Should I Focus on a Few Specific Digital Channels or Do a Little Bit of Everything?
There are a ton of digital marketing channels to choose from these days. The exact number varies depending on who you ask, but there are easily 12 types of core digital channels available. And this brings up an important question.
Should you focus your efforts on just a few specific digital channels? Or should you spread your efforts, trying a bit of everything?
Here’s how we suggest approaching it.
The Benefits of a Few Specific Digital Channels
One option is to laser-focus on just a few channels, such as social media, blog posts, and email. Rather than trying your hand at everything, you pick and choose only a handful of channels, giving them your full attention and budget.
One of the main benefits of this approach is that you’re more likely to run a quality campaign and, in turn, get tangible results from the channels you use. Most people will agree that you’re more likely to be successful if you give your attention to a small handful of channels than if you try to do everything at once.
While this doesn’t necessarily open the door for wide-scale experimentation, like if you were trying a wide array of channels, your odds of hitting your target increase when you’re dedicating your time and energy to just a few things. Companies that know that a few particular channels work and have the data to back the knowledge up tend to win by zeroing in on those specific digital channels rather than trying everything at once.
Another advantage is the reduced bandwidth required with this route. Any time you’re dealing with a massive number of moving parts, which often happens in a high-volume marketing channel campaign, it can quickly become overwhelming. However, focusing on just a few channels makes you far less likely to be overwhelmed, which often translates into a better overall campaign.
There’s also the matter of budget. Generally speaking, you’re going to spend less on a digital marketing campaign with fewer strategies than you would on one with several. So if you’re on a shoestring budget and want to have an impact without spending a lot of money, the “less is more” approach will probably make sense.
The Benefits of Several Digital Marketing Channels
The other option is to try multiple digital marketing channels. Instead of zeroing in on only a few, you cast a wide net, experimenting with several different ideas to see what works best.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of this approach is that you can capitalize on the wide variety of digital marketing channels available. According to content experience platform Rock Content, there are 12 core types of digital marketing, including:
- “Content marketing
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Instant message marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Video marketing
- Audio marketing
- Virtual reality marketing”
By “sampling the buffet” like this, you can fully leverage several forms of digital marketing, which can help you generate more qualified leads and close more deals.
The other key advantage is that it can help you figure out which channels work best for you. Rather than trying a few channels for a while, then trying a few more, then testing out a few more, you can quickly get a bird’s-eye view of what your audience most appreciates. Although some channels inevitably won’t work out, this is an effective way to gather a wealth of data, so you’ll know what works. And that’s something you can’t do by focusing only on a few specific digital channels simultaneously.
This approach often makes sense for new companies trying to figure out what works. While you need to be mindful of how much you’re spending, this can be an effective way to get a “crash course” in digital marketing. Then, you can ditch the strategies that don’t work and double down on the ones that do.
Which Digital Marketing Channels Work Best?
After discovering when one approach makes more sense than the other, you’ll need to tackle another critical matter — which channels work best. To identify which specific areas you should give the most attention to, let’s look at a few recent studies by Statista.
First, a study from February 2020 pinpointed the nine most widely used digital channels based on the share of marketers that used them.
Although a website was technically the top digital channel overall, we don’t reference it, as it’s not, strictly speaking, a marketing channel. Social publishing/advertising, email, and display ads are the three most popular digital channels. After that, creating a mobile app and customer communities is followed by mobile messaging, search engine marketing, and video.
These are the eight most widely used digital channels at the moment. And judging by the large share of marketers that use them, they’re likely to get results.
The other study to consider is from Statista, which includes the “most effective digital marketing techniques according to marketers worldwide in 2020.”
While this may have changed slightly in the two years since it’s been published, this gives you a pretty good idea of what’s working at the moment. Content marketing and marketing automation ranked as the most effective channels, with 17.4% of marketers using them. Just beyond that, big data and AI/machine learning are huge as well. Behind that are social media marketing, conversion rate optimization, communities, paid advertising, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whether to focus on a few specific digital channels or do a little bit of everything ultimately depends on your situation. If you’re easily overwhelmed by several moving parts, prefer to focus your attention, or have a small digital marketing budget, we recommend the less is more approach.
On the other hand, if you want to tap into the wide array of digital channels or want to perform rapid experimentation to figure out are optimal, doing a little bit of everything is probably the way to go.
If you’re still not sure, you may want to consider partnering with a digital marketing agency. They’ll be able to assess your situation and come up with the right game plan to accelerate your progress, while also generating critical data to improve long-term decision-making. At 3.7 Designs, for example, we specialize in various digital marketing services, including SEO, PPC, social advertising, content marketing, and more. We can help you create a winning campaign based on your specific audience.
Taking the Right Approach to Digital Marketing
The sheer volume of digital marketing channels available to modern businesses is both a gift and a curse. It’s nice to have so many options to choose from, as it allows you to reach your target audience in multiple ways. But it can be a little overwhelming, and it’s not always clear which path you should take.
That’s why it’s important to contemplate which is right for you from the onset of a campaign — something you should know more about after reading this post.
If you’d like to discuss your strategy further and get additional guidance, feel free to reach out to 3.7 Designs today. You can contact us via our online form or by phone at 800-672-1714.