How to Plan a Cross-Channel Inbound Marketing Strategy

Your customers have many different forms of media vying for their attention: social media feeds, websites, blogs, YouTube videos, and so on. So give your brand the best chance of capturing their attention. When you use several marketing channels together, you have a better chance of connecting with your audience and converting them.

To launch an effective cross-channel marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re targeting, which channels are appropriate for your goals, how to measure your performance, and tools for keeping your strategy organized. Let’s discuss what you need for your cross-channel marketing strategy to make it successful.

What is a cross-channel marketing strategy?

Cross-channel marketing, also called multi-channel marketing, uses multiple channels to reach your desired customers. Cross-channel marketing positions your brand in front of as many potential customers and increases the number of times they hear your message. (Recall the Rule of 7.)

Remember, an inbound marketing strategy attracts prospective customers who may already be looking for something your company offers. It’s different than an outbound marketing strategy, which broadcasts messages to a larger, more generic audience who may not be interested in what you’re selling.

Define your target audience

Before you try to sell your products or services to your audience, tailor your strategy to their needs, behavior, preferences, and goals. 

To find your target audience, you might look at traits in your existing customers, such as:

  • Age
  • Geographic location
  • Career/industry
  • Annual income
  • Education level
  • Interests
  • Social media preferences
  • Challenges or problems to solve

To compile this information, you might directly survey your customers, glean the data from analytics, look at your industry or competitors’ customers, or a mix of all three. Once you know who your existing customers are, you can define the target audience you’d like to reach.

Choose your channels

A cross-channel marketing strategy doesn’t mean you need to use all of the marketing channels at your disposal. That can be pricey and time-consuming. Instead, pick a few initial channels that make the most sense for your brand. If a large segment of your audience interacts with your company through social media, for example, you’ll want to include it in your strategy.

Remember that each channel comes with its own benefits and challenges. Paid digital media can boost your lead generation numbers, while organic social media can increase brand awareness and engagement. Content marketing and good SEO can drive traffic, while email marketing might be best for nurturing long-term customer relationships.

Think of how certain channels complement each other, too. Your emails can include links to your blog, or your organic social posts can direct people to your website. Your website should include a signup for your email newsletter, and it’s a great place to embed your YouTube videos.

Determine your KPIs

Once you understand who to target and how, consider how you’ll measure your cross-channel marketing strategy’s performance. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, can help you gauge the effectiveness of your cross-channel marketing strategy.

Here are some suggestions for KPIs you might use:

  • Sales revenue. How much revenue can you tie back to your multi-channel campaign?
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC). How much do you have to invest to acquire a customer through this strategy?
  • Return on investment (ROI). Is this marketing strategy worthy of your time, or is it actually costing your business money?
  • Conversion rates. Which channels are actually converting?
  • Traffic (organic, mobile, and social media). How are your customers finding your business? You might realize that some of your channels are more popular than others.

By tracking specific KPIs, you’ll be able to track and adjust your cross-channel marketing campaign.

Stay organized with an editorial calendar

With multiple marketing channels at play, things can easily get disorganized. An editorial calendar, or content calendar, will keep your marketing team organized. You’ll have a detailed overview of the content you’re publishing and why, plus a big picture overview of what you’re hoping to achieve with your content strategy.

To get started with an editorial calendar, make a list of your ideas for content topics. Decide how often you’d like to publish content for each platform. Assign types of content for each piece, too: case studies, how-to videos, behind-the-scenes photos, as well as fun or or “feel good” pieces. Maintain an interesting mix of content across channels.

An editorial calendar doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, Google Sheets is one of the most popular choices for smaller teams or solo business owners. Asana, Trello, and Basecamp are project management platforms that can serve as editorial calendars, too.

Get started with your cross-channel strategy

With proper research, planning, and organization, your successful cross-channel inbound marketing strategy can:

  • Grow your brand reach and audience engagement
  • Increase brand recognition from one channel to the other
  • Maintain brand consistency across mediums and platforms
  • Let your customers engage with your brand in the way they prefer
  • Boost conversions and sales

A team of marketing professionals, with expertise in each channel, can identify opportunities and craft your strategy. Contact Bayshore Solutions today to discuss how we can help grow your business through expert cross-channel marketing.

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