards.
Move from static shouting at your consumer to interacting and engaging with him or her. Social media is a great place to get feedback and create conversations that are a two-way street.
How to make it work
Cross-channel marketing is only effective if it can be done easily. The point of cross-channel marketing is that you spend less time, resources, and creative effort in creating the content that sells your brand, and more effort getting more value out of that content – making it go further.
That where Mainstream Data can step in and help. Our digital asset management platform allows you to effective share content across multiple platforms making it easy for you to reach your clients wherever they are – it’s as easy as pushing one button and getting your content out to all of your platforms. Get in touch with us to find out how Mainstream Data’s DAM can help you move your marketing efforts forward.