This guide will explore cross-channel marketing, why it’s important, and how you can get started with your own, cross-channel marketing strategy.
What is Cross-Channel Marketing?
Cross-channel marketing is interacting with customers across multiple channels—such as email, social media, websites, and mobile apps—to deliver a cohesive and consistent message. The goal of cross-channel marketing is to create a seamless customer experience that builds brand awareness and loyalty.
Benefits of Cross-Channel Marketing
There are numerous benefits of using a cross-channel marketing approach. For one thing, it allows you to reach more people in more places. With so many consumers using multiple devices throughout the day, meeting them where they are is important to stay top-of-mind.
Additionally, cross-channel marketing can help you better understand your customers by providing insights into their buying journey. By tracking how customers interact with your brand across different channels, you can better understand what’s working and what isn’t.
Finally, cross-channel marketing can help boost sales and ROI by increasing conversion rates.
Cross-channel Marketing Examples
The most common channels used in cross-channel marketing are email, social media, search engine marketing (SEM), and display advertising. While each channel has its own unique capabilities, they all work together to form a comprehensive cross-channel marketing strategy.
Email is often seen as the foundation of a successful cross-channel marketing strategy. It’s an efficient way to reach many people with targeted messages. Email can be highly personalized, which makes it possible to segment your audience and send highly relevant messages that are more likely to resonate with recipients.
Additionally, email integrates well with other channels, making it easy to share email content on social media or include links to landing pages in SEM campaigns.
Say, for example, you’re running a sale on your website. You can promote the sale in an email campaign. By doing this, you’re driving traffic to your website from multiple channels, which increases the chances that people will take advantage of the sale.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is another important channel for cross-channel marketers. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with customers and create a two-way dialogue. Through social media, brands can build relationships with their customers and get real-time feedback about their products and services.
Additionally, social media provides rich data that can be used to inform other marketing initiatives, such as email campaigns or targeted ads.
For example, if you had a flower business, you would probably have a website and send out emails. You could also use social media to share photos and information about your business and run promotions and competitions. Doing this would help you reach more people and build brand awareness.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of paid advertising that allows brands to target customers who are actively searching for products or services like theirs. SEM campaigns appear as sponsored listings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Combined with other channels, SEM can be a powerful tool for driving website traffic and generating leads. Maybe you have a real estate website. You publish blogs, send new listings via email, and post about open houses and real estate market data. You could also use SEM by running paid ads on Google related to specific real estate terms related to your business.
That kind of cross-channel marketing would help you reach people who are actively interested in buying or selling a home, which would likely lead to more business.
Display advertising refers to using banner ads, video ads, or other types of ad units on websites or apps outside of your own properties. Display advertising allows you to reach people who are not actively searching for your product or service but may still be in the market for what you’re selling. Like SEM, display advertising can be an effective way to generate leads or sales—but it’s also useful for raising brand awareness or building consideration among potential customers.
How to Get Started with Cross-Channel Marketing
If you’re thinking about incorporating cross-channel marketing into your strategy, there are a few things you need to do to get started.
First, take inventory of the channels you’re already using. Most businesses have one strong channel in the lead (such as SEO), and support that channel with other, smaller channels (like social media or email marketing).
Next, consider which other channels might complement your lead channel. For example, if you’re running a blog with strong SEO, you might use social media to share your content and drive traffic back to your website. Or, if you’re using SEM as your lead channel, you might use display advertising to raise brand awareness or target potential customers who haven’t reached the bottom of the funnel.
Each channel will have its own set of algorithms, and understanding how they all work together is critical to success.
Some people think they can simultaneously push out their content to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and it will be successful. However, this is not always the case.
The key to success is understanding how each platform works and what type of content performs best on each one. For example, Facebook is great for visual content, whereas Twitter is better for short text snippets.
Instagram is a mix of both but offers the ability to share longer-form video content. You will not see the desired results if you’re not tailoring your content to the platform.
Develop buyer personals
Second, develop buyer personas to segment your audience and tailor your messages accordingly. Knowing your target audience can help determine which cross-channel platform combinations work best for your business.
For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing, you probably have a certain type of woman in mind as your target customer. You might segment your audience by age, location, or interests. Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about which channels she uses and how you can reach her on those channels.
Suppose you’re targeting millennial women, for example. In that case, you might use a combination of Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, while baby boomers may prefer a mailed catalog and email marketing campaign.
Each buyer persona will have its own set of preferences, and it’s important to understand those before you start creating content.
Set up tracking
Third, set up tracking so you can measure your results. Tracking is essential for any marketing campaign, but it’s especially important for cross-channel campaigns.
You need to be able to track which channels are performing well and where you’re getting the most leads or sales. Without tracking, you won’t be able to optimize your campaigns or understand what’s working and what’s not.
There are a few different ways to track cross-channel marketing campaigns. The most common is using UTM parameters, which are added to the end of your URL.
UTM parameters allow you to track things like the source (such as Google), the campaign (such as your email marketing campaign), and the medium (such as email).
You can also use tracking pixels, which are snippets of code that you add to your website. Tracking pixels allow you to track things like how many people saw your ad and how many of those people clicked on it.
UTM parameters and tracking pixels require a bit of set-up, but they’re essential for understanding your campaign’s performance.
Create a content calendar
Create a content calendar to help you plan and execute your campaign. A content calendar is a tool that allows you to see all of your content in one place and plan when and where you’ll publish it.
Creating a content calendar can seem daunting, but there are a few ways to make it easier. First, start by brainstorming all of the different types of content you could create.
Think about blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, and offline ads. Once you have a list of content ideas, start planning when and where you’ll publish them.
Invest in a technology stack
Invest in a technology stack to help you execute and track your campaign. A technology stack is a combination of software you use to run your business.
For example, your tech stack might include an email marketing platform like Mailerlite, a social media management tool like Missinglettr, and a CRM like Keep.
Each of these tools serves a different purpose, but they all work together to help you run your business more efficiently.