“Handling various digital marketing channels has been quite demanding and confusing. On some days, I’m unsure if my business really needs all of these to make sales, I hope I don’t run out of air soon. During my study, I saw that marketing channels are grouped into different categories but couldn’t make sense of the entire article.” These were the words of Jamal as he kept complaining about not being able to run his business and handle the marketing aspect altogether. If you are faced with a similar concern like Jamal, here’s my two cents’ worth.
Digital platforms are great tools to market any type of product or service to prospects who need them, as well as to convince those who are indecisive. However, if you run a medium/large scale business, or you generally aren’t capable of running these platforms all by yourself, it is safer to hire an agency. Alternatively, you could get an in-house digital marketer with basic skills in social media management, analytics, content creation, and graphics design who will be responsible for handling your digital ads and online activities. It’s pretty difficult to find one person who can produce interesting results using a minimal budget and still possess the previously mentioned skills, so just get yourself an agency to prevent sad tales in the aftermath. Now let’s help Jamal make sense of the 3 marketing channels so that he or marketing team can begin to use them properly.
The 3 Marketing Channels
This is your brand’s assets. They are any online property owned and controlled by a brand; although they might cost you money to acquire, once in your possession, they have the potential to drive awareness, nurture prospects, increase sales, and help you retain customers. The owned media includes platforms like your website, mobile application, blog, social media pages, YouTube Channel, and more. They are usually free to use but require a lot of time and creativity to put out top-notch content your audience will be interested in engaging with.
While using digital platforms, there are certain times you will need to pay a sum of money to help you increase your reach, generate leads or achieve any your advertising goal. Any medium that requires you to sponsor your advertising effort can be referred to as a paid marketing channel. Some examples include, social media sponsored posts, banner ads, display ads, YouTube ads, or any other form of Pay-Per-Click advertising. It could also involve you paying a brand influencer to endorse your brand or mention you on their platform. In traditional advertising, paid media marketing channels include billboards, radio and television advertising, experiential marketing, and more. When trying to introduce a new product to the market or increase brand awareness, this marketing channel shouldn’t be left out of your strategy.
In this case, you neither own the platforms nor pay anyone to promote your brand; instead, you earn the trust and loyalty of your customers. People who have had an experience with your brand use this platform to either approve of you or kick you out of the market when they put out negative feedback. Earned media includes testimonials, social media mentions, reviews, comments, referrals, pictures of them using your product, and generally any activity that gets people talking about your business. Remember, a negative comment is also feedback and must be attended to carefully by apologizing for what you may have done wrong and applying healthy public relations tactics to settle disputes and avoid denting your brand’s image. This channel could be used to evaluate customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Which Should You Use?
What’s your favourite social media advert? Let’s assume it’s Coca-Cola, you might have noticed that as globally recognized as the brand is, they still spend a lot of money on promotions and they make use of almost all available marketing channels including social media, influencers, reviews, experiential marketing, and more. If you own a small business and do not have a huge budget, it is only a brilliant idea to make proper use of your owned media and allocate some money to Pay-Per-Click ads on Search Engines and some of the most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Never forget to remain in the good books of your customers to reap the best rewards from shared media where clients can speak for you where you do not have the voice to defend yourself. This could also be a means of referral marketing because one good word said about your brand can attract more customers than you can imagine. Summarily, the more platforms you use, the wider your reach, brand awareness, and sales, so never get tired of marketing.