Key Considerations of Choosing Effective Marketing ChannelsHere are some vital aspects to be considered when choosing the right digital marketing channel(s) for your business:
1. Determine Clear Goals For Marketing Channels UtilizationDifferent marketing channels will be more effective in fulfilling different marketing goals. So, it is important to first decide specific and realistic marketing goals before choosing the digital marketing channel(s). Here are some of the common marketing goals, and how to use specific marketing channels to achieve them.
Maximizing Sales ConversionIn the end, all marketing efforts are done to generate more sales, so arguably this is the most important marketing goals out there. In this era where making online purchases are now the norm, we can utilize online marketing channels to drive purchase. These are some of the most effective marketing channels for this goal, especially if you have an online store or ecommerce feature:
- Facebook Storefront
- Amazon Resellers
- Google Search Network
- Google Display Network
- Google Shopping Feeds
- Various affiliate marketing networks
Brand AwarenessThe brand awareness goal can include better brand/product name recall, familiarity of your business, or more social media mentions among others. For this goal, digital marketing channels that can offer strong brand awareness and brand development can help significantly. Here are some of the examples:
- Social media channels in general are great for this goal, particularly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Video channels like YouTube and Vimeo among others
- Promotional campaigns offering discounts and coupons
- Online events, like webinars, and offline events
- Social media advertising to engage targeted audience
Lead GenerationMany businesses are using digital marketing primarily to generate leads, which can be an effective approach depending on the business model and industry. Here, the main purpose of the online marketing channels is to capture contact information. Here are some of the effective marketing channels for this goal:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Various Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
- Display advertising (online banners, etc.)
- Google Search Network advertising
- Blog, and content marketing in general
- Email marketing
Educating CustomersIf your business is promoting relatively new products and/or services, educating potential customers can be vital for your overall business success.Educating customers can also be an effective approach to encourage more conversions. The idea of this goal is to make your audience realize the importance of your product/service in relations to their problems. In general, content marketing to provide audience with valuable contents (video tutorial, press release, white papers, ebooks, research reports, etc.) is the most effective marketing channel for this purpose.
Increasing Website TrafficWebsite traffic can be a very important gateway to generating more leads. Also, if your business model involves monetizing your site by publishing contextual and display advertising, this is a very important goal, since traffic is the source of your revenue. In general, SEO and content marketing (inbound marketing) are the best digital marketing channel for this goal.
2. Your Marketing Talent PoolMaintaining various campaigns on various digital marketing channels can be a difficult task, and will require a certain levels of skills and knowledge on various marketing aspects. So, when making a digital marketing channel selection, you will need to consider the ability of your in-house marketing team. Outsourcing the job is certainly a possibility (will be discussed below), and these required skills should include:
- Creative: to develop written, visual, and video contents
- Search marketing: both SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) require specific skills and knowledge
- Social media skills: the required skills to engage potential prospects and customers through social media
- Development/programing: for website design, maintenance, and other developmental needs
3. Your Budget AllocationSome marketing channels can be more expensive than others. As mentioned, you will also need to consider the need to outsource when managing specific marketing channels. Here are some considerations when planning a budget allocations for different marketing channels:
- Paid advertising budget. If you are not careful, this can be extremely expensive.This guide by WordStream might help you further
- Content creation services, including outsourcing fees. This can include fees for writers, graphic artists, photographers, filmmakers, etc
- Overhead for your in-house marketing manager and staffs
- Other fees related to specific channels
8 Most Effective Digital Marketing ChannelsNow that we’ve understood the key principles and considerations of digital marketing channels selection, let us discuss some of the most effective marketing channels out there, and whether they can work with your business.
1. Email MarketingEven with all the advents of new marketing channels, email is still one of the most effective ways to reach customers. Studies even suggested that you can make $44 out of every single dollar you’ve spent on email marketing, that’s an ROI of 4,400%, far higher than any other marketing channels. The number of email users is expected to rise to 2.9 billion by 2019, and so you are missing out on a huge market if you don’t do email marketing. The number one reason why email marketing is so effective is simply because consumers prefer email, especially to communicate with brands. Why? Here are a few reasons:
ConvenienceNowadays, most people got access to their emails right on their mobile devices, giving them convenience. Consumers can stay connected with their brands wherever they are, and can easily download a content, redeem coupon codes, and even purchase the product right from their phone.
SpeedEmails provide consumers with instantaneous information. They can get information regarding exclusive offers, last minute deals, or the release of a new product instantly. For marketers, this also means we can get the word out instantly, and directly to customers.
PersonalizationIn this saturated digital marketing world, consumers are getting countless marketing messages every single day, and so they tend to respond to messages that are relevant and personalized. Email marketing provides an easy way to personalize your messages based on the customer’s preferences and buying patterns. Nowadays, there are various marketing automation tools to help with your email marketing efforts, allowing automated email marketing/drip campaigns. Check out our previous guide on drip campaign here. (link)
2. Content MarketingContent marketing is now extremely important thanks to the rising trend of inbound marketing. Yet, it has been the core of virtually every digital marketing strategy ever since the advent of the internet. Many things have changed over the advancements of digital marketing, but content marketing has been the staple constant. The reason why content marketing is so effective is its versatility. Valuable, relevant contents are extremely important for SEO. Contents are one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, and contents can effectively educate customer about your product to encourage conversions. The main purpose of content marketing, however, is to attract inbound traffic (traffic that comes into your site when they stumbled upon your content, mostly via Google search). Inbound traffic is generally the most qualified leads, because they are the ones who are searching for a solution. Content marketing by itself is a pretty broad subject on its own, and we won’t give it much justice here. Refer to our previous content marketing guide here (link) to help you further.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Almost everyone who are familiar with the internet are familiar (and effectively use) search engines to find information and solution. To date, there are over 3.5 billion searches being made on Google every single day. So, if you are not optimizing your site (and your business) on the search engines, you are missing out. Yet, many are still skeptical about the importance of SEO, and virtually every single year we heard the news about “the death of SEO”.The truth is, SEO is alive and well, if not more important than ever in this saturated digital marketing environment. While SEO can be a very complicated subject on its own, there are only four key aspects of SEO:
- Keyword Research: finding the right keywords to target, with proper search volume and manageable difficulty according to your industry/niche
- Content Development: we will need relevant, high-quality contents to target the aforementioned keywords. This is why SEO and content marketing should always work hand-in-hand
- On-Site Optimization: technical optimizations of your site from XML sitemap to optimizing title tags.Check out this comprehensive guide by Backlinko to help you.
- Off-Site Optimization(Link Building): a huge part of off-site optimization is to get more inbound links from high-authority sites. If your contents are high-quality and relevant, sooner or later you will get backlinks, so again content is the most important factor here. Check out this guide by MOZ about off-site SEO strategies.