Effective marketing channels: Tips for budding entrepreneurs
Does this sound familiar to you? You had an idea for a business. You shared that idea with your peers. You rounded up teammates with the same vision as you. You conducted extensive market research and created a solid business model. You legally registered your company. You pitched your ideas to potential investors. Alas, you are officially in business and it’s time to successfully brand your company, most likely on a limited budget. Now, you are thinking to yourself, “what’s next?”
At this stage, companies typically employ marketing agencies with in-depth market knowledge to implement creative strategies that guarantee long-term success. But for small business owners, hiring professional marketers early on is not always a feasible option.
So dear budding entrepreneurs, if you’re looking to know which marketing channels would best meet your brand’s needs, then you’ve come to the right place!
Traditional marketing: familiar, memorable & iconic
Growing up we have been bombarded with millions of ads yet only a few have stuck with us to this day. When asked to recall, almost everyone would bring up a TV commercial we saw as a child. And some might bring up a radio commercial. These memorable ads either have an extraordinarily catchy jingle we can’t help but sing along with or a catchy tagline that still evokes the brand’s image in our minds. Suffice to say, they have carved out a special place in our hearts.
The commercials we so fondly remember fall under the “Traditional Marketing” category. Traditional marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing. To put it simply, these are the advertisements you witness outside of the internet. Traditional marketing channels include, but are not limited to, television, radio, billboard, transit (buses, trains, subways, taxis, etc.), magazines, newspapers, posters, leaflets, catalogs, phone calls, and text messages.
Traditional marketing channels are deeply integrated into our lives. Whether you are reading the news, flipping through a fashion magazine, taking a bus to work, or watching your favorite TV program, you will come across ads for various products and services. Traditional marketing is inescapable. As a consumer, you may find it irritating, but as an entrepreneur, you may see it as an opportunity to make an impact on customers that could last a lifetime.
Why choose traditional marketing channels?
Traditional marketing is still very much relevant in this day and age and can help you effectively reach the right target audience for your brand. But it will cost you. Before we delve into more cost-effective strategies for your business, below are some good reasons to implement traditional marketing.
To connect with a local audience
When your target audience is in a specific location or neighborhood, utilize outdoor billboards and put-up posters at bus stops, public bathrooms, outside restaurants, or anywhere that’s a part of their day-to-day lives. These areas might already be saturated with other ads, thus, it’s imperative that you use striking visuals to stand out.
To target a mature audience
Older generations are not as tech-savvy and still rely on television, radio, newspapers, and magazines as sources of entertainment. They are more likely to look at the promotional materials that are directly mailed to them as opposed to going through the trouble of logging into their online accounts to check their emails.
To make a permanent impact
Printed materials, such as magazines, leaflets, brochures, and business cards, are not something the audience can just scroll past with a single swipe. Once it makes it to your customer’s wallet or home, it’ll be there for quite some time. And if you wish to give the audience a memorable tactile experience, remember to choose the right kind of paper.
Digital marketing: trendy, convenient & affordable
According to ClickZ, internet users make up around 57% of the global population. And this number will only rise in the coming years. A successful entrepreneur understands the rising demands of the audience and continuously attempts to meet those demands by adapting and embracing the digital age with open arms.
In simple words, digital marketing refers to all marketing efforts you see online. The pop-up ads that distract you when you’re playing your favorite mobile game, the sponsored posts on Facebook that eerily know exactly what you’re looking for, and your favorite influencer crediting their recent weight loss to some magical slimming tea brand they are collaborating with are some great examples of digital marketing.
It doesn’t cost much to open a YouTube channel or Instagram page for your business. With only a few clicks you can have promotional content uploaded to an easily accessible platform. However, when you’re competing with an endless barrage of online ads, all striving to grab the attention of your audience, you must carefully choose digital platforms that best serve the needs of your brand and your customers.
Which digital marketing channels to choose?
Audience profiling is key to successful branding. Targeting the wrong audience not only wastes resources but can lead to violent backlash, harming your brand’s reputation in the long run. Below is a list of a few options to consider when implementing digital marketing for the first time.
According to Forbes, establishing a strong presence through a website is a major factor in generating revenue for any business, regardless of industry. A top-notch website can boost the perceived legitimacy of your business. It takes only 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion and decide whether they’ll stay and scroll through your website. So make sure to hire expert web developers and designers that know how to efficiently display visuals and information about your brand, enabling potential customers to seamlessly find what they’re looking for.
The innumerable benefits of using Facebook for marketing your brand make it the go-to platform for all social media marketers. According to a global survey, 93% of responding social media marketers claimed to use Facebook to promote their business. The platform itself offers free online courses so both big and small businesses can grow by effectively utilizing Facebook marketing. With over 2.89 billion monthly active users, the social media giant is an ideal platform to generate leads for your business.
With over 2 billion monthly users worldwide, Instagram has become synonymous with the term “social media”. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand page on the app. Surprisingly, the majority of the users are men aged between 25-34. Instagram and its most prominent competitor Snapchat are neck and neck in terms of popularity, but a large population is still present on it, allowing your brand to be accessible on a global scale. The platform’s growing influence makes it a must-have for teens and young adults, and if you want to tap into a younger audience, you must take advantage of everything Instagram offers your business.
LinkedIn lets you connect your brand with over 660 million professionals around the world. The platform is more than just finding a job. Users of the platform are eager to know more about what brands and businesses are up to, giving you plenty of opportunities to present the different aspects of your brand. 57% of LinkedIn users access the platform via mobile devices so make sure your content is optimized accordingly. It is the second-most popular social media platform used by B2B marketers.
Successful branding is all about leveraging the right marketing channels for your business. Whether traditional marketing or digital marketing will yield the most results for your business depends on your target audience, market knowledge, resources, and, of course, creativity.
So dear budding entrepreneurs, do your research, keep an eye out, and stay on top of marketing trends. We hope the given suggestions and information will guide you in reaching out to mass audiences, converting them into leads, and maximizing the profit of your business.