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How to Choose the Right Marketing Channels

Deciding which marketing channels you want to focus on and what you want to present on those channels can be challenging. Many organizations and companies try to "do it all" and find that they are not getting the results they had hoped for. 

If you're feeling overwelmed with all the information out there about multi-channel marketing and how to drive more traffic, you're not alone. Here are a few steps to help you make sense of it all.

What are Marketing Channels?

It sounds fancy, but marketing channels are simply the different ways you can communicate with customers, clients, donors, volunteers, etc. Here is a quick list of marketing channels that might be on your mind:

  • Website: Clearly you need a website, but depending on your size, this can be anything from an interactive "brochure" with a few clear calls to action to a fully integrated social hub. Make sure you are keeping your content fresh and that visitors will get a clear sense of what you do in the first 3 seconds they land on your home page. See attached picture for more info.
  • Blog: Though always important, your content strategy is becoming more and more important not only so you can communicate what you do, but also for your Search Engine Optimization. Key words are important to include in what you are writing about, showing in infographics or creative artwork, but meta-tagging and all that other "behind-the-scenes" magic is just not as useful as it once was.
  • Print/Direct Mail: Yes, people do still do these and if created and used sparingly can be really effective. Just make sure you are creating something useful that people will want to keep for some reason. Maybe it is sharing information about something your company/organization knows a lot about...then the fact that it also has your branding and is a reminder of where they got this great tool is just a bonus.  
  • Email Newsletters/Flyers: A strategic email campaign schedule can go far as long as you are thoughtful about the information you are sharing and are not sending out "junk mail" too often. 1-2x month or less, keeps people engaged and not annoyed with the amount of emails they are recieving from you. Also, keep your message short, sweet and more about then rather than just broadcasting your latest good news. Give them something they will want to share with the people they know. As in all marketing, 80% of what you send should be sharing information for the greater good, 20% can be broadcasting why you are great. 
  • Facebook/Google+: These two platforms are more about awareness than anything else. Posting fresh content with attached images 4 or so times/week, liking and commenting on other people's posts will keep you engaged in your community and also give you the social credability you want. That being said, posting too often can hurt you so think about what you are sharing and why as well as how others are engaging with your posts. It may seem obvious, but if a lot of people are liking and sharing something, you are on the right track, if it is always just the same people, rethink what might be more successful. Asking questions and again making about them 
  • Twitter: Great for sharing articles, artwork and information with your community. Keep in mind this is something that takes constant engagement on your part. You can not build a following if you are not spending min. 30 minutes a day/5 days per week reading, retweeting, favoriting and posting.
  • Instagram/Pinterest: Choosing one of these as a channel you focus on can be great if you generate a lot of photos and/or short video clips on a regular basis. Posting images at least 3x/week from your last function, fundraiser, meeting, or just pictures from around the office, with a quick caption can go far in communicating your brand and getting people interested in following you.

Be Strategic About Selecting a Marketing Channel

If you are reading this, you probably already know that spreading yourself too thin will actually get you no where. Being thoughtful about your approach will not only save you valuable time, but come across to your audience as more authentic and grounded. There is plenty of noise out there so be more focused and directe

The ultimate guide to online donations

Interview Your Audience Members to Learn What Marketing Channels Work Best for Them

To use the correct marketing channels, you have to know how to communicate with your audience.  For instance, if you're customers are 40-60 years old, you probably don't want to use SnapChat as a major marketing channel - you won't reach them there. However, you might want to look at growing your email list, or use Facebook, since older populations tend to be in those spaces.

Stakeholder interviews and surveys are an extremely effective way to learn more about your audience. At Rootid we perfer interviews, since you can "read between the lines" when chatting with people. But, what should you ask? Download our interview guide to make sure you're asking the right questions.

Take Multi-Channel Marketing One-Step at a Time

There is no need to jump in all at once. Be strategic about how you start marketing through the channels that you use.  Pick a channel to focus on, build out your program, then move to the next.  You'll also see that once you have one channel built, you can use that to build more.  For instance, if you have a large email list, you can use that to promote your Facebook page.

Do Work in Bursts: Automate Your Marketing Channels as Much as Possible

As a marketer, it is really important to manage your time. Rather than spending time each day managing your marketing channels, use tools that allow you to do work in focused bursts, and schedule content. Note that it is really important with social channels that you continue to "listen" and respond in real time. But, planned content can be written and scheduled easily.

Here are some ideas for how to do work in bursts and some useful tools to help you get this done.

1) Write all your blog posts for a month in at one time. Use native functionality Wordpress or Drupal scheduling to publish them over time.

2) Once you have the content for your website you can write and schedule 2 weeks of social posts in one sitting. Tool: bufferhootsuite

3) Once you have your website content written, you can also write and schedule all of your email newsletters. Tool: MailChimp, VerticalResponse

Get Started!

In today's world, multi-channel marketing is extremely important. If you haven't had a chance to start, today is the day and Rootid can help. We provide a free marketing channel assessment to anyone that mentions this blog post! 

Selecting the Right Channel for Online Fundraising

Multi-channel marketing is even more important in fundraising. Donors that receive asks through multiple channels are far more likely to donate than those that receive an ask through just one channel.

If you're raising money online (which you definitely should be!), then your website is critical to your success. Download our Ultimate Guide to Online Donations to ensure that your website is doing all that it can to help you raise money online.

The ultimate guide to online donations

Valerie Neumark Mickela - Co-Founder, CEO & Brand Strategist

Valerie Neumark

Rootid Co-founder and Managing Partner, Valerie is a brand strategist and art director with almost 20 years experience in the corporate, education and nonprofit sectors.

Valerie's diverse professional background spans a wide range of experiences including teaching Kindergarten through Post-secondary art, science and web design; education administration as a Founding Principal of a 6th-12th grade private school and Associate Director of Career Services at Art Center College of Design; design and art direction in the automotive industry; founding board member for two growing nonprofits, and now communications strategy consultant for both local, statewide and national nonprofits/social good companies.

Valerie has her Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts & Media from University of California San Diego and a Master's Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. She was also a 2016 recipient of Pepperdine University's inaugural 40 under 40 Award. In her free time she plays soccer, loves to hike, watch baseball and read Pookie books to her daughter.