Unless you have billions of dollars in marketing budget at your disposal, you’re going to find yourself at a loss if you target every marketing channel out there from print, to television, affiliate marketing, SEO and PPC, email marketing, storefront advertising, billboards and hoardings. You can even market products on streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube or pay for product placement in films – tourism boards and hotels tend to use the latter effectively.
However, even if you have that kind of budget, tapping every single marketing channel out there is probably both overkill and counterproductive. It is instead advisable – especially if you are not a million-dollar brand – to focus your resources on a handful of marketing channels that are easy to measure. You want to go with high ROI marketing channels but to verify ROI delivered, their reach and conversion should be measurable.
So how should a brand kick start its marketing efforts? What channels should it focus on? We’ve rounded up just 7 areas to focus your resources on – these marketing channels can be managed on as small or as large a budget as is available to a given brand. These are also the basic must-haves in the current scenario.
1. Product website and public profiles
You need to have a website for your product with an order button and a payment option so that your customers have a go-to location to come and view your products, see how others are reacting to them, and so on. Do a little research on websites of brands that offer similar products to ensure that the look and feel of your website match what your audience expects to see on a website for the given product. Do also invest some time – at regular intervals – to observe trends related to fonts and layout. Your website should always keep pace with trends in terms of its appearance in order to come across as relevant and up to date.
If you are buying a domain name, do ensure that you keep a track of when your renewal fee needs to be paid. If you fail to pay, the domain owner can pretty much ask you for just about any sum to give your website back to you. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in.
Alternatively, you can also use WordPress to set up a free website. It will be a little basic but is not a bad idea for starters.
In case you are not yet ready to invest in a website, then it is important to ensure that your product is viewable and orderable on various social media channels. Select the channels carefully in keeping with your target audience’s habits and social media usage. If your market is baby boomers you might want to look at Facebook. Older millennials lean towards instagram and younger millennials veer towards Tik Tok and Snapchat as does Gen Z.
Also consider the nature of your business. If yours is a B2B product, for example, you might be better off marketing on LinkedIn.
Social media marketing is not about which platform you are most comfortable with, but which platform your audience uses the most. If you feel like you are not savvy enough, hire a social media manager.
2. Company blog with problem-solving content
When users search for a keyword, websites will pop up as a response to search depending on how relevant and how recent their content is, it makes sense to tie a blog into your website. You can populate the blog with relevant content regularly to ensure that it has a fighting chance amidst all the other noise out there. We’ll also tell you how to increase your chances in the next two points.
When it comes to Blog content, given that the conversion is usually slow (these are people in the research stage rather than the buy stage), one might be tempted to take short-cuts. But your blog is an extension of your brand personality. Avoid the following errors:
- Grammatically unsound content
- Text-heavy content that lacks pictures and visual appeal
- Pictures that do not match the audience (if your audience is Indian, you might fail to strike a chord with your audience if all the pictures on your website have caucasian people – invest in getting relevant pictures)
- Copy-pasted content
- Outdated information
- Reposted/ rehashed content that lacks updates at least in the first paragraph
- Childish, tacky or overly busy design
- Blinking headlines and other distracting (also read annoying) elements
- Heavy photographs that slow the speed at which the page loads
3. Comprehensive SEO Strategy
SEO is acknowledged as one of the most high ROI marketing channels out there at the moment. Using search engine optimization to boost traffic to your website is a foolproof and low cost way to get the job done. You will be driving the most relevant and receptive people to your website in this manner because you are literally only pulling in people who googled “white sneakers” to your website that sells sneakers and hiking boots, for example. You can discover the right keywords to use in posts and blogs simply by using a tool like Google Trends.
This free tool by google lets you view trending keywords and also pits keywords against one another to give users truly useful insights. You can also identify how certain keywords are doing in certain geographic locations. You can even plan your content by looking at historic data related to keywords. You’ll know just when in March people start reading about Women’s Day, for example, and the time your post right.
4. Pay-per-Click Campaigns
You need a combination of the organic social media marketing that we talked about in the first point and pay-per-click social media marketing. Google Adwords is one of the most measurable type of advertising that exists at this point in time. Unlike television advertising where people leave their seats for a quick loo break (or to bring the next batch of popcorn) during the ads, PPC is targeted and far more effective, according to most marketers. That is because the website or provider only gets paid when someone clicks on the given ad or link or photo or video. The best thing about the pay-per-click variety is that these are usually individuals who are already interested in your product.
Pro tip – Work with the marketer to develop a clickable item that is exciting, eye-catching and one that best positions your product to your audience.
5. E-mail Marketing Strategy
Email marketing admittedly displays relatively low conversion count but also a very low cost. Invest time and effort in getting a database of relevant recipients, use the correct hook, send out only relevant data and you are well on your way to using this incredibly cost-effective medium. If your database has 10,000 people on it, at even a 1% conversion rate, you still get 100 conversions from an exercise that costs you nearly nothing. Being a gold-tiered Hubspot Partner Agency, we are always experimenting with new methods to craft and implement successful e-mail marketing strategies.
6. YouTube and Spotify
There is a reason why educational institutions across the world are pushing teachers to have not just reading and writing oriented tasks and lessons but to also utilize visual aids and auditory aids. Some people interpret and retain information better when it is in print format, others when they hear the content and still others learn best with the help of visual cues.
Depending on what your product is, it might make sense to consider platforms like YouTube and Spotify to put forward videos and podcasts related to your product. You can even use these to populate your own blog or use shorter versions of them on your social media.
7. Audience ambassadors
Incentivise your audience to like and share posts with contests, freebies and discounts.
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Nothing speaks in favour of a brand or a product more effectively than a satisfied existing user. However, never overlook the need to incentivise people for offering positive reviews, for sharing your posts and for offering favourable (but truthful!) reviews.
You can factor the costs for these giveaways into your marketing budget. If you’re giving away a pair of free headphones to the first person to get 50,000 likes or shares, you simply need to add the cost to your budget.
Pro tip – your own product need not always be the giveaway or freebie. It could be a discount on your product or a related product. For example, what will a retailer of gold jewellery offer as a reward for obtaining 10,000 likes? Surely they cannot give away gold. They could either offer a discount on the winner’s next purchase or they could offer one of those gimmicky gold facials as a prize. Maybe they can even get some cross marketing out of the retailer of the gold facial that they’re giving away as a prize.
The bottomline about all of these high ROI marketing channels is that they are all measurable. To ensure that you are receiving a good ROI, you need to ensure that the return is measurable. You need to be able to conclusively say that ‘we spent Rs X per lead’ and ‘we spent Rs X per conversion’ for you to truly evaluate whether a marketing channel is high ROI or not.
While these 7 marketing channels are ideal for any sort of business, you might want to evaluate these and any others depending on how buying is prompted for your specific product.