Updated: Apr 8, 2019
It's not uncommon for me to be asked questions like, "should I use x or y digital marketing channel for my business?", or, "how can I know which digital marketing channels are right for my business?". If you've found yourself asking similar questions and aren't really sure where you should put your focus ... you're in luck! Below are 5 Steps that can help you make an informed decision about which #digitalmarketing channels your business should use for growth.
Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time. - Arnold H. Glasow
But before we get to the steps, let's take a quick look at the most popular digital marketing channels:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Social Media Marketing
Digital Public Relations
While it's not the purpose of this article to go into detail about the pros and cons of each channel or when to use each (coming later in another post!), there are clear benefits of using one channel over the other, or using them in tandem, depending on the nature of your business and what you're trying to achieve... which leads us to the steps!
Step 1: What are your objectives? Write them down.Depending on whether your business is new or established, your objective could be to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or generate sales.
Let's say your business is fairly well established, there's demand online for the physical products you sell, and you want to attract and convert customers (ie generate sales). To achieve your goals you could use the following digital marketing channels in tandem:
e-commerce website, social media marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing and email marketing.
The channels you ultimately use will factor in your objectives, your industry, whether you're business to business (B2B) or business to customer (B2C), what products/services you sell/offer and...
Step 2: Who's your audience? Get to know them.
A deep understanding of your target audience is essential to choosing the right channels. Things like their online shopping habits, where they spend their time online, what influences their purchasing decisions etc.
Step 3: What channels are competitors using? Check them out.
If you're still not sure, take a look at what channels your immediate competitors and leaders in your industry are using. While you don't necessarily have to use the same channels in the same way, it will give you a starting point to narrow down your choices and conduct your research.
Step 4: What's your budget? Set a realistic one.
Each channel will require an investment of time and money. Not only that, but the ability to consistently invest in using the channel over time to really get traction. This includes paying for talent (whether you hire staff or outsource), paying for content creation (images, copy, videos etc), paying for advertising etc. When you look at each channel that applies to your particular set of objectives, which one(s) can you consistently invest in right now?
Step 5: Who's going to execute? Identify your available talent.
Each channel requires a certain level of expertise to see a return on investment. Do you have the talent in-house or will you have to hire/outsource talent?
There's more to consider...
Of course determining which channels are best for achieving your current business objectives, is just the beginning! To produce growth and reach your objectives you must have a well thought out strategy for each channel you intend to use. That's why it's important to hire the right talent to get the job done.
Your turn! Comment below and tell us what digital marketing channels you aren't yet using but would love to explore for your business!