Cross-Channel Marketing: Maintaining Your Branding is Critical

     

Published: June 8, 2020

Cross-channel marketing sounds like a bit of advertising mumbo-jumbo that real people can ignore, but it’s really just a fancy name for smart marketing practices. In short, cross-channel marketing means making sure your efforts in different areas are all working together to form a cohesive strategy that will bring individuals from one stop on your buyer’s journey to the next. Let’s dive in.

Cross-Channel Marketing Basics
Let’s start from the beginning, just in case anyone doesn’t have all the lingo down. What is a marketing channel? A marketing channel is one of the many different methods you have for communicating with an audience of customers. It can be email, Facebook, television, Instagram, radio, Google ads, mailers, your blog, and so on. Omni-channel marketing sounds like it might be the same, but often refers to using several different channels independently rather than cohesively; although some may use the term interchangeably with cross-channel. Multi-channel marketing is another term floating around, and is also often used interchangeably with cross-channel.

If you’re using all your channels independently, you might have a topic sequence and strategy for your blog, another for your email efforts, and a separate strategy happening on social media. If you’re using them cohesively, every channel will be working together to support the others and to reach your audience in all the different ways they interact with content. The idea is to use the strengths of each channel to form a single, robust strategy.

For example, let’s say a potential customer is searching for a business solution and finds one of your blogs from a Google search. This blog describes the problem that this person is facing and positions your solution as the right one. Then, later, that same person is scrolling their Facebook feed and sees a post that addresses that same problem again, and decides to sign up for your emails. One of the first messages to arrive in their inbox includes a testimonial from a customer who has used that very solution successfully.

The Benefits of Cross-Channel Marketing
One of the biggest reasons to embark on a cross-channel strategy is to improve engagement. Consider that most people, whether in work-mode or consumer-mode, are continually blasted with advertising that we are slowly becoming conditioned to ignore. Everyone wants to get attention, but very few of us are achieving that goal.

On the other hand, consider your own experiences as a consumer and as someone who engages with a lot of digital content. You’re probably adept at scrolling past ads and don’t hesitate to delete all the marketing messages in your email inbox without opening them. However, there are likely a few ads or messages that were able to get your attention, either because they were from a company you like a lot, or because the message was about a topic you’re currently interested in.

Cross-channel marketing is one way to fall into the second category. To become known and trusted, and to be interesting and engaging.

Branding: The Critical Link
The central concept behind branding is that it tells people what to expect from your products and services. Branding helps people see what sets you apart from the competition, why you’re trustworthy, and what your company’s values are. In other words, branding aims to communicate all the reasons why a person or company will benefit from doing business with you.

What makes branding magic when it comes to cross-channel marketing is that you compile your business reputation, look, feel, advertising, and customer experience into a public “persona,” a visual and emotional shortcut that tells the story of a thousand words with a few simple images. In order for your audience to successfully build this mental image of your brand, the look, feel, and tone of your communications must be consistent from point to point so people can seamlessly engage with your company no matter where they find your content.

If you’ve already done the work of auditing your brand and building a branding book, you already understand how vital a cohesive branding approach is to all your marketing efforts, and can see how critical this is for cross-channel marketing to be effective. If you’re not familiar with branding or how it benefits all your marketing activities, we have a series of posts dedicated to the process of branding that explains both how to do it and all the benefits you’ll see along the way. Start here with the Importance of Branding in Your Marketing Strategy.

Implementing a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy
There are two places to begin as you start implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy. The first is your branding to make sure your efforts are united across every channel you’ll be using. The second is to consider your goals as the strategy for boosting brand awareness will look a bit different from one that’s meant to increase engagement rates.

From there, you’ll need to look at the different channels you have available to determine which combinations will be most effective for reaching your goals. Remember to think in terms of sequences: where do you want the touchpoints to be and where should they lead? You’ll also want to ensure you’re tracking the right metrics from point to point so you’ll know what’s working and which strategies need a bit of tweaking to make them more useful.

If you’re not sure whether your branding is ready for a bigger stage or it looks too time-consuming to construct an effective strategy, we can help! From creating a branding book to distributing finished content across your networks, our cross-channel marketing strategies are designed to meet your business goals effectively and efficiently so you can spend more time focusing on your customers!

Categories: Social Media Marketing
Tags: Cross-channel marketing
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