5 Must-Haves for a Powerful Channel Marketing Strategy

5 Must-Haves for a Powerful Channel Marketing Strategy

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A channel marketing strategy defines how you will get your product or service in front of potential customers, and it influences your success or failure. The channels you choose to promote your product will depend on who your customer is and how they typically decide on making purchases. In today’s digital world, most consumers are active on the internet. They use the internet to research companies and products.

 Therefore, digital marketing channels are a critical part of a powerful channel marketing strategy. Keeping up with the evolution of those channels is an important step in developing a channel marketing strategy. Here are five must-have channels to use in your strategy.

1. Word of Mouth

In the past, word-of-mouth meant that you hired a company because someone close to you recommended them. However, the definition of word-of-mouth marketing has expanded to include digital and online communication. When we asked 1000 members of Suzy™’s member panel about this, we discovered the following insights:

  • 56% of consumers put the same amount of trust in online reviews as they do personal recommendations

  • 60% of people who see customer reviews on a company’s website say they would contact the company. 

We also learned that 70% of consumers say they don’t always trust advertising, so it’s critical that you establish the 2019 version of word-of-mouth marketing. Suzy can help you get direct feedback from consumers to learn what they think about your brand, and what channels your target customers might use to make or listen to recommendations.

Customer Reviews

You can develop a passionate customer base who will be glad to recommend you when you provide a leading product or service and an outstanding customer experience – but if they aren't leaving reviews for you online, then you're missing out a great deal of value that they can add. Think about how you can entice your customers to write reviews, and make it a regular business process. If you want to know what will incentivize your customers to leave reviews, you can use targeted multiple-choice questions that ask consumers to choose between different types of marketing, or you can give them an open-ended question about why they think they’re likely to review a product.

Influencers

Influencers, whether paid or unpaid, are a relatively new phenomenon in the marketing space. They serve partly as brand messengers and partly as natural word-of-mouth marketers. One alternative is to find celebrities and ambassadors your customers will find persuasive.

 The challenge is to determine which influencers to use. That’s where Suzy™ can help. You can use Suzy™ to quickly reach out to your target audience and get real-time feedback. Prepare a list of potential influencers and ask your audience to rank the ones they love to follow. You’ll have the insight you need to choose the influencers that will have the biggest impact on your audience. 

Another alternative is to look for ideas that will encourage your own customers to become influencers for your brand. For example, you can:

  • Offer rewards for customers who get others to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Tap into emotions by aligning yourself with a cause that will encourage sharing.

  • Encourage user-generated content by rewarding things such as a photo of a customer using your product.

  • Establish an official referral program to reward customers who turn people they know into customers.

2. Videos

If you’re not using videos in your social media marketing, you’re ignoring a powerful opportunity for reaching your target audience. The latest video marketing statistics from Social Media Today reveal why:

  • One-third of people on the internet – over 1 billion users – are active on YouTube and watch 5 billion videos there every day.

  • Collectively, Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video each day.

  • Over 80 percent of users watch video content on Twitter.

  • Conversions increase 80 percent when there is a video on a landing page.

  • Using the word “video” in the subject line of an email increases the open rate by 19 percent.

Companies that include video in their marketing materials currently get impressive engagement rates for content that contains important promotional information, such as interviews, product demonstrations, service descriptions, and how-to instructions.

Today, you can find free or low-cost video editing software that can produce impressive videos, and you don’t need to be trained in graphic design to use them.

You can use these videos and Suzy™ to test video styles before you spend time and money creating high-value ads. Wondering what kind of videos will be most effective for your audience? It’s quick and easy to use Suzy™ to launch questions to get immediate feedback. Suzy™ lets you A/B test different messaging, copy, branding, and video styles to find those that your audience responds to best.

If you’re publishing videos on social media, especially for mobile users, you need to think carefully about the role sound plays. Many social media channels begin to play videos without sound, and large Facebook advertisers report that 80 percent of their videos are watched without sound. If you want your message to get across, make sure your video communicates well with or without sound. It’s also a great way to ensure accessibility.

A number of techniques will make your silent video work well. You can use text to tell the story, using attention-grabbing captions, title slides, and calls to action. Showing facial expressions is an excellent way to get watchers to understand and empathize with the video’s characters. And, animation is another tool that will help you direct the eye to the most important information and maintain a story line.

3. Personalized Email

Statistics prove that personalization is critical. For example, 88 percent of marketers in the U.S. say that personalization results in measurable improvements. Given the effectiveness of email marketing, personalization is a must-have.

Personalization Makes Email Work

Personalization is essential to make email work for you, but just using the contact’s name in an email isn’t really personalization. You need to make sure that the emails you send will entice a specific contact to want to learn more. From the subject line to the content, your contacts need to feel as if you are talking to them directly.

Triggered email autoresponders can respond to a contact’s actions and behavior, but it needs to be customized for the contact. If a website visitor registers to receive an ebook about gardening, that request should result in sending them the ebook and entering them into an email campaign about gardening. Emails about other outdoor activities like camping or kayaking won’t necessarily interest the contact, and they may opt out of your emails.

If you’re wondering what type of content will be meaningful to different audience segments, Suzy™ lets you ask them directly. For example, you can get the insight you need to determine whether you should publish a weekly newsletter or a daily one.

4. Conversational Interaction

Conversations with customers are no longer limited to telephone conversations. Technology offers a number of ways in which you can converse with people in your target market.

For example, consumers may use messaging on your social media channels. Visitors on your website may benefit from using a Chatbot to obtain more product information. And, with the rise of digital assistants, consumers will use voice queries to obtain product information on a variety of channels.

Chatbots

Installing a Chatbot on your website gives you a customer service tool that is available 24x7. The Chatbot can’t answer everyone’s question, but it can answer questions that people might frequently ask. That will give a good number of visitors an immediate answer. It will also reduce the burden on a customer service department staffed by representatives.

Messaging

More and more of the internet places on the internet are using messaging, especially social media. It’s another good way to encourage conversation. The optimum situation would be for you to integrate messaging with Chatbots. Then, if a visitor can’t get the answer from the bot, a messaging session with a customer service representative could be the best way to start a conversation with the visitor and get their questions answered. And, the visitor won’t need to leave the page they’re on.

Digital Assistants

Usage of digital assistants, or smart speakers, has exploded. In 2018, 43 million Americans owned one. Therefore, although digital assistants have only been in existence for a few years, they have reached almost 20% of the adult population. That’s an amazing level of penetration for any consumer electronic device.

 These statistics indicate that many brands should start now to accommodate conversational commerce as part of their marketing strategy. To determine if you’re one of those brands, use Suzy™ to poll your market segment and find out how they like to use digital assistants.

Voice search from digital assistants will continue to increase as the number of the devices increase. Considerations to support voice search include optimizing your website speed, and providing short answers to frequently asked questions.

5. Social Media Stories

Social media stories haven’t been around that long, but they’re exceptionally popular. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook predicted that Stories will become more popular than posts on Facebook. Other platforms supporting Stories include Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

You can use easy video creation platforms to publish quick video Stories several times a day. Most brands are using them to publish behind the scenes-type scenarios, employee interviews, or event videos. You can start by using Suzy™ to ask your target audience which social media channels they use most frequently. Then, you can use Suzy™ to ask your audience to rank the types of stories they enjoy most.

Don’t Let the Latest Channel Trends Pass You By

You need in-depth insights to create channel marketing strategies that will keep you ahead of your competition.  Learn more about the consumer insights platform Suzy™ offers that can transform your market research capabilities. With over 300 responses in less than an hour from targeted audiences across the country, your strategy development process will be both quick and accurate.

 
 
 

 

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Suzy™ is a better, faster way to conduct market research at the click of a button – like having a focus group right in your pocket.

 

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