Digital marketing has turned how we do advertising on its head. We now can figure out where people are in their journey towards purchasing our product. Then place a well-timed advertisement directly in their path. We do this through channels. Most people are already staring at a device which will transport your message right to their eyes. So what are digital marketing channels, and how do we use them to get your message in front of people?
If you have reached this blog or viewed our site, you are most likely interested in using digital marketing to your advantage. And it is also likely you used a channel to get here. Your reason may be to grow your personal brand, sell more products, supplement your other advertising efforts, or try to find leads. The main goal is to find growth opportunities for your business. Helping you to grow through utilizing well-performing tools is why we are here.
With the preamble out of the way, let’s answer the question, “What are digital marketing channels?” (odds are you have seen these in your own life).
Let us get the obvious one out of the way first. If you are here reading this, you have already engaged with content marketing. This blog is content marketing. delivers relevant, engaging, and actionable content to help your customer know how you will solve their problem. Your product, service, or brand is all about solving the problem of a customer. If the customer doesn’t have a problem, they don’t need anything solved. Your content is the initiation of the relationship to build trust and allow you to enter into a problem you can solve. You need to be the guide.
You need to set your business up as the Obi-Wan Kenobi to their Luke Skywalker. The Gandalf to their Frodo. The Mr. Rogers to everyone under the age of fifty. You are the one who will help them along the way to solving their problem. . An important role which must be taken seriously.
How do people find the content you worked hard to create? They find it with search engines. Google, Bing, AskJeeves, Yahoo, and a whole host of others trying to get a piece of the search engine pie. But how do you make sure your website, which has all your great content on it, gets found in the car-crash pile-up Google provides you after a search? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the answer.
SEO at its core is in its name. The goal of SEO is to create a website which is user-friendly, organized efficiently, and tagged clearly. An SEO expert is trained to optimize a site to help it rank better, with the goal to reach the top of the first search results page (SERPs).
There are a few things you can do to help your website perform better:
- Make sure your website URLs make sense. Don’t have random numbers or symbols. Put hyphens between words (this symbol -).
- Have internal links. These connect pages to other parts of your website. Keep them organized!
- Make sure your content is formatted well. Titles, Headings, and other formatting is vital in how your content is displayed.
(P.S. If you want some dry reading on some beginner SEO topics, check out Google’s SEO Starter Guide . Bring some water.)
PPC or Pay-Per-Click is a where you create advertising to run on various websites. The great thing is you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. If you go to Google and do a quick search for just about anything, the first results are paid ads. You can tell it is an ad because it has the tiny black “ad” next to the title. The biggest include Google, Yelp, and Microsoft Ads. Another form of paid advertising is social media platforms (which we are covering next).
PPC (besides sounding weird in a sentence) is all about getting your company in front of people who search for the products or services you offer. Creating ads with specific keywords helps your ad show only when a person searches for the keyword you are tracking (called bids). When someone searches with a keyword you are bidding on, Google holds a behind-the-scenes auction. Considering a whole host of different factors: relevancy, quality of your site, amount of money you are willing to pay, etc. Google uses your money to bid against everyone else who is also targeting the keyword. If you win, your ad shows; if you don’t win…you won’t really know.
The beauty of PPC is you only pay for a bid when someone clicks on your ad (which leads to your website). There are a lot of different ways to optimize PPC (same as SEO). One of the ways you can perform better now (if you are using it already) is to . Making it all connect together will have everything performing better.
Google, Yelp, and Microsoft make it easy to start paid advertising campaigns on their platforms. This helps you right away. But you also must be wise with these platforms. They ultimately want your money; if you aren’t careful, it will auto-recommend your budget away without you ever seeing any real ROI. This can come in the form of:
- making you pay for keywords you don’t need
- driving irrelevant traffic to your website
- upping your bid budget
Keeping a well-trained eye on your PPC campaigns will help keep you from disaster (search “” to see what I mean).
is one of the newer ideas for advertising on this list. In general, you use different social media networks to build brand awareness and promote your products or services. There are numerous options here for you to use when it comes to marketing your brand. However, you will most likely want to use Facebook first and branch out from there.
Without doing a deep dive, here are some best practices for using social media for your digital marketing:
- Know your audience. Do a little research and figure out what social media platforms your customers are using.
- Take it slow and come up with a long-term strategy. Don’t oversaturate yourself on any of the platforms; we humans sense desperation. Create a long-term schedule to follow.
- Monitor consistently. This doesn’t mean stare at your phone all day, but you should have a pretty good idea of how your advertising is doing.
- Pay attention. Stay engaged with your audience. Try to interact and be authentic.
Video marketing is one of the most important channels you can use to market your brand. There are out there about how important it is. Some random ones are:
- 34% higher conversion rates
- 90% of people find new brands on Youtube
- 82% of people would rather watch a video than read a social media post.
Those alone should capture your interest, but there are a lot more.
Like with social media (and they are linked pretty much everywhere), video advertising is a larger animal than we have time to thoroughly understand in this article (especially creating them!). But here are some ideas to get you started:
- Keep them interesting. Not every ad you make has to be short, but you need to put the hook early, or people won’t watch it (the best length for ads is 6-10 seconds)
- Again, know your audience. Figure out where your customers are. Then create your ads (think about the difference between an Instagram video and a Youtube video).
- Know the tone of your video (funny, serious, informative, etc.).
- Don’t skimp on quality. If you make a crummy video no one would want to watch anyway, it won’t make an impact as a marketing attempt.
- Have a call to action. If someone viewed your ad, make sure you tell them what to do with the information you just gave them.
Email marketing is probably one of the most effective, yet most obnoxious, ways to advertise. Because of its really high ROI (some think as high as 42:1), people might be invested in beginning an email marketing campaign. At those numbers, it makes sense you would want to give it a shot. The biggest problem with an email marketing campaign is making sure you give value to the customer.
In today’s age, someone giving you their (legit) email address is akin to giving you their physical location. If you want your email marketing to have a high return, you have to be willing to create valuable content for the people receiving it. Not doing so could hurt your brand in the long run.
This is not an exhaustive list of digital marketing channels. I hope this only whets your appetite for all the different options (opportunities!) at your disposal. Every single one of these avenues has the potential to increase your brand awareness and increase whatever metric is valuable to you. So continue to explore research and grow!
If you need a bit more oomph in your marketing, and explore some options together for growing your business!
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