With so many marketing channels out there to promote your brand, it can feel like you’re spoiled with all the choices. Plus, new ones are coming out all the time. However, all these options can be a double-edged sword. They can make you feel overwhelmed, and you could be making the mistake of not having a focused and targeted strategy.
Today, we’ll take a deep dive into three marketing channels—email, social media, and influencer marketing—to prioritize in 2021. Not only will they minimize your feelings of being overwhelmed, but they are all proven strategies to increase brand engagement and help drive leads. Read on to find out the why and the how.
What are Marketing Channels?
Marketing channels are essentially platforms used by businesses to interact with their target audiences to sell their products and services. For example, a B2B business might use LinkedIn to promote its products and services.
During COVID-19 in 2020, digital marketing exploded and witnessed a renaissance, so marketing channels have thrived. In 2021, this boom will continue—you face no shortage of marketing channels given how massive the digital world is.
Marketing channels form a vital part of the digital world and are an integral part of digital marketing. But instead of dipping your fingers in all of them, it’s best to be strategic and prioritize the following three. This will give you a much better ROI in the long term, and you won’t be spread so thin either.
You probably already know just how huge social media is and how it consequently forms an essential marketing channel. Social media has been growing exponentially over the last 16 years (and is only getting more popular).
It gets bigger by the year, and brands both large and small spend time and resources making it work for them. And since the worldwide onset of COVID-19, social media use has been growing—approximately 51% of the global population uses social media. People have turned to social media to engage with others both personally and professionally.
Many brands have realized just what an effective and essential marketing channel social media is and have invested more time during COVID-19 to building a strong social media presence. A stronger brand presence on targeted platforms can grow engagement rates, lead generation, and conversions. This trend continues in 2021 as more and more consumers turn to social media to engage with brands.
The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. For B2B, LinkedIn has proven to be the most efficient platform to drive business growth. So as a B2B, if you’re not utilizing LinkedIn, you are missing out.
How to make Social Media Work for you
Implement the following best practices to make social media work for you:
- Frequently create relevant and engaging content
- Keep in touch with your audience
- Offer your audience promotions and perks
- Have a content plan and schedule in place
- Incorporate brand storytelling
- Don’t make it all about you—focus on your customers
- Consider paid ads on social channels
Some digital marketers predicted that email marketing was soon going to become obsolete. Well, that hasn’t happened yet. It’s actually skyrocketed, and the data shows that it’s on an upward trajectory with more and more people reading emails, with the average open rate for a welcome email at 82%.
Increasingly, brands are using email marketing to connect with their existing customers on a set schedule and also use it to entice prospects with offers and free giveaways. For example, “Get this eBook FREE when you sign up to the email list.” Email marketing can also direct customers and prospects to a brand’s website.
Email traffic has been shown to account for a high percentage of website visits, another step in the marketing funnel.
How to make Email Marketing work for you
Implement the following best practices to make email marketing work for you:
- Build your email list starting with just 100 customers
- Have compelling subject lines and introductions
- Personalize your emails by addressing customers by their names
- Incorporate video in some of them (higher opening rates)
- Make them short and to the point
- Always include a compelling CTA
- Don’t be spammy—add value to your customers
- Offer incentives and promotions
Influencers have become extremely popular, and the good ones can have incredible marketing influence. The reality is that influencer marketing forms part of a social phenomenon called “social proof.” People are heavily influenced by other’s opinions—more than they would like to admit.
You can probably see this playing out in your own life no matter how independent you claim to be.
After all, haven’t you ever gone to a place or contacted someone purely based on someone’s recommendation? This is a form of indirect influencer marketing.
When it comes to the digital world, particularly in the social media realm, you face no shortage of influencers. Many of them partner with brands to promote products and services to their loyal and engaged followers.
Increasingly B2B influencer marketing is proving to be a highly effective strategy to drive business growth. It’s definitely something to consider as part of a B2B content marketing strategy.
How to make Influencer Marketing work for you
Implement the following best practices to make influencer marketing work for you:
- Make it worthwhile for them—what’s in it for them?
- Conduct proper research on influencers before partnering with them
- Reach out to micro-influencers to start with
- Develop long term ambassador relationships
- Consider sponsored content
- Have a contract in place where each party clearly understands what’s involved
Final Words on Marketing Channels
As the above marketing channels illustrate, each offers its own benefits. And when using them, always apply a strategic approach. One of the ways you can do this is to have a content marketing strategy in place. A content marketing expert can devise a winning one for your brand.
Keep in mind: there are many more marketing channels along with the three we’ve discussed. And to find the best fit for your brand, you must determine which channel will give you the best ROI. However, it’s always best to prioritize and focus on a few rather than scattering your energy and resources on countless channels.
Start using these three marketing channels in 2021 and watch your brand grow. To discuss more great marketing insights, book time with our team today.