As a business, you have several options for choosing the right channels for your needs when creating a marketing strategy. Technology offers a reach far beyond that of any previous generation. Customers are demanding more from a company’s marketing. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to connect with your brand and learn about what makes it unique.
Of the marketing methods that have been developed recently, there are three channels that are the most relevant for today’s consumers. We’ll explain how the top three marketing channels are used, their benefits, and areas where they leave gaps.
Email is an evergreen marketing channel used today. Visitors will opt-in to be added to your list of subscribers, or a list of contacts can be purchased from a third-party vendor selling this information.
Purchasing lists is looked down on and often unsuccessful because unfamiliar email senders have a high chance of ending up in the target’s spam folder. But, if used correctly, there are ways that the email marketing channel can benefit your company.
Regularly Scheduled Newsletter
One common way companies use their email marketing channel is by sending out regularly scheduled newsletters. Loyal patrons appreciate these emails since they keep them in the loop on all of your business announcements. Newsletters can include upcoming events, promotions, new items, introducing new staff members, or tips for using your products.
Newsletters as a marketing tool can be challenging in that you’ll want to stay aware of what information any new subscribers are looking for so that you can remain relevant and keep engagement high.
Additionally, the ease of creating and sending out an email newsletter presents a unique challenge because nearly every company sends one. This means consumers are inundated with emails. So, you’ll want to take full advantage of the feedback email platforms offer, such as tracking open and bounce rates, to keep your audience engaged.
In addition to a regularly scheduled newsletter, another way to utilize your email marketing channel is by sending specific promotional emails that inform subscribers of current deals, sales or spotlight a new product.
While these can be great for interested subscribers, it can be easy to overwhelm the segments of your audience that may be looking for other types of company news. Too many promotional emails will lead to unsubscribes.
If you’re using an email marketing channel, you’ll want to monitor the open rates of promotional emails and collect feedback from your audience. This keeps the connection strong and builds brand loyalty.
Social media platforms are versatile channels that offer both engagement and advertising opportunities to your designated audience. The latest internet statistics show that 59.5% of the global population is using social media in some way.
The challenge comes in targeting your audience with the correct parameters and creating relevant content that they’ll want to see.
Social Media for Engagement
The main use of company or business social media accounts is to stimulate engagement with your community. As we’ve said above, consumers of today don’t want to be sold to; they want to learn about your company and see what gives your brand its unique personality.
Social media adds a personal touch to your marketing strategy, and any social platform can make your audience feel like they’re getting a glimpse into the heart of your brand. The downside to using social media for engagement is that followers will be looking for you to provide content regularly and you’ll need to monitor all of your accounts across multiple platforms, which can be time-consuming.
Social algorithms are another hurdle to using social media for engagement, as each social network has its own method of sorting content that can be difficult to navigate. These algorithms are ever-changing, and becoming an expert in their rules and idiosyncrasies is the only way to help your content be seen by your followers. Even then, reach and engagement are not a guarantee.
Yet, connecting with your audience in a personal way can be rewarding and result in stronger brand loyalty.
Social Media for Digital Advertising
A unique aspect of the social media marketing channel is the ability to run advertisements. Almost all social platforms now offer an advertising option, whether it be a display ad or video spot.
Organic reach is decaying due to changing social media algorithms and an inundation of content. Because it is so difficult for businesses to reach their existing audience, businesses now have to spend money advertising on social media platforms just for their content to be seen by their current followers.
When using social media for marketing and engagement, paid advertising is increasingly becoming the only way to stay competitive in the changing social media landscape. Unfortunately, many tech-savvy customers will immediately be wary of promoted posts or social media ads, deeming them inauthentic.
Social media ads can have an extremely specific targeted reach if you know the details of your audience. You will need to choose the platform, ad type, descriptors of your target market, and length of time you’d like to pay for the ad to run.
The struggle is the cost of creating and running these ads can get pricey. However, there is a lot of user and engagement data to be collected from digital ads—things like click-through rates, video completion percentages, how many impressions your ad made, and more. This data can help you track your ROAS, learn more about your audience, and sharpen your marketing strategy.
The latest marketing channel to emerge as a game-changer for businesses is text messaging. “Short Message Service” or SMS marketing allows customers to receive and send texts directly with their favorite companies, influencers, anyone.
For instance, anyone can sign up to get their own phone number through Community. Companies, brands, and even celebrities are using the Community platform to exchange messages with their audience that appear as regular texts on the phones of the Members. Text marketing is a direct and convenient way to offer promotions, request feedback, and build personal connections with your audience. Community messages have a 95% open rate, a 59% click through rate, and a 39% engagement rate, delivering results while cultivating customer relationships.
Reach Your Audience in a Unique Way
The text marketing channel offers a direct connection between companies and their audiences. One study on cell phone habits shows that people touch their phone 2,617 times per day on average, including tapping, swiping, and clicking. With SMS marketing, you’re pinging subscribers directly in the palm of their hand. No other channel of marketing notifies customers as instantly and uniquely as SMS marketing.
One notable aspect of text marketing is the ability to categorize and segment your audience easily. Segmenting your list into subgroups is the key to sending relevant content to your customers. Keeping your messages relevant to your audience’s interests will build personal connections and encourage them to stay engaged.
Text marketing allows users to give direct feedback on the things that interest them to group them into the contact lists that make sense.
What Channel is Best for Your Brand?
Every marketing strategy has a place for multiple channels and methods. There are pros and cons to every marketing channel, but some may be more effective than others in reaching your desired audience.
Recent research on how to better connect with voters observed the difference in the open rates of text messages and emails that were sent as part of the same campaign. The research showed a 98% open rate for texts, compared to a much lower 20% open rate of the emails that were sent. It comes down to which channels are getting overused and which offer an advantage.
A similar statement can be made for users overwhelmed and bombarded with digital advertisements on every device and platform. You may find it difficult to reach the engagement and click-through rates that your brand is looking for in the competitive social ad space. SMS marketing offers a direct, two-way conversation between you and your audience in a way that other channels just simply can’t do.
By texting, you can connect with your audience on a personal level, plus you’re using a method convenient for them.
The three marketing channels that are the most popular today are email, social media, and text marketing. No other channel is as unique and versatile as the use of SMS. Data shows that consumers are on their phones more today than ever before. It’s in their hand constantly, and now you have a way of getting onto their lock screens. Email and social media are important factors in any brand’s marketing strategy but can not compare to the connection that SMS is able to offer.
Build brand loyalty by showing your audience that you care about sending them relevant information and connecting with them directly. Consumers will love the fresh take of a new marketing method, plus having the ability to conveniently receive notifications on your brand’s latest products, news and even speak with your customer service team. As you review the strategy options that make sense for your company, be sure to include SMS marketing in your plan.