best marketing channels small business 2017

Just like every other year, business owners seek to increase the ROI of their dollars spent on marketing. To do that they have to make some well researched decisions, as the strategic selection of their marketing channels has a massive impact.

It impacts the organization’s profitability, brand and of course how much customers it can do business with. Customers are the driving life force of every business and one has to be smart in gathering them. There is a lot of noise out there on every channel, so you’ll have to select the ones where you customers will hear your voice and even look for it.

There are an incredible amount of options and all the hype around them doesn’t mean that they’re right for you. You’ll be spending precious time and energy on them, so you must choose one that is the most appropriate for your business and your audience. Here, we are going to give you a guide that helps you make the right decision. We’ll show you all the facts and some of the most reliable marketing channels!

The Most Important Marketing Channels

important marketing channels

First, we’re going to focus on the most important aspects and marketing channels that will consistently get new clients instead of online marketing channels. These can be called “categories” if you wish.

We’ll show you the list of the most efficient online marketing channels after that.

Your Website

It’s evident that any website referral you get will end up visiting your website. For this reason, it’s important to treat it as one of your first impressions and you have to be sure that it reflects your brand in the perfect light. Make sure that visitors know what you’re doing within the first 3 seconds they spend on your site. Use an authentic and stylish design and fill it up with engaging content that has a positive message. The most important thing is ensuring that you bio is in the best shape possible.

Once this is done, keep your website updated as frequently as possible.

Solid Networking

You’ll get 85% of your business from your network in just about any field. It is important to polish your connections and keep them strong. Quality over quantity is the golden rule of networking so stick to it. To ensure that you’re efficient, focus on your best contacts and work with them.

Through Leadership

A good way to gain exposure and stand out among your competitors is to create content through which you can share some of your expertise. This way, people will come to you for valuable information and will enjoy a positive influence, in case you have crafted a well-researched post. It will send a message that “you know what you’re doing” and you’re credible.

A great way to do this is by consistently writing for you company’s blog. If you’ve created a valuable blog post, you can easily repurpose that content and create other marketing materials out of it such as presentations, newsletters and so on.

Social Media

Today, most people make their purchase decisions based on what they find on social media. Make sure that you have a complete and a professionally looking profile picture. You can also greatly expand your company’s reach through different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.

If you’re going to work on social media marketing, make sure that you’re not making spammy posts and that you are committed to customer engagement.

Good Communication

Be sure that people in your network constantly hear from you. It’s a good strategy to have an active social media profile but the best way to do it is to engage with them and provide unique, personalized content through newsletters. The more personal and valuable your content is, the more people will read it. Also remember to keep it short and as full of information as possible, so they don’t feel like they’re wasting time reading it. Eventually, your mailing list will grow exponentially and your business will grow along with it!

The Most Efficient Marketing Channels

efficient marketing channels

Most of these marketing channels aren’t standalone so other ones will benefit if you use one of them. Filling these channels with good content will give you a lot of attention and you can also repurpose it for other marketing channels. This will build your SEO as well.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a process of gathering email addresses or social media profiles of potential customers and engaging with them through valuable content and information with the intention to keep thought authority and generate revenue.

If you create in-depth articles about a certain topic or fill it with great tips and tricks that perfectly match what your audience is looking for, your brand will gain more and more traction.

Email marketing makes the distribution of these articles much easier, as your visitors and potential customers will receive a notification. This marketing channel has proven really successful over the past.

Remember to keep your emails short and send them often enough to keep your users engaged not annoyed. Share information that is good for them, not information about how good your brand is.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are more than 40,000 search queries typed into Google every second and more than 3.5 billion searches every day. People are constantly searching for all kinds of things, typing their questions or specific keywords into Google, instantly clicking on what they find on top.

The goal of SEO is optimizing your website, so it will appear on top for the keywords a user has typed. The higher your website ranks, the more exposure it will get. There are numerous ways to improve your websites SEO and doing so should be of top priority.

You can also pay Google for your website to appear on top.

Blogging

Having a good content strategy has more and more impact ever year, as a form of communicating what you do and how you provide value. It is also important from a SEO standpoint, so your content should be full of keywords that indicate to the search engine what they are about. Adding pictures, infographics and even videos is a great plus.

Creating good, valuable content is one of the best ways to gain exposure on the Internet right now.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is more about awareness than anything else. Posting fresh and unique content with images or video a few times a week will get you more and more exposure if you keep being active. Also, commenting and liking other people’s posts will give you a lot of social credibility which will give you a lot of long term benefits. Just make sure that you keep your audience engaged and create content that they’ll want to share.

Always communicate with your audience and ask them what they like!

Display and Social Advertisement

There are more ad platforms than I could count. The most popular ones are Facebook, Reddit which let you dynamically target certain groups of individuals. For example, you can target people based on their favorite movie, music or genre. These kinds of advertisements work very well and are cost efficient.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a great product or service, you can find affiliates on the Internet who will market it for you if you pay them a commission after every sale they help you to make. This one has also been an excellent way of increasing a company’s revenue over the past few years.

Imagine having other people out there who are just as devoted to selling your products as you are!

Instagram and Pinterest

You can use these two by leveraging the power of images and short video clips. These can say a thousand words and really keep your audience engaged. Post images at least 3 times a week about what you’re doing, how things are going, any meeting you’ve attended to or anything that’s noteworthy. Post these pictures with some kind of caption and you’ll eventually gain some attention, just remember to keep them as unique as possible. You’ll gain a good following by spending some time with reading and replying to comments, favoriting and posting.

How to Choose Your Marketing Channels?

how choose marketing channel

Instead of trying a bit of everything, use this framework to find the channels which fit your business the most. This short check that shows you what you need to know in order to put together a solid marketing plan. The ultimate goal is to find channel that helps you build the best relationship with your potential customers.

Identify The Company’s Goals

First things first, the most important part of any kind of plan is setting goals. You have to know what your organization’s goals are in order to make the most of them.

  • Increasing the sales revenue is every company’s main goal but it’s not worth anything if you’re not working on:
  • Increasing your website’s raw traffic – Your business always needs more traffic/page views.
  • Generating more leads – Good marketing is a constant process of capturing and stimulating interest in a product or a service.
  • Improving lead quality – One of the main goals of generating leads is to find people who you can turn into customers.
  • Improving brand awareness – The current market and audience has to know more about your brand in order to want to engage with you and purchase your products.
  • Education – It’s important that you provide your audience with valuable information, let alone inform them what kind of problem your product is here to solve.
  • Automating more processes – With today’s social media and blogging tools, you can easily schedule all of your posts beforehand and ensure that you only work in small bursts.

Identify Your Audience

First off, your customer’s habits determine what kind of marketing strategy and which channel you should be using. In order to reach the right people, you’ll have to know them and how you can communicate with them. For example, if you’re targeting 40-70 year olds, you won’t use Instagram as a primary marketing channel. But you’ll find a lot of them on Facebook or Twitter or by growing your email list.

The best way to find the right people is by creating a buyer persona or personas first. Who would want to purchase your products and why? How old are they? What kind of jobs do they occupy? What are their goals? Create a persona for each groups of your audiences, give them a fictional personality with as much detail as you can. Refine them as you go down the road and as you gather more data on the user’s behavior. This way you’ll be able to create truly relevant content for them. The goal is to answer their questions with your content and solve their problems with product.

Identify What Talents Are Available To You

Depending on what marketing channel you choose, you’ll have to have some trustworthy personnel on board who can help you with achieving your goals.

  • Web Development– A developer or a development team has to be always ready to make the technical changes necessary to support your marketing goals.
  • Creativity – A creative team composed of artists/photographers/writers and people full of ideas that are ready to get to action and produce content that sells.
  • Social Resources – Online networkers who set out to engage your potential business partners and customers and ready to create you a strong network of connections.

Identify your Budget

I don’t have to explain why money is an important factor in your marketing endeavors. You can spend anywhere from $5000 to $1,000,000 on marketing.

Be Patient In Using Multi-Channel Marketing

You don’t have to dive right into everything all at once. Be smart and start marketing through a single channel. Focus on that, build your program and make it as good and as engaging as possible. Once you have things set up, move on to the next. If you have a channel that’s already up and running, you can use it as a platform to build another one. For example, if you have a good blog site, you can use it to gather emails for an email list, and then use that email list to promote your Facebook page. It’s a circle!

Automatize!

Write your social media posts and blog posts one month ahead of time. Use WordPress or your platform’s built in function to set schedules for your blog posts and find a tool that can do the same for your social media posts. We recommend using Hootsuite for that.

Once you have those schedules set up and you have enough content, schedule your email newsletters as well. You can Use MailChimp for that.

Conclusion

Having a multi-channel marketing plan is incredibly important in today’s world. Now, you have enough information to get started. It won’t get built by itself so start working on it!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading through this article and that we’ll see you again soon enough!
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