If you want to get the exposure your product or service deserves, you need a cross-channel campaign to support your sales. Your customers are typically spending more time online and have more choices than ever before. This means you can’t just rely on promoting your campaigns on a couple of reliable and tried & tested channels. This is the time to be more compelling than ever! This means:
- Being more conscientious as a brand.
- Working across more channels that you used to.
- Being better than our competitors.
If you’re working on limited resources and budgets, you must be smart and efficient with your approach to cross-channel campaigns in 2021.
So, what is the makeup of a successful cross-channel campaign?
There are many things to consider when you’re creating a big and bold campaign for your brand. We have consolidated our priority considerations into 5 key points as follows….
- Do you have measurable and relevant objectives? (we suggest you go with the SMART approach)
- Do you have a clear and compelling campaign message and call-to-action? Are you being mindful, useful & relevant?
- Is there a clear distinction between you and your competitors? This could be anything from a brand-new design, new incentives, fun competitions to a fresh approach to content marketing.
- Do you have a robust distribution plan? What channels will you use? What will the online & offline split be?
- Do you have a clear timeline? How will you keep momentum and constant interest? Make sure your campaign is clearly paced and you keep engagement up by releasing new content throughout the campaign duration. Your offers and incentives also need to be time-bound and your overall campaign should have a clear end-point.
Ready to dive in? Take a few deep breaths and don’t check your emails for the next 10 minutes! Read on to discover our top tips for a successful cross-channel campaign…
1. Ensure your objectives are SMART
It’s essential that every part of your campaign links back to your agreed objectives. You can’t be impulsive or spontaneous here – if you want to make a recognisable impact then you need to focus on what you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to generate more awareness for your brand generally, perhaps you want to boost the sales of a specific product or service, or perhaps you want to focus on something very specific like newsletter sign-ups or webinar attendees.
Whatever your objective(s) are, be sure to make them SMART. Objectives are ‘SMART’ if they are specific, measurable, achievable (or attainable), realistic (or relevant) and time-bound, (or timely).
Here’s a quick reminder of what this means for you in reality:
- Specific: Make sure your goal is specific and narrow so that you can plan effectively. For example, 500 new followers on Facebook in the next 3 months.
- Measurable: Define what evidence you can collect to prove your success and plan to regularly check and reevaluate this data when necessary. For example, you can check on a regular basis how many followers you’ve gained.
- Achievable: Make sure you have the appropriate team skills, resources and budget to implement your goal within a predefined timeframe.
- Realistic: Make sure your goals are aligned with your brand and your core values and that they fit the current climate and situation. Is this goal going to help improve the business in 2021? Why is this goal important right now? For example, by building our FB community you are able to reach new and diverse audiences.
- Time-bound: Be committed! Set a realistic end date for your objective and ensure you have ‘check-in’ points to keep momentum and have room to adapt and improve as you go.
Get this right and you’ll have a very good framework to proceed. Sometimes it’s easy to just think your campaign is generically about awareness or sales. However, try to be as specific and narrow as you can! This will ensure you will stay focussed and get the best results out of your cross-channel campaign efforts.
2. Create compelling campaign messages and call-to-actions
It’s often hard to come up with new campaign messages and intriguing CTAs, especially if your product or service hasn’t changed much over the years. However, it’s essential to make sure your message is as distinctive and memorable as possible and it’s consistent across all your channels.
Here’s our top 5 tips for creating stand-out campaign messaging:
1. Ensure you are benefit-led with all messages.
How are you solving a problem for the customer? How will you enhance their life? Are you inspiring, educating or entertaining them? Are you being conscientious as a brand?
2. Use keywords smartly throughout your campaign but stay on-brand!
As a digital marketing company, we have to ensure we use appropriate keywords relating to the most frequently searched terms. However, Saltoria Marketing is all about removing the jargon and demystifying marketing – so we need to ensure our personality and plain-English style is always woven throughout our messaging to ensure we stay authentic and committed to our tone of voice.
3. Be playful with your call-to-actions.
Your CTAs don’t have to just be transactional – you can be playful if this is appropriate. Sometimes CTAs like read more, get in touch, book a call do have their place, but if you are delivering a creative and new campaign perhaps you can be more playful? We like this fab article from HubSpot: ‘40 Call-to-Action Examples You Can’t Help But Click’ which has some excellent examples to inspire you.
4. Be consistent!
You should have a set range of messages and use these always throughout your cross-channel campaign. When we worked for a student accommodation company we used the main campaign message ‘Clearing made easy’ for our August Clearing campaign. This was simple, direct and friendly for the customer. This headline featured across all assets and channels and created a great, clear and distinctive umbrella message for the cross-channel campaign.
5. Be different from your competitors.
It may be that you have a similar offer to your competitors, but it’s your job to showcase why you are different and why you are better. This can be something as small and subtle as your customer service approach, or the environment you sell in or your expert staff members. Define your USP(s) and use them to your advantage!
If you’re not from a marketing background then creating campaign messages and CTAs can feel daunting (and often it’s daunting for marketers too!). Why not check out our ‘Copywriting tips for beginners’ article to give you some inspiration and a framework to begin with?
3. Be original and stand out against your competitors
Whilst your message and CTAs are a great way to stand out and be original against your competitors, there are also many other ways to wow your audience. We recommend you research your competitors thoroughly before embarking on your campaign plan to ensure you don’t accidentally replicate their efforts or worse do something that’s underwhelming compared to their current efforts! 2021 is about as competitive as it has ever been for most sectors – so now is the time to be smart, creative and daring.
Some ideas for you to consider:
Could your campaign be based around a fun and interactive customer competition? This could drive engagement and further enhance your community whilst boosting exposure and sales.
Everyone likes a special deal or an exclusive offer. Can you reward your current customers with a special offer for example? Maybe a discount off their next purchase? Maybe a refer a friend offer? Or maybe a simple buy one get one free for a limited time?
3. Distinctive content marketing
Maybe it’s not about what you’re saying – it’s how you’re saying it. It’s important to mix up your use of mediums and keep your customers on their toes. Why not host an online webinar or launch a podcast or do some team videos? Customers want more from companies now and increasingly want to find out about the people behind the brand. Create authentic and honest content and show your customers why you’re better than others.
4. Get the customer involved
A great way to get your customers’ involved and engaged with your campaign is to get them involved and take them on a journey. If your customers are empowered or passionate then they will spread the word and start conversations with their network (and your potential new customers). Everyone loves and remembers the famous Walker’s ‘Choose me or lose me’ campaign. This was imaginative and ignited fun online debate. Is there a version of this you can do to capture the imagination of your community?
We suggest you use influencers cautiously – however depending on your sector – they can be very influential and valuable. We wouldn’t suggest you use influencers for the sake of endorsement – but if you can get them to do something creative or different as part of your campaign then that could be very powerful. Perhaps they can host an event for you, or you can run a competition where the customer wins their products or they host an Instagram takeover as part of the campaign?
4. Focus on your distribution plan
Your distribution plan is probably the most important part of your cross-channel plan! A cross-channel campaign doesn’t mean you have to be on 101 channels/advertising spaces – it’s about being strategic and placing your message/advert in the most valuable and constructive places.
Think about who you want to reach and where they are most likely to be. What channels should you be focusing on? How can you make the most of the assets you’ve created and distribute them strategically across your channels? For example, if you’re aiming to drive more traffic to your website, you’ll need to take a few extra steps than simply creating and publishing an awesome blog post. In other words, you’ll need a detailed content distribution plan! How can you ensure that your blog reaches the audience you’re targeting? Read more on how to build a solid distribution plan in our blog “4 great ways to promote your business online for free”.
5. Consider timings carefully
It’s essential to have a set period for your campaign to run. This can be anything from a few days to a few months depending on the sector, audience and offer. Sometimes quick campaigns can work very well to drive urgency and give you a much-needed boost to sales – however, there is also merit in slow-burning and ‘drip-feed’ campaigns too (we are big fans of ‘countdown campaigns’ for example). Consider your objectives and when you need to achieve them by and then build your campaign timelines around this.
- Don’t launch all your content on all your channels in one day!
- Create a robust campaign plan that includes ‘check-in’ points and room to flex and adapt.
- Consider the implementation time.
Remember that we are living in turbulent times, so be prepared! We encourage you to create a mini risk assessment for your campaign and think about how to tackle problems if they arise. Think of a plan B if your cross-channel campaign doesn’t do as well as you hoped. Perhaps you can extend your special offer for an extra week? Or perhaps you can offer an exclusive limited-time discount at the end of the campaign? Or perhaps you can do a ‘last chance’ competition to boost your engagement one final time? We encourage you to be results-focussed and if you need to adapt then do what you need to do!
Be brave and bold with your cross-channel campaigns in 2021! Now is the time to stand out and to really showcase your personality with your campaign(s). It’s important to remember you’re solving a problem for your customer and it’s your job to make them realise why your solution is the best one!
If you need reassurance, a bit of brainstorming or some general campaign support – then why not get in touch with us today? Book your free consultation and start thinking about your next amazing campaign!