2016-10

Which digital marketing channels convert?

by The Salmat Team
 | 
13 October 2016

What are the best-converting marketing channels? We look at some of the best and how to use them for excellent results.

One core component of customer experience marketing is understanding the channels your customers are using and how they are using them. Which channel converts for you will come down to who you’re targeting and how they interact with media online.

Organic search

Organic search drives traffic, which is essential to a conversion strategy. In any search engine, if it's not marked as a paid advertisement then it's an organic search result. With 51% of online traffic being driven by organic search results (according to Enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge), and 89% of customers using online search to make purchasing decisions (2012 Digital Influence Index), the importance of search to your business can't be overstated.

While paid ads appear above organic results, many online users are prone to ignoring them, and the rise of ad blockers means that many searchers may not see them at all. In theory, organic search results are free, but in a competitive and intelligent marketplace, they do come at a price.

If your website wasn't built with search engines in mind, you're at a major disadvantage. From the moment you start building your website, you need to ensure that every link, every image, and every page is created with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind. SEO is also an essential part of user experience (UX), especially from an accessibility point of view.

Referral sites

A strong recommendation from a trusted source can trigger conversions. However, for any business, particularly new businesses, this can take time to establish. In the meantime, it’s possible to create referrals from a wide range of online sites. These can include directories and review websites, as well as referrals from relevant, non-competitive industries, and influencers such as bloggers.

moz-keyword-planner

SEO experts Moz offer an excellent Keyword Planner tool.
 

SEO tools such as Moz are great resources for identifying sites that have linked to your content in the past. These could be a great start if you're looking for people who might be interested in linking to your new materials. Then, you can also use these tools to see which sites have linked to similar content on competitor sites, and grow your network of linked sites by approaching them as well.

Referrals give you increased credibility, particularly from trusted, authoritative sources, and if your landing pages are linked to from other websites, this has the added benefit of helping your site rank higher.

Social media

If customer engagement and creating general brand awareness are important to you, social media is great for generating interest in a brand or product, which often contributes to website visitors. But considering how Facebook algorithms work, for example, it's now harder to get visibility for your non-paid posts. With the right strategy and content, social networks can be great for visibility, but they need to be well planned and executed, and you need to be prepared for varied results.

bbq-galore-facebook

Visitors referred by social media are 71% more likely to make a purchase.
 

Finding the right platform for your business is essential, with site visitors referred by social media 71% more likely to make a purchase. Understanding the demographics and psychographics of your target market – not just who they are, but what drives them – can help you target your paid social campaigns to the right platforms.

If your market is young, mobile addicted, and celebrity obsessed, for example, they're more likely to be engaged by paid posts on Snapchat than Pinterest. It can be a long road to new leads, but also a goldmine when it comes to returning customers who are loyal to your brand.

Email marketing

While Smart Insight's email marketing statistics for 2016 show a click-through rate for email at around 2–3% for most surveyed industries, the unique open rate tends to be above 20%. Considering that it's an opt-in channel, email marketing provides a great opportunity to speak to a subscribed audience. Get past the spam filters by avoiding image-heavy emails with lots of links and exclamation marks, and invest some time and effort into your subject lines – test them and use your findings to inform how you write subject lines. The 'from' address is also important to avoid spam filters. Try sending your campaign from a real email address, like jess(at)contently, to ensure your message makes it through. (Note that MailChimp found that subjects that clearly conveyed what the email contained worked best, proving UX marketing should extend to your email campaign.)

Your website

sass-and-bide

Fashion retailer Sass & Bide recently relaunched its eCommerce site.
 

Your website is your ultimate conversion channel. Ensure your site is designed with user experience in mind and take the time to invest in UX testing. Websites that are difficult to navigate, don't meet accessibility standards, or aren't intuitive to a user's expectations will cause traffic driven by search, social, or email to quickly bounce. Invest in regular testing to see how small tweaks in colour and call-to-action copy could improve your conversion rate.

Ultimately, while there are countless marketing channels for you to try, the strength of your conversions relies on the user experience you provide – this includes targeted, relevant content.

If you're struggling to seize the potential of every customer interaction, Salmat's digital marketing solutions can help. Get a quote or call 1300 725 628.

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About the author
The Salmat Team

Salmat is a marketing services business that helps clients with the constant pressure of acquiring customers, week-in, week-out. With media, digital and customer service capabilities, we manage the fundamentals to ensure this happens like clockwork.

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