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9 Essential Digital Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels featured image
There are a wide variety of digital marketing channels to be aware of as a small business owner. Image credit: Damian Zaleski

If you run any kind of business, you’ll need to understand the different digital marketing channels. Whether you’re focusing on social media, content marketing or display advertisement, technology has rewritten the way people buy, sell, and review products.

It’s important to keep a wide “scope” when considering digital marketing techniques. If you focus on one avenue—and one avenue only—you won’t hit a big audience. That said, it’s wise to diversify your talent across every channel to link solutions together.

The internet has completely changed the business landscape. These days, it’s easy for small businesses to go toe to toe with major international brands. All you need is a little know-how.

It’s also crucial to choose appropriate digital marketing channels for your specific goals and business model.

Today, we’re going to discuss the different digital marketing channels you have at your disposal. First though, let’s start with the basics.

What are Digital Marketing Channels?

A digital marketing channel is any online tool or platform which you use to reach new customers. Essentially, this is anywhere that people spend their time online. The trick is to understand what users respond to on each of these channels.

On top of that, different digital marketing channels are appropriate for different business models and contexts.

For example, if you’re a business to business brand, which deals with a small number of high value clients, you’ll need to put in a lot more legwork than a consumer brand which is based around shifting a large volume of low value goods.

This means using different marketing channels.

With that in mind, here are our nine essential digital marketing channels, which every business should be familiar with.

Digital marketing campaigns channels pie chart
There are a number of different types of digital marketing campaigns. Image credit: MarketingGuru

1. Display Advertising

Display advertising is probably one of the “purest” channels of digital marketing you’ll encounter. Publishers have spent years tailoring experiences to the buyer, and they’ve come up with quite a few brand solutions.

A display can be a webpage advertisement, a YouTube video banner or a number of other visual platforms. To create a successful display advertising initiative, you’ll need to learn how to engage viewers.

Essentially, this means creating ads on different platforms, and paying for these to be placed in front of users.

Today, smartphones offer the best display of advertisement support. Why? Because they’re portable. Today, the majority of consumers use their smartphones to browse, review, buy and trade products.

Mobile banner advertisements, app advertisements and even SMS multimedia are being used in the new world of display advertising. If you want to engage users, hook up a mobile strategy. Just make sure you’ve outfitted your brand’s website for a small-screen display.

The goal is for your ad spend to be as small a proportion of your profit margin as possible.

2. Email Marketing

Next up is email marketing. No, it isn’t outdated, despite what anyone says. In fact, email is one of the digital marketing channels with the best return on investment, across most industries.

59 percent of B2B marketers consider email to be one of the most effective channels around for revenue gain.

It’s a powerful tool, and it’s an invaluable digital marketing channel.

A solid email marketing campaign delivers information, first and foremost. Unlike SMS and social media marketing, email marketing can offer long-form information alongside extended deals. It can also be strategized to prioritize specific customer groups.

Other marketing avenues, like social media, are sometimes too granular.

Some channels, in fact, have audience-size thresholds marketers struggle to target buyers in. Because email lists can be derived from eCommerce purchases, Facebook likes and brick-and-mortar amenities, they’re highly adaptable.

The challenge with email marketing is getting people to join your mailing list in the first place. The key here is to use what’s known as a lead magnet. This is anything which you can give away in exchange for signups.

Digital marketing channels email stats
Email offers some of the best ROI of any digital marketing channels. Image credit: Oberlo

3. Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the top digital marketing channels available today. SEO has changed dramatically in recent years, and it’s responsible for brand attention, customer targeting, product promotion and a variety of marketing tactics.

Essentially, SEO is all about creating a website which Google thinks provides valuable information to users. This comprises everything from the content your write, to how your site performs.

Modern SEO tactics utilize data gathered from organic traffic. A lot of SEO case studies have been performed, too, which are being used by companies seeking the best-possible SEO strategies around.

If your company wants organic traffic, a good Google search position and an optimal user experience, it’ll hook up a solid SEO strategy to its digital marketing channels.

Search engine keywords are the glue which binds social media content, website content, email marketing material and mobile access throughout your online marketing campaigns. Really, your business can’t survive the digital marketing world without it.

4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Because the competition for online visibility is fierce, SEO may not be enough.

Many digital marketers use pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, as another marketing channel. When used alongside a strong SEO technique, pay-per-click advertising can secure online real estate, maximize page clicks and—most importantly—record your brand’s best buyers.

If you’re on the fence about PPC, you should check it out. Too often, PPC is left by the wayside. It isn’t an “accessory digital marketing channel” by any means.

It’s incredibly effective when used successfully, and experts believe it’s one of the best tools for small and medium-sized businesses.

If you want to connect a PPC marketing channel, you should consider establishing a solid SEO foundation, first. These strategies have great synergy, and they offer long-lasting benefits to marketers seeking continual analytics to power other advertisement initiatives.

The key here is to use SEO to gain your initial traffic, so that you have a baseline for conversion rate optimization. Once you’re confident that your site is a converting machine, you can then use PPC to scale your traffic.

Then, you can sit down and watch the money pouring in.

5. Content Marketing

Content marketing has become a fundamental cornerstone of online marketing. It’s rare to see a digital marketing campaign which doesn’t have a content marketing channel. A solid content marketing channel will supply users with valuable links throughout your site.

Content marketing encapsulates a good SEO strategy. It also assists PPC efforts. To succeed in the digital world, you need to prioritize organic search traffic. In the SEO world, links matter.

You’ll need to centre your campaign around SEO—then, keep your content strategy on it’s a-game. Because the business world’s understanding of content marketing has grown, a lot of providers have published their own content.

By doing so, they’ve established ongoing relationships with their buyers.

Third-party content agencies can assist with a content marketing strategy. In fact, many businesses rely on outsourced content to ensure quality, timeliness and SEO compatibility. Fortunately, content marketing is highly effective on social media platforms.

Businesses often link external blogs, articles and product-related content anchored by Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and Twitter news.

Digital marketing channels content marketing stats
Content marketing is closely tied to increases in revenue. Image credit: 1827 Marketing

6. Social Media Marketing

Speaking of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, social media marketing is the “rock star” online marketing channel. Your brand’s social media marketing channel will promote its goodwill, fight your competition and bring your products to the consumer’s level.

Today, the majority of brands have a social media presence. The Internet is useful, but it’s also susceptible to rumours, lies and false advertisement.

Social media marketing, when effective, is a PR resource. It brings popularity to a brand, enhances its social image and offers incredibly relevant content. If you can engage users with interesting posts, share media regularly and persist with communication, you’ll benefit.

By using a Facebook brand page, Twitter updates and Instagram content, you can ensure repeat exposure. You can also get a feel for what products and services consumers are buying into.

This is also a crucial digital marketing channel for building relationships with your customers. Social media allows users to communicate with brands directly, sharing good experiences, and getting positive outcomes from bad ones.

7. Affiliate Marketing

Today’s big-boomer brands are using affiliate marketers to create massive followings. It’s one of the lesser-used online marketing channels, but it can rake in serious amounts of brand support.

By establishing an affiliate marketing arrangement, you can power your brand’s future. Entrepreneurs, in particular, thrive upon strong affiliate marketing partnerships.

Affiliate marketers promote a business’s products and services through testimonials, links, banners and online content. Often, businesses pay affiliate marketers based upon transactions resulting from their efforts.

Essentially, this means paying independent marketers to find new customers for you, in exchange for a commission.

Many affiliate marketing arrangements can win new customers, boost company revenue and assure a product’s effectiveness. Because it’s an agreement, an affiliate marketing arrangement has flexible forms of compensation.

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Affiliate marketing has seen consistent growth over recent years. Image credit: Statista

8. Viral Marketing

Creativity and entertainment. These are the two keywords for any post or video that goes viral. This is the quickest digital marketing channel that will get your followers in a blink. However, do not mistake it for easy, it is far from easy.

An idea has to be exceptionally unique in order to stand out and go viral. If you have awe-inspiring ideas, viral marketing is the right channel for you.

While many companies are familiar with the idea of viral marketing, few really appreciate how it works. In reality, this digital marketing channel is a little bit dated, and can’t be relied on in and of itself.

Instead, you should use the core idea behind shareable, viral content to inform your decision making on other digital marketing channels.

9. Online Public Relations

On the quieter side of online marketing channels, online public relations are used to promote your brand image. Today’s culture is a media-saturated one, and effective PR strategies are vital to the welfare of business health.

The ultimate goal of PR is to secure trust.

In the world of business, digital PR can be a science. It isn’t restricted to social media, either. Email feedback, real-time SMS polls, online website outreach and even phone contact are important.

Powerful brands are role models, and a PR strategy can make or break a brand’s influence. As with any digital marketing channel, PR links different strategies together. Make no mistake, however, because it’s a powerful resource by itself.

To secure your digital presence, you should work from the ground up. Study your buyers, and record their most-used keywords. Target customers who are expected to promote your brand the most.

Then, use display advertising, SEO keywords and a strong PPC campaign to gather more fans. Finally, branch out into public relations with a sound social media marketing strategy, intuitive affiliates and an interesting content marketing plan. You’ll be glad you did.

If you need help utilising any of the above digital marketing channels, contact ProfileTree today.

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