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Everything You Need to Know About Cross-Channel Content Marketing

Many businesses rely on content marketing to establish their credibility and build a strong relationship with their consumers, especially today when consumer trust in brands is in a decline. Cross-channel strategy is one of the marketing campaigns that boost customer loyalty – it’s used in digital marketing to engage users using multiple channels to promote seamless conversions across the consumer’s journey.

So what should you know about cross-channel marketing? A cross-channel marketing strategy is an approach that combines multiple marketing channels to send a connected marketing message from one platform to another. It provides an integrated experience throughout different stages of their consumer journey. To get started, you must organize customer data, create a strategy linking multiple platforms, and track your performance.

What is Cross-Channel Content Marketing?

Content marketers must make a great impression and provide audiences with the content they need at the right time, place, and even format. And if you’re only publishing your content in a single channel, it’s not always so simple to engage them. Many content marketers find it challenging to nurture leads and boost customer loyalty, often resulting in poor customer experience. 

But engaging in cross-channel marketing allows you to connect to your target audience where they’re at. Cross-channel marketing works by using various marketing channels, like email marketing, social media, digital ads, and more, to reach customers and create a logical and consistent experience across different stages of the customer's journey. 

Successful cross-channel marketing promotes a more personalized customer experience, as it ties your content in different platforms together. It relays unified marketing messages as audiences go from one stage in the customer journey to the next, boosting engagement and loyalty from a holistic strategy.

The Difference with Multichannel Marketing 

Cross-channel campaigns seem similar to other marketing approaches, especially with multichannel marketing. But they’re actually different strategies altogether. To learn more about this approach, you might want to know more about its differences from this campaign.

Cross-Channel Marketing Multichannel Marketing
Cross-channel marketing involves a single campaign that connects various customer experiences in different channels.
Example:A brand incorporating cross-channel marketing will send you an email as you create an account on their website for a more successful onboarding experience.
Has a single, centralized subscriber list, updating customer data with every interaction in each platform
This approach may involve multiple channels but with less connected and more general strategies.
Example:A brand promotes the features and benefits of its new product on multiple social media platforms, email newsletters, and others.
Has a separate subscriber base for each channel

You might want to avoid mistaking multichannel campaigns with cross-channel marketing for you to get a more defined strategy. Cross-channel marketing is more concerned about continuing customer engagement across multiple channels through every customer journey stage. It not only aims to attract new customers but also ensures nurturing relationships with audiences in an integrated strategy.

Why Do Cross-Content in Marketing?

Creating and publishing content allows you to connect with your target audience at a more intimate level as you demonstrate your expertise and share relevant information. But this can be more challenging if you use only a single channel to attract and nurture potential customers. Some of the benefits of cross-channel marketing are:

  • Boosting audience engagement 
  • Promoting seamless marketing across various platforms
  • Building brand identity
  • Promoting consistent communication with audiences 
  • Establishing strong relationships among consumers
  • Maximizing your marketing efforts
  • Driving profitable consumer actions 

A winning cross-channel marketing strategy unites your marketing efforts in multiple channels to complement and amplify the effects of each other, establishing a more holistic user experience and promoting seamless conversions.

How to Create a Content Strategy for Cross-Channel Marketing 

Cross-channel marketing allows you to connect with your target audience and establish a relationship by sending interconnected marketing messages across multiple channels. Employing this marketing strategy creates a more integrated experience for more customers as they go from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next. To get started in employing cross-channel campaigns in your marketing strategy, you should:  

1) Gather and Assess High-Quality Data 

Having rich high-quality data is crucial in creating a cross-channel strategy – having more data allows you to understand your customers and their buying experience better across multiple channels. Identify your target audience, their preferred platform, and the marketing message they usually respond to. Gathering data from various channels provides valuable insights into the patterns of their behavior

Data-based cross-channel marketing allows content marketers to have a more suitable strategy with reduced margins of error. Data insights from analytics of different channels can also give you ideas on what to improve on your strategy. Aside from this, you can also:

a) Track Data from Your Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Content marketing teams might also want to use their customer data platform or CDP to gather and gain unified data. A CDP is a tool or software that collects your audience’s first-party data from multiple channels to organize it into a unified, coherent, and holistic view of your customers. These types of programs allow you to capture your leads’ multiple touchpoints.

Customer data platforms use browser cookies or tracking URLs to associate actions with the contact profile of every lead. This allows you to see which email newsletters they’ve interacted with, social media campaigns they’ve viewed, or blog posts they’ve read. This also includes digital ads they’ve clicked or conversations they’ve had with your service or customer team.

b) Assess Information from Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform

You can also use your customer relationship management or CRM platform for gathering information about the behavior of your target audience. A CRM is a tool for managing all the relationships and interactions your company has made with existing and potential consumers. It aims to improve your relationship with your customers by streamlining your processes.

Because of this. You can also gain additional information on your target audience and interaction with your brand. A CRM handles your brand’s interaction with your customers, while CDP only collects data on your consumer behavior.

d) Conduct a Survey

Another way to gather more information about your consumers is to ask them by conducting surveys. You can send out rewards to users participating in the survey to motivate them into answering your questions. Some points you can ask are:

  • The blogs they read or view regularly - allow you to determine their preferred content style
  • Some of their work challenges - provide ideas on topic lists with relevant and valuable content
  • Their preferred content formats - allow you to identify channels to focus on
  • The number of times they like to hear from brands they do business with - allows you to determine the number of times you must create and publish content.
  • Their contact number - to show respondents that you’ll truly send rewards for participating in your survey.

A winning cross-channel marketing strategy must be data-based to have a credible basis for your marketing campaigns. Without rich and high-quality data, your efforts might be a hit or miss, not providing enough guarantee of gaining a high marketing ROI.

2) Develop Unified Customer Segments 

The next step to creating a cross-channel marketing strategy is to develop a unified customer segment. Your CDP can create data-based and insightful reports on your customers to help you visualize and assess your customer segments. But if you don’t have a CDP, you can always develop your own unified customer segments and analyze these segments in your buyer persona. 

Creating comprehensive and unified customer segments is necessary for identifying the patterns and trends in your user behavior from touch points. It determines similarities within your target audience for your cross-channel campaign. For example, leads that have been converted into customers might have similarities, like the number of interactions, average time interacting with your campaigns, or specific campaigns that encouraged profitable action.

A unified customer segment from the data gathered on your audience also allows you to identify the best platforms to prioritize and the type of content you should produce and distribute in each channel. You might also want to document your interactions and contextualize them to ensure producing content that caters to your audience.

Prepare a Detailed Buyer Persona 

You must first prepare detailed and comprehensive buyer personas to develop a unified customer segment, like most marketing campaigns. These give you a clear concept of the various customers interacting with your brand. 

A buyer or customer persona is a fictional persona depicting your target audience. They have detailed descriptions based on your target consumers that are gathered from your market research. Some of the details or traits you can add to your consumer persona are:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Location 
  • Life stage
  • Civil status
  • Occupation
  • Purchasing power and patterns
  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Challenges

Compile the demographics of different buyer personas to create a unified customer segment. This allows you to organize your data better and spot trends and patterns easily, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience.

3) Map Your Buyer’s Journey

Cross-channel marketing allows you to reach the audience at the right stage of their buyer’s journey, providing the most suitable content according to their profile. Because of this, it’s also necessary to map your target audience’s consumer journey to define their descriptions and needs per user at that stage. 

You should then map your customer journey after gathering and unifying data on your target audiences. Content marketing teams can start by analyzing how groups of customers interact with various digital marketing platforms – you might want to ensure these groups have similar demographics and interests to determine how a specific segment engages with your campaigns.

Once you’ve analyzed their behavior across various channels, you may then map their journey. Understanding your target audiences and their progression allows you to create a more suitable strategy, promoting a seamless journey up to purchase and retention. The stages of the consumer’s journey you must map are:

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Purchasing stage

Timing is crucial, especially in marketing your brand – promoting your products and services with digital ads and other efforts may not be enough. A marketing team must create the right cross-channel marketing campaign to keep their brand present when the consumers are ready to decide.

4) Create a Cross-Content Marketing Strategy

Now that you’ve gained enough research and information on your customers and their purchasing journey, you should create and document a reliable cross-channel marketing strategy.

A cross-content marketing strategy serves as a blueprint for all your other marketing campaigns – this ensures that all your efforts are aligned with your overall objectives, complementing each other. Because of this, you might want to keep your framework sustainable, data-based, and cohesive. When creating a winning strategy, you must:

a) Optimize Content for Each Stage of the Customer’s Persona

Ensure optimizing your content for each type of customer in the respective stages of their purchasing journey. The data gathered will provide valuable insights about content production, like the topic and tone most suitable for your audiences. You should remember to stick to a linear story – this means you should continue the conversation with a specific audience as they move from one channel to another. 

For example, an audience has read your blog post on the risks of the problem your brand aims to address. They can receive an email later on containing testimonials of customers who’ve used your product or service to resolve their problems. Once they open their social media accounts, they’ll find advertisements on how you solve the issue with your services or products.

b) Determine Complementing Media and Platform

When creating your cross-channel marketing strategy, you might also want to determine the best type of content that resonates with your audience in each stage and platform. You’ll also have an idea of the platform where most of your target audiences are and the best format they engage with from the data you’ve organized. Ensure choosing the channels that work better together than others only.

c) Prioritize Quality Content 

Cross-channel marketing isn’t about producing as much content as you can but sacrificing quality. When creating content for your cross-channel campaign, you might want to focus on quality and not quantity. Your brand aims to establish a relationship with your customers throughout their journey, so you might want to make a good impression consistently. In fact, 83% of marketers report the effectiveness of creating high-quality content less frequently.

5) Use Smart Content and Other Automated Tools

Cross-channel marketing can be an elaborate strategy – that’s why you should rely on smart tools for streamlining your content and boosting user experience. You can invest in marketing automation programs that you can simply set up, and they will do all the work for you.

Incorporating smart content into your cross-channel marketing campaign is also an efficient way to implement your strategy. This technology is dynamic content that follows a set of if-then commands. It works by showing audience-specific content after performing a defined action. 

Engaging in smart content for your strategy makes it more important to have unified customer interaction information in your CDP – this collects data of every user’s interaction and records them in their profile. You can get the most out of your smart content technology with this technology because you’ve already identified past interactions, adding context to your subsequent actions.

6) Incorporate Multi-Touch Attribution into Your Strategy

You might also want to incorporate multi-touch attribution into your cross-channel marketing strategy, especially when you need to gain a deeper understanding of the performance of each channel and piece of content. 

Multi-touch attribution is a mode of marketing measurement that tracks all touchpoints a consumer makes throughout their journey, giving credit to each channel to gauge the value of each touchpoint leading to conversion. This helps content marketers determine which ad or content has been effective in driving conversions. It also tells them which piece has been ineffective, providing important insights into making adjustments to your strategy.

7) Monitor and Assess KPIs

Like all marketing strategies, you still need to monitor your key performance indicators and assess your performance. Even if you’ve gathered quality data for your cross-channel marketing strategy, you can still expect to make some adjustments. 

Your key metrics will provide valuable insights into campaigns and marketing efforts that are successful and those that need to be tweaked. These numbers help your team to make informed decisions on optimizing your marketing approach.

8) Implement Resolutions

Tracking and assessing your key metrics allows you to gauge the performance of your cross-channel marketing strategy. Once you’ve determined the possible bottlenecks, you may then brainstorm and implement resolutions to sustain your marketing efforts. 

Applying changes in your cross-channel strategy from assessing your performance not only fixes problems in your framework but also helps upgrade it. Some techniques that had always worked may no longer be suitable for your processes in time. Monitoring your performance regularly allows you to spot these possible problems, allowing you to explore data-based adjustments, 

Common Hurdles in Cross-Channel Marketing to Watch Out For

Cross-channel marketing can greatly help your processes and boost trust and relationships with audiences, driving them to perform profitable consumer actions. If you’re considering trying out this marketing strategy, you may want to be aware of the common problems you may encounter. Some hurdles many content marketers face in cross-channel marketing are:

  • Connecting to your target audience at the exact time
  • Collecting high-quality data
  • Choosing the most suitable marketing attribution
  • Selecting the right content and platforms
  • Tracking and monitoring your data

Knowing immediately the possible problems you may encounter in cross-channel marketing allows you to prepare for them, keeping your processes as smooth as possible. You can clear these possible roadblocks by taking the time to prepare for your campaign.

Driving Growth Into Your Business with Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-channel marketing is a strategy that integrates multiple marketing channels to send a connected message to consumers, providing a holistic experience in every stage of their purchasing journey. This approach helps boost consumer trust and establishes a strong relationship with them.

To get started in cross-channel marketing, you may want to create and document your strategy first. Prepare for this by gathering and organizing data and mapping your consumer’s journey. Document your strategy and consider relying on automation and multi-touch attribution tools for your campaign. Don’t forget to monitor and assess your key metrics and apply adjustments if needed.

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