Marketing, like nothing else, contributes to business success. This principle hasn’t changed for many centuries, but modern conditions dictate the need to adapt to new challenges. Today, digital marketing often requires businesses to utilize multiple digital marketing platforms at the same time. But how? It may seem too intimidating and complex to manage many channels at once. But it is possible to find go-to solutions and relevant strategies that can facilitate an improvement of your marketing. Cross-platform digital marketing strategies are meant to make life easier by automating processes and facilitating integrations. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s done.
What is a cross-platform marketing strategy?
Simply put, a cross-platform marketing strategy identifies a set of practices that help build multiple crossing points with a consumer. This strategy allows brands to strengthen user involvement by reaching audiences via their favorite online channels and to make the brand-consumer conversation more efficient. What differentiates cross-channel marketing from a multichannel marketing strategy is that the former takes place within a singular campaign. While the latter is rather about interacting with customers in general.
A cross-platform marketing strategy (also known as cross-channel marketing or multi-platform marketing) utilizes various channels. Most of them are web, in-app, e-mail, social media, Google Ads, and many other digital ad tools. These channels reveal a store of applied tactics like acquisition, engagement, activation, or retention. So they help marketers reach new customers, as well as stay in touch with existing clients. A cross-channel marketing strategy is an effective technique to both reinforce digital marketing strategies and establish insightful data analytics using an omnichannel approach.
The cross platform meaning in marketing creates consistency for brands in approaching their customers. For instance, sending their clients’ different offers via separate platforms can create confusion – resulting in frustration and customers opting out of your services. The cross-channel approach eliminates this miscommunication. Additionally, personalizing the shopping experience, as one of the main aspects of the cross-channel approach, further works to ensure brand recognition.
How does a cross-platform marketing strategy work?
A simple action of copying/pasting the same message on each channel isn’t enough to communicate with customers on different platforms. This will only lead to frustration and gradually decrease the brand’s credibility. So how does a cross-platform marketing strategy work? How to make the cross-channel strategy work for the brand’s benefit?
The first and crucial decision is to craft a unique message for each platform or channel. This message should focus on what that communication method is good for. That could mean different creatives, text size, hashtags, or an entirely unique approach. This will design more appealing and attractive content to warm up customers.
The next step is to define the most effective channels that will generate the lion’s share of engagement, in order to adjust your strategy accordingly. That means brands should focus on channels that bring bigger numbers. This strategy is more effective compared to those that suggest equal budget proportioning.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of lucrative cross-channel marketing destinations. The most popular include major social networks like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter; dominant ad services like Google Ads, Bing Ads, or Amazon Ads and conventional channels like emails. In order to boost your cross-channel marketing results, it’s important to truly understand each channel you’re planning to employ.
Reasons to adopt a cross-platform strategy
As modern digital marketing provides a variety of methods to engage with customers, businesses can benefit from gaining deeper insights into how these different methods function. There are three main benefits of a cross-platform marketing strategy.
Customer loyalty increase
The first reason is that cross-channel marketing builds more resilient brand-customer relationships and ultimately improves customer loyalty by creating additional visibility on numerous platforms.
For example, everyone loves Apple for its amazing product line, but what often remains behind the scenes is its marketing technique. They have physical stores, fancy websites, and both conventional and digital commercials — all designed and kept in a single laconic manner. Consistent messaging, style, and ecosystem build an excellent marketing approach at every touchpoint with a customer. The thing is that each of the components separately is not enough to convince customers to action like a purchase. Only the mix of channels provides an immersive and persuasive attitude.
Customer journey optimization
Another essential reason to embrace a cross-channel marketing strategy lies in the customer journey optimization it offers. A comprehensive and unified perspective provided by the cross-channel approach can result in better budgeting ability, mainly through the convenient distribution of assets based on user actions. A brand can reap major benefits by following customer journeys across multiple platforms.
In addition, brands can create custom experiences depending on the customer’s position in a buying cycle, because the messages targeted at new customers and the messages targeted at old clients differ by nature. By using a cross-channel strategy, businesses can figure out their customers’ true needs, and adjust their message according to user status to maximize messaging relevancy.
High engagement rates
The third reason is increased engagement rates. Statistics suggest that the more channels brands communicate with their audience, the bigger chances they will convert to a purchase. Most customers undertaking communication with companies across ten or more platforms tend to make one purchase per week. This is tied to customers’ stronger emotional contact, which is increased through contact on multiple channels, driving engagement rates up.
These emotional connections en masse can become a decisive factor in building a loyal user base out of casual buyers. Cross-channel strategies are great to make audiences interact with a brand more, not least thanks to the capability to send personalized marketing offer and create meaningful and relevant ad interaction experiences.
How to successfully manage cross-channel marketing platforms?
It’s hard to single out general keys to success, as each case should be reviewed independently. However, there is some good universal advice for brands to bear in mind when beginning their journey through cross-channel marketing platforms. These are not strict rules, but rather modest recommendations to create an engaging and comfortable experience for your users.
1. Align content with the buyer’s journey
First and foremost, make sure your message is connected to a customer’s current position in the buyer’s journey. That means taking into account user habits and unique details inherent in a current stage of development. For example, if a buyer drops his/hers purchases in a cart, a store can offer discounts on the specific items they picked via email or other marketing channels.
2. Unify data and embrace a data-driven approach
What also matters is how they interact with ad campaigns, blog posts, brand social media, etc. to understand behavioral patterns. That information should also be stored in a CDP. Effective data analytics will open the door to making successful forecasts of user behavior and trends if used right.
3. Build customer profiles
Creating buyer personas can greatly contribute to understanding your client’s habits, learning what truly motivates them, uncovering patterns between user groups, and segmenting buyers. In order to know that, you have to analyze buying habits, learn browsing preferences, familiarize yourself with their communication models, etc. This information is crucial for creating meaningful and impactful messages to drive the brand’s success.
To build rich customer profiles, brands can take advantage of social listening, social media measurement, or other techniques to assess brands’ image online. The more precise your customer profiles are, the more effective your cross-channel strategy will be.
4. Social media is key
In current marketing conditions, social media is arguably the main communication channel when it comes to cross-channel strategies. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram open the door to opportunities for both interacting and communicating with customers directly. They also allow brands to learn their customers’ behavioral particularities. Your brand will not only increase brand recognition and awareness but also take increase conversions by engaging with your target audiences in the right way.
Another point of interest is paid social media. This type of media brings additional functionality to your regular cross-channel marketing strategies. For instance, Facebook pixel (not to be confused with Google Pixel) allows websites to measure, build audiences, and retarget users to other platforms. It is done through a piece of code embedded into a website.
5. Select proper marketing technologies
Data analytics, insights, audience measurement, and engagement rate assessment are accurate indicators that need precise measurements to be correctly calculated. That means selecting effective marketing technologies is a must to gather accurate metrics.
When it comes to advanced marketing tools, brands should keep an eye on software that enables automation. This greatly saves both time and energy if configured correctly. On the other side, efficient marketing tools can rationalize communications between a brand and its audience while employing messages that are most engaging to that particular audience.
6. Take advantage of control groups to test hypotheses
Control groups are a technique widely used in many industries, from medicine and cosmetics to software and device production. The idea is simple. A group of random people tests out what you have to offer and then answers how they feel about it. In cross-channel marketing, people who view your ads or interact with them in any way provide valuable feedback to assess your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. Control groups can measure the average level of engagement, define which campaign is the most efficient, and consequently reveal areas in need of further optimization.
This method is also highly effective for brands looking to find out whether their marketing efforts are going to have an effect on a particular group of people such as age, religion, interests, ethnicity, etc. Testing control group testing before a product release can yield high returns, even when considering additional expenses.
7. Select relevant Key Performance Indicators
Measurement and attribution is another key point of success for any company or brand utilizing digital marketing technologies. Assessing old campaign performances and learning from miscalculations to improve future campaigns is vital for optimizing marketing efforts. Try to answer these questions first: “what are the metrics that illustrate campaign performance best?”, “what kind of data do we have that is easily measurable and trackable?”, “which performance indicators suit our business goals better?”
8. Customer support is a must
Matching clients’ expectations is not always an easy task to accomplish, yet a very important one. Most customers can easily switch away even from brands they are used to if customer service is not on point. And vice versa – many clients will remain loyal to a brand even when their products become less attractive than a competitor’s offer if they take a consumer-oriented approach. First and foremost, customer support should be available 24/7 – especially when it comes to digital products. Your employees should be motivated to solve their clients’ problems as quickly and competently as possible. Some people don’t like chatting with real people, so you should also make use of conventional help or FAQ pages or a chatbot that can automatically handle help requests. In order for customers to become loyal to your brand, they should be treated with respect and care.
By analyzing marketing campaign data, brands and marketing companies can constantly enhance their cross-channel marketing strategies and deliver tangible business results. Reaching out to an audience and staying in touch across a variety of platforms is a go-to strategy that drives substantial results. To achieve this, cross-channel marketing strategies provide effective yet simple tools.
Content, customer support, KPIs, marketing tools, and user data should always comply with a channel, audience, business goals, and the buyer’s journey. Through a cross-channel marketing strategy, brands can effectively leverage their social media campaigns to draw precise customer profiles.