What is the most effective digital marketing channel for your business? There are many factors that might determine your answer. The fact is, a marketing channel that works well for one business, might be absolute garbage for the others.
So, in this guide, we will discuss seven of the best digital marketing channels out there, as well as their key benefits. This way, you can properly assess the one(s) you will need for your business. Let us begin.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Virtually every single year or so, there’s always the news announcing “the death of SEO” or similar terms. Yet, is that the truth? The thing is, as long as people are still using search engines to find information and answers, SEO will always be relevant. There are over 3 billion searches being made on Google every single day. So, if you are not doing your SEO homework, you are simply missing out.
Also, SEO is relatively affordable with high return on spending over other channels. Considering the fact that paid advertising costs will continue to rise, SEO will be even more important than ever.
2. Email Marketing
Even with the newer, more advanced marketing channels, email marketing is still very effective to reach and engage customers. Email marketing can have an ROI of 4,400%, far higher than any other marketing channels.
The number one reason why email marketing is very effective is the fact that customers still prefer email, especially to interact with brands: it is convenient, it’s fast, and it is highly personalized.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing and SEO work hand-in-hand to create what we call “inbound marketing”, and we all have heard the “content is king” buzzword in recent years. Yet, actually content marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, with even the first websites back in the 80s are built around content.
The main reason why content marketing is so effective is its flexibility: you can achieve so many marketing objectives with content marketing. As mentioned, content is a core part of SEO. Content marketing can also educate your audience to encourage conversions, while also being one of the most effective ways to build brand credibility and awareness.
4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
As the name suggests, PPC advertising is a form of online ads where we only need to pay when our audience clicked the ads. Google AdWords is one of the oldest and also the most popular PPC advertising platforms out there, and so it will be your main consideration for this marketing channel.
PPC advertising works like an auction: we bid the perceived value of a single click according to the keyword. The more competitive the keyword is, the more expensive it will be. PPC campaigns are generally very effective in generating short-term results. The catch? It can be very expensive if you are not careful.
So, while effectiveness is not an issue with this channel, the main concern is how you can maintain cost-efficiency and thus, increasing ROI.
5. Social Media Marketing
If PPC campaign is all about short-term gain, and SEO+content marketing is more about long-term results, social media marketing is quite unique with the fact that it can give you the best of both worlds. There are ways to gain short-term traffic increase with social media, and there are certainly ways to build long-term relationships.
Keep in mind, however, that growing organic reach through social media is now getting more difficult than ever. So, you might need to invest on paid social options to get ahead. If you want to utilize this channel, generally Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are your best bet.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is sometimes called referral marketing, and in essence, it is encouraging your existing audience to sell your product/service as an affiliate marketer, in exchange of incentives. Affiliate marketing is both a popular and effective way to grow your revenue, and in 2016, U.S. retailers have spent $4.7 billion on affiliate marketing, a number that is expected to grow to more than $6 billion by 2020.
The main thing to consider about affiliate marketing is your incentive(s): giving too low of an incentive and you might not get too many affiliate marketers. Yet, offering too much, and you might risk the quality of your referrals. Check out this guide by Mobidea Academy to help you further.
7. Display Advertising
Admittedly, the reputation for display advertising hasn’t been so great in the past half decade or so: various ad-blocker technologies are now more popular than ever (with some browsers even offering them by default). Also, there are newer, more advanced advertising forms that might be more interesting for marketers.
Yet, while it’s true that display marketing is no longer a really effective marketing channel on its own, it is still very powerful when paired with newer technologies like remarketing (retargeting) and programmatic ads.
Retargeting (or remarketing), essentially is showing display ads to those who have visited your site, or have triggered certain actions. The main idea behind remarketing is that by showing the ads to those who have shown interest to your brand, it will be more effective. Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer remarketing options, and this guide by Neil Patel can help you further.
On the other hand, programmatic advertising is about automatically purchasing display advertising space using programs or software. The programs will analyze data to decide which ads to buy and how much to bid. So, essentially programmatic advertising is about saving time, resources, and money. Check out this guide from Think With Google to further learn about programmatic advertising.
A proper digital marketing strategy is about using, and optimizing all the different channels to achieve goals and generate results. So, we should keep in mind that each digital marketing channel will have its own benefits and weaknesses. A specific marketing channel that is good at one thing might not be as good as others for other purposes. So, analyze your options, and figure out the right combination of marketing channels for your business.