For organizations and individuals attempting to create an effective cross-channel marketing campaign for a website, the process can appear daunting but does not have to be difficult. When a proper foundation is laid and certain fundamentals are adhered to, marketing across a variety of channels can generate significant returns with only minor tweaking.
Build a foundation
Marketing for websites is similar to many other businesses and has some definite advantages. Customers need only click a button to make their way to the website instead of having to leave the house to go to the store. What does not change for any business is the need for a strong sense of identity, both of the website and the customer. Once this is established, it is much easier to create multiple campaigns that customers can remember and trust. Here are some tips to follow for success.
1. Identify the soul of the business
A website, as with any other business, must be solid in its identity to effectively market itself. Customers like consistency. All marketing materials should reflect this identity without fail. Delivering a consistent, heartfelt message will appeal to more customers and it will make it easier on the business in the long run. A website that is certain of what it is about and what value it brings will stand out.
2. Identify the audience
Every business has an audience or target market. Websites are designed to fill a need for a certain group of people and marketers must identify this group to know how to communicate effectively with their customers. Customers who are happily child-free, for instance, are less likely than their parent peers to be influenced by a website that features children. Knowing your customers will bring you closer to that next big sale.
3. Find your community
A successful marketing campaign will use a variety of channels, but often the community a business wants to target spends more time in some places than in others. A website must determine where its community spends the majority of its time and go there. If your website traffic is likely to be driven by people clicking through from Twitter, be sure to invest time and interest in the information you tweet. Likewise, if your traffic funnels from Facebook or another social media networking site, be sure to establish a presence there — along with a call to action — that will boost visitors to your site.
4. Build a campaign
Websites should take advantage of as many marketing channels as they can. As long as the above steps are followed, it should be relatively easy for a website to determine what it wants to say. This message – who the website is, what it is about, what value it delivers – can then be adapted to various channels using similar content. The website must then deliver its message through some sort of content, whether it’s funny, touching, informative or inspiring.
5. Put effort into connecting with your customers
- Social media allows companies to appear more human by interacting on a very basic level and makes it easy to distribute content to many individuals. Social media is not an area for hard sells. It’s best for friendly interactions and the sharing of whatever content the website is generating for its marketing push.
- Email marketing: When customers give their email addresses to a website or company, they are expressing a certain amount of interest. This gives website owners room to send a more concentrated message.
- SEO: Search engine optimization is vital to drive new traffic and websites should design themselves and their content accordingly. Paid search and advertising are also options for pushing traffic to a site.
- Guest blogging: Guest blogging is a great way for websites to draw in other audiences. A business can both offer to blog on other sites, as well as ask guests to blog on its own site. A website is always in control of who posts, so it can effectively determine what audience it desires. Guest blogging is a great way to build trust with audiences and people are always more likely to buy from someone they trust.
Your first cross-channel marketing campaign might not go perfectly — certainly there is a learning curve to figure out what communication methods are most effective — but persistence will pay off. Any website owner should be capable of conducting an effective cross-channel marketing campaign, as long as s/he follows the above steps and learns from any mistakes made along the way.