Facebook, Adwords, SEO, Blogging, Mobile Apps… the list is endless but your resources are limited. You only have so much time and money to invest. Missteps can be costly for your business in terms of lost revenue. It is crucial that you make choices based on sound strategies that pass the Channel Strategy Test.
The Channel Strategy Test starts with your customers and how they consume your products & services. When choosing marketing channels, we are most interested in the “how they buy” question. This is usually not unique to your company, but a hallmark of your industry. For example, consumer food brands are distributed through retailers. Most people don’t buy soup from Campbell’s directly. However, plenty of
consumers buy directly from John Deere or a B2B company like Accenture.
If Your Company Needs Digital Channels for Branding…
A company that relies on its name recognition is primarily interested in channels that support strong brand development. Smart placement on social channels and common Web destinations can help support your brand in the places it will be noticed by your target audience.
Some channels, Web destinations and tools to consider that are good in supporting brand awareness include:
- – Social channels like Facebook, Twitter
- – listening to your audience and competition through social listening
- – Visual channels like Pinterest or Instagram
- – Video and YouTube
- – campaigns utilizing coupons and promotions
- – joint marketing with distributors/retailers
- – offline events
Just as important as brand awareness is protecting a Client’s Brand ( read our post on avoiding branding blunders when using Google marketing channels.)
If Your Company Needs Digital Channels for Lead Generation…
Does your company sell direct to customers? If so, then a Lead Generation strategy means you need to use marketing channels that can help you attract buyers directly. Brand names (like John Deere) can now sell direct through social channels. If your business isn’t well known, there are a number of advertising tools at your disposal to drive traffic. In addition, Inbound marketing content strategies can drive interested visitors without advertising expense.
Channels to consider for lead generation business models include:
- – SEO
- – Google Search network
- – Social channels appropriate for your audience (e.g. LinkedIn for business services, Facebook advertising for consumer sales)
- – Blogging and content delivery
- – Email marketing with a lead nurturing emphasis
If Your Company Needs Digital Channels for eCommerce…
Many direct sales companies are now finding the competition is showing up online more frequently and more effectively. eCommerce is a rapidly growing trend that is swallowing up many traditional industries, whether they are ready or not! The first step in a successful eCommerce strategy is an eCommerce-enabled website that is well designed, adaptable, responsive and optimized for conversions. Next steps are to consider all the opportunities for driving traffic to the website. It is important to consider where your target audience is most likely to shop online, engage with your message and what phase of the buying cycle the are most likely are in when they see your message. This will allow you to select the right channels and craft the right messaging for those channels.
Some channels to consider for eCommerce strategies include:
- – Amazon Resellers
- – Google Shopping Feeds
- – Google Search Network
- – Google Remarketing Network
- – Google Display Network
- – Twitter-based customer service
(If you are seeking eCommerce assistance, PML can help.)
What channels would you recommend for a given business model? Is there another business model you’d like us to comment on? Share your thoughts in the comments, please!