If you own a website, or are in the process of building one, then you must already be aware of the different digital marketing channels you can use to promote the site. Each of these has unique traits and a different return on investment (ROI). Mastering as many of these platforms as possible will benefit your website and brand greatly.
What Is a Marketing Channel?
A marketing channel is a method or platform that allows you to advertise your website or brand. For example, one of the most well-known and popular methods is social media.
These platforms have a plethora of ways to advertise your business on them, and there are plenty of others to utilize as well. However, not all of them are equal in effectiveness, thus if you are on a limited budget, you want the one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
However, with this said, spreading your resources out can go a lot further than focusing on one facet of marketing. So choose a few strategies that complement each other.
Make a Plan
Rushing into a marketing strategy is the worst thing you can possibly do. These strategies take time to implement and could take months to see if they are working.
Thus, you need a plan and that requires research and knowledge about your own business.
Before you begin, make sure you can answer these three questions.
- What is the goal of your marketing plan? (Have a number in mind)
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the budget for your marketing strategy?
Without this information, you cannot properly pick a method that suits your business. Now, begin looking at what other similar businesses are doing. Here is one more question you’ll need to answer:
- Are you trying to advertise locally or everywhere?
These require completely different strategies. If you have a physical location, like a restaurant, advertising in another state is not going to do much for you. However, if you have just a blog, it doesn’t matter where your readers are.
With all of this information, you are now in a position to begin picking one of the many digital marketing channels available.
7 of the Best Digital Marketing Channels
The popularity, effectiveness, and how each platform is used changes regularly. Thus, to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck, you will need to regularly research the channel you are using.
Here are 7 of the highest ROI marketing channels you can use to grow your website and brand:
1. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic remains the king of digital marketing channels and should always be your first thought when it comes to strategies. In case you are wondering what exactly constitutes as organic traffic, this is the visitor-base you receive from search engines like (and mostly) Google.
To grow organically, you need to understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). Each search engine crawls through all of your content by using search engine bots. These bots look for specific elements on your pages to use them as factors for how well your website will rank.
The higher you rank, the more traffic you will receive. And while this sounds really easy on paper, it is anything but simple.
The difficulty stems from the enigma that is the Google Algorithm. While there is plenty of information that has been compiled for decades about it, knowing the algorithm is not an exact science. What works for one website does not guarantee success for another.
However, there are some constants in general which benefits every site, like making sure your website is fast. This is a confirmed factor that all search engines use. Thus if your website is unoptimized and runs slowly, you will rank lower.
2. Email Marketing
Many believe email marketing is dead, but that is simply untrue. In fact, it has a very high ROI for business at a whopping $40 return for every dollar spent. Thus, it is one of the most important digital marketing channels to explore as a business.
Email marketing consists of sending out regular emails to your customers to inform them about new products, deals, content, or anything else related to your website. This keeps customers informed and entices them to give your website a visit to see what’s new.
Luckily, there are quite a lot of email services available. These services are what allow you to send out thousands of emails at once and are absolutely necessary as your website grows. As long as you have one of these platforms, the only thing you need to worry about is actually getting your target consumer’s email address.
And ultimately, this is the hardest part. Many businesses have opted into giving out a discount code or some other type of incentive for those who sign up. This has a lot of success, and trust me, you are going to need an incentive.
And make sure to avoid spam emails as they do not help you at all.
3. Social Media
There are a lot of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, and plenty of more large-scale sites. Each one has a unique way to advertise your business, and it can be challenging to manage so many.
And since each is different from the other, I cannot give you exact details on individual systems. That’s an entirely different blog topic.
Instead, I will provide some simple strategies that are proven ways to work with the first being to run a contest. Contests have really caught on in the social media landscape, and the benefits of offering one cannot be ignored.
This can be as simple as taking a selfie with a specific hashtag or link back to your profile. This will invite their friends to comment on the image, which in turn, lets them see why they are doing it in the first place.
Another great way to utilize social media is to integrate it with your website’s content. For example, you can automatically generate a Facebook post or tweet every time a new blog goes live in WordPress.
If you want to build a strong brand, social media is a must in 2020.
4. Content Marketing
Content is king.
This saying has guided websites for years, and it has not failed and that will not be changing anytime soon. And as many experts have come to realize, traditional marketing strategies are beginning to become less effective.
Let’s define content marketing, which is sometimes referred to as, “inbound marketing.”
It is a strategy that focuses on regularly creating and distributing valuable and relevant content that attracts and retains a targetted audience. And ultimately this content will drive the audience into making purchases.
Now, this may sound very similar to normal marketing, and it should since there is only one difference; the content needs to be valuable and relevant. This is the key and why it is called, “content marketing.”
You are essentially using the content you create as a marketing device. A great example of this is done by a small company by the name of Microsoft. They run offer stories to their readers that either spark positive emotions or cover intellectual engagements.
They are releasing high-quality content for free to their readers, and this brings them back.
5. Affiliate Marketing
One of the best digital marketing channels available is affiliate marketing. Almost all websites take part in affiliate marketing in one way or another. So, let’s define it.
This is a strategy where one website or business allows another website or influencer to advertise its products. In exchange, every time a sale is made as a direct result of that advertisement, the publisher will receive a small amount of compensation in the form of a commission.
This results in higher traffic and sales.
Many websites actually rely on this for a large part of their income. If you ever looked closely at a review website, they typically have that product available in the form of an affiliate link.
Giving websites the incentive to show off your products can help you find new customers and see more sales. They may even come up with a better marketing tactic for your product.
And even with the commission fee in mind, it is still completely worth it. After all, you’re reaching an audience you might not have had access to in the past.
6. Paid Marketing, Or Influencer Marketing
Marketing is no different than any other job. Thus, it should come as no surprise that you can pay someone else to do it for you. And it is gaining a lot of popularity, for those who have the resources. This makes it one of the best digital marketing channels available.
Now, most website owners are only willing to pay someone with the necessary marketing knowledge or a popular influencer. And of course, these people charge money. But if done right, your brand will experience a lot of benefits.
This has become extremely common on platforms like YouTube. Most of, if not all of the most popular YouTube channels take part in it. This is generally in the form of a small section in their video that is about the creator advertising a product or service.
Another technique that falls underneath this umbrella term is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is where you sign up for a service like Google Adwords and rely on people clicking on your ads to reach your website.
Just keep in mind once you stop paying for the service, you are going to notice a big dip in visitors.
7. Social Proof
There are a lot of websites, and visitors are always trying to make sure they are checking out the best ones. For this reason, they are always looking for someone else to tell them if a product, service or brand is good or not.
This is exactly what a review is, and they have become an almost mandatory part of online marketing. If you don’t have good reviews, people will avoid your store. This has become more prominent as the internet ages. And if you don’t have any reviews, that is just as bad as having a negative one.
Thus, you need to encourage visitors to leave some form of feedback.
However, this is easier said than done. People are quick to read reviews, but don’t want to spend the time to leave one themselves. Send follow up emails asking to leave a review as an eCommerce website. If you run a physical store, encourage customers to leave a review on Google Business or Yelp.
This helps spread the word about your business. Just make sure the experience is the best a customer can have.
Make Sure Your Website Is Great
It should go without saying, but before you begin focusing on marketing, your website needs to be ready. It needs to look good, has content to offer visitors, be ready for mobile users, secure, and be optimized for speed.
All of your advertising will go to waste if someone decides to click on a link and discover an unappealing website or one that just looks outright shady. Let alone one that takes a few seconds to load.
In fact, it’s not just visitors who will avoid you. Paid advertisers may also not be willing to help. They do have a reputation to uphold, after all. If they start advertising a bad website, it lowers their reliability.
Do not waste time advertising a poorly constructed website as it never ends well.
Spread Out Your Marketing Efforts
Do not put all of your eggs in one basket.
As you can see, there are a lot of digital marketing channels to choose from, and you could easily do each one a dozen different ways. For example, social media is extremely effective as a marketing tool.
However, there are a lot of platforms to choose from and each one is different.
While it is understandable when your budget is small, try not to focus on one method. You will soon find that an equal spread of marketing methods is worth more than doing one really well. It really is just a numbers game.
The more exposure you can get, the better. Thus, the more places you advertise, the higher the chances someone will see it.