Article

Nick Colthorpe
Nick Colthorpe 5 October 2023

13 Key Digital Marketing Channels for 2024

Learn about the most effective digital marketing channels, ROI, current trends like Voice Search Optimisation, and future innovations. Find out how to allocate your budget for maximum returns and build credibility through e-word of mouth. This article is ideal for businesses looking to optimise their digital marketing strategy.

Are you looking to take your business's digital marketing strategy to the next level in 2024? Understanding the key digital channels available will be crucial for navigating the constantly evolving digtial landscape.

In this post, we'll overview the evolution of digital marketing and dive into the main channels you should consider as your compass for next year. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand your efforts, read on for insights into leveraging digital marketing channels for success.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding is Crucial: Knowing the ins and outs of digital marketing channels is essential for any business looking to succeed online.
  2. Types Matter: From email and social media to SEO and PPC, each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. Choose wisely.
  3. Trends to Watch: Voice Search Optimisation, Personalised Content Experiences and Social Listening are among the fastest-growing digital marketing channels.
  4. Effectiveness: Email marketing, SEO and content marketing often offer the best ROI. 
  5. Budgeting: The 70-20-10 rule can help you allocate resources effectively for maximum ROI.
  6. Credibility and Trust: E-word of mouth is powerful but needs to be genuine to be effective. Different demographics rely on different channels.
  7. Future Trends: Augmented Reality and a shift towards owned and earned media are on the horizon.
  8. Integrated Approach: A well-rounded, integrated digital marketing strategy is more effective than focusing on a single channel.

What on Earth is a Digital Marketing Channel?

Let's cut to the chase shall we? A digital marketing channel is simply a means of communicating with your audience online. Consider it your virtual megaphone, your digital soapbox, if you will.

Whether it's email, social media or good ol' pop-up ads, every channel has its own flavour and nuances. Know the rules, and you can make 'em work for you.

It's all about finding the right frequencies to connect.

Understanding Digital Marketing Channels

Before we jump into the key channels, let's quickly cover the fundamentals.

Utilising a strategic mix of digital channels has become essential for brands in today's digital-first world. 

Consumers expect to engage with businesses whenever and wherever they are online. A solid omnichannel digital marketing approach allows you to meet them on their terms.

The right channel can be the difference between your message soaring like an eagle or sinking like a stone.

13-key-digital-marketing-channels-business-men.jpg

A Brief Stroll Down Memory Lane

Let's take a little jaunt down memory lane, shall we? Remember the good ol' days of billboards and catchy radio jingles? Simpler times indeed.

We've evolved from a world of one-way ads to the Wild West of clicks, shares and likes. And buckle up, because the evolution ain't over yet!

Each year brings new digital channels, more advanced than the last. It's a brave new world, and to thrive you've gotta keep up! 

So leave your assumptions at the door, and let's explore the key channels set to dominate 2024.

How Can You Use Channels For Your Business?

Ah, the million-dollar question. Well, each channel is like a different instrument in an orchestra. Sure, a violin is lovely, but it's the combination of instruments that creates a symphony.

Similarly, using a mix of main digital marketing channels creates a harmonious and effective marketing strategy.

The Meaning Behind the Medium

Digital marketing channels are not just conduits for your message; they're ecosystems. Each one has its own culture, rules of engagement, and even its own language. 

Understanding the digital marketing channels meaning is crucial for navigating these complex waters. 

What works on LinkedIn might make you the laughing stock of TikTok.

So, there you have it—a quick primer to get you up to speed on what digital marketing channels are and why they're the linchpin of your online strategy.

But hold onto your hats, because we're just getting started.

Types of Digital Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels typically fall into 5 main categories:

  • Paid advertising - PPC, paid social ads, native ads, etc.
  • Owned media- Website, blog, social media, email lists, etc.
  • Earned media- PR, reviews, user-generated content, etc.
  • Shared media- Influencer marketing, affiliate partnerships, etc.
  • Search engine optimisation - Improving organic visibility and traffic.

Within each category, there are numerous specific channel options to consider. The key is figuring out the right mix for your brand based on budget, goals and target audience behaviours.

The Full Monty: A List of the Key Digital Marketing Channels

  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - The process of improving your visibility in organic search engine results. Critical for driving qualified traffic to your website.
  2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising - Paid ads through platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Allows you to target specific keywords and audiences.
  3. Social Media Marketing - Promoting your brand and engaging your audience on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  4. Content Marketing - Creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and retain customers. Includes blogs, videos, guides, etc.
  5. Email Marketing - Building an email subscriber list to send targeted promotions, offers, and engagement campaigns. Extremely effective for lead nurturing.
  6. Influencer Marketing - Partnering with influencers/key voices to promote your brand and products to their engaged follower base.
  7. Video Marketing - Using platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels to create engaging branded video content. Builds brand awareness.
  8. Display Advertising - Purchasing ad space on websites, apps, and social media sites to reach new audiences as they browse.
  9. Retargeting/Remarketing - Serving ads to previous site visitors or customers across the web to drive conversions.
  10. Mobile Marketing - Adapting marketing to reach customers on smartphones/tablets via push notifications, in-app ads, SMS, etc.
  11. Voice Search Optimisation - Optimising content for voice queries and voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, etc.
  12. Personalised Website Experiences - Providing tailored on-site content and offers based on individual user data and behaviours.
  13. Interactive Content - Creating engaging content like online quizzes, assessments, calculators, etc. to boost conversion rates.

So many tempting options, but don't get greedy - quality over quantity. Let's explore the top players of 2023:

Email Marketing: The Old Faithful

You might think email is as outdated as a flip phone, but you'd be sorely mistaken. A staggering 69% of marketers are still investing in email marketing, and for good reason. 

With a 59% positive ROI, it's like the Swiss Army knife of digital marketing—versatile, reliable and evergreen. 

The trends? Personalisation and automation are the name of the game. 

So, if you're not sending tailored messages to your audience, you're basically sending your emails to the digital graveyard.

Source: [Goodway Group]

Social Media: The Cool Kid on the Block

Social media is the darling of the digital marketing world, and it's not hard to see why. A whopping 74% of marketers are investing in this channel, and 72% are seeing a positive ROI. 

Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, each platform is a universe unto itself, teeming with potential customers just waiting to discover your brand.

Source: [Wordstream]

Content Marketing: The Storyteller

Ah, content marketing—the art of storytelling in the digital age. With 70% of marketers actively investing and 60% reporting a positive ROI, it's clear that many see content as the king. 

But not just any content; we're talking video content and blogs that captivate and engage.

Source: [Wellspring Digital]

Various Digital Marketing Channels: The Spice of Life

The beauty of digital marketing lies in its variety. From the stalwarts like email and SEO to the new kids on the block like influencer marketing, there's something for everyone. 

The key is to find the right mix—a healthy digital marketing channels mix, if you will—that aligns with your brand, audience and objectives.

So, there you have it, a comprehensive guide to the types of digital marketing channels that should be on your radar.

But don't go anywhere; we're just scratching the surface.

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Trending Digital Marketing Channels

Trends—the ever-changing kaleidoscope of the digital marketing world. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, along comes a curveball that turns everything on its head. 

But fear not, for I've got the lowdown on the fastest-growing digital marketing channels that are set to dominate 2024.

Voice Search Optimisation: The Future is Conversational

First up, let's talk about Voice Search Optimisation (VSO). It's like SEO's chatty cousin. With the rise of voice-activated devices like Alexa and Google Home, brands need to adapt to natural language patterns. 

No longer can you rely on stilted keywords; it's all about conversational queries now.

Impact: If you're not optimising for voice search, you're essentially playing a game of hide and seek with your audience—and you're the one hiding.

Personalised Content Experiences: The Tailor-Made Revolution

Next on the runway is personalised content experiences. Think of it as your digital concierge, guiding you through a world of content that's been handpicked just for you. 

With 91% of consumers preferring brands that provide personalised offers, this is one trend you can't afford to ignore.

Impact: If you're not using AI and analytics for hyper-personalisation, you're basically throwing a party and forgetting to send out the invites.

Social Listening: The Ears to the Ground

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall, listening in on what people are saying about your brand? Enter Social Listening. 

This is all about monitoring customer feedback and social trends to improve your marketing strategies and customer support.

Impact: It's like having a crystal ball that tells you exactly what your customers want, need, and are saying behind your back.

User-Generated Content and Micro-Influencers: The People's Choice

The allure of authenticity. In a world of filters and Photoshop, people are craving the real deal. User-generated content (UGC) and Micro-Influencers are your ticket to credibility and higher sales rates.

Impact: Think of it as word-of-mouth for the digital age.

Effectiveness of Digital Marketing Channels

Alright folks, let's get down to brass tacks. With so many options on the digital buffet, which channels are really worth your time and money? 

You've got to fill your plate with the prime rib, not waste calories on stale bread.

The Ranking Rundown

According to the digital marketing cognoscenti, here are the top channels for ROI from 2022:

  • Paid Search Advertising - The belle of the ball, with 55% of marketers prioritising it this year. Keyword targeting provides laser focus.
  • Email Marketing - A personalised heavyweight driving major ROI. Lead nurturing and automation make it a digital workhorse.
  • Search Engine Optimisation - SEO improves website visibility in organic results. Essential for long-term growth and revenues.
  • Social Media Marketing - A multi-platform arena to engage customers. Short-form video and influencers are red hot right now.
  • Content Marketing - Valuable branded content that attracts and retains an audience. Build authority and boost SEO with blogging and guides.

But if you want to look at it from a purely B2B perspective here are the results from the 2021 State of B2B Lead Generation survey from London Research and Demand Exchange.

13-key-digital-marketing-channels-graph.jpg

The Data Doesn't Lie

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to these digital marketing channel all-stars:

  • Paid search delivers $2 in revenue for every $1 spent, with 12% lower CPA vs other channels. (WordStream)
  • 72% of businesses say email marketing gives them the highest ROI. (Invesp)
  • SEO-earned search drives 54% more conversions than paid search. (Blue Corona)
  • Social media generates 67% higher engagement than non-social content. (Social Media Today)
  • Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional marketing. (Demand Metric)

Case Studies

Let's look at some real-world examples of brands effectively leveraging digital marketing channels:

  • Mailchimp - Grew their email list to over 12 million subscribers by offering free resources.
  • Moz - Built domain authority to rank #1 for tens of thousands of SEO keywords.
  • HubSpot - Leveraged blogging, social media and influencers to attract leads.
  • Dollar Shave Club - Launched with a viral explainer video that was viewed over 24 million times.

As you can see, a solid omnichannel digital marketing strategy takes time, but can yield dramatic results. Find what works for your brand, then double down on those high-performing channels.

With the right channel mix, you'll be feasting on the fruits of your marketing efforts in no time!

Investment and Budgeting Across Digital Marketing Channels

Allocating budget and resources wisely across digital channels is the marketing equivalent of solving a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. It's no simple feat, but fear not intrepid marketer - I'm here to help with some guidance.

Picking Your Focus Channels

First, identify the specific digital channels best aligned with your business goals, tone of voice and target audience. 

For B2B companies, LinkedIn and email marketing may be priorities. For Gen Z audiences, focus on TikTok and Instagram. Always invest most where you'll get the greatest return.

The 70/20/10 Budget Breakdown

A proven budget allocation strategy is the 70/20/10 rule:

  • 70% to proven performer channels with consistent ROI
  • 20% to high-potential emerging channels
  • 10% for an experimental budget to test new approaches

This ensures you maximise returns while also evolving your channel mix over time. Don't put all your eggs in one basket - spread them strategically.

Do Your Homework

Conduct thorough digital marketing channel budget research to optimise spending. Review industry benchmarking data, study competitors and analyse your performance metrics frequently.

Getting your digital marketing budget and resource allocation right is crucial for success. Focus on your best channels, leave room for growth, and let data guide your decisions. 

With the right healthy channel mix, your marketing efforts will flourish.

Building Credibility and Trust Across Channels

In the world of digital marketing, credibility and trust are the salt and pepper that take your efforts from bland to bold. 

But how do you truly convince your audience you're the real deal in an era of fake news and scammy tactics?

The Power of E-Word of Mouth

User-generated content like online reviews and testimonials can make or break reputations these days. For example, over 92% of consumers read reviews of local businesses.

However, not all digital channels garner equal trust. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok thrive on influencer marketing and viral content that may lack substance. 

The key is earning genuine, organic endorsements through stellar products, services and customer care.

Know Your Audience

Different demographics use different channels in their buyer's journey. Millennials may turn to Instagram for fashion inspiration, while baby boomers scout email newsletters for the best deals. 

Meet your audience where they already are and tailor content accordingly.

By cultivating credible third-party endorsements and providing value across digital touchpoints, you can build a foundation of trust. 

This acts as social proof and fuels further word-of-mouth, driving brand growth. Remember - genuine enthusiasm from customers is your most powerful marketing tool.

The Future of Digital Marketing Channels

The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve at breakneck speed. Savvy marketers should keep a pulse on emerging channels and innovations to stay ahead of the curve. 

Here are some key trends on the horizon:

The Rise of Augmented Reality (AR)

Imagine virtually trying products or visualizing furniture in your home. AR is set to transform digital shopping and branded interactions. Retail, real estate and automotive industries are poised for disruption.

The Shift to Owned & Earned Media

While paid media has its place, owned platforms and earned channels like reviews will dominate moving forward. This content is cheaper and offers higher credibility. Organic social media and branded content will be more important.

Personalisation Powered by AI

Harvesting data and machine learning will allow brands to deliver hyper-targeted and customised messaging tailored to each user. The future is 1:1 automated marketing.

The Metaverse & Virtual Experiences

New immersive digital worlds will create opportunities for virtual branded events, augmented stores, and enhanced customer engagement. The metaverse remains largely uncharted.

13-key-digital-marketing-channels-virtual.jpg

Conclusion: Crafting an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy

In today's digitally-driven world, an omnichannel marketing approach is essential for growth. As we've explored, core channels like SEO, social media, email and paid advertising should anchor your efforts.

But the key is layering in emerging tactics like interactive content, influencer collaborations and voice search optimisation. 

Continually test new channels and double down on what delivers ROI.

Most importantly, take an integrated, holistic approach across paid, owned, earned and shared media. A blend of digital channels tailored to your goals and audience will accomplish far more together than any single channel can on its own.

Whether you're a seasoned digital marketer or just starting out, let data guide your decisions and keep honing your ideal channel mix. 

Technology will continue advancing rapidly, but sound strategy never goes out of style.

So in summary, an integrated digital marketing approach is the compass that will guide your brand to success in the digital landscape ahead. 

Stay nimble, creative and customer-focused above all else. The possibilities of how far you can go are endless.

Now over to you - which channels are you prioritising? What are you finding works best for your brand and audience?

FAQs

Is email still outperforming other digital marketing channels?

Ah, the age-old question. While email marketing may seem like a dinosaur in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it's far from extinct. In fact, it continues to offer one of the highest ROIs, making it a stalwart in any well-rounded marketing strategy.

What is true about digital marketing channels?

Here's a quick truth bomb: not all digital marketing channels are created equal. Some are better suited for brand awareness, while others excel at driving conversions. The trick is to find the right mix that aligns with your business goals and target audience.

How do I measure the effectiveness of my digital marketing channels?

Great question! Measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing channels often involves a combination of metrics such as ROI, conversion rates and customer engagement levels. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into how each channel is performing. It's crucial to set clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and regularly monitor them to adjust your strategy as needed.

Can I rely solely on organic traffic for my digital marketing?

While organic traffic is highly valuable and cost-effective in the long run, relying solely on it can be a risky strategy, especially for new or small businesses. Paid digital marketing channels like PPC ads can provide immediate visibility and help you compete with larger players in your industry. A balanced approach that combines organic and paid strategies is often the most effective.

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