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on November 15, 2021 (last modified on March 21, 2023) • 17 minute read
Try as you might but it’s nearly impossible to grow your business using one marketing channel only.
For one, it’d be putting all your eggs in one basket, which is risky and not recommended. And, two, you’d only reach a thin slice of your target audience.
Meaning: you need cross-channel marketing to connect with your audience on channels they’re already using.
Interested? Learn more from this soup to nuts guide on cross-channel marketing that covers:
Cross-channel marketing is strategically using multiple marketing channels to meet your target audience where they are at.
For example, leveraging email marketing, different social media channels, even traditional marketing channels such as TV ads to connect with your customers.
Considering your audience never uses one platform to search services/products you provide, it’s best to spread your reach with multi-channel marketing.
In fact, 42% of the companies we surveyed use 5-7 marketing platforms on average to reach their customers. 39% use less than five channels. Roughly 9% use either 8-10 channels or more than 10 marketing platforms.
Not all your target buyers use one and the same marketing channel.
Some use Instagram to learn new products you’ve added to your store, whereas, others prefer keeping updated via a newsletter.
Similarly, you might be targeting not one persona but a few. Example: agencies, freelancers, and eCommerce store owners. Naturally, using one marketing channel would do little to help you reel in all three personas into your marketing funnel.
So, it makes sense to diversify your reach by using different marketing channels. This helps you meet potential buyers across various personas that you may have and pool them into your marketing funnel.
It’s also important to remember that “the consumer journey is not linear anymore,” as Rohan Kadam of Biking Know How puts it.
“Consumers have multiple avenues to do research about products or services,” observes Kadam. “Different channels that a consumer uses can be search, social media, radio, podcast, video, etc.”
“Besides different channels, consumers [also] use multiple devices in order to interact with products,” notes Kadam. As a result, “it’s very important for companies to stay with their consumers through their purchase journey [by] deploying cross-channel marketing in order to attract customers.”
Like most marketers and marketing managers, you want to know how well your efforts are translating into results each month. How much traffic and new contact conversions do you get? How many new contacts do you get from organic sessions? How are your email campaigns performing? How well are your landing pages converting? You might have to scramble to put all of this together in a single report, but now you can have it all at your fingertips in a single Databox dashboard.
Our Marketing Overview Dashboard includes data from Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing with key performance metrics like:
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To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
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Not convinced yet? Let’s walk you through the stories of two businesses that used cross-channel marketing to grow their business
Farm Country Goldens wanted to promote their giveaway to reach more people shares, Daniel Ashton.
“They had trouble getting the word out on similar campaigns in the past and asked if there was anything we could do to help,” Ashton writes. “They didn’t have a large audience yet and had only posted organically in the past.”
The solution? Ashton and their team “put together a strategy that included paid ads on Google and Facebook, updating their website to include a banner emphasizing the giveaway, and posting on multiple social media accounts.” In short, they leveraged cross-channel marketing.
The results? “Amazing,” says Ashton. “In the past, their campaigns had gained almost no traction, and with our cross-channel marketing approach we were able to reach a much broader audience and got 15x more responses than the previous campaign.”
Another brand that tapped into cross-channel marketing to its advantage is BirchBox as shared by Milkwhale’s Andre Oentoro.
“Birchbox is a good example of how an SME creatively and successfully used cross-channel marketing to boost their business,” Oentoro points out.
Here’s what they do: “Birchbox actively updates their blog with new posts and promotes them on different social media platforms. As a result, they’ve brought in audiences from every platform and have grown a cult-like following.”
These businesses aren’t the only ones who run successful cross-channel campaigns though. In the past 12 months, 90.5% of our respondents, a whopping majority, have run a cross-channel campaign.
Now that you know what cross-channel marketing is and how it can benefit you, let’s look at expert tips to help you succeed at it.
At the start, your business website and/or store will take time to pick up. As a solution to keep the sales pipeline full, Eden Cheng from PeopleFinderFree suggests SMEs selling digital or eCommerce products use cross-channel promoting.
“An SME can try to sell its digital or e-commerce products by creating its own store as well as in a reputed marketplace,” elaborates Cheng. “For example, if you sell clothes, opening an online clothing store plus selling through Amazon is a good idea.”
“Similarly, if you have a few WordPress plugins, you can opt for Envato marketplace and your own digital product store. In the end, promote these products through separate social media channels to find out which platform works better for you.”
“This method of cross-channel selling and marketing is good because you can achieve good sales in marketplaces in a small time but the commission is something you won’t want to give for the long term,” highlights Cheng.
“So, put efforts accordingly and grow your website side by side, while making sure you are selling well even in that duration.”
Cross-channel marketing isn’t limited to the digital space. A good tactic, therefore, is to cross-market across mediums such as traditional marketing channels and digital ones.
Bertie Cowan from Effortless Outdoors quotes the example of M&Ms to explain this. “They chose SuperBowl Sunday to combine digital and traditional marketing channels, reaching a bigger audience and improving engagement.”
“The TV ad ran during the game, and M&Ms was busy on social media before, during, and after the game,” Cowan notes.
“They had teasers before the game, updates during the game, and highlights after. They created a whole campaign around the TV ad, with various hashtags associated with the ad being used throughout, added into posts about the game and the ad, and encouraged followers to follow the hashtags.
They ended the campaign with a competition where people had to tag friends who deserve some M&Ms to win some. This was the perfect way to end a good and very successful cross-channel marketing campaign.”
If you look closely, you’ll see this creative campaign not only helped M&Ms get on their customers’ radar but also helped them grow their social media engagement and sales. The former as followers tagged their friends and the latter because it’s hard for chocolate lovers to not buy one when they see its name echo around them repeatedly.
This is another useful tip to effectively use multi-channel marketing.
Slingshot’s Savannah Cherry says they use one at their company by creating a character development chart.
“When creating any content/collateral, we go back to the chart and see if our ‘character’ of Slingshot would say or do what we’re developing,” explains Cherry.
“By keeping tone and topic the same everywhere, it’ll be easier to create an integrated marketing strategy.”
Note that such a character/persona can help you in multiple ways such as:
Again, this is essential to make sure you’re creating content to guide interested folks down your marketing funnel.
For instance, aim to grow brand awareness by creating valuable, educational content. Then, encourage interested followers to visit your site and engage them with blog content.
Once you’ve made your case of sharing value, prompt users to move down the funnel, for example, by joining your newsletter where you engage and share personalized discounts too.
Want to ensure leads convert? Follow Citadel’s Sasha Matviienko recommendation: “map your actions around the funnel.”
Related: Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Discover Your Next A/B Test
Related: Social Conversions: How to Generate Leads from Social Media
At Orgain, Jeff Goodwin shares a similar approach. “We were able to use our brand ambassador program to populate different social media platforms and bring more website traffic for our brand.”
“On our website, we are then able to use email marketing tactics to gather more emails to sign them up for deals and promotions,” adds Goodwin.
Summarizing, Goodwin explains: “We use cross-channel promotions to guide customers from one area of our marketing channels to another, where we can close more sales in the long run. Especially when starting with familiar platforms like social media, it can be easier to guide people to the right places where our products are.”
The team at Viien also has their multi-channel marketing plan laid out according to their funnel. Nadiia Matviienko explains, “the strategy we use maps around the digital marketing funnel.”
“The centerpiece here is the website itself. While we get users to the site through various channels – Google, Facebook, and offline sources. Website is where the magic happens.”
Says Matviienko, “We use a strategy to filter out users who are not ready to buy yet by giving a limited time offer. This way we are able to increase our conversion rates on the site.
Next, we use multi-layer remarketing to help raise our conversion rates even further. This way, we employ 4-5 channels through to consumer journey – from Awareness through Consideration to purchase.”
Related: What’s the Right Content for Each Stage of Your Content Marketing Funnel? 40 Marketers Share Their Advice
“When it comes to implementing marketing strategies, it’s absolutely best to do as the old saying says, and not put all of your eggs in one basket,” opines Ryan Rottman of OSDB Sports.
“And if you’ve taken the initiative to actually segment your audience, then you know that different demographics respond better to different marketing channels.”
Essentially, Rottman’s suggestion is the recipe for marketing better. After all, the better you know your audience, the better you can segment them. Based on that, you can create campaigns that are truly relevant to each of your audience segments.
“So, a good example of a cost-friendly, results-driven campaign would be a mixture of email marketing and both paid and organic social media,” Rottman goes on. “And to break things down even further, you can segment your social campaigns to meet the most appropriate demographics for that particular platform.”
Rottman sums up: “In the end, it really is all about understanding your current customers, your potential customers, and your ideal customers,”
Learn more on how to identify your target audience and the segmentation part will get easier.
Creating new content for each channel you market on isn’t scalable. It’ll only add work to your plate, diverting focus from important matters such as tracking channel performance, planning campaigns, and so on.
The solution? Content repurposing or tweaking content to meet each platform’s requirements and their audience expectations.
For instance, you can’t copy-paste your blog post’s subheadings to create a Twitter thread. That would fail to meet the network’s audience expectations. Instead, you’ll need to repurpose the content so that you cover the key takeaways from the blog post in the thread.
At CocoDoc, Alina Clark shares they repurposed content to meet content demand and engage each channel’s audience.
“Multichannel marketing is essentially about going to where the customer lives, be they on social media, SEO, forums, or even physically. For SaaS business, there needs to be a special focus on the niche and the places where you’re more likely to meet your target customers.”
Related: 11 Experts Share Their SaaS Growth Hacking Secrets
“Content development for a multi-channel system requires that you develop the same content in different ways,” shares Clark while talking about content repurposing. “For instance, we develop content for SEO, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other platforms.
While it may be pricy, developing the same content, with tweaks to fit the audience in each platform helps us provide an equal audience experience across the platforms.”
Mostly Blogging’s Janice Wald too puts forward content repurposing as their best tip to succeed at cross-channel marketing.
Here are some examples of how they recycle content:
And here’s a pro tip Wald shares: “As long as you make sure the pixels of your graphic images are compatible with the channel you are marketing on, you can save time and get a strong ROI with cross-channel marketing.”
Related: 11 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Existing Content & Drive More Traffic
Next up, integrate experiences for a seamless one.
YourParkingSpace’s Charles Cridland shares the fashion brand, Rebecca Minkoff, as an example to this end.
“The brand offers its customers multiple ways to shop — in their app, in-store, and on their website,” Cridland observes.
“They noticed that shoppers in its stores used their smartphones to learn more about products and buy items online if the store didn’t have their size. So, the company decided to integrate their customers’ in-store and online shopping experience.”
Cridland continues, “Rebecca Minkoff added interactive screens to its stores where shoppers can learn more about specific products and send information to their smartphones to complete purchases.
The shoppers can also save the clothes they tried on to their online accounts and easily purchase them later. This cross-channel marketing campaign helped Rebecca Minkoff significantly increase its ready-to-wear sales in about 5-6 months.”
Related: 21 Tips for Building a High-Converting eCommerce Funnel
Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls reasons why this works so well.
“Consumers now engage with a company in a brick and mortar store, online or mobile app, by catalog, or via social media. They access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer.”
Therefore, Arnof-Fenn insists: “Every piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.”
“Content and messaging are the key, if a customer has previously engaged or purchased your product or service your marketing should reflect that,” Arnof-Fenn goes on.
“If a customer has put something into a cart, but hasn’t yet purchased, it’s best to use content to reference that intent. People use multiple devices during a single transaction process so the ability to listen and respond to these interactions is key.”
To add, “E-commerce retailers must preserve items in a shopping cart across devices so if you add an item to your mobile shopping cart, it should still be in your shopping cart when you access the site on your desktop too, for example.”
“If you recently bought a pair of pants they can recommend a great shirt or sweater to go with it. The goal is to use cross-channel marketing to provide better service to customers which should drive more sales,” summarizes Arnof-Fenn.
Related: 10 Abandoned Cart Email Examples to Convert Unconvinced Shoppers
Coalition Technologies’ Jordan Brannon talks about how retargeting prospects can help grow your business with cross-channel marketing.
To explain, Brannon highlights the example of their business with a long buyer’s journey. “Getting a procedure like lipedema surgery can be a big decision to make,” writes Brannon.
“Some of our site visitors are top-funnel users from organic search. They read a few of the pages but aren’t ready to book a consultation. Through a tracking pixel embedded in the site’s code, we are able to then retarget this anonymous user with paid advertising on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.”
“Seeing the advertisement gets them back to the site with a bit more interest this time,” elaborates Brannon. “Some will start the booking form process but then change their mind and abandon midway.”
“At this step, we’ve collected some vital information like their Name and Email Address. With this, we’re able to utilize email marketing to nurture this lead and send them a bit more personalized message about their expressed interest and welcome them to give us a call,” Brannon carries on.
“From here, we often get a call or a successful consultation booked through the website, and the visitor schedules an appointment.”
Brannon shares using this strategy of pairing multi-channel marketing with retargeting prospects has helped them increase their lead volume and close rates drastically. “It’s not often that a high-value service such as ours can get a user to convert on the first pass, so it’s important to be able to follow up and follow them cross-channel.”
Related: 11 Facebook Retargeting Tips For Converting Warm Leads
In short, cross-channel marketing is essential to meet and connect with your target audience where they are at.
Be sure to offer a seamless and consistent brand experience throughout your marketing channels though. And don’t forget to sketch and regularly revise audience personas so you know who you’re marketing to.
With all that said, here’s one last tip to keep in mind: strategically use marketing platforms your audience uses but be sure to not spread yourself too thin. If there’s a channel that you’ve given your best and it’s not yielding results, stop using it and divert your focus to platforms that deliver results.
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