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Insights

Digital strategy: How to choose the right digital marketing channels

15 May, 2013 - Source: Bray Leino

Digital has definitely made life more interesting for marketers, but not necessarily easier. Choosing which of the umpteen new channels are right for your comms strategy requires insight and planning, but where do you start?

The diversification of digital channels has created a boon of entertainment, engagement and social interaction for users, and established innumerable new branding and communications conduits for marketers in all sectors.

But more choice doesn’t necessarily make a marketer’s job easier, and each channel carries subtly different nuances and perceptions in the mind of the user. So how do you ensure the channels you choose are the right ones?

One of the inherent aspects of digital, a characteristic that makes it such a bright candle to the ROI moths of marketing, is our ability to make it highly measurable. We can respond instantly to user feedback, monitor behavioural changes and track developments in technology very easily.

Planning your channel strategy is an analytical process that requires knowledge of your brand objectives and a deep understanding of your audience. At Bray Leino, campaign objectives, measurement criteria and audience information form the bedrock of our digital delivery planning.

The process starts with establishing, prioritising and agreeing clear business and campaign objectives. What do we need to achieve? What are we trying to change? We need to ask who our core audience is; where are they, both in the real and digital worlds, and what are their passions and motivations?

If this insight isn’t available, there’s some research to do to ascertain these facts. Because without this deep audience understanding, you could be shooting off blind into the digital darkness; an audit can quickly establish user segments and provide insight into their needs and motivations. And it’s good marketing practice to have this data available, regardless of the channels you’re investigating.

The next important question is, ‘what do we want our audience to actually do?’ Are we looking for users to register to a service, a content stream or website? Do we need them to transact, vote or otherwise engage with the brand? What’s our call to action?

The last step in the planning process is to define the specific metrics we need to track and agree how they’ll be applied to measure our success. All this planning may sound trivial, or pedantic, but gaining this clarity and agreement on objectives, users and metrics of success should allow you to make informed choices on your channel strategy.

At Bray Leino, we also take it a step further. Our digital experts take these agreed criteria and match them against a matrix of digital delivery channels that indicates the influence and effect of each, allowing us to propose firm channel recommendations against the objectives, taking into account budget and time constraints, and justify an approach for the pre-agreed audience segments and scenarios.

Other factors that should come into play include the data and insight you can draw from existing website statistics, website conversion data, Google search data, existing user databases and a detailed social media audit; all feeding in to your new, highly informed and eminently justifiable decision-making process on digital channel strategy.

The Five Step Process

  • Establish, prioritise and agree clear business and campaign objectives
  • Establish and agree the various user profiles, user scenarios and goals
  • Define how success will be demonstrated, what specific metrics will be measured?
  • Assess all this information against the available digital delivery channels
  • Interrogate various data sources (e.g. traffic data, conversion data, Google search data, existing user databases, social media audit etc.)
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