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Marketing channels that give you the best “bang for your buck”

Marketers experiment with different channels because every industry and organization is different; what works for one organization may not work for another. Therefore, some of the marketing channels toward the bottom of the list may outperform the ones at the top, depending on the organization. With that in mind, here are the best bang for your buck marketing channels we think would apply to most. 

1. Website

A website with quality content has lasting value. We cannot say that with most other marketing channels. Temporary campaigns such as Ads may give your brand and sales a boost, but when talking about bang for your buck, nothing beats a website because of its lasting value. It is a gift that keeps on giving, as quality content on your website will drive traffic to your website for years to come. 

Also, content management systems are plentiful, so the cost of website implementations keep going down every year. In other words, the cost is no longer an excuse for not having a great website.

2. Email

Assuming you have a good list of subscribers to work with, email marketing will outperform many marketing channels and consistently deliver a high ROI. The cost per campaign with email marketing can be very low, so even a modest increase in revenue can quickly cover expenses and generate a profit.

3. Social Media

When thinking about social media ROI, you can’t only focus on numbers. There are many benefits which are more difficult to measure. For example, good social media campaigns will build trust and loyalty, which for many organizations is the primary goal. Also, we live in the age of influencers, so a well-known influencer liking or sharing your social media post can make your product or service recognizable by millions overnight. 

4. Organic Search

Five years ago we would have probably ranked organic search above social media. However, these days most organizations (excluding well-known brands) are having difficulty getting discovered via organic search. It takes a lot of effort/time to build enough presence for Google, Bing, or Yahoo to surface your content above your competition and paid Ads. So we cannot rank it higher, even if it can have the most significant impact on revenue. 

5. Paid Search

Considering less than 10% of people ever click on Page 2 in Google search results it is no surprise why so many organizations invest in paid search. And paid search can return impressive ROI. However, a paid search like any other temporary campaign does not provide lasting value. Some people may argue this point, but in our experience, clients who pause or stop investing in paid search do not retain any lasting value. Traffic, leads, and sales often return to pre-campaign numbers. 

6. Mobile

Global advertising spending for Mobile is still lagging, remaining between 1-2%. This doesn’t mean they are not effective but are still considered a niche. About ROI, we find app developers do best. For example, investing in click-to-download ads which direct user to an Appstore to download the app. Push notifications, mobile banner ads, and click-to-call ads don’t do as well. While mobile advertising will continue to grow, it’s still not a great fit for most organizations. 

7. Display Ads (Banner Ads)

As with paid search, calculating the ROI is simple because it’s easy to track customer behavior from the impression to the click, and finally to the purchase or form completion. However, we are bombarded with Ads every day, so Banner Ads and Display Ads are becoming less effective. Sure, Display Ads will help customers remember your business, but Display Ad campaigns cannot be implemented in isolation. If interested, most customers will search for a product/service after viewing a Display Ad, so you have to invest in organic search / SEO or Paid Search, in addition to investing in your website. Dependency on other campaigns is the main reason why Display Ads are at the end of our list.

A good marketing plan will always include multiple channels and some budget for experimentation. Only focusing on one or two channels is a mistake, because the customer journey is never that simple. 

This list should help you to prioritize your resources; and again, experimenting with different marketing channels is crucial, and should be a part of all marketing plans, irrespective if you are a Startup, Small Business or Fortune 500.

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