Which Marketing Channels Work for Which Messages?

Briana Barkett wrote this on April 12, 2017

Crafting a marketing strategy today is a lot more challenging than it used to be. Not only are there more avenues to explore, consumers today also expect a lot more from the ads they see. For ecommerce brands, determining where to spend time and money on marketing efforts is (or should be) a major priority.

Developing a solid content strategy will help you in numerous ways. Not only will this help you with creating actual content to share with your audience, but you’ll also have a record of what you have done that you can tweak accordingly as you find out what is working for you and what isn’t. In fact, over 60% of the most successful content marketers have in place a documented strategy.

Before you can start strategizing, you need to have an understanding of what is out there. What are the main tools you have at your disposal, and when are they appropriate to use?

Understanding the Differences

Successful brands strike a balance between choosing the right platforms and utilizing each platform in the right way. Certain types of content (which we will discuss in detail below) are better suited for certain platforms, and additionally, it is important to analyze which platforms will be beneficial for your brand, and which are less likely to be. Crafting an appropriate content strategy involves balancing both of these considerations.

Let’s discuss four main channels and how they may each fit into your content strategy.

Social Media

social media marketing channels
Image credit(s): Marketing Land

 

Social media is an incredibly broad term and is not something that you should look at in a big picture sort of way. Social media is beneficial for every brand, but this does not mean you need to have a presence everywhere. Rather, you should develop an understanding of each of the main platforms and decide which will be best for your brand.

There are some overarching trends to note with social media, most significantly being the presence of visual content. Posts with visuals have for a while now been the ones that receive the most engagement. Tweets with photos get 150% more retweets than those without, and Facebook posts that include photos get on average 2.3 times more engagement.

Channels like Instagram and Snapchat, which are completely visually based, continue to see great user growth, with Instagram surpassing 600 million monthly active users and Snapchat surpassing 300 million monthly active users.

marketing channels facebook stories
Image credit(s): Facebook Newsroom

 

New features also clue you in on the importance of visual content. Instagram, Snapchat, and most recently Facebook all have visual “story” features which allow users to post images and videos that will automatically disappear after 24 hours. Live video has also been integrated into Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, another popular visual trend to make note of.

So- which platforms should you be using for your brand? Here’s a quick chart from Marketing Strategy X detailing the main differences between all of the most popular channels:

marketing channels social media comparison
Image credit(s): Marketing Strategy X

 

The Takeaway:

There are differences with each major social media platform, and you don’t need to have a presence everywhere. However, when you do decide which you want to utilize for your brand, be sure you are incorporating high quality visuals as a main part of your message.

Blogging

Blogging has been around for a long time now and it shows no signs of stopping. What’s even better is that there is no industry where there isn’t a desire for quality blog content. It isn’t a matter of if you should run a blog on your website, but rather how you should go about doing it, and what content people want to see.

marketing channels to blog or not to blog
“To blog” is the answer you’re looking for. Image credit(s): Microweber

 

The main point to keep in mind here is usefulness. Your blogs should be viewed as highly useful and relevant to your target audience. So what does that mean, exactly? Each piece of content you put out should teach your audience something related to your business. Maybe that means sharing a new recipe if you run a culinary business, or introducing the new iPhone if you run a tech-based content website.

Good blog posts make your customers happy, and they also make search engines happy. New postings signal to search engines like Google that your website is one that is an industry leader, providing users with relevant and up to date content.

The length of your blog content is something else to keep in mind. You might think shorter content is better, seeing as we have such short attention spans these days, but you would actually be incorrect. Longer content actually performs better, with top ranking content having an average of around 1,200 words. This ties back into the concept of usefulness- users want content that actually shows them or teaches them something, rather than short surface level blogs that don’t accomplish much of anything.

The Takeaway:

Blogging is great for anyone, but you have to create quality detailed content that is relevant to your audience and brand in order to have success. Save your long content postings for this platform.

Email

Email marketing remains a useful marketing platform and is something most brands should hold onto, at least in part. Just a few years ago email marketing would have been a top priority for a majority of brands, but today you will find email is slipping in the ranks.

The average person’s email inbox is flooded with messages; office workers receive on average 121 emails each day. This makes it hard for your marking messages to stand out. Nevertheless, email can still serve a significant role in your marketing strategy.

marketing channels email confirmation
Image credit(s): Get Elastic

 

What messages are suitable for the email of today? In short: personalized ones. This can be broken down into two main categories. First, there is crucial information that you need your audience to hold onto, like the above example of an order confirmation. This email lists the user’s order number, which items were purchased, as well as their rewards status and point total.

This type of info is always suitable for email, as it is confidential info that needs to be directly shared with an individual user. The user also has the ability to save this info and store it should they have an issue with their order.

Second, you’ve got personalized marketing messages. Examples include product recommendations based on a user’s order history or alerts about new features or content a user is likely to find interesting. A user is more likely to open a personalized email message, with the average open rate being 6.2% higher than those without any personalization. If a user doesn’t find your emails to be relevant, they will be quick to hit unsubscribe.

The Takeaway:

Email is not the marketing giant it used to be. Use it today for personalized marketing messages and crucial account info and updates that users need to hold onto.

Web Push Notifications

 marketing channels flash sale web push notification 

Finally, you’ve got web push notifications. These messages deliver instantly to a person’s desktop or mobile device and direct back to the landing page of your choice. With countless segmentation and automation features, web push is a powerful way to interact with your audience.

Time sensitive messages are perfect for web push. Almost no other marketing platform can provide the high level of visibility that web push can. Because your messages deliver instantly and don’t depend on if a user is at your website (or even using a browser), you can feel confident that users view crucial messages when they need to.

Take the flash sale example pictured above. The entire sale only lasts 24 hours, which makes it urgent that users see the message as quickly as possible. With web push, your message delivers instantly. You can even segment your campaign by time zone so that everyone receives the notification exactly when you want them to (trust us- no one wants to receive your notification at three in the morning).

Personalized content, such as product recommendations or abandoned cart notifications, are other messages that work incredibly well on this platform. Broad messages are a quick way to annoy your subscribers, so be sure what you are sending out is relevant to the person, or segment, of users you are targeting.

The Takeaway:

Web push allows you to interact with your audience in a direct, fast way. Use these messages to alert users about time sensitive info, retarget users who have abandoned their carts (or your website in general), or to suggest relevant content or make product recommendations.

There you have it! Are there any other major platforms or uses we forgot to mention? Let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email.

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