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How to choose the right marketing channel for your campaign

When planning a marketing campaign, there can sometimes be the temptation to view every platform as a viable channel to push your messaging out. This may once have been a valid strategy, but nowadays, being more intentional and selective with your channels will likely result in better campaign metrics. 

Rather than talk generally about how you might want to use each channel, we instead thought it might be helpful to approach this in the way you (should) approach your campaigns: by thinking about what the campaign objective is. 

Different objectives will have different strategies, and will talk to slightly different audiences. We’ll break down what we know to be the five most common marketing objectives, and talk about how you might use different channels to achieve them. 

It’s important to remember that every business is different, and your audience data may not be the same as another – even if you’re in similar fields. This is why we always encourage you to scrutinise your data, so you have a good understanding of who your customers are, where they are, and how they segment themselves across your different touch points. 

Objective: Brand Awareness

If your objective is to generate brand awareness, you’re typically aspiring to be seen by as many people as possible. Traditionally that would have involved broad-reach channels such as television and radio (and they still have a place, don’t get us wrong), but the advent of digital marketing has made it both cheaper and more effective to reach a mass audience. Brand awareness can target both your existing customers to remind them of your brand, and potential customers by highlighting your value proposition and articulating the specific problem your product or service solves. Paid search and social media advertisement allows you to get very specific with the people you target, making better use of your budget and allowing you to reach those who match your ideal customer profile. 

Top tip: Spending some time beforehand to research your target audience will allow you to make informed decisions as to which channels will be most appropriate for your campaign to utilise. 

Objective: Lead Generation

Lead generation is all about creating interest in your product or service, and then converting that into a sale. It differs from brand awareness as with lead generation you’re looking to build a more direct relationship with your target audience, and aim to collect personal contact information so you can then follow up with potential customers. It’s the next step from simply making people aware of your existence in the market. 

Gated content was once viewed as a great means of generating leads, [but thinking has evolved since then], and now much more emphasis is placed on content marketing, building trust in your domain expertise, and reciprocal giving – whereby you provide great content, and the reader is then inclined to give you their details to receive more. 

Your website can be an important channel for lead generation, so the first thing you need to do is make sure that the user experience is as good as it possibly can be. You will struggle to generate any new leads if you don’t have the means for people to input their contact details – or if the experience is so bad they don’t bother. Your website should also be the host of all the content you create, such as blogs, resources, white papers and ebooks. It’s great from an SEO perspective, but it again establishes you as domain experts. 

Speaking of SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is another great means of lead generation. Your content marketing strategy will supplement SEM due to your strong SEO presence, but it also gives you the content to promote through paid search. 

Once you’ve acquired email addresses from people, email marketing is a great way to nurture leads and send personalised content to people.

Objective: Sales and Conversion

When you’re looking to drive sales and conversions, your priority is getting those who have previously shown an interest in your product or service to complete a given goal – making a purchase, registering for an account etc. Email marketing certainly has its place in that funnel, for example sending personalised emails to people who left your website with items still in their basket.

Google Ads is also a powerful tool for sales and conversions, with a plethora of options and formats that will help you with your objectives. For instance, retargeting ads are an effective means of bringing people back to your site to finish a transaction. Similarly, targeted ads and intent-driven marketing allow you to get your company in front of potential customers, right when they need it most. You can even format your ad to include specific site links and actionable extensions like your address or phone number – making it even easier for potential customers to convert. The bidding and budgeting tools even allow you to accurately monitor your daily spend and PPC so you can calculate your cost per acquisition. 

Objective: Customer Retention

Having spent the time and energy to attract customers, let’s now focus on keeping them coming back. Here, it is all about keeping in touch with your customers, reminding them of why they loved your brand and product in the first place, and providing engaging content that turns them into repeat visitors. 

Once again, email marketing can play a vital role in your customer retention strategy. If they have consented to being contacted, you can use collected email addresses to send updates about new products or services you’re releasing, and let them know when you’re running a sale. Depending on the data you collect, you could even segment the audience by interest, and send them relevant content that you release on your blog. You could create automated, personalised emails for people’s birthdays or anniversaries with discount codes inside. 

Social media is also great for retention, allowing you to be more personal and personable, and showing a different side to your brand. Obviously this will vary depending on your product, market, and target audience, but this is an opportunity to be more fun, and generate a sense of community with your customer base. You could encourage people to share pictures of their products, or run competitions, or just provide behind-the-scenes content on daily life at your company.   

Objective: Market Expansion

Market expansion could refer to breaking into new geographical locations, or just trying to enter new sectors. 

Influencer marketing can be a great way to reach new audiences, as people trust recommendations from those they trust and admire. You might work with an influencer to receive a product review, a sponsored post, or a giveaway. Depending on who you’re targeting, you can aim very broad or very niche with your partnership. We’ve written about types of influencer marketing and how to effectively use it here.

You might also want to consider partnership marketing, where you work with a complementary business in another locale or market to gain access to their customer base. There are a number of ways you could explore that relationship, including joint promotions, shared events or co-branded products, or even just recommending each other on social media. There are some operational risks with partnership marketing, so, just as with influencer marketing, you want to do your due diligence to fully understand who it is you’re inviting to represent your brand. 

Choosing the right marketing channel is pivotal to the success of your campaign. It all boils down to understanding your marketing objectives, your target audience, and the strengths and limitations of each channel. By aligning these elements, you can select the most effective channel to achieve your marketing goals. Remember, the idea is not to be present everywhere, but to be present where it matters most. 

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