Any device; every channel. That’s the strategy behind cross channel marketing. It’s become so popular because audiences have changed — they’re reachable via their inboxes, social media channels, on PC’s, laptops, tablets and smartphones — even via direct mail and print. And they want a seamless experience through those multiple channels, when businesses may be reaching out to them and when they are considering products or services that are offered.
While the strategy is fairly clear, the implementation is not. Too often, cross channel marketing looks like a hodge-podge of content pieces that don’t appear to be related. Customers and potential customers are then confused rather than convinced, and confusion does not result in conversions.
As content is crafted for cross-channel marketing, there are certain rules that should be followed.
Rule #1: Have a single, consistent message
Everyone involved in a marketing campaign must be on the same page, relative to the goals of the campaign, the time frame, and the message that will be the “meat” of the content. When multiple people are involved in crafting content, each for a specific channel, the message can get garbled.
As Ethan Dunwill, Content Editor for HotEssayService, puts it: “When we first moved to a cross-channel marketing strategy, the biggest hurdle was that individual staffers were used to existing in their own silos, creating their own marketing topics and pushing those out on their own schedules. Getting everyone to collaborate and agree on messages and time frames was tough. It required discussion, compromise, and the giving up of some power for the greater good. It took time, but it has been well worth it.”
Rule #2: Maintain the differentiation necessary for each channel
Your marketing audiences won’t necessarily be accessing all of the channels where you are. And they select the channels they do because of the style, tone, and presentation they prefer. While the message must be consistent, the presentation should be consistent with the channel. An explainer video on YouTube, for example, will not be the same as an Instagram post or a 30-second TV ad. And marketing style and tone on LinkedIn will not be the same as that on Facebook.
Your prospects on each channel communicate in different ways. You need to be where they are in language and style if you intend to connect with all of your audience segments.
You also may not have the in-house talent to create the right content for each channel — as is the case for many non-enterprise companies. You have lots of options to contract this out, though, using services for outsource writers like Fiverr, Rewarded Essays, Freelancer, or Flash Essay.
If you create your own content but want a second opinion and editing/proofreading tips, such resources as Grammarly, SupremeDissertations, or Hemingway App are at your service. And, if your content must be translated and localized for international audiences, IsAccurate gives you an opportunity to find translation agencies.
Rule #3: Minimize the “work” for your prospects
If you connect with a prospect through one channel, you may need to drive them to another channel in order to complete a form, subscribe, etc. Keep these to a minimum. There is no need for a prospect to be driven to all of your channels. If they have subscribed to your email list, this is what they want. Give your marketing messages to them through that venue and forget about the fact that they are not reading your blog posts or following you on any social media channel.
Christopher K. Mercer, CEO of Citatior, has this advice from own experience: “When we first moved to a cross-channel marketing model, we were convinced that we wanted potential users/customers to access us on as many channels as possible. What we discovered was that it was “overkill,” and our prospects were not converting. Once we got over that, our work was somewhat reduced, we weren’t pushing too hard, and our numbers went up.”
Rule #4: Keep calls to action to a minimum
Do not give a smorgasbord of options to prospects. Every piece of content, on each channel, should have one conversion option, maybe two. If you provide too many, such as accessing three other channels for additional information, to sign-up for a free trial, or to view a video, then your prospect is confused. People like to be told what to do next, so provide the best CTA option and leave it at that.
Cross-Channel Marketing Does Work
You may have some work to do to develop a cross-channel marketing model. But if it is done right, and you craft your content with the segments of your audience using each channel in mind, it will be well worth the effort.
Your business will almost always have multiple buyer personas/Ideal Customer Profiles. Personalizing your marketing messaging itself is important, but it’s not enough — you need to make sure you’re reaching out on the right channels too.
Veronica Wright, CEO of ResumesCentre, cites her agency’s experience as a prime example: “We realized early on that cross-channel marketing was the only way to go, if we were going to grow our customer base.” In her case, the target audiences come from every level of employment, educational levels, and backgrounds. They’re seeking positions in everything from entry level through advanced careers and from semi-skilled to highly skilled and talented. Those seeking semi-skilled positions will not be found on LinkedIn; those seeking high-level advanced career positions will probably not be found on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in high numbers.
Cross-channel marketing can send the same marketing messages about services to all of the segments of customers by differentiating that message for each channel. The result can be a total success — streams of clients coming from each of your channels.
Another crucial ingredient for effective marketing and sales personalization is getting the timing just right.
Intent Data can help boost sales by telling you when your ideal prospects are interested in your offerings. Find out more in our free white paper: