How to Determine the Best Channels for Reaching Your Audience

Selecting suitable channels is a major challenge for brands today. Without leveraging effective digital channels, you may showcase display advertisements on forums that your audience doesn't visit or create social media sites that your customers don't use. This could cause you to waste a tremendous amount of ad dollars. Here are 3 ways to build your list of channels:

  1. Where are your competitors?

    One easy way to identify effective channels is by looking at your competitors’ digital programs. Find out which channels your direct competitors use based on the social icons on their website or other places. For each channel, determine whether it’s an appropriate outlet by examining the size of the competitors’ following, interaction volume, and audience growth rate. Moreover, assess whether the demographic of the fans is appropriate. If the channel shows a lack of qualified fans, interactions, or growth rates, consider using another one. This tactic is based on the assumption that the competitors are doing an excellent job in producing content to engage with fans. If you suspect poor engagement because a competitor is using poor content, keep the channel on your list and see whether you can do better!
     
    Some companies work on the basis that if the competition is there, they need to be there too. If a channel doesn’t seem appropriate for you, you may want to just monitor it to keep an eye on the competition. 
  2. Develop buyer personas

    Buyer personas let you define who your ideal customer is, what his day-to-day life is like, and most importantly, his digital lifestyle. An example of a buyer persona would be: male between the ages of 30 and 40 who works as an IT manager at a cloud computing facility and read online articles on technology daily. By clearly visualizing your audience and what their lifestyles are like, you can formulate digital strategies that are more tailored. In this example, you would use check out groups and forums where the IT managers hang out, note which ones seem to have high participation, and possibly showcase display ads to grab their attention. This approach helps you increase engagement with your ideal customer. 
  3. Perform focus groups and conduct surveys

    Focus groups and surveys enable you to gain deeper insights in to your audience’s digital activities and preferences. For example, by hosting a focus group and distributing surveys, you might discover that your target audience disdains social media and prefers receiving emails. Or, you may find that your audience is more likely to purchase when you promote products on Facebook rather than on Twitter. To validate your findings, run reports using statistical tools such as SurveyMonkey. 
     
    These tools let you determine whether your survey respondents prefer certain digital channels over others. (I.e. email over blog.) These insights help you define suitable digital channels more accurately and avoid spending time and resources developing communities that turn out to be ineffective.
     
    Selecting appropriate channels is key in marketing. By selecting  proper channels, you’ll able to develop presence where your customers look for information. This allows you to establish multiple touch-points with the audience and become part of their community or information sources. If you want to help with defining digital marketing channels, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to serve your needs.