Cross-platform marketing is essential in today’s multifaceted marketplace. If you aren’t utilizing the vast wealth of media available, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities. There is no one-size-fits-all marketing approach, but there are a few universal truths that should be heeded when undertaking any multi-platform strategy. No matter where you are in the marketing process, here are just a few golden rules to consider.
Look Beyond Your Primary Market
Let’s say that you’re marketing a web application that operates 100% online. Common sense might tell you to focus all of your marketing efforts in Cyberspace, perhaps utilizing a combination of Pay-Per-Click, SEO, and other forms of paid online advertising. If you do this, though, you’re potentially selling yourself short. Think of a company like eHarmony. Their business operates 100% online, but chances are, you learned about them from their TV commercials. When assembling a multi-platform marketing strategy, the key is to think big, and to look beyond the obvious marketing avenues.
Being that this is the 21st century, you have probably already factored online marketing into your multi-platform strategy, but it’s not enough to just market on the web. Your approach must be tailored to the mobile generation. Research shows that mobile web searches now exceed desktop searches in volume, so if your content isn’t mobile friendly, your online marketing is already dead in the water. But what does it mean to tailor your marketing to the mobile generation? For starters, all online marketing materials should be optimized for convenient mobile use. This means using responsive web design for all web pages, creating easy-to-use mobile applications to get the word out, and taking advantage of existing mobile platforms
Think of your marketing strategy as a web of interconnected components. If you’re using television or radio to market your product or service, you should include links to a website. From your website, you might expose customers to other media with conversion potential — like YouTube videos that demonstrate your product in action. Even if every piece of advertising provides potential customers with the opportunity to buy, it’s still important to expose customers to additional marketing platforms, as this further solidifies the message and increases your sales potential.
Make it Social
When it comes to cross-platform marketing, you have a variety of valuable options at your disposal, and different platforms make sense for different businesses. There is one platform, though, that should be universally undertaken by all businesses, regardless of size, industry, or online presence. We’re referring, of course, to social media. Whether you represent a high-end fashion line or a local pizza joint, social media is the quickest, cheapest, and potentially most effective way to build your brand, create a buzz, and communicate with consumers in the 21st century. If you’re still dragging your heels and saying, “Social media isn’t for me,” it’s time to reconsider.
Consider this: According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of online adults use social media (as of January 2014). An astonishing 71% use Facebook alone. Additionally, 46% of internet users turn to social media when considering buying a product, and 67% of Twitter users are more likely to purchase products from brands that they follow. It costs nothing to take advantage of social media, but the potential benefits are enormous, especially when a well-targeted social campaign is combined with other marketing platforms.
Call in the Experts
Unless you’re a marketing genius unlike any the world has ever seen, you’re probably not a whiz at every marketing platform. Maybe you’ve studied SEO but you’re a bit shaky on AdWords advertising. Maybe you spent 20 years in radio broadcasting but you have no idea to direct a persuasive television infomercial like the kinds made famous by TVA Media Group. Multi-platform marketing requires a great deal of important skillsets, from web development to online advertising to marketing copy creation. If you’re marketing to a local audience, you may even require direct mail assistance.
The point is this: don’t try to figure out everything on your own, and don’t try to cut costs by simply doing the best you can given your limited knowledge of various forms of advertising. Bring on people who understand each marketing approach to perfection, and establish an unstoppable group of experts who can help you execute your multi-platform marketing strategy to great success.
Maintain Brand Consistency
Whether you decide to market internally or outsource your marketing to a professional agency, it’s important to maintain brand consistency. When you begin marketing across different platforms, there should be common threads that unite each piece of advertising. It’s not enough to simply get the word out. There must exist a cohesive voice and style. From the fonts used, to the narrative style, right down the color schemes, you want to establish a particular vibe that fosters brand recognition and loyalty. Think of a world leader like Disney, Apple, or Coca-Cola. Most often, you can recognize their advertising materials even if the name of the company is nowhere to be found.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Finally, it’s important to stress that no two multi-platform strategies are alike. You can conduct all of the R&D, market research, and focus groups in the world, but ultimately, you won’t know what’s working and what’s failing until you get started. So take advantage of as many marketing avenues as you can, and keep close tabs on which ones are yielding results. As you determine where your strengths lie, you can adjust your approach accordingly. The important thing is to get started. take risks, learn from your experience, and find the perfect balance.