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Digital Marketing Channel Strategy Guide For Small Businesses

Posted by: Joey Xoto Posted on

Building an online presence for a new business is tough. From social media and video marketing to email campaigns and PPC Ads, there is a lot to figure out.

The truth is, many businesses don’t have the first idea about where to start.

That’s where we come in.

You see, Viddyoze has been there and done it. We founded a start-up and turned it into an 8-figure empire using digital channels.

Now, we want to show you how to do the same.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to build an effective digital marketing channel strategy from scratch. To do this, we’ve divided the major channels into 3 categories:

Each section has its own distinct goal (which we’ll get into in a second), with one combined objective: to grow your bottom line.

Let’s dive in.
 

Lead Generation Marketing Channels

  • Social Media Ads
  • Display Network Ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Website (SEO & CRO)
  • Google Business (Local SEO)

 

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your brand. The marketing channels used here create interest, with a view to convert that interest into a sale later.

This is the starting point for a strong digital strategy and your sales funnel. At this stage, the most effective types of marketing channels are as follows:

Social Media Ads

Advertising is a quick, simple way to generate leads and get your brand into the newsfeeds of people who haven’t heard of you before.

Done right, it can be a big money spinner for small businesses, with 68% of marketers saying that social media marketing helped generate more leads (Social Media Examiner).

All major social platforms provide ads – it’s their main source of income – which makes getting started fairly straightforward. Generally, there are 3 main types of ad settings:

  • CPC (cost per click or pay per click – PPC ads): every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a fixed price.
  • CPA (cost per acquisition): every time someone makes a purchase on your site, you pay a fixed price. This is usually the most expensive option.
  • CPM (cost per impression): every time someone sees your ad in their feed, you pay a fixed price. This is the cheapest option, but it has the lowest engagement rate.

For the best results, you’ll need to test all three. CPC tends to have the best ROI for beginners, but you’ll need to ensure your website is CRO-optimized (we’ll get into that a little later).

You’ll also need to send prospective customers to a landing page that promises the same deal features in your promotion. Consistent messaging and brand imagery is vital here to provide the best possible customer experience.

Display Network Ads

Display ads work much in the same way as social ads, with one key difference: while social ads are confined to a user’s newsfeed, display network ads appear on third-party websites.

You see these ads everywhere.

In the banners of websites, along the sidebar of news sites, on mobile sites, and in apps. The pricing model works in the same way as social ads, with CPC, CPA, and CPM available. Due to its massive range, display network advertising is considered a highly successful marketing channel strategy.

The goal here is to appear on websites that complement your product or have the same audience. For example:

  • Personal trainers – brands that sell fitness gear or nutrition products
  • Football jersey store – sites such as Goal.com and the Athletic
  • Food products (such as a bakery or drinks brand) – wedding, entertainment, party sites

Unsurprisingly, Google has the biggest display network in the world with over 2 million advertisers (this is the list of sites you’re able to appear on using Google’s ad platform). Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, and Taboola are other big models.

Affiliate Marketing

Over 80% of brands have an affiliate marketing program, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Why? Done right, it can generate a lot of money.

So what is affiliate marketing, exactly?

It’s a marketing channel strategy where other people promote your products to their existing audience, pushing leads to your website or online store. In return, you pay a commission for every sale you make. Think of it as a kind of referral program.

In many ways, this is a no-brainer as the commission you pay is written off by the sale. How much you pay depends on you, although some affiliate networks have a commission cap (for example, 10% of the sale price).

Major affiliate programs include:

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing channels in modern marketing.

So much so that in 2021, Statista reported the influencer market valuation had doubled over the last two years jumping from $6.4 Billion to $13.8 Billion.

Simply put, influencer marketing is a collaboration between an individual with an established niche and a large social following, and a brand.

In exchange for payment, an influencer will promote your product to their followers, who, if you’ve done your research right, should match your target audience.

For example, if you sell makeup products, reach out to a beauty influencer. Sell cyber security software? Look for a respected blogger who covers the topic.

This is a great way for a small business to reach customers within a large audience that already exists. For the best ROI, pay the influencer by the sale, similar to affiliate marketing.

Website (SEO & CRO)

A properly optimized website is invaluable to a smaller business.

Like a member of your sales team who never stops working, a website with CRO (conversion rate optimization) and SEO (search engine optimization) will keep generating leads long after you’ve clocked off for the day.

This is a two-pronged digital marketing channel strategy; you need both to corner your target market and deliver consumer sales.

SEO

SEO is a tremendously powerful marketing channel strategy. A staggering 63% of all shopping transactions start on the internet, even if the actual purchases take place in brick and mortar stores.

If you’ve not guessed by now, Search Engine Optimization is the process of developing your website to rank higher on search engines such as Google and Bing.

By optimizing your website content with the right keywords, and ranking on the first page for those search results, you can create a regular stream of buy-ready inbound leads.

To achieve this, you’ll need to target transactional keywords (keywords with the highest probability of leading to a sale).

Transactional keywords tend to feature a product and a phrase marking intent. For example:

  • Buy X online
  • Where can I buy X
  • Buy cheap X

You can discover the most searched-for transactional keywords in your niche using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

Other SEO tips you should follow include building landing pages that match transactional keywords, and including these keywords in page titles (H1, meta title, URL).

CRO

While SEO brings leads to your site, CRO makes sure they convert when they get there. In simple terms, you want to make the buyer’s journey as easy as possible.

To do this, there are a few simple steps you can take. First, ensure your site speed is high to avoid bounces. The faster your site, the better UX (user experience); the longer a buyer will stay on your site.

Next, reinforce the benefits of your product with direct response copywriting. This is copy that urges the reader to take action as soon as they finish reading. In this case, explain again how your product will solve your buyer’s issues.

Finally, use videos on the page. Landing pages with video convert better than those that don’t.

Google Business (Local SEO)

Running a physical store? Make your premises easier to find and increase foot traffic with Google Business.

By creating a Google Business profile, you’re telling prospective customers key information about your store, such as opening times, address, images, reviews, and star ratings.

These details appear based on local searches – think “restaurants near me”, “hardware stores in Brooklyn”, “buy cheap running shoes in Downtown Los Angeles”.

Once you’ve created your account, your business will begin to appear as a pin on Google Maps. Using an algorithm, Google ranks all local listings, with three appearing at the top (see example below). These are known as the Google Map Pack, and they are the highest-rated according to Google. To appear here is a gold mine for local businesses, as these listings tend to get more attention.

Google map pack example

There’s no exact science for appearing in the Map Pack (this is Google after all) but there are some things you can do to improve your chances:

  • Create an accurate, detailed listing
  • Encourage reviews – and respond to them
  • Optimize your website for SEO and location

 

Brand Building Marketing Channels

  • Organic Social Media
  • Video Marketing (YouTube)
  • Blog Writing (SEO)
  • Podcasting
  • Digital PR

 

Brand building is the promotion of your brand to raise awareness, improve credibility and create a culture of trust between you and your target customers. This kind of channel marketing strategy is more of a long game, as it’s less direct than the lead-generating marketing channels mentioned above.

The main aim of a brand-building channel marketing strategy is to drive awareness. The more people who know who you are, the more sales you’re likely to get. Here are the marketing strategies you need to adopt to build your brand:

Organic Social Media

An organic social media channel strategy is way more than just posting on a weekly basis. To build your brand, you need to build a community.

To do that, you need to choose the right platform. Each social platform appeals to a slightly different demographic. Professional or B2B? Think LinkedIn. Going after Gen Z? TikTok is the one. Looking to appeal to an older, more generalized audience? Choose Facebook.

Next, you need to post regularly – daily, if you can. At the same time, interact with followers by replying to comments, liking posts, and asking questions. Create groups and become active here as well.

You also need to keep your personal profile active and promote your business regularly. People respond better to a human face, after all. Remember Watford soccer club? Their star goalie Ben Foster hit 1 million Instagram followers before they did.

Video Marketing (YouTube)

Video marketing is the most engaging content on the internet. Period. Just look at the stats: videos have an audience reach of 92% online. Massive doesn’t cover it.

With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube is the best place to build a brand with video. From a brand perspective, success on YouTube means higher visibility on Google, more web traffic, and higher conversion rates.

There are tons of ways you can use video to boost your brand. Create product videos to showcase your fear. Make tutorial videos to educate users. Use social ads to get the word out.

To put it simply, your customers are on YouTube right now searching for videos related to your industry! Get your brand’s videos in these searches and watch your audience grow.

The only issue with building brand awareness on YouTube is regularly creating new content to keep your momentum building.

That’s where Viddyoze can help.

With Viddyoze, you can create engaging videos in a matter of minutes. Our dynamic animations are designed to stand out online and grab users’ attention.

Creative is key to high ROI. Using our easy-to-use software, you’ll be able to provide your YouTube channel with a constant stream of quality content, and keep a customer’s attention.

Start building your brand identity with video now. Or check out the video below for more information.

Blog Writing (SEO)

Video might have taken over the world, but blog writing is still vital when it comes to building a brand.

Earlier, we covered transactional keywords. Blogging is all about informational keywords. This type of content marketing aims to increase brand awareness using SEO.

Every day, millions of people type questions into Google, searching for answers or solutions to a problem. If you can answer the questions that your potential customers are searching for, you’ll get your website in front of them and crucially introduce them to your brand.

Use websites, such as Answer The Public, to see what kinds of questions people are searching for in relation to your industry.

Podcasting

A great way to get the word out about your business or products is by appearing on established podcasts, this lets you tap into a new audience that you can convert into customers.

Reach out to podcasts that relate to your brand’s niche and have audiences that match your target customer profiles. For example, if you sell running gear, aim for a fitness podcast.

Finally, stay local. If you’re based in Chicago, look for podcasts in your area. The returns will be much bigger and it stops you generating low-quality leads from people outside of your service area.

To appear on a podcast as a guest, reach out to the host via email or their social channels. Pitch what you’d like to talk about and why it will engage their listeners.

Some podcasts also have a guest submission form on their website, to streamline the whole process.

Digital PR

Landing coverage in a big-name publication, such as the Guardian, Forbes or The New York Times, will add serious credibility to your brand, and expose your brand to huge new audiences.

If you have the funds, working with a PR agency can seriously boost your brand’s reach. The only issue is the cost. Working with a top-level PR firm isn’t cheap.

Alternatively, you can adopt a DIY method and pitch journalists directly. Tools such as Muck Rack provide access to journalists and the stories they cover.

Just be wary, if you’ve never written a press release before or aren’t experienced with creating great hooks for your stories, your pitch is unlikely to get picked up.
 

Customer Retention & Repeat Purchase Marketing Channels

  • Email Campaigns
  • SMS Marketing
  • Webinars
  • Online Summits

 

Winning customers is one thing, keeping them is a whole other ball game – but it’s well worth the extra effort.

Your current customers are up to 70% easier to sell to, according to Invesp.

At this stage, customers become more than buyer personas – they become brand ambassadors. We’ve highlighted 4 key areas for this multi channel strategy.

Email Campaigns

With an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent (HubSpot), email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of multi-channel marketing out there.

The key here is consistency. Every time you run a sales promotion or launch a new product you should be contacting your existing customers via email. Always give your customers another chance to buy.

Top tips for an effective email channel strategy:

  • Use email to suggest new products to your customers based on their previous purchasing history
  • Provide tips and advice about how customers can get more use out of your products (the key here is to keep them engaged with your product)
  • Use automation, such as MailChimp, Active Campaign or HubSpot, to make sure your customers regularly see your brand name in their inbox

The beauty of email is that it works for current and potential customers, allowing you to double down on your marketing efforts, win more sales and collect data.

SMS Marketing

When it comes to retention, most marketing strategies target multiple channels with direct marketing. SMS marketing follows the same principles as email marketing channel strategy. But by using both, you’re doubling your chance of impact.

Using these direct channels, send the same marketing message at the same time to reinforce your intentions and attain maximum coverage across your marketing efforts.

Webinars

Webinars are a great way to put a human face to your brand for existing customers. Effectively, they’re live presentations, but without the hassle, cost, and venue restrictions of in person events.

For customer retention purposes, they’re great to use as training sessions for your products. This way, you can answer questions in real-time, and reinforce the customer-company bond.

Use these events to demo new products to existing customers, and show them how they can solve their problems or issues. For extra preparation, ask your consumers what these problems are in the webinar sign-up form and then build content around their responses.

In terms of software, Go To webinar is one of the easiest to use for this kind of channel marketing.

Online Summits

An online summit is a conference or trade show held virtually. They differ from webinars in content: instead of one host (you, in the case of a webinar), an online summit involves a series of guest speakers from your industry.

These events have tremendous value, providing expert tips and advice from a range of speakers. As part of a multi channel strategy, online summits help build brand awareness, and position you as a thought leader within your niche.

To begin with, consider providing this service for free. If it takes off, you can charge for tickets. For software, WebinarJam, vFairs, and WorkCast are good options.

 

Final Thoughts

 

When building the marketing channel strategy for your business, you need to have a clear plan of action for what you want each channel to achieve.

Before investing in a new marketing channel for your business, take the time to audit your existing setup and evaluate whether you need to improve on your lead generation, brand recognition, or custom retention.

If, for example, your brand could be doing better on its customer retention, then focus on the channels that go directly to your existing customers and avoid investing in channels which are built for cold leads.

Use the channels and categories in this article to guide your strategy but don’t be scared to mix things up and test what works best for you. In truth, there’s a lot of overlap between channels.

Continuous testing is the secret to squeezing out the best ROI from every marketing channel.

 

FAQs

 
What Is An Channel Marketing Strategy?

A channel marketing strategy is the use of specific digital platforms, such as social, to achieve specific goals, including brand growth, lead generation, and sales.

How Do I Create A Marketing Plan?

To create a marketing plan you must first decide what you want to achieve. For example, if you want to generate leads, create a channel strategy using social media ads, SEO, and affiliate marketing. If you want to improve brand awareness, use a channel strategy that involves blog writing, video, and podcasting.

What Is An Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?

An omnichannel marketing strategy (also known as multichannel marketing or multi channel strategy) is a marketing channel strategy that conveys the same message across several marketing channels. Omnichannel marketing is used by most major brands.

What’s The Best Marketing Strategy?

The best strategy depends entirely on your goal and your customers. Different marketing channels achieve different results. For example, if you’re looking for leads, use a digital channel strategy that includes social ads and affiliates. To retain customers, employ a multi channel approach including email marketing, webinars, and SMS.

Is Social Media A Marketing Strategy?

Social media is one channel in a broader multi channel strategy. It can be used to generate leads and build brand awareness. It works best as part of a multichannel strategy, alongside other channels, such as direct mail, PPC ads, and word of mouth marketing.

Why Is Marketing Strategy Important?

Marketing strategy is important for business growth. Using multiple channels, businesses can use a strategy to connect with both existing and potential customers. Usually, this is done through a combination of content marketing and direct marketing.

How To Track Digital Marketing Leads?

The best way to track leads is through UTM parameters and ensuring your website has analytics tracking code across each of your webpages. This allows you to see exactly where customers came from.

Joey Xoto profile picture
Joey Xoto

Hey, I’m Joey! In 2015, I co-founded and bootstrapped Viddyoze. Since then we’ve helped over 250,000 businesses create exceptional marketing videos, without needing any technical experience whatsoever – all thanks to our powerful automated video creation engine.

My core skills include marketing strategy, video production, and tech business leadership. I also host a podcast with my business partners called “Just 3 Clicks” where we talk about the lows and highs of bootstrapping an 8-figure business.

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