(Updated: 03 October 2022)
How to make digital marketing channels work for you
With the transition to the digital space over the past decade, marketing to your target audience has become easier. As a business, you are able to market across a variety of different platforms instead of posting an ad in a magazine or on a billboard, hoping your audience will find you.
However, each platform has its own audience and therefore placing your marketing message across each platform may not be the most effective marketing strategy.
Having a digital marketing strategy in place can your business identify your ideal target audience, determine which channels they prefer and provide goal-oriented objectives to reach. So how do you determine the best channels to help you create your marketing strategy?
In this article we will go through a few marketing channels you can consider:
These channels are:
- Website and SEO
- Content Marketing
- Digital PR Marketing
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Online Advertising / PPC Advertising
This is your brand’s home in the digital world, and it needs to communicate your brand’s core values and personality. The messaging across the website should ideally be concise, engaging, and should indicate what the next step for the viewer should take e.g., fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product. If your website drones on and doesn’t provide clear indicators, viewers will navigate away, potentially costing you a conversion.
Website design tips:
- Mobile compatibility: Ensure your website is mobile compatible as most users tend to search on the go, therefore using their mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, laptops etc.
- Engaging content: Make sure your content is able to provide the user with the information they need at a glance.
- Easy to use interface: Don’t hide information or make navigation difficult, users want an easy, efficient experience, if they struggle to find what they’re looking for, they’ll look somewhere else.
- SEO is vital: It’s all good and well that your website shows up in SERPs for direct queries, but what about keywords? Identify keywords you want your website to rank for and adjust your content or create articles that include those keywords to improve your chances of being found organically.
With content marketing, you can increase organic traffic, improve lead generation, engage in deeper communications with your target audience and showcase your brands personality and expertise. However, it’s important that your content aligns with your marketing message and is of high-quality, it can also vary from blogs, videos, infographics, case studies and so much more.
In addition, your content marketing can compliment your other marketing channels and aid in a consistent brand message across SEO, email marketing, social media advertising etc.
Digital PR enables a two-way conversation and allows you to engage in a more immediate way with your customers. PR is used to connect with customers and to build and manage relationships. Digital PR also enhances brand awareness, exposure and SEO efforts.
Your social media accounts should contain informative, entertaining content that users would want to share and engage with.
Social media is ideal to:
- raise awareness
- tell your brand’s story
- customer engagement
Social Media Channels Explained:
With so many different platforms available, deciding which ones are ideal for you could be bit of a puzzle. We’ve summarised it nicely:
- Facebook: Traditionally viewed as a B2C platform, you can reach out to almost any kind consumer via Facebook. The key to success? Know your target audience.
- Twitter: Twitter is categorised as being more of a B2B platform than a B2C platform. However, if you’re trying to develop a new business and want to reach out to early adopters, then Twitter may be for you, particularly in generating fast brand awareness.
- LinkedIn: Want to reach out to business professionals? Then LinkedIn is the place to be!
- Google+: Google+ is another way to reach out to early adapters. It’s advised to start using this, since doing so ought to have a big impact on SEO in the future (according to the gossip).
- Pinterest: Pinterest is one of the more visual social media platforms. Clothing retailers quite enjoy Pinterest. The majority of users are women, so Pinterest is ideal if your brand is directed to mostly women.
- Instagram: “Picture Twitter” is how I’d describe Instagram (or Insta for short) to newcomers. Instagram is also a visual-based platform, but one of the main differences between Insta and Pinterest, lies in the name itself. Instagram is all about sharing a photo instantly with your followers. Many major brands have joined Instagram, plus the photo filters can make anyone look like a professional photographer.
Email marketing is a great way to build a relationship with your customers. The main goal of your email marketing campaigns should be to retain the value of customers and to build brand loyalty. To achieve this, curating the content you send out is of paramount importance. Some entrepreneurs view email marketing as a waste of time, but they can’t be more wrong! Pratik Dholakiya, Entrepreneur contributor, emphasises this by saying: “A well-crafted email has tremendous potential to deliver the returns you are looking for. Don’t ignore this channel at any cost.”
Benefits of Email Marketing:
- Low cost in comparison to some marketing methods
- Sign-ups allows you to collect key information
- Emails can be used to cross-promote other channels
- Can build email campaigns on top of one another
Email Marketing Tips:
- Segment and personalise: Segmenting your mailing lists according to demographics and interest will increase the relevance of your email, which could lead to click-throughs, which could lead to sales… see where I’m going with this?
- Respond: In today’s digital world, people want to feel like they are speaking to another person, not just a large, impersonal company. Make sure you don’t have “do not respond” email addresses.
- Double-opt in: Send a verification email to show people you take things seriously. This will also give the impression that you’re not likely to spam them.
- Make signing up and unsubscribing easy: Remember, you want people to subscribe… Also, nothing is as annoying as a 10-step system to unsubscribe.
- Have clear privacy policies: Many bulk email systems require this before allowing you to send emails using their system.
- Testing, 123: Always send a test email to yourself to make sure everything is displaying correctly. When you speak to other marketers about this, they’ll all confess that a campaign they sent out had a “little glitch”. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t a right of passage, so remember: Be the best, do the test.
- Targeting: Use consumer intelligence for targeted and more personalised messaging.
- Have a specific email domain: This could keep your email out of the recipients’ spam folders.
- A sense of urgency: Create a sense of urgency if you can (a limited offer always does the trick).
Online Advertising / PPC Advertising
Online advertising can increase both sales and brand awareness. Users can choose whether or not to engage with your ad. Paid advertising delivers targeted traffic in a short time. This is, however, impacted by your predetermined budget. Luckily, your advertising budget is still under your control. The success of your PPC campaign relies on how well you choose your keywords, as well as how you structure and optimise content. Another benefit of online advertising is that you can customise your targeting; defining it by demographic, geographical location and even interests! Examples of online advertising include Google Adwords.
Before Logging Off
Here are some final tips before you start planning your online strategy:
- Know Thy Customer: Go to where your customers are.
- Keep the content fresh: Rather have fewer, well-managed social media channels than a whole bunch of social corpses.
- Put People First: Jeremiah Owyang said “B2B and B2C no longer exist. All that matters now is P2P: People-to-people”