Do you think all of your followers are on Instagram? Do you assume all of your potential customers will see your sponsored Instagram post? Think again.
Gone are the days when one of your fans lived predominantly on just one or two platforms, or had one main account. A report on social media platform behavior across 34 different countries found that the average digital consumer has around seven different social media accounts.
This presents a challenge for brands like yours. There’s a limit to the reach of your account, and there’s only so much ad spend that you can buy to try and reach new audiences. Factor in how diverse and spread apart your users may be with their multiple social media accounts, and that layers in even more challenges for a marketer who wants to ensure maximum exposure.
Despite these challenges, it’s critical for your brand’s success and bottom line that you think big, cross-platform, and long-term. Here’s why.
1. It Takes More and More “Touch Points” to Generate a Lead
It takes anywhere from six to eight touch points for your audience to convert into a lead or a buyer, reports Salesforce.
Back in the “old days”—say, 2015—before the social media market became consistently more fragmented, brands could reliably build a marketing funnel on just one or two platforms and depend on organic reach and limited ad spend to ensure their entire market segment saw their ad, product or opt-in page. Back then, these six to eight required touch points weren’t a big deal.
But what happens when your audience hops between an average of seven different social media accounts or platforms? What happens when you’re competing with dozens of other brands, all trying to game the same algorithm and reach the same people?
This is where cross-platform cross-promotion helps. It can ensure that no matter where your audience lives, or what social platform they’re on, they’ll have multiple opportunities to encounter your promotion and your brand.
A study in the International Journal on Media Management agrees. Researchers found that cross-promotion against different mediums and across different channels in the same medium led to…
- higher attention from audiences
- improved message recall
- higher perceived message credibility
- more positive attitudes toward the promotion
- more positive attitudes toward the program
2. Cross-Channel Marketing Through Influencers Boosts Your Momentum
With every tweak of its algorithm, Facebook (which also owns Instagram) increasingly operates via a pay-to-play model where the algorithm downgrades business content and brands must spend more and more money to reach people who aren’t currently following them.
And Facebook isn’t alone in this. Brands are finding it’s harder and harder to not only reach their current followers, but also to break out of their own walled garden and reach new audiences who haven’t been exposed to their brand before.
Cross-channel marketing with social media influencers is an effective way to break through those walls. Digital influencers have spent a lot of time, money, and energy cultivating their own followings across multiple platforms (e.g., many Vine celebrities transitioned to YouTube, and many Snapchat stars have made use of Instagram’s increasingly Snapchat-like features).
By bringing in influencers who have established themselves on multiple platforms, they can help your brand expand your reach far faster than if you tried to build exposure and followers for your brand yourself.
3. It Builds Trust
Your audience must trust your brand to opt-in to a lead page, join a mailing list, or make a purchasing decision. And by coming in touch with you and your pitch multiple times and in multiple ways, you ramp up your trust factor.
This is especially true if one of the cross-channel strategies you use is to incorporate influencers. Take Contiki, for example. It’s a travel tour company that specializes in group travel for the under-35 crowd. Trips can cost thousands of dollars, so a lot of trust needs to be built up.
Like any smart brand, Contiki uses its own platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to share varied yet consistent messages. But it also sponsors influencers to do vlogs on social media sharing their own trips.
YouTube channel BFvsGF did one very popular video (see below) about traveling to Asia with Contiki. It racked up more than a million views, and Contiki reported that they saw sales page activity for their Asia tours go up by an incredible 25%.
4. It Allows for Branded, Varied Messaging
People respond differently to different voices, messaging and mediums. Cross-promotion across channels with varied messaging gives you a chance to appeal to different users in a different way, while still being consistent with your brand.
Take the cross-channel promotion that Macy’s did with Special Books by Special Kids.
Both the department store giant and the non-profit shared similar posts, outlined below, but with different voices to appeal to each channel’s audience.
At the same time, the varied messages were consistent in purpose and tone, and helped promote the alternate page. Both the brand and the influencer benefit from expanded reach to a new complementary audience, and the promo campaign gets a major boost in views.
Ideas to Get You Started
If you want to do cross-channel, multiple-platform promotions, consider the following:
1. Take stock of your existing properties and provide opportunities to cross-promote. For example, create social tabs on your Facebook page that lets people view content from your Twitter feed, your Instagram page, etc. If you have a website, consider using a plug-in that displays your social media feeds. Pinterest is one outlier, and it doesn’t play well with other social media networks. What you can do instead is create a custom board with links to your landing page, Facebook page, etc.
2. Identify channels, influencers, and other brands that have crossover interests with your brand and campaign, but aren’t direct competitors.
3. Create mutual value. If you’re working with your own brand’s profiles across platforms, tailor each message to the medium. For example, links don’t work in the caption of a photo on Instagram, so don’t simply use the same post from Facebook on Instagram.
If you’re working with other brands or influencers, make sure they perceive the value (e.g., being introduced to a new community, getting free content to share, trying a product out, get paid, etc.).
4. Keep a consistent look and feel. Set the stage and framework for each channel or each partnering brand or influencer. However, allow the influencer to customize it to fit their own brand. This will make the cross-promoted post seem more natural and organic to its respective audience (see the Macy’s example above).
Want to put these tips into practice and start working with world-class influencers to promote your brand across channels and platforms? Introduce yourself to #paid today and reach a new audience.
By day, Josh Duvauchelle is the co-founder of Frey Union, a marketing firm in Vancouver, BC. By night, he’s a health and wellness coach featured in Teen Vogue, Men’s Journal, Shape, Men’s Fitness, and more. Find him on Instagram under @joshduv. Josh is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.