8 Marketing Platforms (With Benefits and How-To Steps)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published June 25, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Businesses typically adopt different marketing strategies and channels to advertise their offerings and generate revenue. They can generate new leads by using a marketing channel that facilitates easy connection and interaction with customers. Learning about different marketing channels can help you choose a suitable platform to help increase customer retention. In this article, we define marketing platforms, outline their benefits, present different types, and discuss steps for choosing the most suitable.
What are marketing platforms?
Marketing platforms are channels or tools a business can use to connect with customers and create awareness of its offerings. Their primary objective is to develop a relationship with consumers and create a way to share relevant information with them. Using these platforms allows businesses to increase customer engagement and maximize and leverage their resources to develop cohesive advertising and marketing campaigns to build brand image and increase sales.
Benefits of marketing channels
Here are some benefits of using a suitable marketing channel:
Using an appropriate marketing channel may help businesses gain more traffic to their website and make more sales by presenting their offerings to a target audience in a way that appeals to their needs. Companies can create a personalized customer experience, which helps increase sales, aid revenue generation, and eliminate traditional advertising expenses.
Enable lead conversion
Businesses can use various marketing channels for advertising their offerings, generating new leads, and increasing lead conversion. For example, a company may use content marketing to share information about its services and products and explain why a customer may consider making a purchase. This content may influence a buyer's decision and compel them to buy the products and gain the value mentioned in the post. Creating personalized content that appeals to a consumer's needs typically leads to increased lead conversion and customer retention.
Increase brand visibility
Constantly engaging with customers through various marketing channels increases a brand's visibility. Consumers generally remember a brand when they regularly see content or receive e-mails. With a suitable marketing channel, businesses can interact with customers by allowing them to post reviews and feedback on their experiences. This can help increase the brand's visibility and increase sales, as customers are likely to make purchases when there are positive reviews.
8 types of marketing channels
Here's a list of eight marketing channels you may consider using for a business:
1. Social media marketing
Staying active on social media platforms enables a business to connect with existing and prospective customers globally. This digital platform generally removes geographical constraints and provides access to consumers within and outside the company's location. Social media platforms allow businesses to promote their offerings and interact with their clientele by sharing engaging posts on their pages about their product's value and benefits.
Businesses can also use sponsored and paid ads to promote their offerings. Social media platforms display sponsored ads to a target audience using data algorithms and analytics. They use elements like the audiences' location, age, interest, and search history to display relevant ads.
2. E-mail marketing
Businesses can engage and connect with existing and prospective customers using e-mail marketing. This is an effective form of marketing, as customers who receive these e-mails choose to subscribe to the services. Using this strategy, you can share information on promotions, special offers, and discounts. It's possible to increase the effectiveness of e-mail marketing by adapting customer segmentation, creating sub-groups within a target audience and designing personalized content that appeals to each one. E-mail marketing can help increase lead conversion and customer retention.
3. Content marketing
This platform allows you to share informative pieces about a company's products and services. With this marketing strategy, you can provide valuable advice to existing and prospective consumers and assist them with their buyer's journey. For example, a customer may be considering buying a new set of makeup products. The marketing team for a makeup company may share a post on different palettes suitable for different skin shades. This information may guide the customer toward making an appropriate purchase decision. The stages of a buyer's journey you can make easier with content marketing include:
Awareness stage: At this stage, buyers generally realize they have a need they want to satisfy.
Consideration stage: The buyer decides what actions to take at this stage.
Decision stage: The buyer decides to purchase a specific product or service at the decision stage.
4. Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing
This marketing strategy typically supports content marketing. Businesses work toward featuring their websites on the first page of search engine results by working with strategic keywords specific to their industry and optimizing their content to improve the user experience. Businesses use SEO tactics to increase their content's rating and generate more traffic to their site.
5. Pay-per-click (PPC)
PPC is a form of marketing that allows businesses to generate traffic to their websites. They place a paid advertisement on search engines or websites and pay a fee each time a customer or prospect clicks on it. When customers search for a particular keyword, these ads usually appear at the top of the search engine result page. For example, if a customer searches for a keyword, such as driving lessons, a paid ad from a driving school or any related website might be on the search result page.
6. Influencer marketing
Businesses can connect with a wide range of prospects by collaborating with influencers in the industry. A partnership with celebrities or experts in the field that share similar values with a brand can help generate new leads. For example, a restaurant can work with a food critic by inviting them to dine at the restaurant and leave a review on their page. The influencer can recount their experience with their audience, who are more likely to visit the restaurant as they trust the influencer's opinion.
7. Affiliate marketing
This is similar to a referral program where companies work with other organizations or outside individuals. These individuals promote the brand's products and services in exchange for a reward or a commission on each sale they contribute to the company. Businesses use this strategy to reduce advertising costs and outsource their product promotions. Affiliate marketing requires tracking and monitoring their partner marketers to ensure there are no damages to their brand image.
8. Online marketplace
Buyers can connect with sellers through an online marketplace. These are usually e-commerce sites where businesses can advertise their services or products to consumers searching for those offerings. Companies can sell physical and digital products and may have real-world or virtual interactions with their customers.
How to choose a marketing channel
Here are steps you can take to choose a suitable marketing platform for a business:
1. Define target goals
Understanding your audience's persona can guide you toward choosing a proper marketing channel. You can conduct a market or opinion survey to gain insights into the target audience's characteristics. This is usually helpful for selecting a strategy and platform that aligns with their needs. For example, if you're targeting customers between the ages of 16 and 25, you may consider using a social media platform or influencer marketing. You can brainstorm with a team and answer relevant questions to help you understand your demographic's needs. Here are some questions you may consider:
Who are our customers?
What are their interests, and how can we provide for them?
What platforms do they use the most?
2. Set clear goals
Setting an achievable and definitive goal can help you devise strategies for using a marketing channel effectively. Outlining key performance indicators is also helpful for tracking your strategy's performance. You may decide to continue with the current approach or modify it depending on your result. When setting goals, you can use the SMART goal strategy to ensure you set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based objectives.
3. Research competitors
Identifying competitors' platforms and marketing strategies can help select a proper marketing channel. Researching the platforms they use and their performance results can enable you to modify the business' marketing channels to perform better. You can learn from them and avoid repeating their mistakes.
4. Engage with customers
Regardless of the marketing channel, it's often advisable to engage with customers actively. Engagement typically increases a brand's visibility, leading to an increase in sales. Customers can also leave reviews and feedback on products, which may increase lead generation and conversion.
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