From social media to direct mail, there are lots of different platforms and tools to use for marketing. These different channels give marketers multiple ways to reach their customers. While that’s definitely a good thing, it can make initial strategizing feel overwhelming.

Luckily, there’s no need for you to make use of every available channel. If you take a methodical approach, you can pick and choose from available options. This helps you create a highly tailored marketing strategy for your brand.

Finding the Right Balance

As part of your methodical approach to strategy, it’s ideal to start by getting the lay of the land and understanding what’s out there. It helps to break down available media and platform options into three categories based on type. Each channel that’s available to you will fall into one of these three media types:

  • Owned: Owned media is anything that’s directly within the company’s control. In a digital context, this includes everything from your brand website to social media accounts. For traditional marketing, owned media can include things like direct mail items.
  • Paid: As the name indicates, paid media is any marketing material that the brand pays to promote. This category includes: Advertisements on third-party platforms, Influencer posts and Sponsored blog posts. Other marketing activities that take place on channels that don’t belong directly to the brand
  • Earned: Things like press release write-ups, viral video shares and word-of-mouth recommendations are known as earned media. Earned media is harder to control than the other two types. That’s because it generally requires other people to pay attention to and interact with your owned and paid marketing efforts.

Digital content marketing sees a lot of interaction between channels that can slot into these different media types. For example, your paid ads on YouTube may include cards that link back to your company’s owned website. Earned media may drive viewers to your brand’s owned social media accounts. A good paid ad campaign can result in earned media exposure if the ads go viral or are of high enough quality to win awards.

That’s why balance is so important — it allows you to extend your reach and avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. As you choose the right marketing channels for your business, make sure to include a mix.

Strategies You Can Use to Choose

Regardless of media type, you should pay attention to some things as you pick and choose which marketing channels make more sense for your brand. These factors allow you to be as strategic as possible and provide smart justification for each choice.

Demographics

Though digital media have changed marketing in a lot of ways, there’s one thing that definitely remains true: find your audience where they are. That means choosing marketing platforms based on demographics. Facebook tends to have an older user base, for example. If your target customer is a college student, that platform may not be an efficient option when you can only cover one or two social networks.

There’s a potential pitfall in being too dismissive based on your assumptions about demographics. For example, you may assume that your industrial B2B organization isn’t a good fit for influencer marketing. However, influencers aren’t necessarily stylish 20-somethings who care about little other than music, fashion and travel. You can find influencers for just about any niche, whether it’s someone in the insurance industry or the head of your local PTA. Use carefully researched, verified information from reliable sources to make your strategic decisions based on demographics.

ProductChoosing the Right Marketing Channels: Your Guide to Success Type

Different products suit different channels. Channels that rely on aesthetics are best suited to businesses that capture some sort of visual appeal. Text-heavy channels are more suitable for a technical niche. Fast fashion, for example, is a highly visual market, so wordy blog posts probably aren’t the best fit. A plumbing business, on the other hand, might benefit from lengthier how-to posts on a company blog.

Think about how you can best present the products or services you offer. What channels line up well with that presentation style?

Team Strengths

The people on your marketing team can help you narrow down channel options. If someone on your team has a great record of gaining Twitter followers, it’s a mistake to ignore that completely. Put your trust in people with good experience in a specific area. After all, choosing the “right” channel isn’t necessarily a guarantee of success. Each individual marketing channel has its own quirks and technical requirements, and knowing how to navigate them is half the battle.

Remember that you’re part of your team, too. Your preferences and experience matter. If you really hate working with particular platform’s ad interface, consider giving a different channel a try to see if that produces better results.

Navigating Different Marketing Channels

Ultimately, it’s the results that matter. The abundance of different marketing channels available today gives you the opportunity to experiment and find out what works. Focus on channels that allow you to measure your success with data reporting and other direct feedback. That way, you can take a more data-focused approach to the question of which channels are best for your brand.

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