You want to go back to school to be a nurse, so you use a search engine to look up nursing programs. The search engine provides organic search results which lead you to a local school’s website with information about their education programs. The website also has links to social media channels like Facebook where you can read what students have to say about the school, so you like and follow the school’s pages. A few days later, you check your Facebook feed and see an interesting article about the school’s nursing program posted. You decide to get more information, so you go to the school’s mobile site and fill out a request for more information form, thus completing a conversion.
This is a long example, but you see how cross-channel marketing helped generate a conversion for the school. These days, having your brand and business on multiple marketing channels is a necessity, but each channel alone can only do so much to attract people and generate conversion. In reality, it’s the combination of channels: search engines, blogs, emails, and social media, working hand-in-hand to shoulder the weight of your marketing strategy which carries it to conversions.
“84 percent of all U.S. adults are digital today, meaning they have a smartphone, tablet, or computer,” according to a report by Experian Marketing Services, but many people assume that just having multiple marketing channels is enough to get leads and conversions. Not necessarily.
Having a presence across multiple channels is essential, but in order to lead traffic to conversions, you need to make those channels work together to keep them engaged. This is where cross-channel marketing integration comes in.
Take our nursing scenario for example. The prospective student could have interacted with any one of those channels to get information about the school’s nursing program, but on their own, would they necessarily have led to a conversion? Possibly, but with the combination of marketing channels, it was easier for the user to be continually influenced and engaged which resulted in the conversion.
Think of integration as a superhero team like The Avengers. Each member has unique skills and abilities, just like your marketing channels. Alone they may be strong, but working as a team, they get better results.
“Cross-channel marketing is key to customer centricity,” says Experian’s report. The importance of integration in your marketing channels is what keeps your audience engaged with your brand, business, or school from the first interaction all the way to the last interaction, the conversion. Each person’s interaction and journey to the conversion may be different, but with your channels working as a team and creating an individual experience for each person, the more likely they are to follow through.
WHAT CHANNEL DOES WHAT
So what channel handles what on your cross-channel marketing team? There’s a lot of ways to answer that, and no way is the correct one. How you use each channel is going to be different depending upon your business goals, but as long as they’re working together, they’re doing what they’re supposed to.
For example, blogs are great for providing information about products, services, or programs, but how do you get people to see them? Both social media and emails can help distribute your blogs, articles, and reviews to a wide network of people. On the flip side, blogs also keep your social media and emails fresh with new content. Each channel works together providing content and ensuring it reaches as many outlets as possible.
Another example is how your blog’s content distributed via social media and email channels can aid in search engine optimization (SEO). The more your content is distributed, the easier it is to find, the more people will read it and interact with it, and the more likely you are to move up in search results rankings.
Even something as simple as making your website and email design mobile compatible contributes to cross-channel marketing. The more mobile-friendly your emails and website are, the easier it is for users to view and share them anywhere via social media channels, increasing your distribution and leading to more potential conversions.
The role each channel plays on your integrated team doesn’t necessarily have to be the same for each user. It won’t be, actually, but as long as each channel has a role and contributes to keeping each person engaged, that’s what will help drive interactions and conversions.
In the digital age, you have to market your brand, business, or school across multiple channels to be known. Yet, if you want to see more conversions, cross channel integration is key. Just like any good superhero team, it’s all about working together to get better results. That’s why integrating your marketing channels for the greater good of getting you conversions is what helps you overcome any obstacles and save the day for your brand, business, or school.