The success of a business quite often depends on the success of its marketing efforts. As technology continues to advance, it creates more and more marketing opportunities. With multiple ways to broadcast your message to people, it becomes easier to generate interest and drive engagement.
One of the most successful modern marketing methods is cross-media marketing. It’s an effective way to tell the story of your brand and share with potential customers why your product or service is the best solution for them.
What is cross-media marketing?
Marketing-Schools.org defines cross-media marketing as “using a variety of media forms to integrate your marketing message into peoples’ consciousness…Rather than marketing a product exclusively on a website, cross-marketers use a combination of mobile apps, paid search engine returns, link ads, television commercials, YouTube videos, content marketing, print brochures, radio and television ads, social media, and trade-show marketing. Many forms of cross-media marketing are so subtle that consumers often don’t realize they are being marketed to.”
To some marketers, this might seem like a mass media campaign by another name. It might also seem to be the opposite of targeted marketing that many businesses find the be crucial to reaching their audiences. The truth is that new marketing strategies and technologies make it easy to employ cross-media communication campaigns in a targeted and tactical way.
How to effectively plan a cross-media storytelling strategy
The most important part of marketing is to understand who your customers are, so you’re not wasting valuable resources, like time and money, trying to reach people who can’t or won’t buy what your business is marketing. No matter how good or revolutionary your product is, it’s probably not a fit for everyone, because factors like price, availability, and use mean that it automatically leaves some audiences ineligible as customers. That’s why customer personas and targeted marketing are so important to business marketing.
So how do you use cross-media marketing without simply blanketing your message across every channel? By using all the channels but targeting your messages to only appear on those channels to the most relevant audiences.
For instance, you may run a software company that has developed a time and project management tracking system. Through your market research, you’ve noticed that this is a product that is useful for both college students and business professionals. This prompts you to buy ads on platforms most used by these audiences – Instagram and LinkedIn. You use their ad placement software to target users aged 18-22 on Instagram, while you target people with the title “business manager” and “project manager” on LinkedIn. You can also use retargeting to use banner ads to appear on the web pages of people who’ve clicked through your ads or visited your site. This effectively combines cross-media marketing with a thoughtful, targeted strategy.
Larger companies with a bigger market share, such as Apple, might use other cross-media marketing methods as well. In addition to billboards, commercials, print ads, and digital banners, they might also pay for product placement in movies where characters use their product on screen. This additional emphasis is a subtle way to create additional product associations and brand awareness in the minds of customers.
Using the platforms your customers are already engaging with – whether it’s social media, radio ads, or magazine advertising – is a natural way to grow your brand awareness and amplify your cross-media marketing strategy. You don’t have to do everything or pay for advertising everywhere, you just need to do a few things effectively. Ultimately, the cross-media marketing channels and strategy that work for your business will depend on your budget, audience, and product. Starting small – working with a few channels whose success you can easily monitor through accurate analytics – is a good strategy to begin with and a way to build a solid foundation of marketing and brand awareness.