Which marketing channels are best to grow your business? (2020 Update)

Right Percent
Jun 13, 2019 · Unlisted

How do you know which marketing channels are right for your business before you spend time and money testing them?

You never know 100% — but there’s a methodology to narrowing down your options. Just find out where your business is on the below chart:

Marketing Channels Chart (Updated with 2019 public data)

What To Do With This Chart

  • The size of the bubbles is the rough scale of the channel, based on public data (See the full data here). It’s best to start in the biggest channel bubbles first, since they have the most potential to scale.
  • It’s roughly color coded: orange/yellows are channels better for e-commerce, blueish channels are better for B2B, and green is good for either.

Appendix

*Channels in more than one quadrant are marked by an asterisk.

Top Left Quadrant

Channels with an asterisk are in multiple quadrants.

  • Google SEM *— Paying for ads on the search engine results page for Google. Google can work for almost any audience and targeting, so long as your product category is one that people are likely to search for.
  • Bing SEM* — Roughly 15% of Google’s volume.
  • SEO* — Trying to appear on the search engine results pages of Google, Bing, and Yahoo without paying for ads, by creating content and optimizing it for keywords. You have less control over the keywords compared to SEM, so its a little less targeted.
  • Amazon Ads— Amazon ads are a fast growing advertising channel, which can work for most e-commerce products.
  • Pinterest *— Place ads on Pinterest. Great for targeting young people and women.

Top Right Quadrant

  • Integrated Partnerships — Make an arrangement with a company that has an audience of in-app users to offer your product. So if Dun and Bradstreet customers often want HR software, then you appear on their list of HR vendors.
  • Tradeshows — Get a booth at a tradeshow. Tradeshows and conventions get a very targeted audience in one place where everyone is looking for new products to use.
  • Review Sites — Capterra, GetApp, SoftWare advice, etc. These can be a great source of leads in specific verticals. Caveat: they often cannibalize leads that are searching for your branded search terms.
  • Google SEM * — Paying for ads on the search engine results page for Google.
  • Bing SEM* — Roughly 15% of Google’s volume.
  • SEO* — Trying to appear on the search engine results pages of Google, Bing, and Yahoo without paying for ads, by creating content and optimizing it for keywords. You have less control over the keywords compared to SEM, so its a little less targeted.

Bottom Left Quadrant

  • Pinterest *— Place ads on Pinterest. Great for targeting young people and women.
  • Display Networks (GDN, DSPs, etc.) — Place banner ads on various display networks. Display networks are when thousands of sites use the same advertising server to serve ads to customers. So by going through Google Display Network (GDN), you can place banner ads on thousands of sites. The targeting is not great at scale.
  • Content Amplification (Taboola, Outbrain) — Place ads on news sites where you pay to show people your own piece of content. Cheap clicks, and the ads you use make a huge difference, but targeting is not great at scale.
  • Facebook+Instagram* — Place ads on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook can work for almost any audience, broad or targeted, as long as your market size is over 200,000 people.
  • Affiliate *— Pay partners on a commission basis for driving clicks to your website. Theoretically this could be quite targeted visitors but my experience is that most affiliates can only drive generic visits at scale.
  • Youtube — Great scale, and the targeting is the 2nd strongest major online channel after Facebook.
  • TV/Radio — Advertise on TV and Radio. You have to test big on this channel, but TV and Radio can both drive new customers at acceptable prices, even compared to every other channel. The targeting is very broad.
  • Podcasts *— Fast growing channel, with some neat targeting capabilities by choosing podcasts that cater to difference audiences.

Bottom Right Quadrant

  • Facebook+Instagram *— Place ads on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook can work for almost any audience, broad or targeted, as long as your market size is over 200,000 people.
  • LinkedIn — Place ads on LinkedIn. Good for some categories of B2B where the target customer uses LinkedIn a lot, like recruiters, otherwise the scale is low.
  • Direct Mail — One of the most precise marketing methods— get a database of people you know would be good customers, and mail them.
  • Outbound (Calling & Email) — Also a very precise marketing method — get a database of people you know would be good customers, and call them or email them.
  • Podcasts * — Fast growing channel, with some neat targeting capabilities by choosing podcasts that cater to difference audiences.
  • Affiliate * — Pay partners on a commission basis for driving clicks to your website. Theoretically this could be quite targeted visitors but my experience is that most affiliates can only drive generic visits at scale. I included it here just in case.

Right Percent

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