We often get asked which digital marketing channels people should be using. The answer is usually ‘ all of them’ with varying degrees of focus. We would certainly never leave a channel neglected in these days of Google requiring that all important complete ecosystem.
Firstly, a note on your digital footprint
Using digital marketing channels independently of each other will give very poor results compared to when they are all linked together in a complete digital footprint. This is something that comes up every year in our Google certification exams and if Google thinks it’s important then so do we!
Secondly a small disclaimer
We’ve not included the digital marketing channel of using influencers or podcasts in this article. We simply have no experience of using influencers but know that for fashion and similar brands they can be an important way to reach an audience.
1. Your website is a key digital marketing channel
Ordering digital marketing channels in order of importance is well, pretty silly because they really need to work with each other. That said, it is hard to imagine a sales funnel without a website at the heart of it.
The days of a simple sales pipeline where someone visits your website and buys or enquires about your service are long gone. This is one digital marketing channel where people will jump in and out over time – for example a remarketing campaign will be designed to bring back browsers who did not convert.
How to best use your website as a digital marketing channel
Create three new articles or videos each week which are useful, engaging and ensure it is not pure sales copy. Try to hit the big five topics people are interested in.
Always make sure you have a complete digital footprint centred on the website
Connect social media and promote the site via Facebook, Linkedin etc.
2. Social Media
It probably seems pretty obvious that some brands use social media as a digital marketing channel – quick purchases such as fashion and drinks. If you’re a BtoB service it may seem less of a fit but simply remember that your buyer will enjoy downtime on social media so why not catch them there with some great content or ads?
How to use Social Media to best effect
Social media can be a huge area for marketing. This article by wordstream is really comprehensive and we recommend reading it to get the lowdown.
We love the graphic they use which highlights the key point for us which is that you cannot use all your content to sell most of it – almost three quarters in fact should be informational.
When we aim to build a brand on social media we look at the following areas:
1. Profile Optimisation
This is often overlooked but absolutely vital and really does require a good degree of skill.
Here we aim to be posting useful, entertaining and authentic posts. We want people to come to know not just the facts of the brand but the people and how it feels to engage with the brand. Get the content right here and you will have a powerful digital marketing channel.
It’s not just about posting but it is vital that you engage in the conversations around your posts and perhaps even the conversations around other posts. if a key industry influencer is drawing a big audience and creating a conversation you want to be part of it.
An often overlooked aspect of social media is that it can form part of your research program. Find out what buyers in your sector are worrying about why they are choosing to make the decisions they make. Social media can be an invaluable research tool to help all your marketing
Reaching your target moments when they are relaxed can be a very good thing to do. For a b2c proposition they may simply buy at that moment and for a B2B it will certainly help you remain in the consideration list.
Social media can provide you a good deal of information to help you you refine your content strategy, the key one of course being engagement. You can test messaging quite simply on social media and look at the effect quickly without vast expense. It’s a really useful thing to do.
YouTube and video in general is an area that is still growing incredibly quickly and some 80% of everyone’s time on the internet will be spent watching video this year (2022). It is worth noting that even 59% of executives (whatever they are!) prefer watching video to reading articles according to Hubspot.
Setting it up
Setting up your YouTube channel is a task best done slowly and carefully – as with all digital marketing channels. You’ll want to get your branding right, your name right and choose various roles for the people in your team.
You can even add a short ‘trailer’ to give new arrivals a taste of things to come if you wish!
Linking You tube to your digital footprint
YouTube is part of Google and so great care should be taken to connect your YouTube channel correctly with the rest of your complete digital footprint.
Optimising each video
To some degree you can treat each video like you would a blog article. Title, description, tags and category are all areas where you can ensure that the right people find your video.
You can also have some fun with your thumbnails, as I did here!
What videos should you create?
The first point here is that you should not get hung up on high quality production. You are not creating the next Coca-Cola ad, you are simply bringing the authentic, human voice of your business out into the public domain.
An effective inbound content strategy will mean that you are creating 3 new pieces of content every week and certainly many of those should be video. Get the best setup you can that allows you to produce these videos quickly and easily.
In They Ask You Answer, Marcus Sheridan laser the seven types of videos that will really drive sales for your business. I think the two most powerful are:
The 80% video
If you ask yourselves team how long they spend answering the same question then you will likely get an answer something like a hell of a lot.
If salespeople are often asked the same questions it means that your content has failed to answer them and a video is the best way to address that we call it the 80% video because the aim is to answer 80% of the most common questions people have this video will build enormous trust and your prospect will arrive at a sales meeting in a much better frame of mind.
The Contact Form Video
I can guarantee that your contact forms will get you more conversions if they are accompanied by a video. The opening line of that video should be something like:
‘ You might be worried to fill in this form, thinking that we will bombard you with calls and emails…’
You can see our contact page here
4. LinkedIn as a digital marketing channel.
For BtoB businesses LinkedIn will likely be an important channel. Just like any other channel this is one to be taken seriously. We love the book Linked Inbound by Sam Rathling Which lays out a great strategy with lots of useful tips.
Even setting up your LinkedIn profile is quite a large piece of work but step by step instructions help immensely. Rathling begins with her VCO process – Visibility + Credibility = Opportunity.
Visibility comes from having great content alongside a powerful personal profile and being an active member of the LinkedIn community.
Credibility online is all about how you and your business come across to others so really it’s about building relationships carefully and building trust. It’s really important not to skip this stage and move straight to selling!
Opportunity and profit follow.
You’ll also learn about your Social Selling Index and the power of ‘Givers Gain’.
LinkedIn is a powerful digital marketing channel and although outbound links from it are now discouraged, it should form part of your digital footprint.
5. Email marketing
The correct use of email as a digital marketing channel is undoubtedly powerful and 79% of all marketers say it is their most effective digital marketing channel. In 2020 hubspot reported $36 of revenue per $1 spent on email which speaks to the effectiveness of email but also to the fact that it is very cheap!
Horrible Email Marketing Vs…
We have learned from experience that buying lists is never a good idea. They tend to be out of date and of course you will be emailing people who have never heard of you.
… Great email Marketing
This digital marketing channel is most effective when you use it to build on a relationship that has already begun and where people have voluntarily agreed to hear from you. A simple email will act to keep you top of mind and is therefore likely to boost your sales.
Build your email list
The starting point for a good email list is the collection of email address and name on your website – making sure you have all the correct permissions in place that apply – this is GDPR in the UK.
These people have already expressed an interest and should be pleased to receive good quality content from you.
A lead magnet is something used as an enticement for people to give you their email address: Examples include a white paper, report, study or a guide. This content would be gated with a question such as ‘Please supply your email in order to download this content.’
Choosing an email tool
Mailchimp is a popular email platform but there are many more. We use Mailchimp and it is connected to our newsletter subscription area on the website. Once connected emails will be handled correctly with people giving the right opportunities to unsubscribe.
Content of emails
Try not to turn your emails into a constant barrage of sales offers and requests. In his book ‘Do open’, David Hieatt offers a great model: ‘give, give, give, ask’. Each give is a useful informative entertaining piece of content.
These three ‘gives’ earn you the right to ask. You may choose to do 4 emails a month and only one is an ask or you might have three pieces of ‘give’ content in each mail and one ‘ask’.
Sign up for our emails to get an idea of how this works
Other Digital Marketing Channels
These days other digital marketing channels such as influencer marketing and podcasts are becoming important and in the months to come we may well write a blog on the latter as we intend to try it. Influencer marketing again is very interesting but is not something we specialise in here at The Ambitions Agency. Perhaps in a way the best thing is to try to become your own influencer!
Get started for FREE: Power up ALL of your Digital Marketing Channels today
For most medium-sized businesses in the United Kingdom the ultimate power combination of digital marketing channels is based upon a great website with great SEO and great content – and that’s exactly what we specialise in.
FREE digital audit
If you are wondering how effective your current digital marketing channels are then get in touch for a free digital audit. It will provide a fascinating look into the landscape around your business online – what your competitors are doing and how they can be outstripped.
FREE website specification
Equally if you are considering a website refresh or rebuild then we can work through that using our scoping tool to provide you with a precise specification of what you need and of course the amount you’ll need to invest