Social media marketing has paved the way for a better and enhanced channel mix strategy. Businesses are allowed to directly engage with customers. Different brands use various social media platforms to connect and build long-term relations with people.
But just a presence in different social media channels does not guarantee success. It needs a well-defined channel mix strategy which can boost the brand’s reputation as well as create loyalty in the minds of prospective customers.
But the question that arises in one’s mind is why should we even bother? Why is there a need to promote the brand on different social media channels?
The answer is simple.
Today, almost nine out of ten people in the world have access to social media. In the present situation it has become really important to let the audience know about the existence, otherwise, there’ll be someone else who would take that place. Having a proper digital marketing channel strategy will let you attract new customers, retain old customers, build brand loyalty and will also help in driving sales.
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Now, let’s dig deeper into the concept of channel mix to get a better idea of how social media marketing works.
Channel mix refers to the ratio in which we divide our resources and content in various platforms. It’s a strategic document that identifies each channel that can contribute to delivering brand message and demonstrates the optimum mix among them. This practice allows to tweak a master content in certain ways that gives ideal result in respective channels. The goal is to maximize the reach and the engagement.
Within the channel mix, each channel of communication is going to serve a different function. One needs to select the channels that best serve the overall objective and meets target group specifications.
For example, one channel may be ideal for raising awareness amongst potential customers who don’t know about the brand and its offerings well, whilst another channel might be ideal for generating business.
So, one will need to create a channel mix strategy which will ensure that the messages reach the ideal customers in the most effective way.
Process to build an effective digital marketing channel mix plan
1. Learn the functionality of each channel – the reach it offers and rate of virality offered by specific channels.
2. Understand the habits and the preferences of the target audience, which channels they like and use most.
3. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of each channel.
4. Select the mix of channels that best support the promotional strategy.
5. Creating a balance between reach and intensity – number of customers exposed to campaigns and the average number of times a customer receives promotional messages.
6. Types of messages for different channels – long form contents or images or videos, what’s best suited in what kind of channel.
7. Building a plan and budget, allocating resources and making a schedule.
Noting the above discussion, it can be marked that different channels offer different marketing purposes. Thus, before creating a marketing channel mix, one must understand how different social media channels are used based on the requirements of the brand.
Instagram caters to the audience who are more inclined towards lifestyle, fashion, and new trends. Thus, the audience found in this platform is ‘not-so serious target group’ or as it can also be mentioned as ‘informal audience’. This platform can be used accordingly by both B2C and B2B brands who want to acquire maximum engagement and clicks within a short period of time. Instagram is a great platform to explore Influencer Marketing as well. With the ‘Creator Studio’ available in Instagram, brands can also experiment with different engaging campaigns.
Facebook is used by brands that want to build networks with different communities. Brands using Facebook basically focus on reaching varied target groups creating live contents or engaging with them. Facebook is used for community building and with is market place feature, brands that are product-oriented can explore interested buyers on digital platforms. Another great feature of Facebook which allows organic sky-rocketing engagement is Group Posting. Various homogeneous groups available across Facebook offers a forum for sharing experiences and promoting products and services, these posts in turn come out as very engaging and fruitful as it guarantees reaching out to proper target audience.
LinkedIn is mainly used for reaching B2B target groups. Brands who want to position themselves as Thought Leaders in their respective industries, should choose LinkedIn as their primary channel. LinkedIn is more of a professional channel, than a fun, interactive one. It is a very useful platform for networking especially via the groups available across the channel. LinkedIn Pulse, Newsletters, Listicles, and Videos cater to the greatest number of engagement in this particular channel.
YouTube can be used to target both B2B and B2C audience. The channel is mainly used for promoting brands through educational, explanatory, and skill related videos. Apart from entertainment, YouTube can be suitably used by brands who have rather complicated or technical structure that requires proper understanding, process, and workflow.
Twitter is a platform that allows people to share their opinions and thoughts with just one tweet and not necessarily with an elaborative content. This platform is useful for brands who has earned a “Though Leader” position in their respective industries and got a point of view to share. Along with creating a forum for shared discussion through innumerable tweet threads, the platform is the hub for trending social media topics, moment marketing, and news threads which gives high engagement in short time span.
By understanding the brand requirements, one can create a precise strategy for channel mix in digital marketing which will help in increasing brand engagement, lead generation and sales. So, plan the channel mix wisely and promote the brand with ease.