8 Types OF Digital Channels In Digital Marketing
In my previous article, I have talked about all that you need to know about 360 Marketing campaign in Digital Marketing. In this article, I will be looking at different types of Digital Channels that we have in Digital Marketing. Follow me as we are going to look at that together in this article.
When thinking through your digital marketing strategy, beyond the message and the creative, you need to know where they will live. Research can help you make an informed decision about what channels should be prioritized, especially working within the limit of a budget, marketers need to choose the channels that will cost-effectively help reach the set objectives.
The most common digital channels are the following and will be developed more in-depth in the coming slides:
- Email & Marketing Automation
- Website Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Organic Search
- Display Advertising
- Content marketing
When considering channels or touchpoints (as they can be called), there are three inputs that should come to mind:
Data-driven decisions can be valuable for performance marketing involving precise performance goals such as conversion, lead generation or click-through rate (CTR). The more robust and stable the data that is based on a large panel, past campaigns and independent research, the more credible the channel will be.
#2 Consumer Insights: Consumer-driven decision focuses on the actual consumer adoption of specific channels, receptivity and general media usage to meet the audience where they actually are and what channels resonate most with them. A channel might not perform in terms of ROI but can be heavily adopted by the audience, ensuring visibility as opposed to conversion.
#3 Communication Needs: This decision model is based on what each channel’s role in the buyer’s journey is. Deciding for channels also means selecting the correct channels that are likely to reach the target audience at a specific stage of the funnel and move them to the next. Each media can have an impact on the buyer’s journey and these should be taken into consideration when developing the marketing strategy.
Depending on the need of the campaign, one of these considerations should inform the choice of the channel by providing the most relevant impact on the campaign.
Let’s focus on some of the channels and answer the previous considerations we stated earlier when selecting specific channels. Here is a sample of data and information. The key here is for you to understand how each channel can help achieve your business objectives:
- Channel: Email & Marketing Automation
Data: A June 2016 survey of US marketers conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% — more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail and paid search.
Consumer Insights: Over half (52.7%) of those surveyed in the U.S. check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their favourite way to receive communication from brands.
Communication Needs: Marketing emails and automation solves for conversion and loyalty. This channel helps to reach out to the customer at the right time, directly and leading them to a conversion destination, such as a landing page. The main communication need and the buyer’s journey stage that is targeted is raising interest and convert and retain the customer by providing additional value to the brand and product.
- Channel: Website Optimization
Data: For US digital retailers that had a mobile-optimized website, commerce accounted for 31% of e-commerce transactions during Q2 2015. In comparison, mobile drove just 22% of e-commerce transactions for retailers that hadn’t optimized—far below the 30% average overall.
Consumer Insights: 70% of the consumer using a mobile device to search are within a few hours of making a purchase, whereas 70% of those using a desktop is roughly a week away – according to a research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board.
Communication Needs: Optimizing your website can solve for different parts of the buyer’s journey. As your primary brand and product display, your website is key in taking the consumer in the Interest stage, but also the conversion stage if you develop an e-commerce website or drive conversion directly form your website pages. Optimizing speed, navigation, responsiveness, content, conversion processes will allow to solve for brand consideration and conversion
- Channel: Social Media Marketing
Data: As reported by eMarketer, Facebook native videos have an average engagement rate of 6.3%, compared to 3.2% for YouTube videos and 0.2% for Instagram videos.
Consumer Insights: 45% of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behaviour according to a 2015 poll from PWC.
Communication Needs: Social media platforms are primary channels for creating awareness and interest through content and social engagement. Advertising can be targeted and re-targeted to appeal to conversion objective. They are also important channels in the retention stage of the buyer’s journey as the primary platform for the customer to get information and update from the company.
What other insights and data can you find that would influence the selection of any of these channels?
- Channel: Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Data: The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is 2.7% on the search network and 0.89% on the display network. (WordStream)
Consumer Insights: 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. (WordStream)
Communication Needs: This channel will help with getting insight on an interested audience. As the audience is actively searching for a keyword related to their issue, using paid search helps to bring you top of the list and be actively considered, thus solving for the awareness and interest stage of the buyers ‘journey that can lead to conversion.
- Channel: SEO
Data: 57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.
Consumer insights: 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.
Communication Needs: Optimizing for organic search is a key tactic in digital marketing as it leads to discovery, awareness, interest and conversion without paid effort. SEO makes your content visible to the audience and easily searchable, increasing legitimacy and trust as the user can see that you naturally come up in their search versus paying for the top ranking of the result page.
- Channel: Display Advertising
Data: Video ads have an average CTR of 1.84%, the highest of all digital ad formats. (Business Insider)
Consumer Insights: 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. (HubSpot)
Communication Needs: Thanks to the targeting capabilities of online display advertising, marketers can move consumers through the buyer’s journey with precision using sets of data available on users. This allows targeting precise interest, age, gender, community, keywords and more. Thus the content shown to the audience is highly relevant which drives higher conversions, clicks, and traffic.
- Channel: Content Marketing
Data: Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot)
Consumer Insights: According to Hubspot survey data, 79% of participants claimed that they search for relevant content in the search engine.
Communication Needs: Content marketing is key to the inbound strategy, which in turn, is central to a digital marketing strategy. Well developed and targeted content increases brand personality and likability. Through content, consumers discover your brand values, experience, world, and can identify with the brand but also learn more about the product and how it solves their problems. Content strategy impacts all stages of the buyers’ journey as it is central to all point of contact and is the final destination for a lot of marketing tactics. Content is also key in virility and creating word of mouth as users will share content that is impactful, humoristic and surprises them.
None of the previous channels would be relevant in a digital marketing strategy without a strong message delivered to the audience in a consistent, unique, and resonating manner. Building a brand voice and message for any of the buyers’ journey stage requires research on your own product/brand and how it solves for the customer. The customer has a problem he or she is trying to solve, so how is your product relevant to their need and how is it different from your competitors? This is a question you can start with to develop what is called a value proposition.
By definition, a value proposition is as innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers, giving them a selling point that sets them apart from others within their market/industry.
After audience research, finding your value proposition is the second most important part of planning as it will drive your entire message, creative, and promise made to the customer. Forbes defines 4 steps to building a compelling value proposition:
#1 Define the problem: By stating the problem you ensure that it actually exists, what its origin is and how it can be avoided. You can also discover how important it is for the consumer to solve it. Defining a precise problem will ensure that the value proposition will be relevant.
#2 Evaluate your uniqueness: Now that you have defined the issue, consider how your product solves it, and why it solves it in a unique manner. What is the innovation that you bring to the market that makes your product stand out as being faster, cheaper or just better quality.
#3 Measure potential adoption: Once you have identified the problem and how uniquely your brand can solve it for the customer, you need to assess the potential market size that will be interested by your solution.
#4 Build the value proposition: Lastly, you want to write down the value proposition in a way that will answer the following questions: for who is your product? What is the current alternative? What is your product? What does it solve for? Why does it solve better?
A value proposition should read fluidly and be precise providing as much context as possible and proving the actual value of your product. It is the core of your competitive advantage. Here are some examples of value propositions for successful products:
- Apple MacBook: Light. Years ahead.
- Vimeo: Make life worth watching.
- Pinterest: A few (million) of your favourite things.
- Salesforce: Accenture moves faster with Salesforce Lightning.
- HubSpot: Stop interrupting. Start connecting.
- Skype: Skype keeps the world talking, for free. Share, message and call – now with group video on mobile and tablet too.
- Spotify: Soundtrack to your life.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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