How to Select the Best Digital Marketing Channel?
Digital marketing is a relatively new channel for acquiring new customers. And in its essence, it is not very different from traditional marketing. Digital marketers are also advertising and selling products, but they do it via the internet.
However, each year digital marketing is evolving and diversifying in terms of new techniques and strategies that can be used for promoting a brand. Today, there are countless online marketing activities that businesses can use for attracting customers.
And this is good, right? You have the freedom to select the best suiting option for your business’s needs. Yet, when you’re offered too many possibilities, it also gets a tad overwhelming.
We see this on a daily basis. Clients know that they need to include online marketing in their business strategy, but they have no clue where they should start.
The simple truth is that not all digital marketing activities will bring revenue to your business. This is why you need to understand the different types of digital marketing channels before you decide on your investment.
In this blog post, I’ll outline the most popular channels in digital marketing. After reading this, you’ll be better equipped to decide which digital marketing techniques your business needs.
Hold On, Why Digital Marketing?
Before we dive into the different channels, make sure you have a clearly defined marketing goal.
Are you a startup that’s trying to launch a SaaS product on the market and you need help with the branding of the product?
Are you a successful ecommerce business that wants to increase its sales?
Maybe you’re in need of new leads that are relevant to your business?
Or, maybe you just want to strengthen your relationship with the current customer base of your business?
Luckily, digital marketing can assist in all these scenarios, and much more.
Knowing the answer to this question will help you choose the right online marketing activity and a relevant plan of action.
I’ll start with my favorite topic.
Simply put, Google Ads is a platform that lets you show your ads when someone does a search that is related to your business.
If you’re a pizza restaurant, for example, you’d want your ads to show whenever someone searches:
1. “best pizza restaurant”
2. “pizza restaurant near me”
3. “pizza restaurant that delivers”
This list can be never-ending...believe me. This is why Google Ads works on keywords.
What are keywords you ask?
Well, let's check out what’s common for these three searches. All of them have “pizza restaurant” in them. Keywords are common words that take place in the searches relevant to your business. In this case, we would add “pizza restaurant” as a keyword that would enable us to show our ads for any phrase that has a “pizza restaurant” in it.
And this is only one keyword! What if you have 500 keywords? Can you imagine the unexplored potential for a business that can define so many?
I want to demonstrate the thinking process that goes for defining the different opportunities when placing ads on Google.
Here are some other keywords I would use for this pizza business example:
1. “first date restaurant”
2. “what should i order for dinner”
3. “pizza delivery”
3. “pizza places near me”
The key to a successful Google Ads campaign is to define the most profitable keywords. Once you have them, you can go on and further optimize the campaigns in order to reduce your costs.
One of the reasons I work in digital marketing is because everything is measurable. We can track the success rate of each keyword. We can also track every online transaction or every phone call, and define what keyword brought that sale.
We do further analysis and define the most profitable audiences. For example, Google offers us valuable demographic data on each user, and that’s just one piece of the puzzle.
Google Ads Costs
The average cost per click in Google Ads is between $1 and $2 on the search network. Regarding the budget, it’s important to know that there’s no minimum or maximum. You pay only when someone decides to click on an ad. The cost varies on every keyword.
I always say that with the right tweaks, Google Ads can be profitable for any business. If you want to read more, here’s an article that goes in-depth of the potential of Google Ads for small businesses.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website according to the preferences of search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The goal is for them to reward you with a better position in the search results. This leads to getting traffic on your website, for free.
Have you ever done a Google search for your brand? Your website was in the first position, right? Right?!
People tend to click the first 3 positions in the SERP (search engine results page). If you are at the bottom of the page, or god forbid the second page, then you’re pretty much invisible.
With SEO, you can reach the first position of the results for keywords that are relevant to your business.
”Wait...I’ve read that somewhere!”
Yes! SEO, just like Google Ads is based on keywords. The difference is that you pay Google to place your ads (your website) at the top of the results, while with SEO, you are at the top for free or organically.
”So, why would I pay something that I could get for free?”
Well...that’s the tricky part. Google would lose a ton of money if all businesses allocate their budget from Google Ads to SEO. That’s why SEO is very hard. Search engines never tell you actionable steps that you can do to optimize your website. There are some broad guides like having a fast website and providing quality content. But this is too broad and that wouldn’t do you much good.
That’s why specialists from around the world are joining together to decipher the search engines algorithm on their own. This is the whole field of SEO in a nutshell.
As I’ve said, just like with Google Ads, with SEO, you can show your website for searches that are relevant to your business. So you would rank first not only when someone searches your brand name on Google, but also for searches for products or services you offer.
Another difference between Google Ads and SEO is the fact that when you have paid ads, you are at the top instantly. But SEO doesn’t work overnight. In our experience, search engine optimization needs around 3 to 6 months to give the results we want.
While this process can be tedious, in the end, it definitely pays off.
Here’s an article of our SEO expert explaining the topic in great detail.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the best ways for any business to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you’re not using them for communication, you’re missing out!
Excellent social media marketing can bring remarkable success to your business. With it, you can create devoted brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.
Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic,
- Building conversions,
- Raising brand awareness,
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences,
The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve every other marketing goal on your list!
How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing
Different social media marketing sites require different approaches, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform.
Using Facebook for Social Media Marketing
Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy. Usually, the way to start with Facebook marketing is by creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience.
Organic reach on Facebook is extremely limited. This is why we tell clients to consider a cost-effective Facebook ad strategy. This can have a big impact on the organic Facebook results as well!
A cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers is the so called email marketing campaign. And you’re reaching them in a place most people visit every day — their inbox.
Plenty of data can back up the benefits of email marketing campaigns. For example:
- 91 percent of US adults are ok with promotional emails from brands they regularly buy from (MarketingSherpa)
- Email is about 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in acquiring new customers. (McKinsey)
Here are the top 3 benefits of email marketing:
To build strong customer relationships, it’s important to have an effective tool to communicate with the people who matter most to your business. With email marketing you can stay top-of-mind and keep people engaged with your business.
You must have a communication channel you can trust, if your business depends on having a reliable way of communicating with your members and clients.
When you have an audience of people who opt-in to receive updates from your business, you’ll be able to clearly see how you boost sales throughout the year.
To Sum Up
When establishing a digital marketing campaign for your business, don’t rely on a single source to generate the results you want. While every digital marketing channel has strengths, they also have their weakness.
It's always better to have an integrated digital marketing strategy. With the right combination of channels, you can have full control of your customers and their place in the buying funnel.
I hope after this long blog post, you have a clear image of the most popular channels in the digital marketing world. If you feel that your business can use some of these digital marketing services, feel free to contact us.