Marketing today is dominated by fickle customer demands, making nailing down an effective strategy more complicated than ever before. To succeed, you have to get a compelling message to potential customers by way of the right channels at the right time. Sounds easy, right? 

There are dozens of marketing channels you can use to promote your product or service. However, not every marketing channel will work for your strategy, meaning you have to be meticulous when choosing which to utilize. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to choose beneficial marketing channels for your strategy, saving you tons of guesswork and time. 

3 Ways to Determine Marketing Channels for your Strategy

1. Evaluate Your Goals

Marketers who set their goals before embarking on a project are 376% more likely to succeed. Before you can even choose the channels for your strategy, you should outline the objectives. 

What do you want to accomplish out of your marketing investment? Do you want to:

Your goals inform your decision about the channel to use. Remember: each marketing channel is well-suited for specific objectives than others. For example, online communities are great for customer acquisition and advocacy. Email works well for customer retention, whereas billboards might help build brand awareness. 

2. Know Where Ideal Customers Hang Out

Everything your business does should revolve around the customers because any effort would be futile without them. Actually, 84% of successful marketers adapt their strategy based on customer interactions — you should follow suit.  

Doing so is a multi-stage process — you should first know your target customer and then research where they hang out. 

Tips For Knowing Your Audience

When generating demand for your product or service, the last thing you want is to bark up the wrong tree. If you’re getting started, here are some tips to help you know your potential customers:

  • Talk with the sales team. Your sales team talks to your leads and customers day-in, day-out. They likely know the traits of leads that convert to customers, and that can give you a hint about your ideal customers. 
  • Create buyer personas. Buyer personas depict your target customers. They give you an array of traits your ideal customers possess, what their days are like, why they need your product or service, and how they make decisions.
  • Look at your most loyal customers. Your loyal customer represents the quintessential target audience. Pick one of these customers, and study their progression from initial contact and first-time buy to becoming a repeat customer. That will give you an insight into the type of leads you should pursue and even the channels to use. 

Your ideal customers can dictate the right marketing channels. For example, if GenZ is your target audience, the chances are that you’ll get high engagement when you reach out to them via YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram. On the other hand, LinkedIn might be a suitable outlet if you’re targeting decision-makers such as CEOs in target brands. 

Doing Audience Research

Another way to know the channels to use is to research where target customers hang out. You can outsource the task to agencies that specialize in this. An agency can handle the entire process, from creating personas to investigating which outlet and avenues your customers spend their time and consume content.

However, if you don’t have the deep pockets to outsource the service, you can do it internally through surveys. Using modern survey software, create and send out survey questions to your loyal customers. Some of the questions to ask include:

  • What online publications do they read
  • Their favorite social channels
  • Their favorite way of taking in content
  • How they look for solutions to their problems

If possible, make the survey anonymous. This will incentivize respondents to be utterly honest with their responses, which will result in factual data. Analyzing this information will help you understand the right marketing channels to use. 

3. Look at Your Competitors

Sometimes, all it takes to know the marketing channels to use is to scope out the competition. Is there a brand or two that are knocking marketing out of the park in your niche? 

Study their marketing strategy and note the channels that are bringing them stellar results. Your business may not be financially able to invest in some of these channels, so double down your effort on marketing channels that are within your budget. 

You don’t have to be a copycat, though. Borrow the good things about the competitor’s strategy and find ways to improve upon areas they may be failing. For example, if the competitor uses email marketing, but isn’t nailing personalization, take it a notch higher and leverage customer data to deliver hyper-personalized emails

Use the Right Marketing Channels

In summary, the right marketing channel to add should:

  • Reach your target audience
  • Allow you to drive the message home
  • Suit your budget
  • Fit in with channels you’re already using

Remember: the marketing landscape is constantly shifting — a channel that performs well today may not be effective tomorrow. You should continuously measure the performance of each channel and tweak your strategy accordingly.