Marketing communications channels

Marketing channels are what you use to provide your audiences with information about your brand, your business, your products & services and you.

  • Advertising: Paying to get your message in front of a group of people
    • Google ads/ adwords
    • Advertorials (paying for a section in a publication that looks like an editorial)
    • Adverts on social media channels e.g. Facebook ads and boosting posts
    • Traditional media advertising e.g. newspapers, radio and on TV
    • Outdoor advertising e.g. bill boards and sandwich board signs
    • On vehicle advertising e.g. the side of buses and taxis
    • Product placement e.g. showing product packing in films
    • Near field Communications e.g. an alert on your phone when you go past a shop selling something you’re interested in
  • PR: Getting press coverage about you or your business into the media
    • TV and radio
    • Print media; newspapers (on and offline) and magazines
  • Direct mail and direct selling: sending messages directly to potential, previous or current customers
    • Letters and ‘lumpy mail’
    • Email and text messaging
    • Direct messaging using social media sites
    • Phone calls
    • Door to door selling
  • Content and social media: creating your own media or featuring on someone else’s
    • Podcasts
    • Blogs/ vlogs
    • Social media posts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, Google My Business and Snapchat
    • Social media profile headlines and bios
    • Social media groups e.g. Facebook groups
  • Events:
    • Live events; paid for and free e.g. exhibitions and conferences
    • Online events
    • Networking events
  • Sponsorship
    • Events
    • Personalities and sports teams
    • TV programmes, films and podcasts etc.
  • Marketing materials- proprietary materials you design and publish yourself to express key messages about your business and offerings
    • Website
    • Your own app(s)
    • Leaflets
    • Business cards and email signatures
    • Packaging and product inserts
    • Branded merchandise e.g. mugs, pens and beermats
    • Automated phone messages (IVR)
    • Point of sale (POS) e.g. shelf wobblers and display boxes
    • Catalogues
  • Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing
    • Asking an influencer to promote your product or service
    • Getting someone else to promote your product or service for a commission

Sales promotions/ sales tools

These are offers and tactics encourage people to make the purchase decision as soon as possible.

  • Discount
    • % off total price e.g. 20% off if you spend £X,
    • Tripwire offers; offering something of unbelievable value to get the customer to start buying from you
  • Multi-purchase discount e.g. Buy one get one free (BOGOF), buy 3 get one half price
  •  ‘Sale’: Discounts across several products or services to give sales a short term boost
  • End of season sales
  • Flash sales e.g. Black Friday
  •  Freebies
    • Free samples
    • Free gifts
  • Joint promotions e.g. buy a holiday and get insurance free or discounted
  • Competitions and giveaways
  • Loyalty programmes and exclusive benefits for current customers

Audience building and lead gathering tactics

These tactics can be used to move customers from your social media platforms or other channels onto your email list or simply to build the know, like, trust factor among your audience.

  • Webinars and live broadcasts
  • Challenges in social media groups, on business pages or emailed
  • Lead magnets (could be any of the above); someone gives you their contact details in return for a freebie or a discount
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation); the aim is to get more traffic (potential customers) to visit your website

I want this to be an exhaustive list of all marketing channels that are available to small businesses. If you notice anything missing, message me so I can add it!

Janine Coombes offers done-with-you marketing plans to small businesses who are fed up of having no time and of feeling out of control of their promotional efforts. If you’re telling yourself ‘I should be doing this! I should be doing that!’ drop Janine a line at janine@janinecoombes.co.uk and she’ll make all of those nasty ‘shoulds’ go away.

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