While most strong marketing strategies should include more than one channel, there’s a key differentiator that sets cross-channel marketing apart — the interaction between channels.
For instance, you might capture contact information on your website, which then feeds into your email marketing strategy. Your users might initially get to your website through a link on social media, or after receiving a printed piece via direct mail.
What Is Cross-Channel Marketing?
When you consider how marketing channels interact, you’re crafting a cross-channel marketing strategy.
You may have heard of omni-channel marketing, which takes this concept further and creates a universal experience across marketing channels and can be difficult to achieve without a significant time and financial investment. Cross-channel marketing, on the other hand, is more attainable with simple strategic thinking and a few of the right tools.
To start out, you’ll want to build an effective cross-channel marketing strategy.
Creating a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy
There are six core steps to developing a cross-channel marketing strategy that helps your target audience connect with your brand.
1. Set Goals for Your Cross-Channel Marketing
Is your aim to generate new leads, capture leads from competitors or drive buyers to make a purchase? Whatever your goal may be, make sure it’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely — you shouldn’t just say that you want to generate leads, but that you want to generate a specific number of leads over a length of time.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you need to know who you’re targeting. The best way to gain qualified leads who are likely to convert is by developing buyer personas accounting for specific characteristics of your ideal customers.
Take into consideration demographic data such as age, gender and education level, as well as professional data like job title, income level and seniority. Use information about your aspirational ideal customer and your current customers to determine the individuals that are most likely to buy from your brand.
Understanding your audience isn’t enough; you also have to understand how they interact with your brand. Take into account how buyers interact with your brand along the path to purchase, from initial contact with their brand until they ultimately make a purchase.
Be sure to consider the conversion points along your buyer’s journey and the types of content that might be most useful to get users from one conversion point to the next. For instance, do they need to request a demo or schedule a conversation with your sales team, or can they get all the information they need to make a purchase decision directly from your website?
4. Determine How Users Interact with Your Brand
Choosing the right channels to implement your cross-channel marketing requires a clear understanding of how your message is best delivered. With a clear understanding of your target audience and how they are most likely to come to a purchase decision, you can determine which channels will be best for your message.
While you’ll want to ultimately drive leads to one central point to enter your buyer’s journey, be sure to consider where your buyers tend to spend their time. If you’re targeting a B2B decision maker, you’ll likely want to focus the bulk of your marketing strategy on email marketing and LinkedIn. A younger B2C purchaser, however, is more likely to engage with social media content on Instagram and make a purchase directly from your website.
5. Develop Valuable Content
Once you know who you’re speaking to and where you’re speaking to them, identify what you’re trying to say. Users are most likely to engage with content that’s relevant to their interests, helps them solve a problem or otherwise catches their attention. Blogs, videos, social media posts, infographics and white papers all might be valuable based on the information you determined while mapping your buyer’s journey.
6. Measure Performance
Finally, you need to track the performance of your cross-channel strategy. Is your audience following the intended path from one channel to the next? Are they taking the intended actions on each channel? Does the information they provide on one channel inform the experience on the next? Looking at marketing performance metrics and analytics helps you continue to understand cross-channel interactions and optimize your strategy to maximize conversions.
Choosing Cross-Channel Marketing Tools
To create an effective cross-channel marketing strategy, you need the right tools in place. You need to be able to effectively manage multiple channels, understand how they interact and track user behaviors between them. The best cross-channel marketing solutions will offer a centralized, seamless platform that integrates with multiple channels, publishes content and maintains the most current customer data all in one place.
SharpSpring’s cross-channel marketing tools include a full range of features that promote engagement and help you nurture leads through the marketing funnel.