In the recent years, the internet and social media have changed the way we do business. Gone are the days when marketing managers sit in marketing departments writing out cheques for expensive TV adverts. Thanks to platforms like Google and Facebook, getting the word out there is now relatively easy. As a business, your job is to identify the right audience for your product or service, and then engage with them using the tools available to you.
While the tactics and strategies of traditional marketing may still work in certain scenarios, the way we consume information now makes it imperative that marketers evolve with the times.
That’s why we’ve put together this beginners’ guide to online marketing channels, which will help you figure out what works best for your business, and how you can use the platforms available to you to reach your audience.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the ranking of content across search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yandex.
SEO is particularly important for businesses in travel, tourism, and retail, as people who are actively searching for a holiday or a bargain will eventually click on one of your results. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 77% of respondents chose a business they found through SEO, rather than one they knew about.
There are a number of steps you can take to boost your SEO, including getting expertly written content that will retain your target audience, and using on-brand keywords in your copy. You can also use SEO to find potential customers for your product or service, and engage with them to grow your business.
2. Social Media
Whether you’ve heard of it or not, social media has existed long enough for you to know what it is. Chances are, you use one or more of the platforms regularly, whether you’re sharing hilarious memes or quotes, documenting your travel adventures, or engaging with your followers in a one-to-one conversation.
When it comes to marketing, most businesses will at least give social media a go, particularly when used in combination with SEO. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 76% of respondents said they would use SEO and social media together to find new customers, compared to just 20% who would only use one platform or the other.
There are a number of steps you can take to boost your social media performance, including creating shareable content, engaging with your audience, and measuring the results of your efforts. Keep in mind that marketing on social media is incredibly diverse, and you may need to try a number of different platforms to find your audience. Once you’ve found them, engaging with them regularly can help you maintain their interest, and bring more customers your way.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to individuals based on their previous purchase behavior, social media activity, and other factors.
This form of marketing can be highly effective, as long as you target your emails appropriately and use best practice marketing tactics. When executed correctly, email marketing can increase brand awareness, generate sales leads, and develop customer loyalty. It’s a form of marketing that has remained relatively unchanged in years gone by, but the platforms have made it much easier for businesses to get started with.
The good thing about email marketing is that you can do a lot with it. You can segment your audience based on the content of your emails and the platforms you use to send them. You can personalize your messages with stars, pictures, and even videos of your favorite sports team.
You can also use best-practice strategies to grow your email list, and eventually, turn that list into paying customers. HubSpot Blogs research found that 38% of respondents used email marketing to generate at least 25% of their revenue, compared to 27% who used other forms of marketing.
4. Mobile Marketing
It’s no secret that more and more people are starting to rely on their phones instead of laptops or tablets to access the internet. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 28% of respondents get all of their news from their phones, compared to just 13% who get all of their news from laptops or tablets.
As a result of this mobile-first trend, your marketing strategy may need to change in order to ensure that you can be reached by your audience wherever they are.
That’s why mobile marketing (also known as app marketing) is becoming such an important part of any business’ marketing mix. If you’re not aware of what mobile marketing is, think of it as virtual billboards that can be accessed from anywhere. When a customer sees one of your ads pop up on their device while they’re browsing the web, or using a travel app, they may be more inclined to make a purchase.
The great thing about mobile marketing is that you can use a variety of platforms to connect with customers. You can create games and challenges for people to engage with you, or offer special deals and discounts for those who click on your banner. The possibilities are endless!
5. Digital Marketing
If you’re wondering what comes after mobile marketing, consider digital marketing. Think of it as the combination of mobile marketing and SEO, but on a larger scale.
The difference is that digital marketing is when you use online platforms to attract, engage, and convert potential customers into paying customers. You can take advantage of the fact that more and more people are relying on the internet to find information and make purchase decisions through paid advertising on social media platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Using these platforms, you can reach a global audience and increase brand recognition in the process.
The great thing about digital marketing is that it has evolved to be a more data-driven and measurable process. This means you can use the results of your efforts to continuously optimize your strategy and gain increased traction.
6. Analytical Marketing
If you’re looking for a more detailed look at specific industries, you can use analytical marketing. This is the process of using data and analysis to determine marketing activity, both online and off, that will generate the most profit for your business.
This approach allows you to target your efforts and gain a clearer picture of what is and isn’t working. For example, you may want to examine the effectiveness of different types of advertisements on different platforms, or determine which types of content offer the greatest return on investment (ROI).
The great thing about analytical marketing is that it can be used to track the performance of all of your marketing channels and platforms, so you can see the results of your efforts in real-time. This way you can make changes and enhancements to your strategy if needed, and identify which parts are working and which aren’t.
If you’d like to learn more about any of the platforms listed above, check out our website’s FAQs or consider reading one of our blog articles. We hope this article has helped you discover six types of online marketing channels, and informed you of what works and doesn’t work for your business. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!