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Quality is better than quantity when it comes to choosing the right marketing channels for your business. With a limited marketing budget, it’s important to prioritize channels that’ll bring in the best return on investment.
For this reason, we’ve rounded up a list of popular marketing channels that businesses use and pointed out what makes them great.
But first things first, what are marketing channels?
Marketing channels are tools, strategies, and platforms that businesses use to share information about their products and services, usually with their target market.
Before we dive in, here’s our list of the top marketing channels worth your attention:
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Push notifications marketing
- Omni-channel marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate and referral marketing
- Partnership marketing
- Content marketing (websites & blogs)
- Video marketing
- Podcast marketing
- Online advertising
- Word-of-mouth Marketing
Let’s discuss each of these marketing channels one by one.
1. Email marketing
Email marketing is among the most effective marketing channels. That’s one of the main reasons why there are over 333 billion emails sent and received every day.
Clearly, people are already accustomed to receiving communication via email.
So, why not use some effective email marketing strategies to promote your business?
Use these best practices and tips to get the most out of your email marketing initiatives:
- Segment your email list: It’ll help you personalize your messages.
- Create mobile-friendly emails: Use click-worthy CTAs and clear fonts, and keep your copy and subject lines short.
- Focus on nurturing healthy relationships: Share educational content, your brand values, or stories.
- Re-engage inactive subscribers: Use offers to get their attention.
- Use A/B testing: Test your subject lines, CTAs, body copies, and email layout.
2. SMS marketing
SMS marketing involves promoting your brand using text messages. Research indicates that customers respond to text messages 209% more than they do to emails or phone calls, making it one of the most effective marketing channels.
You can send recipients discount codes, alerts on new arrivals, and more.
What makes it one of the best marketing channels is that it is a direct and personal way to reach people. It gives you the freedom to connect with your target customers anywhere, anytime.
You can use SMS marketing to build deeper relationships with customers by sending personalized and targeted text messages. Here’s an example:
You can also send transactional messages to relay important information to your customers like order confirmation and shipping details. Here’s another example of a transactional SMS:
And here are some tips to get you started with SMS marketing:
- Get permission: Always seek consent from the recipient to send promotional messages.
- Make use of an SMS automation tool: It’ll automate the process. An SMS automation tool will also help you personalize messages.
- Be concise: Keep the message short but valuable, and always have some SMS templates on hand to save time on the basics.
- Measure results: Track click rates, unsubscribe, bounce rates, and sales. Use these insights to increase the ROI of your automated text messages.
3. Push notifications marketing
Push notifications are one of the most effective marketing channels for increasing conversions.
In a 2021 analysis conducted by Omnisend (that’s us, by the way), results showed that push notifications had a conversion rate of 1.22%, while email marketing had 0.48%, and SMS marketing had 0.45%.
This technique involves the use of browser notifications to send alerts, such as sale alerts or order status alerts.
There are two types of push notifications:
- Mobile push notifications: This type involves sending notifications to smartphone or tablet users through a mobile app. They boost app retention rates.
- Browser/web push notifications: A user gives the browser permission to receive web push notifications through a browser opt-in box. These are effective in retargeting campaigns.
Here are some tips for effectively using push notifications:
- Personalize the messages: Use the past app or website activities of the recipient to send targeted and personalized messages.
- Make it catchy: Use high-quality images, videos, and icons to increase your click-through rates.
- Pick the right send times: Choose the time when the recipient is most likely to read your notifications.
- Test the messages: Use A/B testing to see how recipients respond to different messages.
4. Omnichannel marketing
Unlike other marketing channels listed here, omnichannel marketing involves the use of multiple marketing channels while focusing on the customer experience.
It requires the use of similar branding, messaging, and tone in all marketing channels and platforms. This allows you to deliver a consistent customer experience across all customer touchpoints.
Omnichannel marketing can help you create a distinct and unique brand image that’s easy to identify.
It’s different from multichannel marketing, which involves the use of several media channels that are not necessarily integrated.
Here’s an illustration of the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing channels.
Use these tips to succeed in omnichannel marketing:
- Know your customers: Understand their pain points, likes, and dislikes in terms of shopping experience.
- Be customer-centric: Simplify the customer journey and make it delightful.
- Align marketing with all business processes: Your customers should get a consistent experience irrespective of which way they access your business.
5. Social media marketing
The key reason why social media marketing is one of the most impactful types of marketing channels is that it can help you reach the masses. Statistics show that more than half of the world’s population is active on social media.
The Digital 2022 report found that the most popular platforms are Instagram and Facebook, which are a favorite for 14.8% and 14.5% of internet users, respectively.
You can use:
- Organic social media marketing: Posting content on your social media accounts in the form of posts, stories, etc.
- Paid social media marketing: Posting ads on social media, boosting posts, or other techniques that cost money to promote your brand on social media.
Need some tips for effective social media marketing? Here you go:
- Integrate social media with email marketing: Share the social proof and user-generated content you get on your social pages in your email campaigns.
- Boost your best posts: Find your best-performing organic content and use paid promotion to reach more people.
- Automate scheduling: Use social media tools to schedule your posts and automatically publish them at specific dates and times.
- Interact with your followers: Respond to comments and join relevant conversations.
Pro Tip: Once you build a strong and active social media presence, add social media icons to your website. It’ll help your website traffic to easily find your accounts and follow you on social media.
6. Influencer marketing
The influencer marketing industry is currently a $16.4 billion market, according to a 2022 study by the Influencer Marketing Hub.
It’s a huge growth from $1.7 billion in 2016 and a key reason why influencer marketing should be one of the marketing channels you should focus on in 2022 and beyond.
Influencer marketing involves promoting your brand through endorsements from individuals viewed as experts in a niche (influencers).
These experts have dedicated followers who trust their recommendations.
There are 4 main types of influencers based on follower count:
- Nano influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
- Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers
- Macro-influencers: 100,000 to 1 million followers
- Mega influencers: 1 million+ followers
Wondering how to get the most out of influencer marketing?
Here are a few tips:
- Work with nano and micro-influencers: They have a more targeted audience and higher engagement rates. According to research by Influencer Marketing Hub, the average engagement rate for nano influencers is 8%, compared to 1.7% for mega influencers.
- Pick the right influencer: Choose influencers who are relevant to your brand and align with your brand values. Don’t use the follower count as the only selection criteria.
- Provide creative freedom: Influencers know the kind of content that resonates with their audience, so give them the freedom to create unique content.
- Set clear goals: Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals and identify your key performance indicators (KPIs).
7. Affiliate and referral marketing
Affiliate marketing spend in the US is estimated to be $8.2 billion in 2022. It’s clearly one of the popular marketing channels, and should be a priority for your business as well.
It involves offering monetary compensation to brand ambassadors, bloggers, influencers, and other partners known as affiliates. They earn a commission for every sale they help in generating for your brand.
Here is an example of Omnisend’s affiliate email marketing program.
Just like affiliate marketing, referral marketing also involves compensating people who promote your brand. The difference here is that customers promote your brand and you don’t necessarily have to pay them a commission, but you may offer other rewards.
You can use specialized software to run referral programs as they are quite popular these days and can help streamline your referral process. The referral marketing software market size is expected to grow to $713.3 million by 2027, from $226.9 million in 2019.
Let’s discuss ways to create successful affiliate marketing and referral marketing programs.
Tips to create an effective affiliate program:
- Choose the right products: Go for products with a high average order value, as these are more lucrative for affiliates.
- Analyze the affiliate programs of your competitors: It’ll help you create a competitive program that’ll attract high-performing affiliates.
- Set goals: This will help you assess if your affiliate program is performing well. If it’s not, take measures like adjusting the commission structure.
Tips to create an effective referral program
- Enroll satisfied customers: These are customers with a high lifetime value and high engagement.
- Do A/B tests: Check the pitch and incentives that are attracting the most referrals.
- Pick the right time to enroll customers: This can be done after a purchase or after a customer has shown signs of loyalty and satisfaction.
- Create a seamless experience: Make it easy to redeem the referral rewards.
8. Partnership marketing
It’s one of the less-popular marketing channels, but still quite effective. It involves two or more businesses or a business and an individual collaborating to help each other reach their respective goals.
Here is an example of a partnership between Adidas and Kanye West’s Yeezy.
By combining Kanye West’s creative streak with Adidas’ access to top production resources and global distribution channels, a mutually beneficial partnership was formed.
Partnership marketing can involve:
- Hosting joint educational seminars or podcasts.
- Conducting joint research studies.
- Producing premium content together.
- Co-creating a product or product bundle together.
Here are some tips for effective partnership marketing:
- Choose the right partner: Partnering with a complementary business means you’ll have a similar target market.
- Play to your individual strengths: Each partner brings a unique value proposition. Brought together, you’ll have a brilliant and successful campaign.
- Open lines of communication: It’ll ensure you and your partner are on the same page regarding campaign execution, messaging, and KPIs.
- Set terms and conditions upfront: It’ll make it easier to resolve conflicts or avoid them altogether.
Pro tip: Ensure there’s a mutual benefit that’s of roughly the same level. If one partner feels they’re benefiting less than the other partner, the partnership will not be successful.
9. Content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels out there. In fact, 32% of marketers use content marketing for their brands, making it the 4th most popular channel after social media, websites, and emails.
It involves the creation of valuable and relevant content to attract, engage, and delight a specific target audience.
Check out the Omnisend blog to see how we’ve created a content hub for all things related to email marketing, SMS marketing, and other marketing tactics.
Here are some content marketing tips to get you started:
- Understand the buyer’s journey: It’ll help you create content that encourages purchases, boosts retention, and creates loyalty.
- Educate your audience: Use content to establish your website as a reliable source of information.
- Create content consistently: Use a content calendar to plan your content.
- Create in-depth content: Include data, statistics, and original research in your content.
- Create a marketing plan: Use a marketing plan template to track all your initiatives and strategies in one workspace.
10. Video marketing
According to a 2021 study by Wyzowl, 88% of consumers have made a purchase after watching a brand’s video. This is one of the reasons why video marketing is one of the best online marketing channels.
You can use videos to educate your customers and increase engagement. You can even use them on other marketing channels like emails and SMS marketing to make more impact.
Here’s an example of video email marketing by Wistia.
To get the best results from your video marketing efforts, use the following tips:
- Cover one topic in each video: It’ll keep it short, preferably under 5 minutes. If the topic is broad, create a series of videos.
- Use CTAs: Direct the viewers to the next step.
- Avoid sounding too promotional: Provide useful information that leads your viewers down the sales funnel.
- Share user-generated content: Videos of customers using your products or testimonial videos are great for providing social proof.
11. Podcast marketing
Over 60% of US consumers are podcast listeners. This makes it an effective marketing channel for you to reach your target audience.
Podcast marketing involves the use of audio content to promote your products or services.
There are several ways you can market your business using podcasts. You can create educational content in your podcasts, be a guest in niche-related podcasts, or have influential podcast hosts talk about your brand.
Here are a few tips to use podcast marketing to your advantage:
- Create a landing page for your podcasts: It should have a clear headline, a description, and links to related episodes.
- When starting, publish 3-5 episodes: People will want to listen to another episode after listening to the one they found insightful, so always launch with a few episodes.
- Promote your podcast: Invite industry experts as guests and ask them to promote your podcast on their marketing channels. Creator Lab, for instance, is known to invite experts from all niches.
Pro tip: Use Keywords in your podcast titles and descriptions. It’ll help drive organic traffic from SERPs to your podcast.
12. SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO is one of the most cost-effective online marketing channels.
It involves increasing the visibility of your website on search engines to rank for relevant search queries.
SEO attracts traffic to your website that may lead to sales conversions. But it’s important to have your website appear in the first few positions of the search engine results page (SERP) to increase your click-through rates (CTR).
As evident from this research, the first position in SERPs has a CTR of 6.74% while the last position has a CTR of 0.48%. This shows that most users don’t look beyond the first few results, so you need to target top rankings.
There are two elements of SEO:
- Off-page SEO: Taking actions outside your website, like building backlinks, to drive traffic to your website and increase your search rankings.
- On-page SEO: Optimizing elements on your website like keyword optimization and meta content to drive traffic and improve rankings.
Use these tips for effective SEO:
- Meet search intent: Create content that meets the purpose of a user’s online search.
- Use keywords naturally: Place keywords strategically, such as your page titles, subheadings, and URLs.
- Create useful content: Write for humans not search engines.
- Get quality backlinks: Aim to get links from authority websites.
13. Online advertising
This is one of the paid marketing channels that deliver quick results. It involves different advertising techniques, such as:
- Display advertising: These are ads containing images and text that appear on third-party websites, such as banners.
- Native advertising: This is a paid advertising channel where the ad content matches the form and appearance of the site they appear in.
- Paid social: These are ads that appear on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They target a specific audience.
- Remarketing: These are ads served to people who have already shown an interest in your business but have not taken action.
- Search engine marketing (SEM): This is where an advertiser pays to have their website appear at the top of SERPS, above organic results. It’s also known as paid search.
It’s an effective marketing channel with a market size that’s expected to grow to $786.2 billion in 2026, from $350 billion in 2020.
Here’s how you can get the most out of online advertising:
- Always segment your target audience: Create targeted advertisements for each segment you create.
- Measure your ROI: Ensure you’re getting more revenue from an ad than what it costs.
- Get creative: Use striking visuals and memorable messages to catch attention.
- Always include a short CTA: Use persuasive language to direct prospects to the next step.
14. Word-of-mouth marketing
We end our list of marketing channels with word-of-mouth marketing. It’s one of the most affordable and effective marketing channels.
Word-of-mouth marketing is where your customers’ experiences with your business are reflected in their dialogues with other people. If you serve and delight your existing customers, they’ll recommend your products to their families and friends.
Here’s a list of tips to encourage word-of-mouth marketing:
- Give freebies: Reward your loyal customers by giving them free gifts and personalized offers.
- Conduct giveaways and contests: Your customers will tell their friends and family about them and will be happy to participate if the rewards are lucrative.
- Go the extra mile for your customers: Always deliver more than you promise.
Which of these marketing channels will you use?
Go through this list of marketing channels and find the ones that are most relevant to your business.
The best part about these examples of marketing channels is that you can use automation tools to reduce the manual workload and get better results.
At Omnisend, we can help you automate your email marketing, SMS marketing, push notifications, and omnichannel marketing to take your business to the next level.