Which online marketing channel is best for your business?

Digital marketing can no longer be considered a mere addition to traditional marketing. It is now at the centre of every marketing campaign and is moving at an incredible pace. In fact, it’s expected that digital methods will soon replace more traditional ones altogether. This means that if you haven’t recognised its importance, you need to act…fast!

If you’re looking to boost your business, you might want to think about changing your online marketing techniques. Each type of marketing channel requires specialist knowledge and skills to guarantee the campaign’s success, so the first step is to know how different marketing channels affect customer purchase decisions.

 

Consider your target audience

Online marketing channels are becoming more and more complex, so it’s more important than ever to understand how each channel works to influence the decisions that users make.   To help increase our understanding of this, Google has prepared its journey to online purchase tools, which details the part each channel plays in prompting a person to buy from a site.

 

Following the steps to success

‘Assisting channels’ will establish awareness, consideration and build intent at the earliest stage of the purchase funnel. They will eventually lead to ‘last interaction channels’ which will be the user’s last point of contact before they purchase.

The timing of each channel also plays a huge role in the success of the overall plan. Awareness, consideration and the development of intent are usually built in channels such as email, social media, pay per click and display ads.

Some channels, such as email marketing for example, will work as both a reminder and an encouragement after which, pay per click will work as the final push toward the last interaction stage. At this stage, organic SEO and referral marketing help users make that all-important decision about a product.

Regardless of the size or the type of business you own, you need to know the balance between the different types of marketing channels to be able to make an informed decision about which you want to adopt and pay attention to. To help you do that, here’s some more information of the most widely-used channels.

 

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) enhances the rankings of a site by placing it in ‘organic’ search lists. The aim is to make your website page rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) to boost your visibility and authority. The higher a page is positioned, the more activity, traffic and conversions it will ultimately get. All of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing will rank pages based on those they consider the most relevant to the user’s search. This means organic SEO is a vital part of any online marketing strategy to drive users to your business.

Three of the best practices that almost guarantee results are guest blogging, content optimisation and social media posts. These are known as ‘white hat techniques’ as they focus on creating content for a human audience rather than the strict rules imposed by search engines. Bad practice (or ‘black hat techniques’) can include hidden content, link farming and unnatural keywords – none of which are adopted with the user in mind.

 

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a fast and effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website, but if done incorrectly it can end up costing your business a huge amount of money without the guarantee of any returns. PPC aims to turn potential customers into engaged customers and then finally, customers who will end up purchasing your product or service. Therefore, it’s necessary to write engaging copy that includes your targeted keywords so that your ad campaign can be optimised to generate a return on investment (ROI).

By sending your targeted audience to the relevant landing pages, you can keep them engaged throughout the whole journey. PPC adverts can usually be found on social media ‘sponsored stories’, such as a video ad or as a product listing. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll see some for yourself if you log into one of your popular social media sites. This type of online marketing tends to work well for clothing, beauty products and gadgets but as long as your ads are targeted and engaging, the world of PPC is your oyster.

 

Content Marketing

Even in today’s growing market, content marketing is arguably the most powerful type of online marketing around, but a lot of companies still tend to struggle with how it should be structured and distributed. The content marketing technique is all about working toward at least one of these objectives:

  1. exposure

You want this type of content to be shared so that you can gain exposure. You can achieve this by creating content that is funny, inspiring, charming but most of all, genuine so that it speaks to a wide range of individuals who will work together to make it go ‘ viral’ around the web.

  1. Getting discussed

Getting individuals talking about the content that you’ve created is important to move on to the next step – the generation of leads.

  1. Generating leads

While exposure and discussion are all about shining a light on your product, the lead conversion procedure can only work correctly if your audience believes that they require your product or service. From there, you need to offer the solution.

  1. Making sales

Although it’s very similar to generating leads, this is ‘offering’ content that converts your marketing efforts into sales.

Successful content marketing will depend on one of these four objectives at its core so that the end goal can be realised. Without this you’ll be creating content for content’s sake.

 

Social Media

It may be a relatively modern marketing technique, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. The most popular social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest but there are also smaller sites that can promote a two-way discussion between you and your target audience. One of the most widely used social media strategies is known as ‘  create and distribute’ whereby content is distributed in a well-targeted manner. This has been proven to reap higher rewards than sharing everything with everyone. For a stronger marketing plan, you can establish social media communication that will help you gather a wider audience.

 

How do you know which is best for you?

When you run a business you’re constantly looking for ways to attract customers but, when it comes to digital marketing, not everything is black and white. The first step is to define your goals and strategise your budget – are you looking to increase brand awareness or do you want conversions? Either way, you need to be willing to spend money to earn money. Whether you tackle this yourself or hire professional help, you’ll need to stretch your budget to display ads, paid search ads and social.

If you’re just starting up, email and content marketing will provide you with the perfect opportunity to establish an awareness of your brand and gain customer loyalty. Software such as MailChimp, for example, includes a free email marketing service. At the same time, build up your reputation on one social media channel (preferably the one that your customers are most present on) to begin with before you start cross-posting.

Those that are new to online marketing might want to consider hiring the help of a professional who can work alongside them to establish an approach that will reap the greatest rewards. Here at Boson Web, we offer specialist digital marketing services that range from content marketing, PPC and SEO. After a discussion with you, we’ll know exactly what it will take to gain exposure for your business to ultimately generate more leads than ever before. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you grow your business.

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