Once you’ve ironed out your marketing message, you’ll want to decide what channels will work best to get your message to the right customers. As you consider each channel, think about where your audience “hangs out”. Does your audience spend a lot of time on social media? Does your audience read the newspaper or listen to the radio? Focus your marketing efforts on the channels that are most likely to grab your audience’s attention.
That being said, you’ll want to be careful not to put your eggs all in one basket. Explore different marketing channels and consider how each will impact your business.
Here are some popular marketing channels and some tips for using each one:
Email is a cost effective way to reach lots of people. When setting up an email campaign, you’ll want to make sure your emails won’t get marked as spam. Then, as your craft the emails, think about these three things:
- Am I reaching out to the right person?
- Does my email provide value?
- What am I trying to get this person to do?
Come up with a subject line and preheader that will persuade them to open the email, but doesn’t feel like click bait.
Print can be useful in establishing your brand offline and reaching customers outside of the internet. Determine where your audience is most likely to see your ad. Is it in a magazine? A flyer in a coffee shop window? A brochure at a hotel? Create your print ads to be visual, clear, and concise.
Direct mail can be a great channel because it’s usually very targeted. In order to track how your direct mail campaign goes, I suggest using a specific promo code or website link printed on your mailers. This will help you to more accurately track sales from this channel.
I’m referring to social media as the organic (free) posts that companies put on their accounts. Social media can be very helpful once you have a good following, but until then you’ll want to try to grow your follower by using engaging and shareable content along with popular hashtags. Don’t forget to stay on brand with all your posts!
Digital ads include all paid online ads. Some examples include Google search, Facebook display, Instagram ads, Instagram story ads, Google display ads, LinkedIn ads, Pinterest ads, etc. These types of ads allow you to get really specific with the audiences and keywords you’d like to target. Digital ads are also easy to start, stop, and change within seconds if you need to course correct. You also have the ability to A/B test images, wording, and other content to see what your audience responds too.
Billboards can be a daunting channel because they are expensive. With billboards, you’ll want to be as visual and concise as possible. Remember, people could be driving past your billboard at 60+ mph. When working with the billboard company, be sure to find out the exact dimensions and resolution for the file they’ll need. Digital billboard can also be a great channel to look into as they are typically less expensive and easier to change if needed.
Think about where your audience is most likely going to be spending their time and start with those channels. Do tests, try different messaging, and see what data you can pull. Once you have an idea of what channels will be best for your business, you can start to grow your marketing strategy even more.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.