Social

Social, one of the key marketing channels discussed in this blog, is a channel of great importance as the digital world expands. The vast majority of online users use social media everyday (Facebook has 1.09 billion daily active users) and companies all too often don’t effectively tap into this environment. Unfortunately there is no standard method to do this, however ignoring this channel (and there be it, this audience) could be devastating.

Social media tools encourage people to share thoughts and opinions, participate in discussions, and engage with others in real time. As such social marketing can be the best way to market your brand or company, and to connect and engage with customers. To do this effectively, you must understand your companies objectives to ensure that this marketing channel ‘fits’, encourage users to contribute and interact, and communicate regularly with relevant, engaging and interesting content.

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It sounds simple, but I have seen time and time again, companies failing to engage their customers or prospects, or interact effectively with them, resulting in them going elsewhere. If you can implement the social channel correctly, you can effectively and strongly build the companies brand image (often quite quickly), gather insights from your audience as well as find and engage with prospects and customers.

3 Questions you must ask in order to identify the best social media channels for your digital marketing strategy

  1. Who is your audience? Depending on your business’ focus, the type of people interacting with your brand and using your products, services etc, may differ. As a result, the social media channels you use must included both new and familiar platforms; ensuring you consider and target all relevant demographics.
  2. Where is your audience? Communicating with your current customers and attracting potential new customers requires being in the same place as them.
  3. How does your audience consume content? Some social media channels support different types of content better than others. For example LinkedIn may be better suited for long form content such as research articles. Creating quality content is an increasingly popular digital marketing tactic, and therefore it is crucial to understand where your audience will consume what types of content.

An effective social media marketing strategy goes beyond simply making profiles on as many platforms as possible. Selecting the social media channels that are a good fit and can meet your business goals, as well provide you with the greatest returns, is a crucial part of the planning process.

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Marketing Channels

The current focus on multichannel and omni-channel marketing, highlights the need to focus and prioritise investment in the relevant marketing channels for a company. It is not practical to manage all channels, and not all channels require the same amount of investment, whether this be time, money, team resources etc. As such you must prioritise resources on those which will provide the best return.

The questions I keep asking myself however are ‘how do you select the right channels?’, ‘what channels are right for me and my company?’, ‘how do I implement them once I know what one(s) I’m going to use?’ With so many available these days, and more popping up, these questions can seem quite daunting.

The main point here is not to panic and ensure you; 1. Review the performance of the channels you are currently using and 2. Assess other channels available to you (for market fit and potential returns), allowing you to develop a new mix of channels that will allow you to reap the rewards.

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To effectively implement these channels, you  must must remember to keep the customer at the forefront, ensuring you are giving the customer the ‘best experience ever’. When you have this locked down, your marketting efforts will fall into place.

This blog looks at seven of the marketing channels available to you. This list is by no means an exhaustive selection of channels (just see the top image to illustrate this), but provides you with an insight into how they can be used and how you can make them work for your organisation.