As a small business or a startup owner, the digital world can be brutal and overwhelming when you think through which tactics you can use and which channels are going to work for you. Because, just like all rules in marketing, not every channel and tactic fits with your target audience and brand. Just like infinite bundles of cash are non-existent, there is no one size fits all, so it’s important to be aware and be able to prioritize. Here’s how to choose your digital marketing channels before you go out promoting your brand online.
6 Ways To Promote Your Brand (And How To Choose Your Digital Marketing Channels)
Before getting into individual channels, the first thing is that you could classify the channels as outbound marketing and inbound marketing, for reference of course. In reality most companies use a mix of inbound and outbound tactics. Inbound marketing basically means that you get the visitor or customer to your site and then through your customer relationship management system or through a customer decision making journey excite them enough to purchase your product. You can be sure of interest because this customer is basically reaching you *because* of an existing interest. Thus the chances of success, or conversion are higher. As a company proving Content Marketing & Branding services, we strongly believe in the workings of this sort of marketing. Outbound marketing is basically as the name suggests, going out there to the customer, for instance, through a usual sales process, events, press releases, adverts etc.
1. SEO/Content: Allow for a small bias here considering we are a content marketing firm, but really we would like to explain. Most consumers, like us even, like to find products and search. Whether it’s just before buying a movie ticket or buying a hotel stay, we tend to look up what others have to say about it. If it’s a more complex product, we tend to search for the details even before we can make up our mind on it. Google calls it the “Zero Moment of Truth”. There’s no reason why you would want to miss the opportunity of getting a customer to your site and product, with an existing interest. Besides, content can be created for existing customers to bring in an element of service, engagement and utility. It keeps your online presence active! There’s never no reason to not invest in search engine optimization (SEO) while creating content. Know what the customers are searching for, be found for the search strings and stop being random! Content creation takes time and effort and is a long term investment. It’s not free, but can really build over time.
2. SEA/SEM: Search engine advertising / search engine marketing refers to the marketing mechanism whereby you ‘bid’ for a certain set of keywords, pay say a search engine for example Bing or Google. This means your adverts are seen on the top of a search result (or somewhere on page 1 of search). You could potentially choose which audience you target using your ads, bid even on competitor keywords and set up a campaign against negative keywords (keywords for which your brand will never appear, for instance you don’t want to be seen on say housing scam if you provide online housing rental options). Usually you can pay per click and can really push for a strong push in traffic to your site. However, be assured that this requires careful management. You need to consistently watch over your campaigns and not keep running those that are producing cheap leads with no conversions.
3. Affiliates/Partnerships: If you’re in this business, then by all means indulge. It’s a complex market and does not work for everyone. But is an oft used channel for e-commerce vendors. Through partners you can push your marketing efforts a notch higher by utilizing their brand channels and media- always good!
4. Social Media: Be present where the consumers are. A social expert once did tell me that it’s okay to say tell your audience that you’re more active on a certain network compared to others, but be there for your audience if you expect their presence. Don’t leave them hanging looking for you. And yet, be aware of the channels (or social platforms) that your audience or consumer is found on. Do not go on an ad payment spree collecting likes that mean nothing.
5. PR: Depending on your funding and finances. PR does give a big push to your content garnering millions of impressions and potential leads. But you need to know that the first step is the availability of compelling content showcasing your originality and fervor as a brand. Be ready before you start off shooting random PR campaigns. Have something worthy to say first to be able to fully utilize the potential.
6. Email Marketing: Necessary from day 1. Don’t let anyone else tell you anything otherwise. You need to keep your audience engaged and keep building your email list. These are people who will keep coming back. The money’s still on the Email.
So, where are you starting? 🙂
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