Companies spend $1 trillion on marketing globally. But how much of this spend actually generates returns? The returns on your marketing spend are directly proportional to how solid your marketing strategy is and how much time you’ve spent studying your audience closely. In addition to these, you need to have an understanding of the most effective marketing channels that can help you execute your strategy to perfection.
To that effect, we’ve done the leg work and put together this comprehensive guide on marketing channels that highlights the different types, gives pro tips on how you can select effective ones for your brand, as well as shares examples you can take inspiration from.
Here’s what we will cover:
Pro-tip: Video marketing is one of the best ways to advertise your brand across most marketing channels since videos get twice as many views on social and can grow revenue almost 50 percent faster than other types of ads! You should consider prioritizing video in your marketing efforts and to create stunning marketing videos quickly and easily, you can use a tool like InVideo.
Let’s dive right in!
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the definition of a marketing channel. Marketing channels are essentially the different tools and platforms through which you can interact with or be seen by your target audience. Using the right channel can help you get in front of people that will resonate with your brand, acquire new customers for your business, and engage and retain existing ones.
There are a ton of marketing channels you can use to build into your business’ growth strategy. A few of the main channels in marketing include social media marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, offline promotions like bill boards and in-store displays and TV commercials.
Each of these different marketing channels serves a different purpose. For example, a store display might serve to raise awareness of a sale or attract people to the store, whereas an emailer might be used to engage existing customers and be more focused on building their brand loyalty.
Now, let’s get to our list of marketing channels!
We’ve compiled some of the channels in marketing you just can’t miss out on using. While most of these are important to use in your marketing mix, you might want to prioritize some channel types over the others, depending on your budget and business. We’ll help you select from different channels in the next section.
Here are the channels we’ll cover, starting with the ones that will give you the maximum returns on investment.
1. Video Marketing
2. Social Media Advertising
3. Email Marketing
4. Influencer Marketing
5. Content Marketing
6. Search Engine Optimization
7. Online Marketplaces
8. Word-of-mouth Marketing
9. Public Relations (PR)
10. Offline Marketing
11. Partnership Marketing
12. Community Building
Let’s get to it!
Video marketing is one of the fastest-growing channels of marketing, and arguably has the most potential today. Video can boost conversions, generate leads, improve ROI, and establish a stronger emotional connection between your brand and audience than any other medium.
In fact, video is the top format that marketers use today - and customers resonate with this! 72 percent said they’d rather learn about a product through video than anything else.
When creating videos though, you want to keep them short and super engaging to cater to the shorter attention spans on social media platforms, while still providing a ton of value. Short-form video content is a great way to advertise your products, raise brand awareness and help potential customers learn how to use your products.
Shorter videos work best on platforms like Instagram and TikTok so if you’re using these channel types make sure you create a ton of quick videos that will get your audience excited and coming back for more. Check out how Gucci advertises for their new launch of lip gloss with this short promo video:
Social media advertising is probably one of the most effective channels you can use to market your products and services today. Top social media channels have an audience of close to 5 billion people, with millions visiting and interacting on these platforms every single day, making social media one of the biggest sources of brand discovery and engagement.
For example, more than 200 million Instagram’s users visit a business profile at least once a day, and 81 percent of them use it to learn about new products from brands.
From creating brand awareness to selling products, social media marketing is useful at every stage of the buyer journey, so developing and maintaining a social media presence is crucial to your digital marketing strategy. Social media advertising is also relatively inexpensive which makes it especially powerful for smaller brands and businesses, who can easily find and establish their niche.
Here’s a marketing channel example of an Instagram story ad by Yoga International. They used the Polls feature of Instagram stories to get 3,500 new trial members, while also decreasing their advertising cost by 21 percent!
What makes social media advertising so unique is the ability to target users based on a large variety of categories. Social platforms utilize vast user data to the benefit of advertisers to connect with target audiences and new audiences. You can select audiences based on their geography, demographic, age, gender and interests. For example in the ad above, the brand could have targeted women, over the age of 21, based in the US - if that’s where they were selling.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your social media advertising:
- Design your offer to fit your target audience. Some of your ads might be ineffective because of how they are designed, and some will fail because the offer turned out to be unattractive. Ads that fail are learning experiences - and you won’t know what works best until you experiment with a variety of offers and ads.
- Test, test, test! After designing your ad campaigns, test to see which ones are doing well and learn what works best for your intended audience.
- Make sure your landing page delivers on what the ad promises. If your landing page doesn’t work properly or you mislead your audiences you might get clicks on your ad - but you won’t get many conversions and might turn people off your brand completely.
- Use direct selling options whenever possible to reduce friction and make your ad experience seamless. For example, Instagram shops lets you sell to your audience directly on the app, eliminating the traditional way of advertising that makes users switch to a different site or app.
- Don’t just post ads, but participate in conversations. Ads will lead new and potential customers to your social pages, so make sure you stay active and position yourself as an authority in your space.
- Use remarketing to target users who have shown previous interests in your business. Most social media platforms have specialized retargeting tags for audiences who clicked-through to your website or abandoned their shopping carts. For example, on Facebook, having the pixel installed on your website enables you to collect valuable data for later use for advertising.
While it might be tempting (and easy!) to use the same ads on all your social media platforms - this isn’t always a good idea. Focus on a few platforms where your intended audience interacts the most. Ask yourself how these different channels align with your business goals and select a few that seem will bring you the most benefit. This is especially important for small businesses with limited resources. This will bring you more bang for your buck and help you choose the most effective marketing channels.
While paid advertising is the best way to get in front of new audiences, you’ll also need to be engaging on social media - you can’t post ads and lead audiences to a dead social page!
So let's take a quick look at how to leverage your social pages while advertising.
Organic social media
Organic social media marketing is all about building long-term relationships by interacting with your customers. These channels of marketing were originally built to foster interaction - not sell products - and that’s still at the heart of all social media. So engage potential customers by reaching out to them in a personal and authentic fashion. Develop a clear brand voice and tone so that your followers will enjoy interacting with you on a regular basis and develop an emotional connection with you.
And when new audiences land on your social pages from your ads, they’ll be able to see this! This is why companies that thrive on customer relationships post around two or three posts per day. It is one of the best ways to promote your business for free.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your social media:
- Don’t be overly formal and focus on making your content relatable to build trust among your customers and followers. The more someone trusts your brand, the more they’ll seek new information or promotions from you.
- Being authentic, funny or likable makes it more likely that people will share your posts - which can really help you grow your audience or customer base organically.
- Know your audience and cater to their tastes (this rule really applies to all channels of marketing!) If you don’t know who your audience is, it’s going to be impossible to tailor your content to them
- Create a social media calendar and post consistently! To build a strong following you need to post relevant and high quality content on a consistent basis. Having a schedule ensures you don’t miss out on your social media activities and you don’t have to dig for content just to put something out there at the last minute.
- Post more video content as videos get more views on social and encourage interaction. Participating in trends and challenges are also a great way to get noticed! Use a video template like this one to interact with your customers on social media:
Social media marketing works best when integrated with other marketing strategies and should be a part of your overall marketing mix. You can boost different marketing channels, like content marketing, word of mouth marketing and influencer marketing through your socials - so make sure you integrate your marketing with social whenever possible. And to ensure you stay consistent on social media, you can take the help of various tools that make it easier for you to plan and execute your strategy.
Email marketing is one of the oldest types of marketing channels out there - and it’s not going anywhere! Why, you ask? Not only is email one of the most effective marketing channels for communicating directly with people, it also has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any of the channels of marketing. To compare, email marketing has an ROI of $38, more than four times higher than social media, direct mail and paid search.
Email also remains unaffected by third-party developments like social media algorithms and reaches 85 percent of the people you send it to. Over 22 percent open emails on average - miles beyond the engagement rate of 0.6 percent that the Big 3 of social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) share.
Add to this the fact that over 91 percent of American internet users have an email account, and you can’t ignore email as one of your main channels to market.
There are tons of different types of email marketing campaigns you can use to grow your business:
- Create newsletters to share relevant information or educate audiences
- Follow-up emails to remind website visitors of abandoned items in their carts or acknowledge their purchases with receipts
- Welcome emails for new customers
- Send promotional content announcing new launches, special events, discounts or giveaways
- Ask for reviews and get feedback
The brand Article, uses the email marketing channel to keep their existing customers engaged:
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of email marketing as a promotion channel:
- Be straight about the purpose of your email list when asking for signups. If you say you’ll send them great articles and tips but only advertise your products, you’re likely going to experience a quick drop in subscribers.
- Write a compelling subject line that will get subscribers to open your email. Make sure it accurately reflects what’s inside the email and if you’re running a sale or promotion - highlight this in your subject!
- The best emails are short, to the point and easily scannable. Break your text up into easy readable chunks and include some images. Include only what customers absolutely need to see and nothing else.
- Create short videos to include in your emails. This will make your emails stand out and keep engagement rates high. You can do this by creating short video snippets with InVideo and converting these videos to GIFs (since you can’t embed a video directly onto an email).
- Don’t send emails too frequently because you’ll risk annoying your customers. The best thing is to have a consistent schedule and send emails out every two weeks, monthly or quarterly.
- Use email segmentation to group subscribers and send them more personalized or relevant emails. For example, if you’re selling vitamins, then you could segment your list according to those who purchased specific vitamins (and advertise for those) or those who make regular purchases and send them special promotions.
- Track your email opens, clicks and other engagements to understand what your subscribers like best and replicate the content with the most engagements. You could also use A/B testing to send different emails to the same group of people to see which worked better with your audience.
- Use automation to easily send welcome, thank you emails or receipts after subscribers have purchased something from your store.
- Create a compelling lead magnet to get your website viewers to subscribe to your email list. You can offer a discount or free gift or premium content to subscribers. Jewelry brand Biko offers their website visitors $15 off their first order for signing up!
It can take time to build a high quality list - so don’t get impatient! But if you do it right, you can turn email into a powerful marketing channel for your business. Remember, the most important thing is to make sure your emails are engaging and offer unique value.
Influencer marketing is a super effective advertising channel that gets your products in front of a highly engaged target market. But what makes it so effective?
Influencer marketing uses what we call ‘social proof’ to get people to buy into products and services. That is, people are more likely to make purchase decisions when hearing about it from someone they trust. Influencers usually have a large following of loyal and engaged followers who trust them implicitly, will listen to their opinions, and act on their recommendations.
When you engage with influencers to market your brand, you’re really leveraging that trust which influencers have built.
There are six key ways in which you can use influencer marketing to benefit your brand:
- Ask influencers to do a sponsored video or post on their promotion channels
- Launch collaborative products or content
- Solicit reviews by sending influencers freebies
- Run competitions and giveaways - and advertise these through influencers or add your products to their giveaway contest
- Get an influencer to “takeover” your social platforms
- Engage influencers as long-term brand ambassadors
Influencers can make your brand feel more approachable and relatable, help you gain new high-quality followers and communicate your brand message effectively.
Take for example, the success of the Gymshark brand which is largely due to their collaboration with influencers and aspirational athletes. They usually leverage influencers’ followers through the Gymshark Athlete program and have used high profile fitness influencers, like Elliot Burton and Georgie Stevenson for some great results. Elliot often models their latest apparel and appears on their blog.
If you want to create a similar video, check out this template by InVideo to get started.
While high profile influencers can get you a lot of visibility. Huge follower counts aren’t the only thing that matters when it comes to using influencers as an advertising channel.
Just because someone has a million followers doesn’t mean a million people are paying attention - or that they’re the right audience for you!
So here are a few tips on how you can select and work with influencers that best suit your brand:
- When selecting an influencer, research their expertise, reach, and audience demographics. Make sure they are authentic and their followers are the right target group for your product or service.
- Pay close attention to their engagement rates, the people commenting on their posts and the type of comments they make! This will help you learn how engaged their followers are and therefore how likely it is that your sponsored posts will get traction
- Choose an influencer who shares the same values or beliefs as your brand represents. For example if one of your brand’s core beliefs is body positivity, you shouldn’t engage with someone who is hyper focused on thinness. Your influencers should be people who would also normally use and benefit from your product or service. This will also make their posts seem more authentic.
- Give influencers the freedom to create their own content - you’re banking on their content to get your brand more attention, so let them do what they’re good at. Your job is to guide, not control how they create content.
- If you have smaller budgets, you could also work with nano or micro-influencers - who have between 1,000 -10,000 followers. Influencers with smaller followings tend to be super niche but are usually more engaged, don’t demand large fees and have strong followings which leads to more meaningful interactions. In fact, even brands with huge budgets often engage with micro-influencers to draw some of their highly engaged audiences to their pages. Collective Bias found that only 3 percent of shoppers are influenced by celebrity endorsements, while a massive 30 percent of consumers are likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.
Check out how Under Armour teamed up with nano-influencer Jennifer Rochon to bring their audience home workouts that feel more authentic than a highly produced workout video. This was part of their #ThroughThisTogether campaign launched during the COVID lockdown when everyone was doing home workouts - so their audience could really relate!
Pro-tip: Make sure your influencers create a ton of video content as this is most likely to get you the most views and engagement on social media! You can use an online editor like Invideo, to edit these influencer videos as per your brand guidelines using customizable templates to create stunning videos in minutes!
Content marketing is one of those marketing channels that can impact all the others and forms the base of all your promotion channels.
Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing content to attract and engage your target audience. By creating content that delivers value and solves your customer’s problems you can establish yourself as an authority in your field and reach new customers in the funnel.
One study found that it can cost 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads. Companies use content marketing to build or position a brand, generate leads, retain customers, increase sales, support SEO and establish their reputation.
There are tons of different types of content that you can create to attract a specific segment of the market. These include:
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of content marketing as a promotion channel:
- Create content that resonates with your audience. This means understanding their problems, wants and desires in respect to your product or service and then providing organic solutions to those. Great content provides value that will make people trust your opinions and share your content with others. If you don’t deliver value no one will bother reading or interacting with your content - especially since there are so many brands out there already creating excellent content.
- Target specific kinds of customers and create content that will entertain or educate this audience. Don’t try appealing to everyone. Create an ideal customer persona and design your content with them in mind. For example, hair extension brand Luxy Hair often creates video tutorials for their audience because this format and style helps them help their customers while also positioning their product as a value prop.
- A great way to make the most out of your content is to repurpose longer pieces of content into smaller chunks or convert blog articles into videos. So a long-form blog post can be repurposed into a long-form YouTube video, shorter video snippets for Instagram and Snapchat and social media posts for Facebook. Luxy Hair did this by turning all their video tutorials into blog posts for their website.
- Organize your plans and past work on a content library. This will list all the copy, videos, graphics, and long-form content you have created. Viewing all your created content in one place can also help you identify opportunities for repurposing and prevent you or your team from creating duplicate content.
- Don’t limit your content marketing to one platform. Create content for different types of marketing channels as this will ensure you create a consistent message across all channels while also maximizing traffic on each channel individually.
- Focus on mobile-first design for all the content you create - including videos and blog posts. This will give your audiences a seamless experience on the platforms they are most likely to view your content - their smartphones and tablets.
- Finally, remember that content marketing is a long game. You can’t build authority or trust overnight. Instead, by consistently providing valuable, highly shareable content, over time, you’ll become the go-to expert in your field.
Content marketing is one of the channels in marketing that affects all the others and should be integrated with your overall marketing strategy and used along with other advertising channels. For example, for SEO to work, you need high quality content to weave in your keywords.
Content marketing is a large part of social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Let’s learn a bit more about this promotion channel in the next section!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of trying to expose your website and content by appearing on the first page of search engine results for a certain term or keyword. This is an ‘organic’ method of getting discovered, that is, you don’t pay for an ad to appear on the search engine page. In fact correctly using SEO techniques can also help your Youtube videos get discovered.
Like any effective marketing strategy, SEO takes time and effort. But when you realize 62 percent of consumers use a search engine when they want to learn more about a new product or service, and 41 percent use a search engine when they’re ready to buy - it’s well worth the effort!
For example, search for “dropshipping” on Google and Shopify pops up as the first result. They’ve even claimed Google’s featured snippet. You can see that an average of 450,000 people are searching this term each month, and the first thing they see is Shopfiy’s page. That’s a lot of exposure and traffic!
While the rules for SEO can change depending on the search engine platform you use and new trends and technologies that arise, there are a few key fundamentals that change very little over time. These are:
- Crawlability: Can your content be found by search engines?
- Site structure: How do search engines prioritize and organize your content?
- Keywords: What is your site’s content about?
- Backlinks: Does your content provide reliable information on the topics you write about?
That said, remember search engines change what they value regularly, so be sure to keep up with your optimization. Just because you’re ranking well now doesn’t mean you’ll be ranking well in six months or a year.
For more, here’s a quick introduction to SEO for beginners by expert Brain Dale:
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of SEO as a promotion channel:
- Use keywords to build a truly successful SEO strategy. Keywords are what Google (and other search engines) use to index your website and content, and how searchers find it. You can use tools like Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere, Google Search Console, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner to research and select the best possible keywords that will drive targeted search engine traffic to your website.
- Keep your content fresh. Without high-quality content, your website can’t fully realize its SEO objectives. Content is how you incorporate all your keywords on your website - so the more helpful your content, the more people are likely to share it. The more shares, the more likely the search engines will think your website is important, and the higher up your search rankings go.
- To make sure all your content is optimized for SEO and conforms to the latest guidelines, use tools like SEO Review Tools, Yoast, or SEMrush to make sure your content is easily searchable and more likely to rank.
- Optimize your website for mobile. People are spending more time on their mobile devices, so you’ve got to ensure your site’s design, structure, and speed are conducive for mobile browsing. This means faster load times and information that doesn’t look crowded on a smaller screen. Google now has a mobile-first indexing policy, which means that Google will use the mobile version of your content for indexing and ranking your site.
SEO content can be used to attract, educate, convert, and retain your customers - which means it influences the entire marketing funnel. So make sure you spend some time and effort optimizing relevant channel types for SEO!
If you have a product you’d like to sell, an online marketplace can put you in front of thousands of potential customers, looking to buy!
When a customer visits an online marketplace like Amazon, they’re not looking for in-depth information or engaging content - they’re looking to make a purchase - quickly and easily. Leveraging such channels in marketing can put your products front and center and make it a lot easier to convert any potential customers.
Some of the most popular marketplaces you can list your products on include:
- Amazon: The largest ecommerce marketplace in the United States.
- Newegg: An online marketplace just for tech products.
- Rakuten: Affiliate marketplace for mid-range to large businesses.
- Etsy: An ideal platform to sell quirky, handmade and vintage items.
- Cratejoy: Marketplace for subscription-based ecommerce stores.
- Facebook Marketplace: Facebook shops allow you to reach massive audiences and integrate with Facebook Ads.
To get started, simply pick one that you feel is right for your brand, create an account and test the advertising channel. Even if you don’t get a lot of responses at first, most of these marketplaces are free or charge a very small commission on sales. Getting on such platforms early and learning what works best for you will definitely pay off in the long run.
You’ll need to be able to optimize your presence on the platform (using SEO techniques) to gain more visibility since most of these platforms also function as search engines for customers looking for specific products.
Learn more about online marketplaces where you can list your products here:
Word-of-mouth marketing occurs when people share or recommend your brand or products with their friends, family and others in their network. While you can’t actually make this happen - what you can do is influence or encourage discussions about your services and provide avenues for people to leave you great feedback!
People trust other consumers over company marketers or sales reps because they have an agenda and are being paid to promote a product . On the other hand, your other customers have no reason to talk about you - unless your products truly made a difference or benefited them in some way. So their experiences carry more weight (influencer marketing might be the exception here).
Motivating customers to talk about your products positively should be an integral part of your marketing plan. You want to make sure that when someone has a great experience with your company, service or product, they can easily share this with others. But this isn’t always easy to do!
That’s why it’s important to use an approach that streamlines your word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are a few tips to help you boost your word of mouth advertising channel:
- Ask for reviews. Word of mouth doesn’t only have to be offline but also includes online comments, reviews and testimonials. Glowing reviews from verified customers will help you grow in credibility and promote your products more easily. Don’t be afraid to ask customers who tell you they really enjoyed their experience to review your business on Google or Yelp. It might not feel natural at first, but this is an essential part of any successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy.
- Once you get those reviews - share what people are saying about you! In fact, think about creating a video testimonial that compiles all your great reviews for even more visibility. Check out the example below:
- Display positive reviews, independent awards or other forms of recognition in a prominent place on your website. This will help you build trust with potential customers who’ve just landed on your page.
- Start referral or affiliate programs. These are some of the most effective means of boosting your word-of-mouth marketing. A referral program gives existing customers a bonus or benefit if they refer people to you. Affiliate programs boost word-of-mouth marketing by rewarding affiliates for each sale they generate. Usually, your affiliate will have their own network through which they’ll market your product or service — and you’ll receive a commission for each sale that goes through them. Check out how ClassPass offers people $20 off - for every friend they sign up!
Finally, make sure you deliver on customer service and keep your customers happy above all else! Word of mouth marketing can work both ways - and you really don’t want people saying awful things about your business. Create a customer experience that is top-notch and addresses grievances at every stage. Then just let your customers do the rest of the work for you!
Public relations or just PR is a type of marketing channel that aims to get recognition and publicity from the press and includes getting news about your business on blogs, TV, newspapers and magazines.
Companies often have PR teams or specialists that write about and circulate items of interest, important updates and press releases in order to get noticed by members of the press and published on their news platforms. This works well if your audience is more active on traditional types of marketing channels - and you have a slightly larger budget!
Of late, many companies have started doing something called guerilla marketing. This uses shock and awe techniques and publicity stunts to generate interest and get people talking about your event - which can seriously boost your company’s reach - and doesn’t have to be expensive, since news reporters will do the work for you!
Let’s look at one of Reebok’s best marketing channel examples - the tattoo challenge. Reebok dropped in on the Tough Viking competition in Stockholm and set up a tattoo studio where die hard fans could get tattoos of their logo. They offered the one who dared to get the biggest possible tattoo a one-year sponsorship worth about $5,800 in Reebok gear. Camilla Nilsson, who won - now has her own Reebok ad. And of course a ton of blogs and newspapers wrote about the story!
With the explosion of digital marketing, it’s easy to ignore offline marketing as one of the obsolete channels to market on. But not everyone uses the internet - in fact, 10 percent of US adults don’t use the internet at all! While offline marketing channels can get pretty expensive and are more difficult to track - they help reach specific demographics more effectively, and offer a broader opportunity for brand building.
Popular offline advertising channels you can use include:
- Speaking engagements or networking at local events
- Trade magazines and other industry-specific publications
- Print advertising
- Direct mail campaigns
- Cold calling
- Radio or television spots
In most cases, with offline types of marketing channels you pay for the estimation of impressions, instead of real impressions like in social media advertising. But even offline channels can use conversion tracking by integrating their campaigns with online efforts - such as hashtags or asking customers to visit a specific website domain.
Check out this billboard ad by Spotify. Billboards are one of the marketing channel examples that can be tough to track. But Spotify could have tracked conversions by looking at how much the search for Humble by Kendrick Lamar increased in the area after publishing this ad.
Here are a few tips on how to use offline channels in marketing effectively:
- Pair offline advertising with an online conversion activity to make your campaigns more easily trackable or run online marketing initiatives along with your offline marketing campaigns to increase brand recall and maximize your impact. At the very least, make sure you include a call to action asking recipients to visit your website or follow you on social media.
- Ensure branding consistency. Your logo, slogans, and other branding elements should be the same across all channel types to make sure your ad is easily recognizable and prevent potential customers from mistaking your company for another. A good way to ensure this doesn't happen is to keep your logos and branding material large and easily noticeable on all your advertising channels.
Partnership marketing is when two brands collaborate to create campaigns that are beneficial to both parties. It’s a great way of amplifying your reach by getting in front of another brand’s audience. If you’re a small business partnering with a larger one, it also helps solidify your reputation as partnering with a well-established brand can lend you some of their credibility as well.
A few ways of using this advertising channel is to:
- Co-host events
- Create co-branded products
- Collaborate on product distribution, and include a partner’s products in your giveaway bundles or packages
- Utilize Sponsorships
- Run charitable partnerships
For example, Starbucks and Spotify forged an innovative co-branding partnership which offered artists greater access to Starbucks consumers and gave Starbucks access to Spotify's expansive discography.
Through the initiative, Starbucks employees got a Spotify premium subscription, with which to curate playlists and play them throughout the day in the shop. This music ecosystem is designed to expand the coffeehouse environment that Starbucks is known for while giving artists greater exposure to Starbucks customers.
Here are a few tips to help you boost this advertising channel:
- Determine the best brands to partner with by creating an ideal partner profile. This is one of the channels to market which exposes you to the loyal customers of another brand - so make sure you do your research before deciding to work with a brand. Partner with reputable organizations that will help you realize your goals. What’s most important is that their customers should be similar to yours so that the increased exposure will lead to more conversions.
- Be extra careful with reporting when using this channel type. Make sure you have the tools and systems in place to accurately pinpoint which lead or sale was generated by which partner, especially if the partnership involves monetary incentives.
Pro-tip: One great way to use partnership marketing is to collaborate with other brands or promote your new partnership on social media channels. Use these video templates to get people excited about your collaboration on social media!
The high level of competition that most brands face today means that they need to stand out more than ever before. In order to do this, brands are increasingly looking for innovative channel types to grab attention.
Community building might not be on most marketing channels lists but it’s actually one of the best long-term promotion channels you can use. A brand community is a group of people — ideally, your customers and target audiences — who come together because of their attachment to a product or brand. A large engaged community of people invested in your brand and excited to buy your products is the holy grail of marketing. And it doesn’t come easy!
Community building takes time, effort, and investment and cannot just be about marketing your products, but actually engaging with customers and building a strong brand character, culture, and aesthetic that will genuinely make people feel like they belong, allow them to build connections with each other, and make them stick with you (and your products!) for years.
Take a look at Harley-Davidson, which is one of the best marketing channel examples of community building. In 1983 they were fading out and almost ready to close shop, but instead emerged as a multibillion-dollar company 25 years later because of their steadfast commitment to building a strong brand community. Harley-Davidson is much more about their bikes, it’s also about the lifestyle, activities and their ethos. They’ve managed to foster this culture really well by organizing rides and groups of people to take their Harleys out together.
Other examples of brands with active brand communities include Apple, Walt Disney, Lego, Xbox, Lululemon, and Starbucks.
Here are a few tips on how to use community building as one of your promotion channels:
- Communities are about building relationships. You’ll need to do a lot more than just responding to comments on social media. Think about hosting events, interacting with your most loyal customers to learn more about them and provide opportunities for people to connect with each other! Fostering these connections is one of the most important aspects of community building. Remember - it’s more about your customers than you!
- Don’t sell! Your focus needs to be on building connections - not selling your products. As soon as you try hard sells, people will understand this as a marketing channel and treat it accordingly.
- Reach out to your community for feedback, beta-test your products and show them some love by giving them early access to new product releases as a way to keep your community involved in your brand.
Community building takes a lot of time and effort, because you’re working to build long-lasting connections. If you want quick results, this isn’t the right option for you! But if done right, a strong community will consist of your most engaged customers, and their input is an irreplaceable resource as well as a strong revenue stream.
Now we’re done with our list of marketing channels, let’s take a look at which of these promotion channels works best for different companies.
According to HubSpot, the top promotion channels used by B2B marketers are social media (45%) websites and blogs (40%) and email marketing (38%). While social media isn’t traditionally considered great for B2B, LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most effective channels for such businesses, as most business leaders are very active here. This explains why social media is likely at the top of that list. In fact, other surveys suggest that 92% of B2B marketers prefer to use LinkedIn over all other platforms. So if you’re marketing to other businesses, you definitely want to put LinkedIn at the top of your marketing channels list.
After LinkedIn, your website and blogs are good promotion channels to put your energy towards. B2B marketers focus significantly on these channel types since most customers often rely on websites before making purchasing decisions and you’ll need to make sure your website is optimized for this. Publishing SEO-optimized blogs that talk about your industry will help you get discovered by those searching for information or advice on topics related to your business. This is especially important since search engines like Google are a primary source of discovery for new products and services.
Finally, direct your attention to email marketing. It’s a powerful channel to market for B2B because it helps share educational content and keeps your existing customers updated and engaged with your brand. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers say that email newsletters are critical to their success!
Now let’s look at the top channels to market for businesses that sell their products directly to customers.
In terms of the top marketing channel types, B2C brands invest in almost the same channels - but use them very differently. B2C marketing is more focused on offering fun or quirky content or shareable posts to engage customers, unlike B2B marketers who are usually more serious, as their intent is to build long-lasting business relationships with customers.
Hubspot’s research revealed that the order of the top channels for B2C brands is also different. Their top list of marketing channels are social media (45 percent), email marketing (35 percent), websites and blogs (34 percent) and influencer marketing (32 percent).
Social media of course is a top channel to market for B2C. Since their main purpose is to engage customers and get as many views and shares as possible, short-form video content is a high-priority for this group. Influencer marketing - which was fourth on the marketing channels list - is also a big part of most B2C social media marketing strategies. With so much content to produce, 82 percent of B2C brands opt for content repurposing - and share different formats and lengths of the same content across their social channels.
If you want to stand out with quick, snappy videos that keep your audience coming back for more - check out Invideo’s online video maker to make stunning short-form content in minutes!
B2C brands also use more social media platforms and, depending on their audience, might prioritize one over the other. For example, Instagram tends to be better for Millennials while Snapchat and TikTok are great for marketing to Generation Z. Most use LinkedIn only for business news and updates and don’t engage much with customers on the platform - unlike B2Bs.
Email marketing, one of the top promotion channels for all businesses, is used mostly for time-relevant notifications like product launches and sales, invoices and other basic reminders. Newsletters or in-depth emails aren’t a high priority for B2C brands - although they are used sometimes.
That’s it! Now you know which channels to market are the best for your brand, let’s take a look at how to pick the most effective ones - along with some great marketing channel examples to help you make the right decision!
There are so many different channels you can use to market your products and services today. While this is great, it can also be a tough decision because unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll only be able to direct your time and energy to a few chosen ones.
So that’s why we’re going to help you pick the most effective marketing channels for your brand! Let’s get to it.
1. Set clear marketing goals
Choose your marketing channels according to what you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to increase sales? Or raise awareness about your brand?
Since each marketing channel works differently, this means some will be better at achieving certain goals than others. For example, social media is a great way to strengthen relationships and increase engagements with your existing customers. But if you’d like to increase awareness on a large scale, a billboard will get you in front of a ton of eyeballs.
Having clear goals will not only set the foundation for your overall marketing strategy but will also help you select the right channel types for your business.
Ask yourself what you’d like to achieve with your marketing. Do you want to:
- Become a thought leader in your industry?
- Build authority and trust with consumers online?
- Build brand recognition?
- Nurture and generate high-quality leads?
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Build a social media following?
- Make sales?
- Boost ROI?
Depending on your answers, choose 2-3 top marketing channels best suited to the purpose and focus your efforts on these. But make sure that whatever channel you choose, video content is a priority as that is bound to get you the best return on investment. You can use a tool like InVideo to create videos for all your marketing channels quickly and easily.
2. Get to know your customers
After selecting your goals, the next most important thing is getting to know your customer. You’ll want to create a profile of your potential ideal client with as much detail as possible. Think about what they do on weekends, where they hang out, what kind of media they consume or what websites and apps they use. Interviewing existing customers or conducting customer experience surveys can also really help refine your profiles with real-life data and insights and develop more appealing messaging.
You should also think about where your target audience is the most active and which channel types they’re most receptive to. Customers are bombarded with so much media every day that you’ll need to know how and when to communicate with them if you want to be heard. Want to engage with Gen Z? Head to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitch. Looking to convert CXOs at larger companies? Get on LinkedIn.
Or for example if you know that certain higher value customers prefer in-person conversations and are less active on digital channels - you might want to invest in setting up a call center to handle their queries. The increased cost will pay off as your customers will feel more comfortable calling - when they may have otherwise dropped off if they only see a website chat option.
In-depth or granular data or insights on your customers can not only help you define your channel types but also help you optimize your costs since you’ll be spending money on the right touch points or services.
Learn more about how to develop an ideal customer profile here:
To really maximize the success of your efforts, make sure you talk to your customers and base your assumptions on real data rather than generalizations. Find channels that allow you to engage pre, during and post-sale in order to stay connected with them throughout the customer journey and use targeted messaging where possible to develop more meaningful relationships and encourage brand loyalty.
3. Consider your budget
In the U.S., most companies tend to devote 7-10% of their revenue to marketing efforts. Without determining your budget you won’t be able to accurately select from different channels to market. Once you have a budget, look at the cost variants on your list of marketing channels and prioritize accordingly.
For example, posting on social media can be virtually free, but paying for Google Ads or investing in a comprehensive content marketing strategy can be pricey.
But don’t forget the ROI potential! If you’re using free social media channels but your audience prefers in-depth information - investing your energies in a killer content marketing strategy is a much better idea - even if it costs more!
You’ll want to split your budget between the critical channels of each buyer’s persona you develop. Choose the most profitable channels based on past experience and priorities and set aside a smaller amount for testing new channels.
Learn more about how to plan your marketing budget here:
Pro tip: Video content creation can get expensive if you don’t pay attention, which is why investing in tools like InVideo can help you save quite a bit because you can create high-quality videos quickly and get started for free.
4. Test your way to success
In order to be successful with marketing channels in the long-term, you’ll need to test what’s working! Whether you’re using different channels for the first time or haven’t switched your focus to new channels in years - make sure you know that the channels you're using are the most effective.
Track the results of campaigns across channels, make adjustments, and optimize your efforts based on your results. Over time, your results will improve and you’ll be able to generate an increasingly robust ROI. You can also use analytics to learn more about:
- The devices your customers are using
- The channels they prefer using for communication, information gathering, socializing and entertainment
- The times and days your customers are most active on these channels
Testing will help you streamline your efforts like never before. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not and be able to understand the efficacy of every channel you operate on. For example if you learn that LinkedIn is getting you a higher ROI than any other social media platform - you can direct increased resources (and budget) to the channel and convert even more people. That’s why it’s important to monitor and analyze the efficacy of every channel type, on a regular basis.
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment
With the increasing competition of today - staying on top of trends and experimenting with different channels is more important than ever. There are new channels to connect with customers almost every day so if you want your brand to stay future-proof - experimentation is key.
1. What doesn’t yet exist: One thing that few marketers do is think about what doesn’t exist in your business that could be really great. Building something entirely new that you haven’t done before can be one of the most impactful things for your brand. Consider channels you’ve not thought of before - maybe you could introduce a new email newsletter or a referral program to encourage word-of-mouth marketing. You can try doing a limited marketing campaign on the different promotional channels to see how well it works before committing your full resources to it.
2. Look for the untapped potential: Pay attention to growth signals and double down on the channel types that are working. Do you have really high engagement rates for certain types of content? Or did you just get a ton of customers from a new referral program? Place more time, attention and resources to nurture these channels into growth opportunities.
3. What’s not working: Identifying what’s not doing great isn’t tough when you have the data - but acting on it often is. Cutting your losses and moving on is extremely important. Don’t be afraid to pivot if the data and your customers are telling you this channel isn’t the right fit. You could also investigate why the channel isn’t working and work to fix the problem. Identifying what you know isn’t working in your business can help you bridge the gaps in your funnel.
Pro-tip: Whether you’re experimenting with something entirely new or following the latest trends and challenges - you’ll want to do this on video. Video is probably one of the best channels to experiment with today. Use a video maker like InVideo to quickly create and edit your experiments! What’s super great about InVideo is that it contains a ton of ready-made templates that can help you create videos in minutes!
6. Make room for change
Your most effective marketing channels might change as your brand evolves - so a channel that worked perfectly today, may not be the best fit tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy and make changes - nothing should be set in stone!
Many companies start with SEO first, then develop their strategy and incorporate more channels into their overall marketing strategy. Or, based on your business type, you can start on social media and then expand to email marketing, PPC campaigns and SEO.
Your digital marketing strategy should be fluid and changing based on trends and what’s working. Always be prepared to shift your focus, act on testing results and adjust to the ever-changing landscape of marketing. Your channels will change and grow alongside your brand!
Different marketing channels bring different benefits, but most businesses can find a way to use different channels in their marketing strategies to meet business goals. Audiences are usually spread out and will need multiple touch-points so you can get multiple channels and use them for different parts of the customer journey. But no matter which digital marketing channel you use, be mindful of how you use it.
Or if you prefer learning via video, definitely check out our YouTube channel where we share daily video creation tips and tricks to help you grow your brand and ace video marketing!