06

Select Your Channels

There are so many marketing avenues available to small businesses now that it can be difficult to know which ones to choose and the costs can soon add up.

Looking at our customer persona that we completed we will be better able to decide which avenues are best when targeting our ideal customers and which avenues to avoid.

Which Marketing Channels

Choosing the best channel will depend on where your target audience will see it? If you sell online it is important that your website is optimised to create the most efficient user experience, If you have a new product or service that your customers are unfamiliar with, you may need to educate them through content marketing or if you have something that appeals to folk sitting in traffic jams on their way to work, you might want to consider billboard advertising.

It’s all about knowing your customer and where are you likely to be able to get their attention.

So what kinds are there?

Social Media

Whenever marketing is mentioned, most people default to thinking about social media, it is still on the up with millions of people looking into their social accounts every day and is commonly used by marketers and small businesses to connect with their customers, either B2B or B2C. However, it is a crowded marketplace and the platforms are increasingly keen on pushing marketers towards paid promotions so can be expensive to maintain a presence.

Be mindful that the platform you like using or are most familiar with might not be the one that attracts your ideal client so keep an open mind and be prepared to do some learning in order to be most effective.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the next step from social media in terms of having a web presence. It will concentrate on your website and its user experience, lead generation, SEO (search engine optimisation) and email marketing.

*If you are considering Email Marketing, please make sure you are aware of the limitations on data stated in the recent GDPR changes*

Content Marketing

I’d be very surprised if you haven’t heard the phrase “Content is King”

Content marketing is an ideal way of educating your customers on your products and services, on why they might need it and what benefits it can bring to them. It can showcase your expertise and also prove useful in determining your demographics so if you are considering paid advertising then you can be more targeted and precise.

Content marketing is particularly popular with B2B as it can offer industry knowledge and insights that may not otherwise be available.

Traditional Marketing

The term traditional marketing feels very old but it incorporates all of the methods of marketing that are used offline, such as print and visual advertising, (TV, billboards, sports sponsorship) events, trade shows and direct mail to name only a few.

Each of these methods still has a place and can be of particular benefit if you have a presence there that your competitors don’t utilise, but the can be costly so you will need sufficient budget and processes in place to follow up with digital communications and connecting.

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Ultimately you want a mix of channels but not too many that you can’t maintain them. Signing up for every social media channel seems like a great idea but as they can each be time consuming you may want to decide on a couple that will be active and hide the others.

Rather than trying to do too much and being so overwhelmed that you give up on all of them 

Alternatively, you can connect some platforms to maintain a basic presence, but be sure to disable features like messaging on platforms that are not used.

Top Tips

Look at your customer persona, where will they be? What social media platforms do they use?

Are you selling B2B or B2C? different platforms will benefit the different markets

What kind of content will you need to produce? If your audience is on Instagram you will need to produce visual content consistently which may take additional time. Do you know how to do that? (you can check out our Canva course to see how to create visuals)

Depending on the platform too much communication can be as off putting as too little, know what the platform recommendations are and stick to them.

Share other peoples content. Creating all of your own content every day can be time consuming so it’s recommended to also actively share others, it builds rapport, keeps your content fresh and also gives you opportunities to connect with other content creators. You can set up Google alerts to show you new content on your audiences’ interests