marketing-channels-1You just finished creating your latest asset for your inbound marketing campaign. Great! But how do you plan on getting it into the hands of your audience?

Email? Social? Landing pages? What will work best for you? Better yet: What channels have you not used (or taken advantage of as much as you'd like to)?

Many companies make the mistake of only using one or two channels to market to their leads. What they should be doing to reach them is using several channels.

Luckily, there are tons of channels out there that are untapped resources for you and your company -- either because you never thought to use them or you never thought to use them in new and innovative ways.

In that spirit, here are some optimal channels you can (and should) use for your next marketing campaign, including specific ways you can do so.

Channel #1: Social Media

You may be thinking, "Of course I use social media to promote my marketing campaign!" Well, we're glad to hear it! But there may be other ways to strategically use social media to get more juice out of your marketing campaign.

"The key to strategically using social channels is tailoring your content to what works in each channel," says Shannon Johnson, content strategist at HubSpot. "No matter what your core piece of content is (ebook, templates, whitepaper, video, etc.), you have to create a lot of bite-sized visuals that call attention to key takeaways from that larger piece of content. Think of each social post as an advertisement for the core piece of lead gen content."

Many people are looking at your company from different social channels, so it's important to avoid posting identical content on different social media platforms. One way you can leverage your content is to take the main piece of content from your campaign and only share parts of it in your social channels. Another option you have is to take portions of your content, modify them, and repurpose them on other platforms like SlideShare. You can pull from blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, or videos to do this. Showing your content in different forms will appeal to a larger set of people.

For instance, HubSpot partner IMPACT Branding & Design promotes its offers on different social media platforms. However, the company recognizes the different messaging and tone needed when taking advantage of different platforms. Here's an example of IMPACT promoting the same offer on Twitter ... 

... and then on Facebook ...

facebook_impact

Channel #2: Public Relations

In the past, public relations has been synonymous with press releases. However, traditional press releases don't cut it anymore. As you consider the role public relations will play in your campaign strategy, think about ways to modernize your PR strategy with content assets you can create in place of press releases.

For example, you could create a SlideShare presentation as an asset to go along with your campaign and PR announcement. You could also ask guest bloggers to write about your campaign, or use social media to promote and monitor what people are saying about announcements. (This latter option provides you the chance to answer questions and make sure the announcement doesn't lose steam.)

A unique PR strategy was implemented recently by Zipcar, which moved its offices to Boston. When Zipcar moved, the business didn't just send out a press release letting everyone know it was moving. Rather, it made a brief but intriguing media advisory declaring it was going to have a parade of cars that would bring it through the city from Cambridge (its old home) to Boston's Innovation District (its new headquarters).

This tactic was covered at great length by the media and mentioned quite a few times through various social channels.

Channel #3: Targeted Landing Pages

A routine part of setting up your next marketing campaign is creating landing pages. However, the more targeted you can get with your landing pages, the more effective they'll be. 

Let's say you have two segments: small businesses and enterprise businesses. Let's also say you have an offer that would interest both audiences. What do you do? You should personalize the text on your landing pages! Small and enterprise businesses have completely different interests, and the landing page copy explaining the offer and its benefits should reflect that.

Bonus: For HubSpot customers, you can create lists of your segments and use smart content to personalize the text based on who is viewing it while still using the same landing page.

Let's take a look at a targeted landing page that HubSpot uses. In this case, HubSpot customers are segmented into a different list than HubSpot prospects or leads. So HubSpot customers see the following landing page:

socialprospecting_customer

While HubSpot prospects and leads see this landing page:

socialprospecting_prospect

As you can see, both landing pages have different text that is catered to the interests of the members of each list. The customer landing page had a 60.5% conversion rate, while the prospect/lead landing page had a 62.9% conversion rate. Both conversion rates are extremely high, due in part to their targeted lists.

Channel #4: Co-marketing

Another channel you can considerably benefit from is co-marketing, which allows for two (or more) companies or brands to work together on content creation and the promotion of that content.

Typically, companies will create partnerships like this to get in front of an entirely new audience or a part of their current audience they haven't been able to reach. When you add co-marketing into the mix for your campaigns, chances are good you'll get more exposure for your content than you would if you were just promoting them through your own channels. 

"Co-marketing can increase the results you see from your current marketing channels," says Amanda Sibley, co-marketing manager at HubSpot. "Each tweet, post, offer, etc. will not only be seen by your audience, but also by the audience of your partner."

In our most recent co-marketing offer, for example, there were 38% more views, 27% more submissions, and 95% more leads as a result of partnering with another business. Not bad, right?

Channel #5: Blogging

You should certainly use blogging to send traffic to your campaign assets by creating content that is similar, but not identical, to your campaign topic. There are other ways, though, that you can utilize this channel to generate great results.

In another blog post, we covered how to repurpose your blog posts into an ebook. In this case, you may want to consider repurposing some of your other content to turn into blog posts. 

For example, let's say you create an ebook about ways for businesses to use social media. You can take a portion of that content and turn it into a SlideShare that can be posted on your blog. Similar to social, you can repurpose your content on different platforms to see better results.

HubSpot used this tactic with its recent ebook How to Get 1000+ Followers on Twitter. After the ebook was completed, the author took a section of the content, modified it slightly, and created the SlideShare below.

Channel #6: PPC

When you think of PPC, the first thing that comes to mind may be Google AdWords. However, there is a lot more that you can do with PPC, especially on social.

Social media platforms have a variety of advertising options. You can run Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts on Twitter, ads and Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn, Facebook ads, and more. No matter what you choose, supplementing your organic social efforts with PPC could allow you to reach a larger group of your audience than you would have been able to reach otherwise.

PPC also gives you tighter targeting options -- for instance, it allows you to target audience segments by location, gender, keywords, and LinkedIn Groups, among other ways. We already talked about the importance of segmentation, and the same applies when you're doing PPC. Consider the goals of your campaign as well as the information you already know about your leads and customers to create the most effective targeting.

Don't be afraid to try out a new form of PPC and fail. You can always run a test campaign with a small budget to see what your results will look like before launching a bigger campaign. It's important to test new platforms and figure out which ones will generate the best results for your company.

Sarah Goliger, head of paid marketing at HubSpot says, "PPC is a great way to supplement your marketing campaigns by expanding your reach and getting your brand and content in front of more people. Always focus on organic first, but if you have extra budget to put toward your campaigns, go ahead and experiment with a few different PPC platforms. Find the one or two that yield the best results for the metrics you're solving for, and make sure you're constantly optimizing for lower costs and greater efficiency."

Are you using these channels the best you can? What other channels do you think marketing campaigns should utilize?

inbound marketing campaign free guide

Originally published Jan 10, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Marketing Campaigns