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Essential Marketing Channels For Best Exposure
Essential marketing channels comprise of all the platforms, activities, and third-party services that businesses use to garner the attention of end-users for their products and services. The most popular platforms for business use includes websites, email, and display ads, along with social media, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and others.
The growth of digital marketing has obviously introduced new ways for brands to market their products. However, the process of identifying the right marketing channels to use to generate fanfare for our products/service isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. Some organizations are tempted to adopt a hit-or-miss strategy in these situations, but that’s usually a waste of time and resources. So, to help you avoid all the hassle, here are 5 essential marketing channels you should prioritize in order to expand your reach and get a better return on your time and investment.
Email Is The Most Effective Customer Retention Tool
Email marketing remains one of the most effective tools in the marketing toolbox of most businesses today. It continues to be a strong marketing channel for customer retention despite erroneous predictions that it was going to die years ago. So, if you aren’t already taping into this essential marketing channel, now’s a great time to jump in.
Recommended Resource: Ever wondered how businesses obtain the email addresses of people who are not their customers? Learn How.
Email stands out for its role in customer retention. It offers a better avenue for connecting with your subscribers or customers in ways that make them repeat customers. As of today, email is one of the best ways to keep your audience updated on the latest news, sales, announcement, coupon codes, new products, and services you offer.
Do the following to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns;
Segment Your Lists To Send The Right Content To The Right People At The Right Time.
Segment your subscriber list based on factors like interests, business type, location, and online behavior. Segmentation improves the effectiveness of email campaigns because the content they receive covers topics that are specific to their pain points, challenges, needs, wants and goals for themselves or their business. For example, let’s say you have two lists, one list is comprised of product-based businesses that have an eCommerce website, and the second list includes only service-based businesses. Here is what you’ll do:
- Email #1 – Send one email to your list of business owners who have a product-based business about how to improve an eCommerce website’s product descriptions to improve ranking in Google search engine.
- Email #2 – Send a separate email to service-based business owners about how to create a webinar for prospective B2B clients.
Do you see how that works? One business’ email content will not be helpful or relevant to the other business type. You are segmenting your list to ensure that you are sending the right content to the right people at the right time. Once you’ve done this, you will have crafted emails that would appeal to each group and encourage them to take action. Sending out one-size-fits-all emails may not give you the best results because they feel like salesy spam.
Optimize emails for mobile devices
Campaign Monitor estimates that at least 67% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. So, using responsive templates that make your emails easy to view and read on a mobile device is likely to increase your click-through rate.
A/B testing refers to the process of creating two versions of the same email and sending them to two different groups in order to determine which of the two versions performs better. Using the 2 email examples mentioned above, you’d wind up creating 4 emails. Two emails for each group with some design, subject line, and copy changes to see which works best.
The data derived from A/B tests are useful in identifying how to improve your strategy based on what your audience responds to by taking the action that you want them to take. Use the data as a guide for creating models for future email campaigns.
Personalize Two-way Communication
Set up your emails in a way that allows your subscribers to reply to your emails without getting hit with the infamous firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Add yours, or a team member’s signature or email address to allow readers and viewers to respond directly to you.
Businesses of all sizes use social media as one of their primary marketing channels. While marketing isn’t the primary objective of social media, most platforms are equipped with tools that businesses can use to engage their audiences in ways that other marketing channels cannot.
Social media provides an enabling environment for you to provide value for your audience, boost engagement, and drive traffic to your site. Despite its effectiveness and ease of implementation, brands on social media sometimes get carried away and end up bombarding their audience with irrelevant salesy content all day.
Follow The 80/20 Rule: Post 80% helpful, relevant and engaging content and only 20% of salesy content.
If you want to effectively engage your audience on social media, start by developing profiles of your ideal audience, also known as Buyer Personas. [How To Create Buyer Personas] Then, create and share content that that provides the most value for those that fit into your Buyer Persona profile.
Video posts and other helpful or aesthetically pleasing graphic content boosts customer engagement. Maintaining an effective two-way communication increases your credibility across social media.
Many businesses use well-designed websites as one of their key marketing channels. When visitors land on your website, they are more likely to sign up for your newsletter, latest offer, or purchase your product or service if your site’s landing pages make a good first impression. That good impression can range from articulating what your brand represents, to easy navigation or meeting the visitor’s needs in some other very effective way.
So, if your business sells baby products, for example, the image of an expecting mother or the image of an infant sleeping in its crib isn’t all you need on your homepage. A tagline that appeals to the target visitor’s emotions doesn’t complete the circle either. However, creating a form or having a pop-up instant chat box that asks for the visitors’ child’s gender and offers to help them find the best products for their baby speaks volumes.
You can also use any data that you collect about each site visitor to send them more customized content in their follow up emails. For example, a mom with a little girl would receive an email the next time you have a Spring dress sale or when products they’ve added to their Wish List goes on sale.
The effectiveness of your website as a marketing channel largely depends on how well you are able to remove the barriers in the customer’s journey. The more seamless the experience, the greater the chance that a prospect is going to become a paying customer. If you get lots of traffic to your website but fail to get as much conversion, then you may need to do a site audit.
A website audit will provide useful insight into what’s discouraging visitors from completing a purchase or subscribing to the service you offer. Accessibility and responsiveness are usual culprits in this regard. Most people surf the internet on mobile devices so you want to optimize your website for mobile devices above all other design implementations.
Organic Search (SEO)
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It involves a number of strategies that help your website rank higher in search engine results. What makes SEO so important to your marketing mix is that it brings site visitors who are actively looking for your product or service in contact with your business.
People who are looking for a specific product often type search phrases about the product into a search engine like Google. Google then crawls the internet and returns websites with relevant content for the search phrases. If your site is optimized with the right keywords, for example, that would improve your chances of appearing as one of the first results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
People are more likely to click through to your website if search engines return your site as one of the first results. Ranking higher than competitors also plays an important role in convincing prospects of the quality of the products or service you provide.
In all, SEO offers a 100% organic and cost-effective way to drive quality traffic to your website. Unlike search engine marketing, you don’t have to pay before your website is displayed on the first page of search engine results if your site’s SEO is done properly. SEO tasks are not hard to do for an experienced marketer, however, SEO is a lot of work and it does take time to get a stable first-page ranking. In the end, it is the most economical choice for entrepreneurs and small businesses versus using paid ads.
Some ways you can improve your site’s SEO include;
- Using relevant keywords in title tags.
- Creating keyword-rich content.
- Improving the loading speed of your site.
- Sharing your content to social media and linking it back to your site.
Word of Mouth (Referrals and Testimonials)
People are usually more willing to act on the recommendations of peers and other customers than they are willing to believe what a product or service promises. The reason for this customer behavior is simple. Prospective customers know the primary goal of a business that sells rice boilers, for example, is to sell as many rice boilers as possible. So, the company’s salesperson would say anything to convert the prospect to a paying customer. Previous customers, however, do not have the same goals as the business. If they have nothing but good things to say about your product, then, it’s more likely to be true.
This goes a long way to show the power of customer advocacy and how you can leverage User-Generated content in marketing your product to your target audience. [Learn how to use User-Generated Content.] If you’ve been treating customer advocacy as an afterthought, now might be a good time to start asking your customers for referrals and testimonials. Some platforms where you can share testimonials from your previous customers are;
Your Social Media Pages
Everyone (well, almost everyone) is on social media these days and your social media pages’ newsfeeds and reviews sections are good platforms for your customers to share their experiences with your quality of service.
A good percentage of your audience should have no problem writing a few positive reviews for you. You may need to incentivize some of them with giveaways to get them to cooperate, but that’s all good if it produces the desired results.
Google My Business
Getting a handful of good reviews on your Google My Business account works like a charm in convincing prospects, especially those near you to give your business a try. Most of the time, delivering on that trial is all it takes to win a customer’s loyalty.
Testimonials from influencers, industry experts, and a few other customers would give your landing pages a boost at converting visitors.