Date Posted: 18th September 2018
From email to networking to video – there are so many marketing channels that it can be impossible to know which to prioritise. Particularly considering that what works for another business, even one in your industry, may not necessarily work for you.
The marketing channels you choose also impact your marketing funnel, especially in the early stages when creating awareness of your product or service.
Here’s what you should consider when thinking about what marketing channels you should be using:
One of the most important things to consider when choosing the right marketing channels for your business is in-depth knowledge about your customers. To develop your customer profiles, it’s vital to look over your data to find out as much as possible about your customers. This includes their demographics, such as age, gender and income, as well as their customer behaviour, shopping habits, and what marketing channels they tend to buy from.
Understanding the ins and outs of your customers puts you in a better position to be able to choose the right marketing channel for you. For example, if the demographics of your customers are stay at home mums in their 20s-30s, you may decide that social media marketing, offline marketing and content marketing would be the most beneficial marketing channels to use for a higher success rate, based on the data you have already received.
Your budget can also help you to determine what marketing channels you should be using. For example, the cost to run campaigns across a variety of different marketing channels can differ greatly. Some marketing channels, such as offline marketing, have starting prices that are far more expensive than other channels.
One of the ways to determine which marketing channels are the most effective for value for money is to simply test the water. Run the same messaging and approach for promotion in two different channels – ensuring you have set up clear measurements for comparison and success. Essentially you want to establish, which marketing channel costs you less to generate a new lead. Opting for low-cost channels means that a budget you could have allocated to a single direct mail campaign could be reallocated to PPC, where the same spend would enable your campaigns to run for longer, multiple times, or to a wider audience.
Your products or services
Another way to decide what marketing channel you should be using is think about the products or services you sell, and what marketing channel would be most appropriate. For example, if you offer B2B products, your marketing may be more focused on content marketing and offline marketing whereas, if your products are consumer focused, you may focus on social media marketing and email marketing.
What are your competitors doing?
When deciding what marketing channels you should use, it’s also important to look at what your competitors are doing. Where your competitors are busy could be where your audience are (especially if you’d like to convert some of theirs!) But it could also be that your competitors aren’t utilising a particular channel, therefore giving you the space and opportunity to make an impact. Remember though, if you follow the crowd it can be harder to stand out, and more competitive often means more expensive, so before embarking on a PPC campaign do your research to make sure you can get the most from your efforts.
An overview of your potential marketing channels:
A website usually includes content about a business and its products or services, as well as a contact page, relevant news, and sometimes an online store. Consider the objective of your website – is it a highly visual brochure to impress potential customers or a lead magnet, offering loads of valuable content in return for sign-ups and engagement? It can address multiple objectives, but should focus on one main aim.
Content marketing includes publishing, optimising, and sharing valuable content to draw traffic to a particular site and to increase followers. It can consist of industry research, blogs, articles, thought pieces, infographics and even video and should be considerate of any SEO plans you have.
Offline Advertising includes direct mail, leaflets and brochures, out of home (such as billboards or buses), newspaper or magazine ads, and broadcast outlets such as radio and TV.
Email marketing could consist of time-based promotional messages, or segment specific messages to cross-sell or up-sell based on what you already know about a customer on the database. Automated email campaigns based on conversion actions can be triggered automatically to send a message to the right audience at the most timely moment.
Search Engine Optimisation:
SEO includes on-page and off-page tactics to help bring in organic traffic from search engines based on popular keywords and search terms.
Online advertising includes the use of pay per click ads such as Adwords or Bing Ads, social media ads, Google display ads and retargeting. This is considered a major part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing), but usually combined with SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing) to create an aligned, strategic approach.
Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Marketing involves building engagement on established platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to further develop relationships with customers; the aim of these campaigns might be to raise brand or product awareness amongst new and existing customers, or to drive engagement and interaction with the brand, encouraging greater brand affinity and loyalty.
Public relations include activities aimed at receiving coverage in a range of media outlets, like events, social media, guest blogs and press releases for offline and online publications.
Referral marketing includes word of mouth recommendations and intentional referral generation such as online reviews and opinions, influencer marketing and generating highly effective shareable content.
Influencer marketing involves building relationships with individuals and outlets that have an influence over pre-established communities that have some relation to your brand; they might be a thought leader in your industry or alternatively a popular personality who has a large following on social media and aligns with your brand ideals or product proposition.
Online events include participating or running webinars, demos, and streamed workshops. Offline events include in-person workshops, seminars, trade shows, demonstrations and showcases. These could be free participation in order to raise the profile of yourself and your brand, to offer networking and positioning as thought leaders and experts. Alternatively running a paid event could do the above, and provide a source of additional revenue for your business, but this will require you to have an established reputation and perceived value already.
Looking for support in developing a strategy for your marketing channels? Call our creative and strategic experts for a no obligation chat on 01462 2620202, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.