How to Select the Right Digital Marketing Channels? 8 Steps

How to Select the Right Digital Marketing Channels? In today’s digitally-driven world, selecting the right online marketing channels is crucial for growth. With so many options – SEO, PPC, email, social and more – it can be overwhelming to know where to focus limited resources.

The key is choosing digital channels strategically tailored to your unique business goals, target audience behaviors and capabilities. When you select the optimal mix and double down on those high-impact areas, your results will skyrocket.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to picking the best digital marketing channels to accelerate your business’s visibility, leads and sales:

Step 1: Get Crystal Clear on Goals

Laser-focus starts with definite goals informing your channel selection. Be specific in defining metrics like:

  • Sales revenue growth
  • Increased website traffic
  • Number of leads generated
  • Target cost per lead/acquisition
  • Improved brand awareness

With precise objectives, you can zero in on channels that will directly drive KPIs. All efforts stay aligned to propel your business to the next level.

Step 2: Map Your Buyer’s Journey

Your channel mix should align with how your audience engages throughout their buyer’s journey. Assess touchpoints like:

Awareness Stage: How do people first discover you? Review keywords and ensure you rank for early research terms. Assess channels delivering awareness like SEO, display ads, social media.

Consideration Stage: Where does your audience research when comparing options? Be findable on influential review sites, comparison engines, forums and communities relevant to their consideration phase.

Decision Stage: What prompts the final purchase choice? Optimize sales funnels and sites referenced when buyers are ready to commit. Double down on email, retargeting ads and chatbots to provide personalized nudges.

Select channels that can continue engaging audiences at each journey stage. Meet them where they are with the right message.

Step 3: Embrace Omnichannel Marketing

One channel alone is rarely enough to move prospects through an increasingly complex buyer’s journey. Employ digital marketing channels together to maximize impact at every stage.

Unified cross-channel strategies amplify reach and frequency. For example, expanding beyond just email to include:

  • SEO: Driving relevant website traffic that you can later retarget.
  • Social: Expanding awareness and driving brand affinity.
  • PPC: Converting new visitors with personalized ads across their journey.
  • CRM: Tracking interactions across channels to segment and personalize messaging.

The sum is greater than the parts – weaving digital channels together spells digital marketing success.

Step 4: Play to Brand Strengths & Identity

Let your brand persona steer channel selection. Ask:

  • Who are we?
  • What makes us unique?
  • How do we want people to feel about us?

Align digital channels with your identity for authenticity. For example, youthful startups may favor Snapchat ads and TikTok while law firms invest more in LinkedIn and SEO.

Choose channels where you can express your brand voice, style and personality in ways that resonate.

Step 5: Obsess Over Your Audience

Target audience behaviors significantly sway which channels will perform. Get to know their demographics, psychographics, interests and habits.

Key questions:

  • Where and how do they spend time online?
  • What platforms and communities are they passionate about?
  • What types of content and messaging influence them?
  • How can I grab their attention where they already spend time?

Then meet them there with relevant campaigns suited to each platform. Lean into channels offering strong audience alignment.

Step 6: Maintain a Data-Driven Approach

The proof is in the data. Leverage analytics across channels. Metrics like cost per conversion, sales driven and audience engagement steer ongoing prioritization.

Double down on digital channels delivering real ROI while phasing out underperformers. Maintain this test-and-learn mindset indefinitely as new platforms and networks emerge.

Step 7: Factor In Resources

Be realistic about bandwidth when determining channel mix. Select channels aligning with the people, skills, tools and time available.

Audit your capabilities around:

  • In-house expertise: Where are your team’s strengths and gaps? Consider training or outside help for new channels.
  • Budget: Define the budget, prioritizing high-ROI channels first.
  • Specialized tools: What platforms or software are required to manage selected channels?
  • Content needs: Can you produce the volume and types of content needed, like social posts or videos?

Getting overextended spells failure. Scope channels wisely.

Step 8: Commit and Iterate

With your channels selected, craft an integrated strategy across platforms that maximizes impact. Drive momentum with these best practices:

  • Set SMART goals for each channel including KPIs and timelines for measurement.
  • Plan budgets and ad spend allocated across top channels.
  • Coordinate teams and establish processes supporting cross-channel cohesion.
  • Build channel-specific assets like content types, ad creative and analytics dashboards.
  • Test, measure and improve through continuous optimization and innovation.

Committing long-term while being agile to meet rising demands will amplify success across your digital marketing ecosystem.

Your Channel Checklist:

Not sure where to start? Audit this checklist of today’s top digital marketing channels to decide where to focus based on your business goals, audiences and capabilities. Check the most relevant boxes:

  •  Organic Search (SEO)
  •  Pay-Per-Click Advertising (Google, Bing, etc)
  •  Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Instagram, etc)
  •  Content Marketing
  •  Email Marketing
  •  Marketing Automation
  •  Online Video (YouTube, TikTok, etc)
  •  Affiliate Marketing
  •  Influencer Marketing
  •  Online PR
  •  Retargeting/Remarketing Ads
  •  Website Chatbots
  •  Programmatic Display Advertising
  •  Native Advertising
  •  Mobile Marketing
  •  Print Advertising
  •  Direct Mail
  •  Onsite ads

The possibilities are vast, but staying focused on 3-5 core channels tailored to your goals and audience is recommended, especially starting out. Measure rigorously, expand your skills and gradually integrate new channels when profitable.

The channels you activate and invest in will directly impact your ability to hit business goals. Optimizing your digital marketing mix is a key strategy on the path to growth – choose wisely and prepare to win. Use these steps to select high-impact channels laser-targeted to your objectives and audiences. Take an omnichannel, iterative approach. With the right strategies powering your budget and efforts around key platforms, your next marketing initiative will be an unmatched success.

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