There are a handful of marketing channels available to businesses today, but that doesn’t mean they are all right for you. A marketing channel that is not properly evaluated on how it can help your business achieve its objectives will lead to wasting time and money.
In this article, you will learn how to choose the right marketing channels and which ones are most effective for small businesses.
What is a marketing channel?
A marketing channel is where products and services are promoted. The success of your marketing strategy depends on which platforms you use to execute it. Choosing an effective marketing platform will increase awareness of your brand, generate leads and drive business growth. Are you unsure of where to focus your marketing efforts? Keep reading.
7 marketing channels to consider for your small business
We’ve created a list of 7 marketing channels that get the most result for small businesses. Our selections are based on current trends, proven results and recent marketing statistics.
- Social Media
- Search engine optimization
- Online advertising
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Traditional advertising
1. Social Media
There are over 4.66 billion internet users in the world today and 4.14 billion social media users worldwide. Thanks to social media, we now have a more connected marketplace available to entrepreneurs. Are you confused about which social media platform to focus on?
Choose a social media platform based on where your target audience is located. For instance, while B2C companies have experienced success on TikTok, B2B businesses are not doing so well. This might be because TikTok’s audience is largely GEN Z.
In a survey by Databox, 62.4% of people said they are more likely to interact with a brand on Instagram rather than on other social media channels. But with 85% of respondents following at least six brands, there is a high level of competition. If you are a small business owner or a startup with a limited budget, it will pay off to focus on the channels where your clients are not only present but also open to interacting with your brand.
A website adds credibility to a brand. For service or product-based businesses, a website serves as an online office for potential clients who want to learn more about your business before they buy from you.
An entrepreneur with a service-based business needs an informational website where they add their testimonials, show people what their business is about, services they offer and build trust with their customers. Besides helping you to sell faster, a professional website also builds the perception people have of your business.
For a product-based business, you need an e-commerce website. An eCommerce website that serves as an online store is non-negotiable in today’s digital world. However, due to the features needed to create an effective and sales-driven eCommerce website, it can be quite expensive. A good eCommerce website can cost you over ₦200,000 to build and will require more funds to maintain the site.
You can get a free online store with a simple checkout process, automated inventory management, and an integrated payment system on Prospa. To get a free online store, download Prospa on Android or iOS and sign up for free.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you are looking to increase your online visibility, consider search engine optimization in your marketing strategy. Search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on making your website easy to find on search engines like Google.
When done right, you can position your website to be found by potential customers whenever they search for a product or service you offer on a search engine. It’s a cost-effective marketing channel and a valuable investment to make for small businesses. With SEO, you can increase brand awareness, make your website fast, and generate leads.
4. Online Advertising
There are paid and unpaid online advertising entrepreneurs can take advantage of to grow their business. Free online business listings like Google My Business or local business directories are some that you can use to get new customers and increase sales. Growth from these unpaid advertising channels are organic so it takes some time, experimentation and effort to kick off.
On the other hand, paid advertising gets more immediate results. According to Moz, traffic brought through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic advertising. It targets buyers at different stages of decision making about a product or service. Paid advertising reaches a more diverse audience than organic marketing. With the algorithm, you can configure your ads to reach people that match your exact buyer persona. It targets buyers at different stages of decision making so it converts faster.
5. Video marketing
96% of consumers increased their online video consumption in 2020, and 90% said they wanted to see more videos from businesses and brands. Across social media today, videos have a wider reach than photos. TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat all encourage users to share more videos on their platforms. Because it’s visual driven, viewers can understand your message easily and move to action faster.
You can use video marketing to increase sales, build brand awareness, and establish a sense of trust with their existing clients, as well as to reach out to potential new clients.
6. Email marketing
As more buyers place value on relationship-driven brands, email marketing is a medium to connect with your customers.
Email marketing helps to personalize the experience of doing business with a brand/company. Unlike ads that are often considered intrusive, a customer gives you permission to send them emails.
Since it’s consent-driven, buyers are more likely to open your emails and pay attention to what you are selling. For data-driven companies, it’s another medium to get reliable information on what your customers respond to and how best to serve them.
7. Traditional advertising
Due to the increased popularity of digital marketing, it’s easy to overlook traditional advertising. While it may not be applicable to all businesses, traditional forms of advertising like Radio jingles, billboards and flyers still get results for businesses.
3 questions to ask before you choose a marketing channel
Now that you know the most effective marketing channels for your small business, how do you decide which ones to focus on? Here are 3 questions to help you decide:
Who is my target audience?
The best marketing channel for your business is where you are most likely to find your target audience. A clear understanding of your audience lets you direct your marketing efforts and budget towards the groups most likely to buy your products and services
Where can I find them?
After you identify your target audience, the next step is to research where you can find them and where they look for you. For example, If your target audience is interested in fashion and lifestyle, a platform like Instagram will be a great place to focus marketing efforts. If your services cater to professionals, consider LinkedIn. Go where your customers are and position your brand.
What are my business goals?
Your marketing strategy and marketing platforms should align with your business goals. Consider where you are most likely to get your audience to take action. For example, while your social media platforms can increase brand awareness, an eCommerce store is where they go to buy. So your social media pages should drive customers to the website. You will get the most results from platforms that can work together to help you achieve your business goals.