11 Marketing Channels You Can Use to Grow Your Business
In this post, we are going to introduce you to the 11 marketing channels you can use to promote your business. Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg wrote an excellent book called Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth and this post's main inspiration is their book. Now let's start with traction and its meaning.
What is traction?
Traction is proof that the audience you are trying to sell your product wants to buy your product. An angel investor, Naval Ravikant, defines traction as 'Quantitative evidence of market demand.' Traction's definition varies from business to business. For example, if you have an e-commerce business you might want to look at sign up/conversion or visit/conversion metrics. But if you have a mobile app you might want to look at your monthly user count and compare it to last month if the number is growing every week/month then there is a demand for your mobile app. Other useful traction metrics:
- Active users
- Registered users
11 Marketing Channels
Targeting blogs that have the same audience with you is an effective way to promote your business. Most of the time readers of a blog are also passionate about the topic and the blog. If you have a product that automates UX design you can contact bloggers who write about UX design. You can contact them to get a promotion. You can also offer a win-win strategy like a promotion of the blog in your content marketing.
Publicity is branding your business through conventional media such as television and newsletters. In an internet-driven world, it is not easy to get an article about you on a newsletter or television. Therefore it is reasonable to start small like your local newsletter. Then you can step-by-step reach the top newsletters.
Unconventional PR has two types. The first one is a publicity stunt. Not many companies try this one but the ones that try to grow huge. Everyone remembers the day that Richard Branson dressed as a woman at a press conference or drove a tank through the streets on a Virgin launch. Everybody talked about Virgin launch after that. A recent example is Elon Musk. He gave his child a strange name and everybody talked about him and his companies. We don't know if this was for PR reasons or personal but still it was a great stunt. The second type of unconventional PR is customer appreciation. It is relatively easier and more scalable. You can send handwritten notes, hold contests, or even visit your customers.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) describes the placement of ads on Google and other search engines to rank as high as possible in search queries. Three metrics that you should focus when you place an ad on a search engine are:
Display and Social Ads
Display ads are the typical banner ads we see on numerous websites. Social ads, n the other hand, re the ads you can see between two posts on social networks.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of website optimization with tricks like placing relevant keywords in blog posts, etc. It is solely based on your website's optimization not paid ads. SEO aims to rank your website higher on relevant searches. For example, if your product is about real estate then SEO aims to rank your website on the first page when someone searches for a relevant keyword like real estate agents in California.
Content Marketing refers to creating content that your audience is interested in and posting it on your website. Content Marketing also supports SEO by helping your website to rank higher on search engines. But remember that your content must be relevant to your product.
Email marketing is one of the oldest ways to attract visitors. You can cold email to potential customers or you can collect emails from visitors and email them about topics that interest them and also about your product's new features. But never send spam emails.
Engineering as Marketing
Engineering as Marketing is often underestimated. Your team's engineering skills can be useful both for the development of your product and your content. You can create blog posts like how to create a dashboard for your mobile app. These posts are a great way to attract fellow techies and people who want to learn how to a thing you already do. They are also a great way to build trust between your team and customers.
Affiliate Programs are a popular way to attract users. They are partnerships with companies that have the same audience as you. It can be useful because you both target the same people and if they use your partner company's product they are a potential customer of your product too. You can place a cookie on their website and every time they refer a customer to your product you can give them a pre-determined percent of sales. For example, if you have a SaaS business you can place a cookie on a relevant SaaS business' website and you can give %30 percent of the total revenue you gained from the customers they referred.
Building a community is hard and takes a long time. Probably way longer than you would think. But having a community of people who trust you is worth the hustle. You can use an online community to soft-sell your product. But you have to put effort and create content every week/day to make people stay in your community. For example, if you have a book subscription SaaS creates a Facebook group about books maybe a book exchange group. Then create content about authors and their lives every week, host authors, and answer people's questions. And try to soft-sell products with demos and videos every week. Do not make the group about your product, make it about the interest. Then make people slowly know about your product. The most important thing to do in a community is posting regularly.
There are a lot of ways to promote your product and reach your customers. But these 11 channels are the most common and useful ones. In the next article we will explain how you can choose the most efficient channel for your business.