Digital marketing channels, are the pathways in which to promote and sell your goods and services online. So, which one is right for you?
Recently, we have been discussing the importance and value of creating Landing Pages. They are the digital welcome mat that converts leads into prospects. But how does one get potential leads there in the first place? Before volunteering to fall down the rabbit hole of creating marketing strategies, one of the foremost things to focus on is your Marketing Channels. With digital marketing becoming almost synonymous with the word “marketing” there is an ever changing landscape of how to approach this part of your marketing plan.
Nowadays you not only have to invest in method, execution, performance and results, but you just must maintain an online presence to remain competitive. However, in comparison to print and traditional media you can also save more on your marketing investment. While there are smaller activities to maintain over time, digital marketing can be much more flexible and effective.
What These Digital Marketing Channels?
In traditional terms, marketing channels are also referred to as a distribution channels. Those channels are certainly still important and useful. However, in this article, we’re focusing on the digital side of things. Arriving with the popularization of the internet, digital marketing channels, are the pathways you take to reach your target audience.
These channels are built up of strategies and tools. Strategies include Pay Per Click (AdWords, Facebook Ads etc.), social media, content marketing, email, and native advertising. Some of the tools used in theses strategies are websites, blog posts, whitepapers, social media and PR coverage. The dynamics between the two to create channels that are always changing and growing, so it takes consistent attention to maintain what works for your business.
So How Do I Choose the Best Channel for My Business?
Before picking a digital marketing channel, think of your goals first. They may be goals for the quarter, year, or for a specific campaign. These goals may be to generate more leads, improve lead quality, grow web traffic, increase revenue, or expand brand awareness. Just be sure youre ready to commit – not all channels are at the same level of difficulty to implement, so know how much resources you can put towards the ones your select.
With goals in mind begin thinking of the customers that you will be targeting, these are the buyer profiles and personas. This will save resources in trying to make the strategy work for everyone and *fingers crossed* some of them bite. This goes for tailoring your content for your targeted audiences as well. Find out how they are best reached. This all goes back to understanding the customer experience and what makes your customers happy.
“Build relationships, not links.”
– Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Popular Digital Marketing Channels of 2017
Considering that we keep talking about digital marketing channels, we should probably note which are popular now.
Digital Marketing Channel #1: Website
We certainly emphasize having a dynamic, attractive and user-friendly website. This is a place where impressions are made of who you are, what you offer and how you compare to your competition. However, these are often considered of the most difficult to execute because of the attention to detail and getting your customers to make a purchase. So make your website a strong foundation, where there is a great customer experience and support for your other marketing channels. And don’t forget! Analytics can help find where prospects aren’t quite making the jump.
Digital Marketing Channel #2: Social Media
This is also an area where you should pick and choose. Which social media channels are your customers using? You probably don’t need to use all of them. For whichever social media channel you choose, make sure your content is insightful, interesting, image heavy and easily digestible. This is also a great way to interact with your current customers and show different sides of your business. Oh, and keep your business goals in mind. Shares and likes are great, but only if they lead toward your business succeeding in the metrics that matter to you.
Digital Marketing Channel #3: Content
Content marketing has increasingly become more popular due to it’s personalization, relevancy and ability to be very informative without being boring or off-putting. These include newsletters, infographics, blogs, videos, and ebooks. Being that this a very informative channels it one that can get more investment for B2B leads. Distribution matters here. Should you write for your own blog? Or try to publish in related websites? That’s up to you and, of course, depends on how your customers connect with you. I usually recommend both.
Digital Marketing Channel #3: Pay-Per-Click
Content, social and your own website are all important but sometimes, you need to take a shortcut to getting in front of customers. Enter Pay-Per-Click (PPC). This is AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc. This channel works beautifully to fill in the gaps between your other marketing efforts and, if done right, can be very cost effective. The downside is that if you do it wrong, it can be costly. Teacup has a solution for you though:
But wait! What is Multichannel, OmniChannel and Cross Channel?
As you do more research on which channels are best for your business you may encounter the terms and methodologies of Multi, Omi and Cross Channel marketing.
Multichannel, has been the bulk of what this article has been discussing. Where you choose multiple channels in which to interact with your customers for more than one touch point. This also maximizes performance of each channel.
Omnichannel, is a bit more complex method and holistic customer journey. Omni uses many channels as well. However, the experience is consistent and seamless from channel to channel. A singular experience, that may be proving to be slightly more effective. A comparison of 6.5 percent vs. 3.4 percent in customer retention over businesses without a coherent omni-channel strategy.
Cross Channel, is also close in similarity as the last two but focuses on the flow to a purchase. That the channels you choose are organized in such as way where one may lead to another, usually to provide more information to make a purchase or guide them to where they left off before making purchase.
Fact is, unless you have a marketing team, you probably can ignore the latter two ideas for now. Multi-channel is natural and is simply a fancy way of saying that you’re connecting to customers both on your website and on other channels like social too. The trick is to know what is working, merely contributing and if any channel is simply a waste of time.
“88% of Marketers See Effectiveness of Digital Channels Increasing”
Time to Channel Your Business Online
These channels are pathways. Routes you can take in your marketing efforts. They will take some time but are integral to growing your business. Review which channels you currently use and test if other channels may enhance the customer experience. Analytics are always there to help you discover the hot and cold points as well! Don’t be afraid to have a new mix of channels with new campaigns. Think of your goals and think of your customers, they will help lead you to the right channels to choose.