Digital Marketing Channels for Success – Most Important Digital Marketing Channels for E-commerce
If you’re a startup business, your primary marketing goal is to increase brand awareness and build a customer base. If you’re past that first phase, you might already be thinking about selling more products and increasing your sales.
Past that level, you might already be thinking about extending your brand online. Wherever stage you are in your business growth right now, you will need proper avenues or marketing channels that will assist you in achieving your business goals.
Creating an e-commerce store in an online marketplace with a large customer base will not necessarily give you the exposure and sales that your business needs. You need to devise actionable, sustainable, and strategic marketing efforts that will allow your store to be visible, credible, and worthy of the money in the eyes of your audience. Your efforts will always start with a marketing goal, supported by marketing channels that ensure the success of your business endeavors.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is also known as internet or online marketing. It is the process of reaching out to prospective customers through online advertising and many other forms of digital communication. It is interactive and seeks to engage customers using digital means. It includes marketing campaigns done via email, phone, or social media.
Conversely, a digital marketing strategy is an actionable marketing plan that consists of digital executions to attain specific marketing goals. For example, you have a new business, so your marketing goal is to raise awareness about your brand.
So, you contacted influencers on social media to promote your brand. In creating a marketing plan and launching your digital marketing campaign, three things are of utmost importance. These are your marketing goal, target audience, and the digital marketing channel you will use to promote and advertise.
Digital Marketing Channels and Their Importance
The modern world relies heavily on technology and digital advancements. As online shopping normalize, businesses continuously adapt and evolve to cater to an evolving crowd. Right now, more than ever, businesses use technology and digital innovations to reach and retain customers and build their brands.
Even with 4.66 billion active internet users globally, it’s becoming harder for brands to increase traffic and conversions or to get people’s attention, in the least. The increasing saturation of online markets and the decreasing attention span of the Impulse Generation are all contributing to this dilemma. That’s why digital marketing channels are so important.
- A digital marketing channel is an avenue or outlet through which a brand can communicate its message to its target audience.
- It can either connect brands to people who can be potential customers to achieve marketing goals like increase web traffic, close a deal, or raise their sales, or to present and previous customers to build brand community and increase customer loyalty.
- A target-specific digital marketing campaign launched through strategic digital marketing channels sets a brand or business apart from the competition and captures the attention of its audience.
Contacting customers via digital means is a way for brands to enhance customer experience by personalization. It makes customers feel valued and understood. However, customer preferences vary per individual and per set of audiences.
You need to observe and learn the perfect timing for reaching out to them and identify the best channels to reach them. In other words, you need to know your audience and what they expect from your brand.
Below are digital marketing channels that will help you attain different marketing goals.
1. SEO (Organic Traffic) – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing elements of your website and improving the quality of web traffic that your webpage receives.
Marketers used to stuff their web pages with repetitive and related keywords as much as they can to rank higher on Google search results. It’s because being on the top spots increases your webpage visibility to audiences, thus increasing traffic to your website. However, Google algorithms’ SEO standards to rank websites since then evolved to two main criteria:
- Relevance of your organic search content
- Authority of your website relevant to its links and linked sources
Google receives 5.6 billion searches every day. It opens great opportunities for businesses to raise awareness about their brand and receive organic web traffic. Because Google organic search contributes to the biggest share of overall web traffic at 53.3%, your optimized web pages have a high chance of generating leads and increasing traffic and conversions on your website.
2. Email Marketing – Email marketing is one example of a classic that never goes out of style. Since its humble beginnings in the 1970s, email marketing has grown into a powerful digital tactic. Yet, it remains steadfast in helping businesses build and scale their brands.
Email marketing is a useful channel in both customer acquisition and customer retention. Statistical data shows that 81% of small businesses use email to acquire customers, while 80% use it so customers will stay loyal to the brand.
In addition, email marketing’s uses extend to enhancing customer experience by personalizing email subject lines and contents. Businesses can also use this channel to promote products and services, close a deal, send checkout reminders and other notifications, and build a community.
3. SEM (PPC) – Just like SEO, Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC), or PPC ads, are Google search results which boost website, brand, product, or service visibility and increase web traffic.
But unlike organic search, PPC always appears at the topmost part of Google search results. It’s because PPCs are advertisements paid for by businesses and website owners to Google.
Google algorithms analyze and identify PPC ads through an auction system. It considers several bidding factors in determining who places a spot on the ads section. These factors are:
a. The business’ eligibility to join
b. The quality relevance of web page content to the query
c. The amount of money that the business is willing to pay for a click.
- PPCs help in increasing conversions and persuading customers to take action. A statistic shows that 50% of people who visit a retailer website through paid ads are more likely to buy than the visitors generated by organic searches. Additionally, PPC is one of the digital marketing channels generating high ROI (return on investment).
4. Content Marketing – Content marketing is a digital marketing channel that allows the sharing of curated photos, articles, videos, podcasts, and other media to keep the target audience engaged and your brand top-of-the-mind.
In content marketing, quality, relevance, and consistency in messaging and brand voice are key elements for its effectiveness. However, nowadays, the virality of content is considered an indicator of good content marketing. It falls to the category of viral content marketing and results to word-of-mouth.
- Marketers find content marketing effective in communicating with their target audience. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) statistics on content marketing shows that there are 91% of B2B marketers using content marketing to reach out to their audience.
- On the other hand, 86% of B2C marketers regard content marketing as a key digital strategy.
5. Social Media Marketing – Social media comprises the most used digital platforms in the world. It is also one of the most popular digital channels for businesses. It started as a network that connects people from all over the world and evolved as a tool for growing businesses and driving e-commerce. Social media made communication easy, and this feature became businesses’ opportunity to communicate with their target audience.
- Social media gives marketers access to a large customer base, which is a good thing for boosting visibility and sending across brand messages. At present, there are 4.48 billion social media users, which account to 57% of the world’s total population.
- Using the social media channel, you can observe behavioral patterns form your customers and create engaging content tailor-made to their preferences. It makes it easy to personalize and enhance customer experience.
- When it comes to opportunities and benefits in marketing on social media, it just seems endless. That’s why statistics reveal that 71% of small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) use social media to market their business. Also, about 71% of consumers are likely to recommend brands on social media.
If you want to establish strong brand presence online, create brand loyalty, and target customers on specific locations, social media marketing is for you.
6. Affiliate Marketing – To boost brand visibility, increase revenue, and raise sales are only some of the business goals that affiliate marketing can help you achieve. As a digital marketing channel, affiliate marketing provides a cost-effective way of generating new leads and promoting your brand, products, or services.
Affiliate marketing pertains to an agreement made by a business and a partner affiliate regarding the promotion of the business’s products or brands.
The affiliate, who is a website, blog, or page owner, promotes the products or services of the company on their website or page through an affiliate link. Once a customer clicks through the unique affiliate link tracked by the company and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission fee.
It’s not shocking that brands would want to create their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing is continuously making waves in the e-commerce scene as a lucrative way of driving sales and increasing revenue. A statistic shows that 81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs in leveraging their business. Additionally, 38% of marketers consider affiliate marketing as one of the top methods of acquiring customers.
But of course, no matter the potential, partnerships entail risks. So, you need to exercise due diligence in accepting affiliates.
Once you have applied and tried the strategies above, you should know how to measure what you reached too. You can read more here 5 Proven Ways to Measure the Success of a Social Media Campaign.
What are the major challenges faced by digital marketers in 2021?
Establishing seamless omnichannel integrations can be a real challenge in digital marketing, especially that customers use different channels. Integrating with mobile is also an issue because it involves complex coding and algorithms. Lastly, creating engaging content is increasingly becoming difficult because of the rate by which brands, influencers, and individuals create and publish their content.
Are digital marketing campaigns cheaper than traditional campaigns?
Digital marketing campaigns are much cheaper than traditional campaigns. Yes! You read that right. It’s because in digital campaign, you can customize your budget and only spend what you allow. Traditional campaigns like TV and magazine ads can cost thousands of dollars.
How do you a measure digital marketing campaign’s success?
To measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns, you can use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Some of the measures you can include are click-through rate, web traffic, online conversion rates, returning visitors, cost-per-lead, and lead conversion rates.
Digital marketing channels are a great way to make your business goals come true. You can use them to establish your presence, scale, or grow your business. Each channel has its own advantages and drawbacks and each cater to different audiences and answer different marketing goals.
Each channel has its advantages and drawbacks, caters to different audiences, and answers different marketing goals. Familiarizing yourself with the way they work gives you an insight as to the right channel that your business needs in your current business stage.