Marketing is and always has been a dynamic field; activities that are used to gain the attention of targeted audiences and start customer conversations changes over time. With a global industry that is already worth over a trillion dollars, advertising alone employs hundreds and thousands of people worldwide. It seems like the entire corporate world ever does is marketing; the average American consumer goes through over several thousand ads each day.

According to a recent study by Media Valet, the marketing team that documents their strategy is 313% more likely to report success than those who don’t. While 45% of organizations still lack a clearly defined digital marketing strategy, a 13% increase in budget for digital marketing was observed on average from 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, 74% of online marketers claim that the use of visual content more than 70% of the time and digital asset management is now crucial for visual storytelling.

In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the best marketing channels. These channels can help small businesses to engage and start meaningful conversations with their customers.  

1. Blogging

While blogging is considered a great tool as it’s still alive and thriving; however, those create content with a solid promotion plan can suffer deadly consequences. Blogging, when done right can assimilate well over a hundred thousand views in a month. This is why considering blogging to be dead is a grave misunderstanding; you just have to reach the right people. Here is what you can do:

  • Share your blog on social media
  • Post on subreddits
  • Include a mention in your email
  • Become more active on user-generated content websites and promote there
  • Use your blogs to answer queries in forums
  • Keep a lookout to score big with social bookmarking sites
  • Promote it in your private and inner circles

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a broad umbrella term. It encompasses creating, publishing, and distributing valuable and informative content for targeted audiences online. This can include content in a wide variety of formats such as news, updates, reports, case studies, press releases, white papers, e-books, infographics, podcasts, tutorials, how-to guides, blogs, etc.

However, content marketing requires continuous effort to deliver large amounts of content with a resolute content marketing strategy. Regardless of what you do, content marketing is incomplete and fruitless if you don’t promote your efforts on a wide variety of digital platforms and channels. Here are some strategies that might pique your interest.

  • Building topic authority with the help of relatable multimedia content and interactive elements
  • Custom-made and personalized content for segmented audiences and specific niche groups
  • Deliver the latest trends, surveys, reports, and research findings in your work
  • Engage audiences with the help of contests, polls, questionnaires, giveaways, etc.
  • Provide tutorials, top-10 lists, product/service comparisons, user reviews, infographics, etc. 
  • Steadily create clustered content to build topic authority based on user preferences & interests

3. Email Marketing

Some people out there have the notion that email marketing is dead. Unfortunately, they can’t be anymore misunderstood. Email marketing has the potential to yield incredible results and deliver outstanding engagement with clients and stakeholders alike. It is a powerful tool for starting customer conversations.

Users of email from all age groups check their email more often than they are generally perceived, and this trend has been boosted by the usage of smartphones that instantly notifies them about a new email received in their inbox. Internet connectivity and smart technologies have made access to emails more convenient than ever. Here are some tips to kick off your own email marketing campaigns:

  • A/B Test your email strategies, layouts, designs, and overall format to find the most effective combination that works for you the best in different situations.
  • Create stupendous subject lines with the help of CTAs (call to action), emojis, usage of numbers, and personalized messaging to increase CTRs (click-through rates).
  • Utilize email automation and scheduling tools available to create greater impact, such as Mailchimp, Moosend, MailerLite, Ominsend, and Sender, to name a few.
  • Integrate other marketing channels, including website link, social media, blog, and other intellectual properties that your company owns into your email marketing messages.  
  • Stop being overly promotional and deliver valuable and informative content that sparks curiosity, enthusiasm, and relates to your recipients’ interests.

4. Influencer Marketing

With the advent of social media, people across the globe were given a gateway to emerge on various platforms and gain traction online, effectively labeling themselves as modern influencers. And influencers are known for being able to kickstart customer conversations. Today, they are a force to be reckoned with and many businesses nowadays reach out to them for marketing campaigns and gaining some chunk of their huge social media followership.

Celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, & Dwayne Johnson rule Instagram with more than 200 million followers. On Facebook, we have Shakira, Will Smith, and Vin Diesel has more than 100 million followers. Whereas on Twitter Barack Obama along with Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have more than 100 million followers. However, you would find various non-celeb influencers that have created a name for themselves online. Major categories of influencers include:

  • Mega – well over 1 million followers
  • Macro – anywhere between 100,000 to 1 million followers
  • Micro – anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Nano – less than 1000 followers

5. Location-Based Marketing

A local marketing strategy is one that businesses can deploy to target potential customers within a specific radius, usually 50 miles from where they conduct its activity. This is also known as local store marketing and neighborhood marketing.

The basic idea is to gather traction and create awareness with people that are closest to your physical location, sparking customer conversations. Some strategies include:

  • Create awareness about the event on social media platforms using hashtags and geo-tagging
  • Utilize and optimize mobile app localization opportunities
  • Maximize engagements with check-ins and promotional offers
  • Collaborate with other ventures to gain maximum attention

6. Proprietor Website

Your business website serves as the most valuable real estate in the virtual realm; it’s your company’s asset to gain maximum traffic online. Ventures are utilizing various strategies, including SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), and SMM (social media marketing) to bring traffic to their online stores.

Your website can hence serve as the main point of contact for internet users. With the help of FAQs, Contact Us forms, and chatbots, you can engage and interact with visitors to your website and gain further insights from your targeted audiences.

Another option is to provide your business contact information, phone number, and physical address to increase encounters with your customers. 

The Bottom Line

This is not an exhaustive list of marketing channels that your small business can utilize to start customer conversations. We have currently seen social media stories and video marketing, gaining a lot of attention from users. Furthermore, voice technology is also becoming more frequently used by the masses, which is all the more reason to optimize your online content for voice search.

If you feel that I might have missed out on something important, then leave a comment below. Cheers and all the best for your future endeavors!