There are countless ways to market your small business, but what is the most effective medium? The answer will vary depending on your business’s niche and your goals
Regardless of what type of business you are running, you’re not going to rely on just one marketing channel. Here’s a look at some of the most common marketing channel and what you need to know about them.
Channels that don’t require the internet are considered traditional and before the world wide web, business owners were a lot more limited in how they could market their business. These include television, radio, print, and billboard advertising. Though they’re old school, they still have some value.
Think of digital marketing as traditional marketing but online. Since computers hit the mainstream, digital marketing has really taken off. Digital marketing channels include email, search engine optimization, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising to name a few. While it might seem like digital marketing is less personal, it doesn’t have to be. Don’t forget the human that’s operating the computer.
Mobile marketing is an offshoot of digital marketing. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, people can now take the internet with them wherever they go. Mobile is the hottest marketing channel currently that now includes: apps, mobile sites, SMS/MMS marketing, content personalization, and QR codes.
Social media marketing
Social media is often grouped separately from digital and mobile marketing though it could be categorized beneath either one. In today’s mobile age, approximately half of all social media consumption originates from a mobile device of some kind. Social media marketing is inseparably connected to mobile marketing and as such when you use it be mindful of what content would fair better on which platform and what audience is most engaged there.
Choosing the best channels
Now that you’re familiar with the marketing channels that are out there, it’s time to put together your own marketing strategy. You’ll most likely be using more than one channel from each of these broader categories. Let your audience be your guide when creating your marketing strategy.
- Who is your audience?
- Do they primarily belong to any certain demographic?
- Are they primarily male or female?
- Do they tend to be of a certain age?
- Is they primarily employed in one industry?
Knowing your audience and what interests them will go a long way in helping you to choose the best marketing channels. For example, teens and young adults are probably going to respond a lot better to mobile channels than traditional ones.
Finally, you’ll want to think about ROI (return on investment). Which channels will give you the most bang for your buck. If you’re on a tight budget, designing your own mobile app probably isn’t going to be at the top of your priority list. For most businesses, social media marketing and text message marketing are great places to start. Social media marketing is free to start. Text message marketing, on the other hand, will cost you a few pennies per text but it allows you to instantly contact all of your loyal customers in a manner that practically guarantees they will it.