3 Marketing channels you have to pay attention to in the next year

Years ago, customers didn’t have too many options to find and contact brands – it was either phone, fax or email. As long as the company was accessible through all of them, everything was fine. It’s not so easy any more when it comes to marketing channels nowadays.

Today, marketers have far more ways to attract new customers – thanks to constantly evolving digital marketing. They also have far more work. Using just one or two channels like before is out of the question. It’s simply no longer enough – so marketers try to be on as many channels as possible. But with dozens of channels currently available, picking the right ones is no easy task. Choosing the right channel will help with increasing conversions but the wrong one? Waste of both time and money.

At a loss where to start? Here are 3 trending marketing channels and a few practices on how to make the best out of them.

1. Social Media

45% of the total world population are using social networks, and the number is only growing every day. Customers can quickly connect with the brands they are interested in and then ask questions or give feedback on the product or service. Social media can also be an immensely valuable marketing channel for companies. For example, they can help with engaging your audience and can be used to give speedy customer support. It’s also a goldmine of information about your followers!

Getting into social media marketing isn’t as easy as just starting a profile and waiting for people to flock in though. Because of the enormous popularity of social media, every platform is filled to the brim with videos, photos and articles. Don’t want to find your post buried under several other posts? Here’s a couple of tips:  

  • Don’t nag people into purchasing your product or subscribing to your newsletter. Social media users want to learn more about the company and the industry first. If the majority of your posts is focused solely on increasing your sales or subscriptions, you’ll get the opposite effect. Spamming other social media users is an especially bad idea.
  • Pick only two or three platforms. Not only it’s virtually impossible to have several accounts regularly updated, the quality of the content posted will suffer too. Having an “empty” account does not make a good impression either, especially when a customer wants to ask a question or report an issue and there’s no one to answer it
  • The biggest mistake you can make on social media is ignoring or deleting customers comments (especially the negative ones). As many other companies can attest, this gives an opposite result to expected – the complaints usually spread all over the social media in a flash and companies end with a far bigger issue on hand, one that they can’t sweep under the rug.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media traps though – other traps waiting for the inexperienced are covered here.
Social media platforms are the perfect sources to work on your relationship marketing, especially if you do it right. by not nagging, picking the right platforms, and responding to customer comments and inquiries, like mentioned above.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing? Isn’t email marketing already obsolete? Not even close to. As much as various marketing experts love to claim that “email marketing is dead” and point towards new channels (such as messaging apps) data shows that email marketing is thriving! Almost 4 billion people have an email account and the number is growing every day. What is more, email marketing can give an astonishing 3800% ROI – one dollar spent on email marketing can give a return of even 38$!

For marketers though, email marketing is no longer as easy as sending tons of emails to random addresses though. What is more, customers get so many marketing emails now it’s much harder to get them to buy anything from you. To get the most of email marketing in the next year it’s a must to move from “spray and pray” tactic into growing an engaged subscriber base. Engaged meaning full of people who not only agreed to get marketing emails from you but are reading and actively using them.

How can you successfully use email marketing in the next year?

  • Buying email lists is a definite no-no: the quality of the lists is usually very low, with plenty of inactive, scrapped or made-up addresses. Not only you have minimal chances of selling your product to people on the list, but you are risking getting your domain blacklisted.
  • Segment and personalise: Segmentation and personalisation are top email marketing strategies in the next year. Why? Because the conversion rates for segmented and personalised emails are 208% higher than “one size fits all” emails. After dividing your subscribers into groups, you can give them personalised content based on their interests or activity. This way, you are increasing your email open rates but also CTR and conversion rates, so it’s worth the effort.
  • Optimise your emails for mobile devices: More people than ever are checking their inbox on mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets). If they get an email that isn’t optimised for mobile devices, the recipient might see an email with weird signs instead of text, photos that are blocking everything else (or an email with no images at all) and an unusable CTA button. People who can’t properly view your email on smartphones or tablets won’t wait to see your email on computers – they will delete it.

If you are struggling with email marketing (especially with your CTR rate), this article should be helpful for you.  

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3. Your own company website is a marketing channel too

Surprised? Your own website is one of the most crucial marketing channels there is. If website users are interested in your product or service, where will they go? To your website. When will they go if they have questions and want to learn more about you? Also to your site. If they can’t find what they want quickly though, they are unlikely to stay with you for long. That’s why having a clear and effortless to use website is a must in the next year.

What can you do to make your website more appealing and useful for your website users?

  • Look at your website interface: Can you find information such as contact info quickly? Aren’t there too many things on your website? Is the navigation intuitive? If the site looks cluttered, website users might turn back moments after they came. Clean and well organised is the way to go.
  • Test your website speed: the slower the website loads, the less it’s likely the customer will stay at it. Google algorithm also rank websites lower if the loading speed is longer than 3 seconds.
  • Use a tool for site audit: Those tools are handy when it comes to optimising your entire website. For example, they can help you with finding and fixing all broken links on your website or finding SEO issues.

If you need more tips or hints on improving your website usability, I wrote about this in detail here.

The above three channels already have proven to be the most flexible and popular with marketers. There are far, far more marketing channels than just the ones I mentioned and it’s definitely a good idea to look at them too. Just have in mind that not all marketing channels will be equally useful for your business type or industry so pick wisely!

Which marketing channels do your company focus on? Are there any less known ones that gave you incredible results?

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