In this second blog post, you will learn the five growth channels to boost your business growth; and how to assess which (and how many) channels to focus on. You will also know how to approach content marketing, which ties all the growth channels.
This is part of the Growth Marketing program of CXL Institute.
Before you dive into the how’s of B2B channels, know first those growth channels that you can use to drive growth in your business.
According to Sophia Eng, Digital Marketing Strategist, InVision App (formerly head of growth at Workday), the most important growth channels are SEM, SEO, social and display ads, email marketing, and content marketing, a lot of this use mainstream platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
So, for your quick definition,
SEM also known as Search Engine Marketing refers to activity that intends to improve how easy it is to find a website through a search engine. SEM is both paid and unpaid, organic traffic or PPC. PPC is another term for it for pay-per-click. And the platforms that Sophia uses are Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your pages for relevant searches that increases the chances of your business or products getting the attention of prospective and existing customers.
In May of 2016, a study showed that Google now handles at least two trillion searches per year. For a lot of companies, SEO is the main driver of most traffic as well as most qualified, because we know that these searches that are coming from there, your audience is intently focused. Wikipedia and Yelp are examples of companies that are doing SEO well.
Social and Display Ads. Display ads are the banner ads that you see on websites all over the internet whereas social ads are the ones you see on Facebook and Twitter for B2C and LinkedIn for B2B and C-suites.
Email Marketing keeps people engaged with your brand. So, for successful signups and a growing email list, you can stay connected with your leads. That’s why email marketing remains to be one of the oldest channels for growth that still converts well.
Content Marketing is a strategy in creating and distributing content that is useful, timely, and consistent to gain and retain an audience that will result to lead conversions.
Alright, you very well know these growth channels, so what’s the next step? Which channels should you utilize? Sophia gives the following advice in order for you to find new channels:
First, study the channel that your audience uses. Check if there is a mismatch between your products and the audience in the channel. Also, avoid choosing too competitive channels. You want to pick a safe bet to start like SEO. It’s good to have that insight for your keywords and look at what your competitors are doing while still setting up your website for success.
Second, look at the data and find the channel that gives the high ROI and can be scaled compared to other channels. You can’t focus on optimizing all the five growth channels in one go, so remember not to spread yourself too thinly.
Third, double down on successful channels. For example, even PPC might take you a couple of months for it to scale.
IN FOCUS: CONTENT MARKETING
You would like to take a good look at your content marketing, as this is central to all the growth channels mentioned. With the empowered customers from customer reviews and digital communication, your content must deliver added value to your customers that will keep them engaged and later advocates of your brand. Consider the content marketing framework that Content Marketing Institute has put together, which you can use to craft compelling content.
Purpose and goals: Why you are creating content and what value it will provide
Audience: For whom you are creating content and how they will benefit
Story: What specific, unique, and valuable ideas you will build your content assets around
Process: How you will structure and manage your operations to activate your plans
Measurement: How you will gauge performance and continually optimize your effort.
You can use the free tools available to process your data source. Try Google Analytics to know and grow your numbers. It can show you how your content marketing performs on your website and understand the story behind those metrics.
But you must set up your Google Analytics properly so you can track your traffic entering your site and connect this with your actual results that your users’ actions generate.
Chris Mercer, the co-founder at MeasurementMarketing.IO and instructor at CXL Institute, gives easy-to-understand explanations to the fundamental reports you can find in Google Analytics:
Get to know your users — where they are, how often and how long they engage with your content, and what devices are most popular. The Audience reports give you a sense of the users that engage with your content.
This report is only available for web properties. Use the Acquisition reports to discover how users arrive at your website. You can also use these reports to learn more about your traffic — if they arrive directly to your site or use a search engine — and how successful certain marketing campaigns are in attracting users. Learn more about Acquisitions for the web.
The Behavior reports help you discover how users interact with your site or app. You can use these reports to understand the number of screens seen per session, how long a typical session lasts, or other metrics. Learn more about the Behavior reports for the web and for mobile apps.
The Behavior reports are more powerful when you track exclusive content, like videos and slideshows, with Events. Learn more about Events.
The Goals report lets you see the extent to which users are completing the goals you’ve defined for your site, along with how different channels, sources, mediums, and device categories are contributing to goal conversions. Learn more about Goals.
All in all, there’s no winning formula to successful growth channels. You should always find underutilized channels, experiment, and test. So, you can know which channels work for you best.
If you want to learn more about growth marketing, visit CXL Institute. CXL Institute offers mini degree programs: Conversion Optimization; Customer Acquisition; Data Analytics; Digital Psychology and Persuasion; Growth Marketing; Technical Content Marketing and Technical Marketing. CXL Institute offers digital marketing courses taught by the absolute best practitioners in the world today. Some of the companies that train their teams at CXL: Amazon, Google, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and many more.