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Digital Marketing Channels and When to Use Them

Digital Marketing Channels and When to Use Them

When planning a digital marketing campaign, marketers are often faced with tough questions. What are the paid media channels I should be using? What’s a good digital marketing strategy for my business? What’s the ultimate goal of my campaign? To help make your job a little bit easier, we’ve broken down the top digital marketing channels and how you can best use them to help your business grow. 

Awareness Media Channels

Awareness channels give you widespread impressions and help you get as many eyes on your ads as possible. An awareness phase is really important if you’re launching a new brand or product. People are unlikely to make it all the way down the conversion funnel for a brand they don’t recognize. In order to measure success for these campaigns, keep an eye on your impression-based metrics. For display and audio ads, this includes impressions and cost per thousand impressions (CPM). For video campaigns, good metrics to measure are video views, cost per view (CPV) and view rate.

  • Display Advertising

    If you’re trying to reach as many people as possible for the lowest cost, display campaigns are for you. This channel tends to have the lowest CPM (cost per thousand impressions) so your budget will go a lot further here. It may not be the best channel for pushing conversions, but it’s great for building brand awareness and getting eyes on ads. If you want to narrow your target audience to make sure you’re hitting the right people, programmatic display offers third party data targeting that can help you target based on day-to-day habits, IP addresses and more. Interested in learning more about this specific type of media buying? Check out Choozle’s article on the benefits of programmatic.

  • Pandora

    The majority of Pandora users don’t pay for an ad-free service, so it offers a unique opportunity to reach a widespread audience through audio rather than visuals. There are also a variety of targeting options available, including music preferences, interests, behaviors, life stages, third party data and email data. 

  • YouTube

    YouTube is owned by Google, so the setup feels very similar to Google display campaigns; however, there are some different targeting options available. For starters, you can target specific videos and channels on YouTube. Notice in the example below, before viewing the trailer for Wonder Woman 2, a paid ad for the movie Fast and Furious 9 showed. Both are action movies that would attract a similar viewer, so the paid campaign leveraged this placement to reach an audience that is interested in the same genre of movies.  

    YouTube Awareness Ad Example

    YouTube campaigns are versatile and can achieve different business goals based on what type of ad you choose to show. You can find useful information on the different types of YouTube campaigns here

Consideration and Engagement Media Channels

Once an acceptable level of awareness is achieved with your audience, consideration media can be used to encourage engagement with your business so you can connect with them and nurture them into qualified leads.

Key metrics of success for consideration media will be based around engagement with the ad, like click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC). If you want to take it one step further, you can also track engagement once the user hits the website. Key consideration metrics onsite include pages per session and average session duration. Setting up Google Analytics on your website will give you access to data on website behavior that isn’t provided in the ad platform itself.

  •  Social: Facebook and Instagram

    According to Sprout Social, Facebook is the largest social media channel with 2.07 billion worldwide users. The audience also skews older compared to other social media channels. While it is still very popular among younger users, about 80% of adults age 30-49 use Facebook, so you have the ability to reach both audiences.  

    In comparison, Instagram definitely tends to skew younger with its demographics. Additionally, they have rolled out some new features that offer a little bit more versatility within the app, like the story feature that launched a couple years ago, as well as IGTV.

    Since Facebook owns Instagram, the setup and targeting options are the exact same. It’s just a matter of selecting the channel where you want your ads to show. Keep in mind, you must have brand profiles set up to be able to run your ads.

    As shown in the example below, there are several different ad placements and formats within the platform to work with, such as showing on a user’s news feed, video feed or story.     

    Facebook Ad Placement & Format Example


  • Twitter

    Twitter is a great avenue for connecting with people who are interested in your industry, whether your company is B2B or B2C. One way to do this is through the keyword targeting feature. This shows your ads to people who have recently tweeted or searched a certain term on Twitter.

    Another unique way to connect with your audience is to target people who are similar to the followers of specific accounts. You can use this to reach audiences who would be interested in the content of competitors, influencers and industry media outlets. For example, if your company sold running equipment, you could target the followers of Asics and the Brooks Running Twitter accounts.

  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is a go-to channel for B2B marketing since it offers some really valuable targeting options based on the profile that the user created. You can target people based on specific business criteria, like industry, job title or job function.

    It also offers several campaign options that can help you reach your audience in different ways, depending on your marketing goals. One of the most common campaign types is sponsored content, which shows ads within the news feed, like in the image below.

    LinkedIn Campaign Options

    You’ll notice that the ad blends right into the news feed and since users come to LinkedIn specifically to engage with industry-relevant content, it’s likely that they will take the time to interact with your ad.

    There are also many other types of campaigns types available on LinkedIn, like InMail, text ads and lead gen forms. If you’re having trouble deciding which to use, Wordstream put together a great cheat sheet for everything you need to know about advertising on LinkedIn.

  • Remarketing

    Remarketing campaigns are a great way to nurture leads with people who have previously interacted with your business. You can build audiences of people who have visited your website or interacted with your content in a certain way and then serve them an ad with a message specific to their actions.

    For example, if your business sells clothing, you’re likely to have a very different audience viewing men’s t-shirts as compared to women’s dresses. Building two separate audience pools for these visitors allows you to reach each audience with product-specific messaging or promotions to encourage them to reengage with your brand. 

Conversion Media Channels

Conversion channels allow you to capitalize on an audience who is in the mindset of taking action. They are actively seeking out products or services related to your business, so showing ads at this time can be crucial for capturing new leads.

When analyzing the success of your conversion media campaigns, it’s important to monitor the total number of conversions, conversion rate and cost per conversion.

  •  Paid Search

    Search campaigns on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads (previously known as Bing Ads) give you the opportunity to reach people much further down the sales funnel. By bidding on search terms, you can reach people who are actively seeking out your brand, products or services. These ads appear on the Google search results page and give you the best visibility since they show up above the organic results. 

    Paid Search Ad Example


  • Google Shopping (PLA)

    If your brand has an ecommerce site, you’ll probably want to set up a Google shopping campaign. With shopping ads, also known as product listing ads (PLAs), you can reach people who are ready to buy. These purpose of PLA campaigns is to drive conversions and revenue.

    Google PLA Example

    As you can see in the image above, these ads provide the consumer with valuable product details, such as an image, price and description. You can also show reviews of your product and offer promotions, like free shipping, to encourage your audience to purchase.

All in all, paid media is a cohesive process that oftentimes requires a combination of several different media channels. Whether you need help defining your paid media strategy or launching effective digital marketing campaigns, our specialists are here to help. Feel free to contact us for more information.

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