Engaging Customers through cross-channel digital marketing
07 January, 2015
Modern marketing specialists are facing new challenges when trying to reach their audiences through the growing number of media channels and devices.
Their intended audience engage with content on different devices and platforms and rarely review the complete communication on a single device. The recipient of an email may first open it on his mobile device in the morning, reopen it for reading it on a tablet during the office commute and later refer to it again on the desktop for activating an call-to-action links.
In addition to having the communication view on multiple screen sizes, they also need to make sure that the information is made available through direct mail, social networks and text messaging to address the preferred viewing platform for the audience.
As an forward looking organization having a holistic view of your target audience is important in order to connect with them at every moment of opportunity. Tools are now available to allow these organizations create a 360 degree view of their customers, assessing level of engagement, time of engagement, and mode of engagement of the marketing communication.
Tailoring your digital communication for an audience that functions over multiple devices and multiple channels is an essential upgrade to your digital communications strategy for 2015. If this is done correctly, the marketing message can generate the desired results and help in increasing engagement with the organization and nurturing an engaged audience.
Several steps need to be taken to making sure that the audience's attention is captured, maintained and enhanced on all digital platforms and devices.
1. Build a responsive web site
A responsive website is critical to make sure that when to call-to-action links from email, or social communication are clicked, the response to the requester of the information is tailored to fit their current device. The window of opportunity is very narrow here and if the content does display correctly and does not render quickly, the user will lose interest and disengage from the communication and move on to other tasks.
2. Design communication content
Email, text messaging and social content needs to be designed appropriately to address different platforms and viewing devices.
Email content can be created with mixed graphical and text content to make sure all email clients display important content when opened. Excessive use of images should be limited to make sure the email communication is not filtered out by SPAM filters and, when opened, recipients who have blocked image download, get to the see the message being communicated in text as a minimum.
SMS text messages should be concise and properly worded. Links in SMS communication should be shortened using the wide set of sites available for shortening URLs.
Twitter communication can be tailored to match SMS communication or extended to use Twitter's Cards API for mixed content tweets.
Facebook, and Linkedin wall posts can be media rich with mixed, video, text and image content
All the content can be managed from a central location and, based on the social platform or direct communication channel, can be merged or filtered prior to broadcast
3. Recognize the audience through different screen sizes or platforms
Marketers would need to use tools to collect and unify data about their audience. Doing this requires recognizing the recipients on multiple platforms and building a profile of each of the recipients. Several online tools and APIs are available for this.
A central repository for managing publicly available data collected on recipients who have subscribed to your communications is important. Data needs to be anonymous so that it cannot be misused. This needs to be combined with data collected from previous engagements with the communication and socially shared data
This data can be used to build profiles and needs to be regularly updated to enhance the maintained profiles
4. Share communication through multiple channels at the same time
Using a single service the marketing campaign can be synchronized to be broadcast to all social and direct communication channels at the same time.
Scheduling can also be done to push the content to the intended audience at the best suited for time based on their profile and viewing preferences
5. Recognize and analyze engagement with content on different platforms
Once the target audience has received the communication and interacted with it, collected data from the interactions can be recorded, and analyzed.
The success of the marketing campaign can be assessed and reported on to improve the message in the content for re-broadcast or for future communication
6. Enhance and tailor communication based on the recipient specific channels of interaction
Once the responses and engagement with earlier campaigns are analyzed, campaigns can be tailored for different sub-sets of recipients based on their preferred devices of receiving the content and level of engagements with direct, social or web platforms
Reson8 email and SMS communication solutions (http://www.reson8.ae) have now been extended to provide better connectivity to social and direct messaging channels. Marketing campaigns can be tailored for email, SMS, and social networks at the same time and can be tested for performance across all these channels. Campaigns, once approved, can be targeted to desired audience sub-sets and can be broadcast from the same interface. Interactions by recipients can be collected and combined reports can be generated to analyze levels of response across the selected media channels and effectiveness of the campaign.
Cross-channel digital marketing is a complex activity and needs to be addressed effectively to maintain interest with audiences and to share the correctly prepared communication via each channel. While each channel may be difficult to handle individually, using tools that help combining the audience, message and reporting are at hand and can help make the task simpler.