24 Jul The 4 Best Ways to Reach Your Customers Online
To become an authority in your field of expertise, you need to share your knowledge. The best way to do that is by writing blogs posts or making videos (vlogs) or podcasts. However, even though you created a marvelous piece of content and posted it on your website, doesn’t mean people will find it.
Luckily, there are several ways to distribute your blog, vlog, or podcast online, so your potential customers can see it. These can be divided into four groups: owned, earned, paid, and shared media channels. This is what each means:
Owned media are communication channels or platforms that belong to your company. You are in control of what is published on these media channels. Examples are your company website or your list of email subscribers.
Earned media includes all communication that people generate about your business, product, or service for free. Examples for earned media are reviews or blogger articles.
Paid media are channels your company pays for to generate more traffic to your owned media channels (website). With paid media channels, you can increase your reach. Examples for paid media are Google AdWords, banner advertising, or affiliate marketing.
Shared media channels are affected by social media activity. Shared media examples are social media platforms, word of mouth, or referrals.
Source: pear analytics
I asked five great online communication experts from my network to share their experience and knowledge about these different media channels.
Which media channel is most important?
Social Media Doctor Sebastian Riehle says: “The website forms the basis for successful online communication. It is the place where everything starts and where all the content, like texts, audio, and video materials, should be placed. From there, a company can distribute its content via social media and other media channels.”
Joriet van Eck, Online Content Marketer at IIR Netherlands, agrees with this statement and adds: “It is important to make sure the social media channels are linked to your blog in order to send visitors from your social media to your own website. Here, your visitors can find more information about you and your business.”
How do you know, which social media channels are right for your business?
“This depends on the target audience,” says Rogier Westerink from Brand New Journey. “If your target audience is between 16 and 20 years old, then you should focus on Instagram and Snapchat. If your target audience is between 20 and 40 years old, then you might focus on Facebook. If you are working in business that sells to consumers, you want to use Facebook, as well. However, if you are working business to business, then you might consider Twitter and LinkedIn as your main social media channels.”
His colleague, Martijn Bloksma, adds: “The connection of your social media channels with your website is very important. Having a blog is valuable. However, the success of a blog is highly dependent on what people do with it. You want people to share your content on social media or react on it directly. Therefore, everything needs to be connected.”
Should you send email newsletters to your customers?
Sebastian Riehle names two reasons sending email newsletters are so important.
- It can happen that people disappear after they visited your website, sometimes, never coming back. Having their allowance to get in contact with them again can come handy. Their mail inbox is one of the best ways to achieve that. However, it is very important not to send advertising mailings only. Added value is crucial.
- Email marketing gives control. The disadvantage of social media is the constant change of the algorithm. This gives you little control. An email goes directly in the inbox of your (potential) customer. Your email subscribers should always be able to unsubscribe from your service. Eventually, this makes sure that only the people really interested in your products or services remain in the email. Conversion rates (people that become customers) will be higher than on social media.
Which paid channels are worth investing?
All five experts advise small businesses to invest in Google AdWords. This is a paid service of Google, which allow companies to display their products or service as one of the first four results on the Google search result page, when you search something in Google.
Stefanie Look, Online Marketing Consultant at Metapeople GmbH, recommends Google AdWords. “The advertisements can be placed on a local level. This means that only little budget is required to see first results.”
Which media channels are you using? Which ones work best for you? Let me know in the comments below! I am looking forward to hearing from you.