You have probably heard it all before; an existing customer is cheaper to maintain, grow and convert than a new customer. This sounds simple enough, but so many brands neglect their existing customer base instead of constantly pushing for new customers. We have some cross-channel marketing tips for you.
In order to get a new customer, you need to follow a long process of finding them, marketing to them, convincing them to interact with your brand, try your offering, and then only can you get them to repeat purchase.
If they don’t develop a sense of brand love for your product or service, you run the risk of them dropping off entirely, and then you need to start this process all over again!
Converting existing customers into repeat purchasers and eventually brand loyal and active promoters of your product or service is the ultimate goal for any business, but in the eCommerce trade, a repeat or subscription customer is the holy grail.
What is cross-channel marketing?
Cross-channel marketing or otherwise known as multi-channel marketing, is the practice of using multiple channels to reach and engage with your customers. With so many options available in today’s marketing landscape, using cross-channel marketing allows your customer to interact with you on their preferred channel. They can decide which platform they like interacting with, and by so doing, you give them a choice on how to communicate and transact with you on their terms.
Where is the best place to be?
It is so often misconstrued that you need to be on multiple platforms to be a successful business, and in the online space, it is almost expected to have a presence across every social media platform, be it relevant to your business or your customer, or not.
Cross-channel promotions are not just about being everywhere at once, and it is not all about online presence either.
Brands that have adapted to the digital and social media world as a channel and an option to communicate with their clients have expanded their customer base to include these potential customers who want to engage with them online. But, leaving off some of the marketing basics, you run the risk of alienating potential customers that prefer the standard channels. These include:
- Retail storefronts
- Search Engine Marketing
- Banner and Native Marketing online
- Websites, including blogs and articles
- Social Media pages and marketing
- e-mail marketing
- Above-the-line marketing, including television, radio, and print advertising
More is not necessarily better in these cases
The answer to the question is not if you should be on all platforms, but rather which platforms are your customers on, and how do you use that platform to offer them a better opportunity to engage with you and your brand.
If you try to be in too many places at once and you do not have the time or budget to allocate it, then doing a bad job in a lot of places is worse than doing a stellar job in a few.
Here are some cross-channel marketing tips that will grow your customer engagement and increase your brand love objective for your eCommerce store.
Create cohesive and inclusive marketing strategies across your channels
The big idea needs to include the channel selection from the initial brief. A creative idea or strategy should not be retrofitted onto a channel plan. The best cross-channel promotions are always inclusive and offer an easy flow through all channels, irrespective of the creative restrictions.
The idea should be able to live across the channels and be adapted according to that channel’s usage.
For example, you are not going to load up a 60-second video onto Facebook. By reviewing the best practices across the various channels, we know that shorter videos garner better engagement and traction on social media. This is evident in Tik-Tok’s steep rise, limiting the duration of the video on the channel. Consumers with limited attention spans are more engaged and entertained as they consume more content in a shorter time frame.
Link the channels creative executions to promote consumer interaction across channels
Creative links through your different channels can ensure two things;
Consumers can be reached with a higher frequency than with a single channel strategy, and secondly, a golden thread of content can be woven through the various channels.
It is important to ensure that the content stands on its own, and if the customer only sees one channel, it all makes sense to them. But, if a customer sees more content across more channels, the story grows and develops and can capture their imagination even more.
It should not have to be a requirement for the customers to engage on multiple channels to transact with you, but research shows that the more channels they engage with you, the stronger the brand love.
Review and adapt your learnings
The one aspect of marketing is that it wastes money the most due to the lack of the marketing team to review the analytics and adapt their campaign efforts accordingly.
In this day and age of online analytics, there are so many opportunities to track and manage your success rates.
Using the multitude of WooCommerce plugins to manage and monitor your marketing spends leads, and conversions can save time and money in the long run.
Everything from tracking your conversions from your social media channels like Pinterest or Facebook to Refer a Friend on your own website, knowing what is working, and more importantly, what is not working, is gold.
Link everything via clickable URL’s
So often, we see customer emailers that do not include links to their website content. Running an e-commerce store should be a non-negotiable part of your customer’s communication. Including these Cross-channel marketing tips can change your sales funnel quite drastically.
Ensuring these links are working and relevant (Do not send a customer interested in a handbag on Facebook to a home page) as a bad link can mean the end of the engagement with that customer. We want to make it as easy as possible to transact with us and not have to work hard to buy our product.
Generate conversations online via Above the Line media
There have been great case studies of brands hijacking major sporting events flighted on Television by using hashtags in their communication to spark online conversations with their audience. Some not even flighting a TV ad themselves as with the Volvo example and the Superbowl. Campaigns that understand their audiences generate far more engagement online with conversations with the brands or even about the brands than any other paid-for adverts can do.
“Going viral” is the dream of any brand, as long as it is about a positive message and not some negative PR that needs to be managed. The value of viral marketing campaigns is incremental, and many of the brands could never have afforded that exposure if they had to pay for it.
Using re-targeting strategies to improve conversions
When your customer engages with you on one of your platforms, it is crucial to have re-targeting strategies in place to be able to improve the frequency of your messages and improve conversions.
These strategies need to be along the whole sales funnel, up to and including your cart abandonment and post-sales communication to encourage re-purchase.
There is a fine line between stalking or harassing your customer to the point that they block any further communication from you and gently nudging them to reconsider and repurchase. Have a cut-off point in terms of how many times you will re-target a customer. If you are finding many un-subscribers or un-followers, you need to reassess your strategy and understand that an irritation factor could be a contributor to that.
Using split-testing to monitor results
No two strategies are the same when it comes to the consumers of today. What may work for one brand this week cannot be replicated for another next week.
Keep testing options, and channel mixes to gauge what works for you and your customers. Keep an open mind to the results, as some may surprise you.
Get feedback from your customers
If you can engage with your customer base, try to do so as often as possible. It is only by having in-depth conversations that you will get the real reasons for them loving or hating your brand. Offering incentives for feedback can work, but they will often only come back positive as they may be afraid if they give negative feedback and won’t get the incentive. If you see negative comments, get in touch and try to fix the problem. The positive feedback on your social channels will be far more valuable than if you just ignored them.
In summary, plan your cross-channel communication, link your creative executions, keep optimizing, link your channels, generate conversations, use retargeting strategies to increase frequency, do split-testing and get feedback from your customers on how you are doing. Repeat.
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