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UX, Apps & Web Design Blog

By: Daniel Toode | 28 June 2018

When launching a digital marketing campaign, the choice of a relevant medium to upload it is at least as important as the content itself. Depending on whether your purpose is to increase brand awareness or promote a certain product or service, getting your ads to the right channel will largely dictate its success. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you will find 4 distinct categories of digital marketing mediums down below, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

The Traditional Way

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

When it comes to the market giants, there is no denying where most of the social media users gather. Having so many people using the same platforms has its obvious upsides from reaching the largest number of people to getting the most diversified market research. Also, these mediums give you lots of marketing tools such as on-site suites for analytics, targeting your audience through location, gender, age and also giving you options to just promote your posts instead of running ads. Plus, it has the added benefit of having the highest possibility of your content going viral, like many before have. So it may be a good idea to market in the big pool when you need to put a precisely tuned campaign inside the largest collective user bases in the world. Arguably the best uses of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are product and service promotion, market research, brand awareness, customer service and customer relationship building.

It’s not all hearts and roses, though. Swimming in the biggest pool with the most fish also has its downsides, for it’s somewhat of a double edged sword. The first one being the competition – new ads are sprouting like mushrooms and it’s truly hard to stand out and get some attention when people’s brains are constantly blocking your marketing efforts out from thousands of other ads. What’s more, it’s difficult to catch attention because users are rarely focused on just the feed. Messages, tweets, notifications, friend requests, etc. also require attention so even the best ad can fail because somebody’s crush just messaged them.

Media Sharing

Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat

Because of the visual aspect, media sharing sites are best used when the goal of the campaign is brand building and creating company and product(line) awareness. It manages to do that rather effectively because people are naturally more inclined to engage in visual, rather than text heavy content - especially when they are casually browsing through their social media feed. Although the lines between advertising in „traditional“ social media like Facebook and advertising in Instagram are becoming more and more blurry, there is a definite distinction between the two. Namely, successful ad campaigns on media sharing platforms tend to be more organized and have a better defined common theme because of the heavy visual content. The latter therefore requires better planning from the marketing department to be executed professionally.

But the upsides can’t be ignored. Visual communication relays messages faster with better information retention rate, which definitely helps in the age where social media attention span can be measured in (milli)seconds. What’s more, according to the data on eMarketer.com, Pinterest is the second biggest purchase influencer amongst U.S. social media users after Facebook; Instagram comes soon after. Also, YouTube is well known for being the second biggest search engine in the world after Google. These are some pretty strong arguments for launching your campaign on media sharing sites, if the nature and objective of your campaign support it.

Discussion Forums

Reddit, Quora, Digg

Places like Quora and Reddit are ideal for asking existing and potential customers’ opinion about your product or service. It is also very useful for snooping out what people have to say about you, therefore getting a better idea about your brand image and how people view a specific good you have to offer. When done right, discussion forums can also be used to advertise your product or service – usually with many different ad options for many types of budgets. Luckily, advertising on the aforementioned mediums is very straightforward – just follow the guide and you’ll be set. They also have pretty good advertisement systems for targeting your audience via locations, interests, device platforms, time of day, etc. keeping it all in check with the ability to measure the results.

A bonus to using a forum such as Reddit is that its content is already somewhat categorized, which means that when posting something to a subreddit, you are already addressing your content to people who are interested in that particular field, making them many times more likely to engage in what you have to say. Also, discussion forums serve a blog-like purpose for companies, helping them build trust around themselves. Quora for example has a lot of credibility surrounding it and when you get people to talk good about you, it will tend to have more weight amongst its users than you would in mediums like Snapchat or Instagram. Besides, unlike in traditional blogs where you start with zero readers, working your way up, you already have the audience on the site, making it easier to share your content with the public. But like most benefits, it too comes with its drawbacks. The main one would be that it doesn’t help improve your SEO in a way that a real blog would by putting your company on the digital map.

Blogging

Company’s own on-site blog, WordPress.com, Tumblr, Medium

The two main reasons to building your own blog would be the direct traffic you get from it and it being the best way to use SEO to move up in the world of search engines. Just the fact alone that being in the front page of Google with the most relevant keywords of your industry may want to make you consider starting your own blog. The regular posting of relevant articles about news of your industry, how-to guides and your own opinion will help you build brand trust and credibility because when it’s done right, you are presenting yourself as the source of industry information, the leading expert, the company that tells the public how things really are. The more relevant and consistent your blog is, the better your SEO is. The better you SEO is, the more drive your brand awareness has in the digital world.

The biggest downsides of blogging are that it is usually an investment that picks up speed slowly and requires a lot of skill to properly manage, compared to quick posts on Twitter or good pictures in Instagram. It’s also quite useless for direct product promotion unless you have already established a large and stable reader base. When using a blog, it is usually best to have it on your own website, although WordPress.com, Tumblr and Medium are simpler to set up and use. The reason being is that the previous platforms simply cannot give you the amount of traffic and SEO you would get when hosting a blog on your own site, which usually beats the purpose of having it in the first place.

Right or Wrong Medium?

Ultimately choosing the right digital marketing medium, or using many in tandem, all boils down to what you’re trying to achieve with your campaign, what is it exactly you’re promoting, who do you need to reach and how much resources are you willing to spare. It makes as much sense to advertise chicken soup in Quora as it does to promote a consultancy firm’s services in Snapchat. But make an action packed RedBull ad on Facebook or your web development company’s 5 design tips on Pinterest and you’ll be reaching the right audience in the right place.

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