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The 12 Best Digital Marketing Channels To Use

The 12 Best Digital Marketing Channels To Use

Digital marketing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. As consumers spend more time online and on mobile devices, businesses have shifted their marketing budgets to reach customers through digital channels. But with so many options, what are the best digital marketing channels to focus on in 2024? This comprehensive guide examines the best digital marketing channels that provide the best return on investment for driving growth.

Search Engine Optimisation

Small Business Seo Belfast

Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing. Higher rankings lead to increased visibility and website traffic. With Google handling over 80% of search traffic globally, SEO is necessary for any business.

Why Is SEO One of the Best Digital Marketing Channels?

There are several key reasons why SEO delivers strong ROI compared to other digital marketing channels:

  • Increased Visibility: Higher rankings lead directly to more people finding your site organically. SEO results in qualified visitors already searching for your products or services.
  • Significant Traffic Volume: SEO drives massive website traffic when done correctly. Over 50% of website clicks go to the top 3 search results.
  • High Conversion Rates: Searchers have intent when using Google. Carefully targeted SEO results in visitors more likely to convert into customers.
  • Cost-Effective: Once your SEO foundations are in place, they only require periodic adjustments, which cost little compared to paid search ads.
  • Long-Term Results: Unlike paid advertising, SEO delivers lasting results that build up over time by improving authority and rankings.

You can tap into consistent search traffic and sales with the right SEO strategy tailored to your business. SEO should form the core of any digital marketing plan.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and retain customers. This content can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, podcasts, ebooks, visual graphics, and more. The goal is to provide content that solves problems, answers questions, entertains or educates your audience.

What Makes Content Marketing So Powerful?

Here's why every digital marketing strategy needs to incorporate content marketing:

  • Builds Trust & Authority: Quality content demonstrates your industry expertise while establishing trust and credibility with readers.
  • Generates More Leads: Content that resonates with your audience naturally leads more qualified prospects to your site who want to engage further.
  • Higher Conversions: Readers who consume your content are further down the sales funnel, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Improves SEO: Relevant, high-quality content boosts your SEO rankings by getting more backlinks and engagement. The more engagement your content gets, the more visibility it will have in search engines.
  • Memorable Branding: Consistent publishing allows you to reinforce your brand messaging and what makes your company unique.
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No other digital marketing channel offers as many brand-building benefits as content backed by a sound strategy.

Social Media Marketing

Ai On Social Media Presentations

With 4.8 billion social media users globally, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are highly influential marketing channels. An effective social media presence keeps you top of mind with your audience and offers several advantages:

  • Massive Reach: Billions of built-in active users make social media efficient for outreach.
  • Increased Brand Awareness: Compelling social content in users' feeds builds familiarity with your offer.
  • Engagement Opportunities: Social platforms facilitate real-time engagement and conversations with prospects.
  • Lead Generation: Paid social ads allow you to target cold audiences by demographics and interest to drive conversions.
  • Customer Retention: Organizing existing customers on social media improves retention and loyalty.

With so much consumer attention on social platforms, having a thoughtful social media strategy is critical for driving accurate business results in 2024 and beyond.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising refers to sponsored ads you pay for, like Google Ads and Facebook Ads that appear at the top of search engines and on social feeds. With PPC, you bid on keywords relevant to your products or services and only pay when users click your ads.

Why Double Down on PPC Advertising?

Here are the main upsides fueling higher PPC ad spending year over year:

  • Precise Targeting: Advanced targeting options allow you to target your ideal audience.
  • Full Funnel Marketing: PPC works for every marketing goal, from awareness and consideration to conversions.
  • Guaranteed Placement: Your ads always appear prominently before your target customers.
  • Significant ROI Potential: The average return on ad spend for search ads is $2 earned for every $1 spent.
  • Real-Time Optimization: You can tweak your PPC campaigns instantly based on changing market conditions to maximise results.

With powerful analytics and total control over your budget and ads, PPC advertising allows granular and influential audience targeting that converts.

Affiliate Marketing

Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms 2023 2024

Affiliate marketing is an excellent channel for generating leads and sales by having influencers directly promote your products in exchange for a commission on what they sell. As influencer marketing grows steadily, affiliate programs tap into their existing trust and audiences.

Why Is Affiliate Marketing Gaining Traction?

Several compelling reasons make affiliate marketing a top digital channel to invest in:

  • Rapid Growth: Spending on affiliate marketing is predicted to grow over 10% annually to $8.2B by 2022. More brands are seeing the value influencers bring.
  • Cost-Effective: You only pay affiliates commissions based on the sales they drive for you rather than upfront.
  • Scalable: You can recruit more affiliates over time to expand your marketing and sales reach greatly.
  • Trusted Endorsements: Reviews from influencers who already have authority carry far more weight with potential customers than brands promoting themselves.
  • Expanded Audiences: The followers and audiences of affiliates expose your brand to many more people. This allows you to convert new customers at scale.

The proof is clear – affiliate marketing delivers fantastic ROI compared to trying to build massive followers organically. Prioritising affiliates need to be part of your plans for 2024.

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Email Marketing

Even with the rise of new digital channels, the inbox remains a crucial touchpoint for engaging customers. Email open rates remain strong while it converts far better for sales than social media.

Why Does Email Marketing Convert So Well?

Several key factors make email a top-performing channel:

  • High Engagement: Over 90% of customers check email daily, making it very familiar for communication.
  • Cost Per Lead: Email marketing averages about 50% higher ROI versus social media for lead generation.
  • Personalisation: Emails can be hyper-personalized and tailored to individual customer interests to boost open and clickthrough rates.
  • Conversion Focused: Emails sent to get conversions, like product announcements or special offers, perform very well.
  • Trust & Credibility: Regular email communications strengthen your relationship and credibility with subscribers over time.

With strong user adoption and response rates, email marketing remains indispensable for sales. Optimising your email program needs to be a 2024 priority.

Webinars

How To Record Webinars

Webinars or web-based seminars continue gaining popularity to demonstrate thought leadership, acquire new customers, and train existing ones through an interactive presentations.

What Makes Webinars Worth Investing In?

Here are some of the primary reasons webinars work so well:

  • Lead Generation: Webinar sign-up forms capture attendee contact info for your email list to nurture into customers.
  • High-Value Content: Webinars allow you to share more complex and detailed information that resonates.
  • Personability: Live webinars help you connect directly with your audience and answer their questions.
  • Evergreen Replay: Recordings of your webinars can be repurposed for future viewing by new audiences.
  • Scalability: Additional attendees are very inexpensive to add after the fixed initial costs of setting up a webinar.
  • Data Insights: Detailed webinar analytics help you quantify and improve your ROI.

Because they offer valuable information and engagement, webinars consistently deliver some of the highest conversion rates across all marketing channels.

Review Sites

Positive validated customer reviews, especially those featured on high-authority industry review sites like G2 and Trustpilot, provide tremendous social proof that drives conversion rates higher.

Why Invest Time Soliciting More Reviews?

Here's why customer testimonials convert so well:

  • 68% More Likely To Buy: Consumers who see positive reviews are 68% more likely to purchase.
  • Higher Rankings: Review sites factor into search engine ranking algorithms as third-party endorsements.
  • Less Price Sensitivity: Positive reviews make customers less price sensitive and willing to pay more.
  • Higher Conversions: Products with reviews convert at a 266% higher rate, according to a BrightLocal study. Customers feel more confident buying when seeing validation from peers.
  • More Traffic: Listings on review sites draw direct search traffic as customers proactively seek reviews while researching purchases.

Given their significant impact on conversion rates, focusing on getting more positive customer reviews must be prioritised in 2024. Review sites have emerged as essential marketing channels as they continue growing in authority and traffic.

Retargeting Ads

What Is Email Retargeting

Retargeting ads present personalised ads across sites to those who have already visited or taken action on your website. For example, if a prospect visited your online store but didn't complete the purchase, you can retarget ads to them with that product to entice them to return.

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Why You Need Retargeting In Your Marketing Mix

Here are the main reasons retargeting works:

  • Highly Targeted: You engage only those who expressed previous interest, making them more likely to convert.
  • Increased Repeat Visits: Retargeting boosts visitor return rates significantly, according to Parse.ly.
  • Works Across Sites: You can retarget interested prospects almost everywhere they browse across the internet.
  • Effective Ad Spend: With tailored audiences, more ad spend goes towards high-intent users, increasing ROI.
  • Higher Engagement: Personalized product or content recommendations increase open and click-through rates.
  • Works With Other Channels: Retargeting amplifies the results from your organic marketing, email, and social efforts.

With such laser-targeted ability to re-engage previous site visitors, retargeting ads are highly effective direct response tools for 2024.

Live Chat

Instant messaging apps have conditioned us to expect real-time responses. Consequently, more businesses are adding live chat functionalities on their websites to engage prospects and customers with helpful answers.

Why Does Live Chat Convert So Well?

Here are the main reasons visitors love live chat:

  • Immediate Answers: Getting questions resolved immediately overcomes objections and builds trust. Over half of customers wonโ€™t wait longer than 5 minutes without live chat before abandoning a site.
  • Qualified Leads: Chats allow you to have sales conversations and qualify leads before they exit your site.
  • Lower Support Costs: Direct, personalised support via chat costs much less than phone while allowing agents to handle multiple chats simultaneously.
  • Builds Relationships: Friendly chat interactions strengthen customer relationships and loyalty.
  • Extended Support Hours: Having automated and on-demand assistance via chat provides support 24/7 without staffing issues.
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction: 63% of best-in-class companies agree that live chat considerably improved customer satisfaction scores. Happy customers engage more and drive referrals.

With open and clickthrough rates for live chat invitations over 80%, adding live chat capabilities needs to be a 2024 priority.

Interactive Content

Interactive Content Marketing Ideas

Interactive content like online calculators, cost estimators, design elements with real-time previews, and even choosing your adventure-style stories boost engagement drastically compared to standard static formats.

What Makes Interactive Content So Effective?

Here's why you should invest more in interactive content across your digital channels:

  • Memorability: Tactile interactions like manipulating variables in a calculator make concepts more memorable.
  • Virality: Interactive formats spark natural sharing across social channels, fueling reach.
  • Lead Generation: Interactive content offers more opportunities to collect contact info in exchange for access to gated tools.
  • Competitive Differentiator: Such content best showcases unique value propositions and resonates more than introductory text and image content.
  • Visual Demos: Interactive visuals that dynamically respond to inputs showcase more proof points far better than static mockups. For example, an interactive pricing calculator demonstrates relevant price points as visitors customise different parameters.
  • Actionable Insights: Tools like cost forecasting models allow visitors to apply your proprietary data and industry expertise to inform their decisions. Sharing your knowledge builds authority.

Because interactive content creates such active rather than passive engagement, it results in more viral user-generated promotion and higher prospect capture and conversion rates. Interactivity needs to become a core content development principle for 2024.

Conversational Ads

Leveraging conversational elements like interactive messaging sequences, quizzes, graphical choice selectors, and chatbot-like dialogue in display ads boosts advertising results considerably thanks to greater attention, engagement, and recall.

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Why Conversational Ads Work

  • Novelty: The non-standard formats pique visitor curiosity, overcoming banner blindness that plagues standard static ads.
  • Gamification: Interactive quizzes and questions that reveal more information tap into our innate curiosity and desire for answers.
  • Relevance: Dynamically tailored question branching or content based on user choices ensures maximum relevance.
  • Immersive Experiences: Full-screen narrative choice-based storytelling offers fun adventures that amplify branding and messaging.
  • Expanded Reach: Choice-driven games or mini-surveys encourage social sharing with friends to see their personalised results.

With higher attention spans leading directly to increased clickthrough rates, brands must use conversational ad capabilities across social media platforms and programmatic networks. Dynamic, personalised ad experiences perform better on key branding metrics and drive more quality traffic.

Conclusion

This covers the top digital marketing channels that deliver proven ROI and results. Each has innate advantages but works even better when combined strategically with other channels to maximise opportunities for awareness, lead capture and conversions across the customer journey.

Channels like social media and PPC work for demand generation. SEO, content marketing, and review sites build organic reach and credibility for long-term dominance. Conversion rate optimisation with tools like retargeting, live chat, and interactive content turns that demand into more leads and sales by engaging hot prospects.

Evaluating reach, costs for activation and optimisation, potential impact across metrics, and how well each channel aligns with your specific products, services and audiences allows prioritising high ROI opportunities.

Testing into new digital channels, diversifying spending intelligently, and doubling down on what drives conversions and transaction value based on precise analytics separates market leaders from laggards still relying on ineffective legacy channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the single most effective digital marketing channel?

While no channel universally trumps all other options, SEO delivers the most expansive reach and lowest customer acquisition costs at scale if implemented correctly for the long haul.

Should my marketing strategy focus on a few core channels or diversify across many?

The ideal allocation is 60/40, with 60% of the budget devoted to core breadwinner channels with proven ROI like search ads and email marketing, while 40% tests into new channels with emerging potential.

What metrics should I track to guide channel priorities and budgeting decisions?

Monitoring channel-specific metrics like clickthrough rates, cost per lead, conversion rates, repeat customer percentage, and lifetime transaction value per average new customer allows for calculating incremental ROI.

How often should I re-evaluate performance by channel to optimise my mix?

Checking analytics dashboards and reports monthly ensures you capitalise on seasonal trends and emerging channel opportunities before competitors. However, formally revisiting channel budget allocations quarterly works best.

Which digital channels work together incredibly well for combined results?

SEO-earned traffic converts even better when combined with email lead nurturing and retargeting. Content drives more organic search interest while also generating social amplification. Webinars capture leads for email/chatbot follow-up.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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