By Alex Birkett
How you decide to invest in marketing channels can make or break your business.
That sounds like an obvious statement, but not a lot of people think about it critically. Rather, marketers get trapped in the fervent anxiety of needing to be everywhere at once. This is both ineffective and stressful.
It doesn’t help that there’s a new blog post out every day about how you’re missing out on [X] and this company is killing it by doing [Y]. FOMO is real.
Okay, so it’s important to capitalize on effective channels that are conducive to growth at scale. How does one do that, though? Do you just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks, or is there a process?
An Overview of Common Digital Marketing Channels
First, let’s lay the landscape for the marketing channels most companies are using for growth, as well as which companies are capitalizing on these channels.
Not all of these will work for your business, but it helps to know what’s out there when determining a marketing strategy.
Note: if you’re pretty experienced in marketing, you can just skip the channels below (unless you want a refresher). It’s going to be an overview, and if you’re just interested in testing and exploring new channels, jump to the section below.
You’re undoubtedly familiar with paid acquisition, as it’s the digital equivalent of traditional advertising. You have traffic, and I pay for placement in front of your audience. This is generally split into two areas, though they’re often used together to some varying proportion:
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social and Display Ads
Search engine marketing is intent-based keyword bidding on search networks such as Google Adwords and Microsoft Bing. Marketers spend a ton of money on search ads, and as you can assume, Google owns a large part of the market. SEM is great because you can capture people as they’re searching for a solution, which is often some of the highest intent traffic you can find.
Then there’s the social and display side, often deemed as higher funnel than intent-based search ads. Though, increasingly, you can target with great granularity (especially on social) and set up custom audiences to create a holistic full-funnel paid strategy. In addition, display allows you to target niche audiences based on interests. For instance, you can advertise on specific subreddits, which are sometimes incredibly cohesive tribes:
If you can make the math work on paid advertising, it’s in infinitely scalable channel. This usually means you have a high lifetime value and it’s relatively cheap to acquire customers. If that’s the case, and it’s cheaper for you to acquire customers than what they’re worth to you, it’s a feedback loop you can continue to invest in.
Google gets over 40,000 search queries per second (on average), which translates to 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.
Do you think you could turn some of those queries into customers?
For specific businesses, particularly those in spaces where there is a Go to the full article.