Working desk with laptop computer and paper draft showing marketing planning

Digital Marketing – A Multichannel Game

Launching a product these days without a digital marketing strategy is like opening a store and hiding it behind a screen. Customers look for products and services mainly by surfing the network on their PCs and their phones, so businesses must be there, or sales won’t happen.

‘Be there’ means establishing a clear and easy-to-find path through which new and past customers unaware of new products and offers will learn about those and visit the site to complete a transaction.

However, many businesses, realizing the need to go online, rush to set up a site and then get disappointed – customers don’t show up.

Effective network marketing does not end with setting up a website, however beautiful it may be. A comprehensive marketing strategy is needed, one that uses multiple digital channels to create the needed path.

Fortunately, especially for the small business – this goal is achievable within a minimal budget, there is no need to take an unnecessary financial risk.

How to ensure customers find you online?

The modern surfer learns about products and services via multiple network channels, each surfer selecting the ones matching his/her taste and habits. Channels through which businesses are promoted can be divided into the following two groups:

  • Free” channels (also called “Organic”). These channels allow the user to find what they want based on a proactive search which leads to your site based on relevance​
  • Paid advertising – ads and payment-based promotion, based on attention-grabbing methods (pop-ups, animations, etc.).

‘Free’ Channels

Search-engine based channels

  • Google Search: The main search engine, which operates a complex decision-making mechanism regarding the order of the results
  • Facebook: Enables its own search engine that determines the search results on the page’s popularity and other complex parameters
  • Dedicated Portals, Guides: – Various Yellow Pages type sites enabling product and service search, typically location-based

Social networks and blogs

These are based on a promotion page or on visibility achieved via tagging (“#hashtaging”) and followers

  • Facebook Page: Page description and relevant content (posts)
  • Facebook Page: Page description and relevant content (posts)
  • YouTube: a video channel that promotes products and services pointing to the main business site
  • Linkedin a professional social network suitable for promoting professional services through the accumulation of connections and appropriate content activity
  • Blogs / Facebook Groups: Exposure through referring articles/posts, published by popular writers

Other channels (such as Pinterest, Telegram groups, TikTok, and others) represent more options, but for the purpose of this analysis, considered secondary, used mainly as a marketing channel for niche groups.

‘Paid’ Channels (Advertisement)

These include

  • Paid ads / Paid promotion: on each of the channels above
  • Paid promotional articles

This analysis focuses on the low-budget promotion offered by some advertising channels. Sometimes there is a point to incorporating limited advertising as part of the overall effort – a topic that must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to Promote and Get Maximum Results?

Each of the channels mentioned requires different treatment to become a channel of exposure and an effective tool to drive customers:

  • Search engines require technical integrated activity and attractive content development to ensure visibility in a prominent position (first pages).
  • Social network-based Promotion is based on creating and revealing interesting content according to the specific rules for each page/target group
  • Promoting via popular bloggers requires developing a personal relationship that can lead to the exposure and is heavily dependent on the specific blogger’s content policy

When should I add (paid) advertising?

The main challenge facing organic channel promotion is the time it takes to achieve business results. Most of the organic channels, notably Google’s search engine, require months of consistent promotion to reach a high position and generate potential buyers. Other channels will give more agile results, but the number of buyers exposed through them can be limited.

One way to improve visibility and reach a shorter timeframe is to accompany Organic Advertising with sponsored advertising, which advances the business quickly and allows potential customers to reach faster. Choosing the sponsored channel does not have a ‘miracle formula’ and each case needs to be examined by the characteristics of the target audience, the promoted product/service, and of course the potential budget. For example, Google ads can be an expensive option due to the multitude of advertisers on the subject, and sometimes much better results can be obtained in dedicated domain forums.

Summary

My preference is for implementations in which promotion is an integral part of the project. This is the only way to avoid disappointment and eventually lost investment. In most cases, a modest addition to the base project will improve site promotion tremendously and shorten the way to the first sale. In simpler cases, I can implement all of the necessary parts, while more complex projects involving a large e-commerce site are handled as a collaborative effort of a group of experts each specializing in a specific channel.

Please contact me to analyze your project needs – no strings attached!

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