Opting for quality over quantity is essential when selecting the appropriate marketing channels for your business. When faced with budget constraints, it becomes crucial to prioritize channels that promise the highest return on investment.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide on marketing channels. It explores channel diversity, offers expert tips for brand-specific selections, and provides inspirational examples. Let Ipapus Internet Marketing Agency https://ipapus.com/en/ guide you through this marketing journey.
What do Marketing Channels Entail?
Marketing channels, also called distribution channels, represent the diverse pathways for businesses to offer their products or services to customers. They split into two key types: direct and indirect.
Direct channels involve selling directly to customers without intermediaries, such as via websites, retail outlets, or direct mail.
In contrast, indirect channels rely on intermediaries like wholesalers, distributors, or retailers, who buy from manufacturers and sell to consumers. This includes retail stores, distributors, and wholesalers.
Digital marketing channels are vital to a company’s marketing mix, influencing product availability, pricing, and customer satisfaction. A well-crafted channel strategy can efficiently reach target customers, boosting sales and profitability.
1. Influencer Marketing
Research in 2022 has clearly shown that the influencer marketing industry is now worth $16.4 billion.
We can compare 2016 with today, when it was only 1.6 billion dollars. Influencer marketing promotes your brand with the support of people who are experts in a particular field. They usually have a large audience and a lot of followers on social media. Their followers trust their recommendations.
- Below, we’ll look at certain types of influencers in social media:
- Nano-influencers have from 1000 to 10000 followers on their pages.
- Micro-influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
- Macro-influencers: 100,000 to 1 million followers.
- Mega-influencers – those with more than 1 million followers.
- Since nano- and micro-influencers have the most engaged audience, it is a good idea to work with them. For example, mega-influencers have an engagement rate of 1.7%, while nano-influencers have an engagement rate of 8%.
- Analyze your brand and choose the most suitable influencers. In no case should you take the number of followers of a person as the main selection parameter.
- It is better not to limit the influencer creatively, because they know better than anyone what content resonates with their audience.
- Work on having clear SMART goals and define key performance indicators.
Brands and Nano-influencers
During the COVID-19 quarantine, Under Armor teamed up with nano-influencer Jennifer Rochon. The campaign was designed to offer subscribers the opportunity to train at home.
2. Advertising on Social Media
Social media advertising is a highly effective channel for marketing products and services. With nearly 5 billion users across top social platforms, it’s a significant source of brand discovery and engagement. For instance, over 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles daily, with 81% using it to explore new products.
Social media marketing serves various purposes, from building brand awareness to product sales, making it essential at every buyer journey stage. It’s cost-effective, particularly beneficial for smaller businesses seeking to carve their niche. Developing and maintaining a social media presence is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy.
Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Social Media Advertising
- Maximize Your Social Media Advertising with These Strategies:
- Targeted Offers: Align your offers with your audience’s needs.
- Test and Learn: Experiment with various ads to discover what works best.
- Promise Delivery: Ensure your landing page matches the ad’s promise for conversions.
- Frictionless Sales: Use direct selling options, like Instagram shops, for a seamless user experience.
- Active Engagement: Participate in conversations to establish authority and attract customers.
- Smart Remarketing: Retarget users who’ve shown interest using social media‘s specialized retargeting tags.
- Platform Selection: Focus on platforms where your audience interacts most for efficient advertising.
- Balanced Approach: Combine paid advertising with active social media engagement.
These strategies enhance your social media advertising effectiveness.
Check out this Instagram story ad example. They utilized Instagram’s Polls feature to gain 5,500 new trial members and reduce their ad costs by 21%.
For effective marketing, integrate social media with other strategies like content, word-of-mouth, and influencer marketing.
Enhance your marketing channels by leveraging your social media presence.
To maintain consistency, use tools that streamline your social media planning and execution.
- Integration of social media with various marketing channels.
- Boosting marketing strategies through social media.
- Utilizing tools for consistent social media management.
3. Email Marketing
It is well known that email marketing is one of the oldest marketing channels. What’s important is that this marketing channel is one of the most effective for direct communication with people. If you compare the return on investment (ROI) in email, it will be 38 dollars, which is four times higher than in social media, for example.
Third-party developments and social media algorithms have no impact on email. If you send an email to 100 people, 85 of them will receive it. As many as 22% of users will open the message on average. Engagement on the “big three” social networks is 0.6%, meaning Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
More than 91% of Americans who use the Internet have one or more email accounts. This means that most people simply cannot ignore email.
Tips for Maximizing the Effective Use of Email Marketing
- To begin with, you need to split your email list properly. This is important to ensure that all your messages are personalized.
- Establish a healthy relationship with your target audience. It’s a good idea to share values and stories that will highlight your brand’s features.
- Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices as well. Use clear fonts, write everything briefly and as accessible as possible for potential customers.
- Develop special offers that your inactive subscribers may pay attention to.
- Use A/B testing, namely certain headlines and calls to action. Develop layouts for your future messages.
4. Partnership Marketing
While it may not be among the most widely used marketing channels, partnership marketing remains highly effective. This approach entails collaborations between two or more businesses or a business and an individual, aimed at mutual goal achievement.
Take the example of the partnership between Adidas and Kanye West’s Yeezy. This collaboration harnessed Kanye West’s creative talents and Adidas’ extensive production and distribution capabilities, creating a win-win partnership.
Partnership marketing strategies may encompass:
- Hosting joint educational seminars or podcasts.
- Collaborating on research studies.
- Creating premium content together.
- Co-developing products or product bundles.
Ways to Enhance the Effectiveness of This Advertising Channel
When considering partnership marketing, it’s crucial to start by creating an ideal partner profile to identify the best brands to collaborate with. This marketing channel exposes you to another brand’s loyal customer base, so diligent research is essential. Prioritize partnering with reputable organizations aligned with your goals. The key is to target brands with customer demographics similar to yours, ensuring increased exposure translates into more conversions.
In this channel, reporting is paramount. Ensure you have the necessary tools and systems to accurately attribute leads or sales to specific partners, particularly in cases involving monetary incentives.
- Develop an ideal partner profile.
- Research and choose reputable partners.
- Focus on aligning customer demographics.
- Implement robust reporting mechanisms for accurate attribution.
A Little More About Brand Partnerships
Starbucks and Spotify formed a creative co-branding partnership, connecting artists with Starbucks customers and expanding Starbucks’ music environment. Employees received Spotify Premium, using it to curate playlists in-store, enhancing the coffeehouse ambiance and promoting artists to Starbucks customers.
5. Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing channels today. Most likely, the potential of this working tool is the greatest to date. This resource helps to increase conversion rates and add new potential customers to the database. One of the most important things is that thanks to video, you can easily establish an emotional connection between the brand and the right viewers. Most other media do not have such a wide range of possibilities.
When a person creates a video, he or she most likely wants it to be short, but very interesting and intense. This will be necessary in order to satisfy the small time slots that will be provided on various social networks. Short-form videos are now one of the best ways to advertise products.
Almost no marketer can imagine their activities without the use of video. 72% of people surveyed now say that the best way for them to learn about a particular product is to watch a video.
Some Useful Tips
Here are a few important things that will definitely come in handy if you want to get good results in video marketing:
- Communicate information about one single topic. This way, it will definitely not be too long, 1-3 minutes is best. If your topic is broad, it will be better to make a series of videos.
- Don’t exaggerate with the advertising sound of your video. Make sure that it is useful information that leads your viewers through the sales funnel.
- With some calls to action, the audience will be guided to take further steps.
- Don’t forget to shoot and share videos that demonstrate user experience or video testimonials with potential customers.
An Interesting Example of Video Marketing in Short Videos
Over the past few years, short videos have gained incredible popularity, and now they can be seen on TikTok, Instagram, and even YouTube. If you decide to use this particular tool, you should make sure that you have created a large number of short videos. This is necessary to keep swiping users coming back to you again and again. Such a big brand as Gucci has long been advertising its products in this way.
6. Content Marketing
According to statistics, 32% of people working in marketing use content marketing for the brands they work with. Thus, this interesting tool is the 4th most popular, above only email and social networks, for example. This is not surprising, because it is one of the most effective marketing channels.
Content marketing itself includes the publication and distribution of certain content in order to attract an audience. When a person creates content that will help solve a certain problem of a potential client, he or she can prove to be a good one. The creator will showcase himself as a master of his craft and attract new customers to the sales funnel.
There are many different ways to showcase content. It will also depend on which market segment you want to reach. Here’s a list of them:
- Blog posts
- Certain pictures
- Research on a specific topic
- Books in electronic format
Important Tips for Marketing Channel Effectiveness
- Work to ensure that the content you create resonates with your target audience. Think about what problems, wants, and needs your customer has, and then provide worthy solutions. Content of the right quality will always help make people trust the opinions you share more.
- Create content for specific customers. Make sure that the audience is entertained or learns something as a result. Model the image of your ideal client in advance and take into account all their unique characteristics.
- Your plans should be organized. Create your own content library with all the videos, graphics, etc. you’ve created. This way, you can identify opportunities for repurposing and prevent creating repetitive content.
- In many cases, it will be effective to repurpose long pieces of content into smaller pieces or turn a regular blog into a video. For example, if you have an extensive article, then make a video based on it for YouTube video hosting.
7. Search Engine Organization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to elevate your website and content to the first page of search engine results for specific keywords. This approach is organic, meaning you don’t pay for ads on the search engine page. Properly applied SEO techniques can also enhance the discoverability of your YouTube videos.
SEO, though requiring time and effort, proves invaluable. Approximately 62% of consumers use search engines to learn about new products, and 41% turn to search engines when ready to make a purchase.
Key SEO fundamentals include:
- Crawlability: Ensuring your content is discoverable by search engines.
- Site structure: Organizing and prioritizing your content for search engine visibility.
- Keywords: Identifying the primary topics of your site’s content.
- Backlinks: Offering reliable information on your chosen topics.
- Keep in mind that search engine preferences evolve, so ongoing optimization is essential. What ranks well today may not do so in the future.
Enhance your SEO effectiveness with these strategies:
- Address search intent: Craft content that aligns with users’ search objectives.
- Employ keywords seamlessly: Strategically incorporate keywords in page titles, subheadings, and URLs.
- Prioritize user-friendly content: Write for human readers rather than search engine algorithms.
- Secure high-quality backlinks: Seek links from authoritative websites to boost your site’s credibility.
A Successful Example
When you search for “dropshipping” on Google, the top result is Shopify, which has also secured Google’s featured snippet. It’s noteworthy that this term garners approximately 450,000 monthly searches, making Shopify’s page the very first thing users encounter. This exposure translates to a substantial influx of traffic.
8. Offline Marketing
Digital marketing has been the backbone of many companies for a long time, and it’s easy to overlook offline marketing nowadays, thinking it’s something outdated. The important thing is that not everyone uses the Internet regularly; in the US, about 10% of adults do. It is quite expensive to run offline advertising campaigns, but it expands opportunities for brand development and reaches a specific audience.
In offline advertising, you are paid for the assessment of impressions, not real impressions, as in social media. The key is to be creative, and even here you can track conversions. You can integrate campaigns with online events, hashtags, and ask people to go to a specific website.
The following popular channels can be identified:
- Special editions of magazines
- Networking at local events
- Email campaigns
- Print advertising
- Cold calling
Several Pointers for Effectively Utilizing Offline Marketing Channels
It is always a good idea to combine offline advertising with online conversion activity. It will be equally useful to launch online advertising along with offline intrusions. This way, you can significantly increase brand awareness.
Make sure that your logo, slogan, and other important elements are the same for all types of channels. Advertising should be easily recognizable and not give new customers a chance to confuse your company with any other. A surefire way to support your company offline is to make your branding materials easily visible due to their size. This should be done on all marketing channels.
9. SMS Marketing
SMS marketing has long been helping many companies promote their brand through simple text messages. Some studies have shown that people open such messages 209% more than emails, and the same goes for phone calls. So this marketing channel is one of the most effective.
Thanks to this tool, the company has the opportunity to have a direct, individualized communication with customers. There is freedom to communicate with the target audience anywhere and anytime. You can send codes to get a discount or news about new arrivals.
With the help of SMS marketing, brands build effective relationships with customers by sending them personalized and targeted messages. For example, send a text about delivery details or order confirmation.
Important Tips for Marketing Channel Effectiveness
- It’s better to get the user’s permission. Ask if your customer is okay with you sending them promotional messages.
- To maximize speed and efficiency, use a tool that sends SMS messages automatically. This way you can easily personalize your messages.
- Try to keep the information in the message concise. Make your messages short and valuable at the same time. Make several SMS templates in advance, as this will help you save time on certain aspects of your work.
- Pay attention to the number of conversions, clicks, unsubscribes, successful sales, and bounces. This important information will be useful for increasing the ROI of your automated SMS campaigns.
10. Word of Mouth Marketing
Consider this: How inclined are you to make a purchase based on the recommendation of someone you trust? Has a friend’s social media post ever prompted you to research a product, service, or company?
According to research conducted by Convince & Convert Consulting, a striking 83% of Americans are more inclined to buy a product or service when it’s endorsed by a friend or family member through word of mouth.
Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), also referred to as word-of-mouth advertising, occurs when customers openly express their satisfaction with a product, service, or brand. It’s the outcome of both deliberate marketing efforts and the organic sharing of experiences.
When amplified through social media, positive word of mouth from contented customers can significantly influence the purchasing intentions of others.
Word of Mouth Marketing Tips
- Encourage customers, who want to grow small business community, to share user-generated content (UGC) by offering incentives. Prompt them to review your products or services and showcase their content on your website, email newsletters, or social media channels.
- Leverage hashtags strategically, including those relevant to small businesses, to amplify their reach and stimulate UGC creation.
- Feature user reviews prominently across your website, including landing pages, product pages, About Us sections, and dedicated testimonial pages. Highlighting consumer feedback in these key areas enhances your small business‘s credibility and trustworthiness.
11. Community Building
One of the best marketing strategies is to create a community around the brand itself. For example, Harley Davidson was on the verge of disappearing. It was thanks to its desire to build a strong brand community that 25 years later this company became a multi-billion dollar company again.
We can also identify such brands as: Apple, Jeep, Walt Disney, Lego, XBOX, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, because they also have a strong community.
The community of a particular company is a group of people, the target audience, who have decided to unite because of their commitment to a particular brand or a particular product.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of creating a community:
- Brand uniqueness.
- Real user feedback.
- User-generated content will be valuable for WOMM and content marketing.
- The effectiveness of marketing itself.
Some Tips on How to Use Community Building as One of the Promotion Channels
It is worth noting that a community is about building relationships. To achieve this, you need to do much more than just respond to comments on social media. You may want to organize some events to interact with your most loyal customers. This important step will help you learn more about them, and provide opportunities to communicate with each other. It will be very important to foster these connections.
When your goal is to build a strong loyal community, you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on sales. If you try to sell something, customers may realize that this is a marketing channel, and they will treat it accordingly.
Don’t forget to maintain feedback from your audience. You can beta test products, showing them your love by giving them early access to new experiences. This is how you effectively engage people with your brand.
Primary Marketing Channels: B2B
According to statistics, the most popular channel is social media (45%), followed by websites and blogs (approximately 40%), and then email marketing (38%). LinkedIn has become one of the most effective indicators for this type of business, as many businesses are very active on this platform. This may explain why social media is at the top of HubSpot’s list. Surveys have shown that most people in marketing prefer LinkedIn.
Primary marketing Channels: Consumer-focused (B2C)
Marketing channels vary between B2C and B2B, with B2C brands utilizing them in distinct ways. B2C marketing often centers around entertaining, quirky, or shareable content to engage customers, in contrast to B2B’s more serious approach focused on long-term business relationships.
According to Hubspot’s research, the top marketing channels for B2C brands differ from B2B. Their primary channels include social media (45 percent), email marketing (35 percent), websites, and blogs (34 percent), along with influencer marketing (32 percent).
B2C brands often employ multiple social media platforms, with their preferences influenced by their target audience. For instance, Instagram appeals more to Millennials, while Snapchat and TikTok prove effective for reaching Generation Z. In contrast to B2Bs, many B2C brands predominantly utilize LinkedIn for business-related news and updates rather than extensive customer engagement.
You need to understand that different marketing channels offer different advantages. Each company will be able to find its own individual way to use different tools in its marketing strategies. This is very important for achieving the goals of these entrepreneurs. Most likely, you will have experience with several channels that you will use at different stages of customer service. It doesn’t matter which marketing channel you decide to use, it’s how you use it that matters more.
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