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What Is Cross-Platform Marketing and Why Does It Work?

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Diversification is a must when it comes to creating a winning advertising campaign. A diverse cross-platform marketing strategy is essential for local businesses interested in generating more leads and boosting conversion rates.

What is cross-platform marketing?

For a basic cross-platform advertising definition, think of any advertising campaign that straddles multiple channels, such as radio, TV, paid search, social media, etc.

Each cross-platform campaign starts with careful evaluation and planning. After a thorough investigation into the available channels, look for the right mix to reach your intended buyers. Ideally, the advertising will be developed and analyzed by one group or firm to ensure consistency through all campaigns.

When handled expertly, cross-platform marketing can improve conversion rates, allowing companies to present consistent messaging and follow customers across platforms more easily.

The ins and outs of a cross-platform marketing strategy

It might seem like pushing out cross-platform content involves making numerous media buys, but true omnichannel advertising requires nuanced consideration. Otherwise, businesses risk spreading their dollars too thin. For that reason, creating a cross-platform marketing strategy often begins by developing buyer personas. Most companies will construct several buyer personas to capture their ideal customers

As an example, a Generation Z female college student with a part-time retail job could be one buyer persona. In this case, a marketing team would talk about her habits and behaviors, including the way she prefers to make buying decisions and moves through the customer journey. Does she research on Google? Do images on Instagram influence her? When she's in a store, does she head to a review site before making a purchase?

Knowing the typical shopping journeys for your buyer personas informs cross-platform marketing campaigns and lessens the likelihood of spending too much in one place and too little in another. Remember: Shoppers often zigzag their way through the buying process, heading from platform to platform before spending anything. Some buyers tend to lean on digital ads and television spots; others like to see products in person and then look them up on a smartphone. Being visible on the right platforms at the right time can have a powerful impact on your customers.

The benefits of cross-platform campaigns

Without a doubt, today's customer journey includes dozens of touchpoints and media exposures. Cross-platform content enables you not only to reach prospects but also to follow them from channel to channel, increasing your chances of being their preferred brand when they make buying decisions.

Here are three other reasons to include a cross-platform marketing strategy in your toolkit:

1. Lowered per-customer acquisition cost.

Would you like to pay less to snag buyers? When you selectively spread your advertising across multiple channels, you see conversions spike. Higher conversions mean you pay less to acquire and onboard each customer, maximizing your marketing budget considerably.

2. Improved customer experience.

Being present on your target buyers' favorite platforms in an intuitive, unobtrusive way — not bombarding them with ads — is a great way to position your brand as the best fit. And when your brand is where its shoppers are, the buying experience is more seamless

3. Increased engagement.

Cross-platform marketing gives customers plenty of engagement avenues. They can like social posts (when you use cross-platform social media marketing), forward content, respond to traditional radio advertising, etc. With so many paths to connect with your brand, interested shoppers have fewer barriers to form relationships with you

It's important to be intentional about where you spend marketing dollars — especially if you're a small business without a corporate-sized budget. Marketing effectively the first time around could make a huge difference to your bottom line. It's essential to use a cross-platform marketing strategy that will work for your specific customers and your budget.

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