How Many Channels Should You be Using to Market Your Business?

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How many channels should you be using to market your business?
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We get this question A LOT. “Do you need multiple channels to market your business?” Every entrepreneur has probably asked themselves this question at some point. We definitely have!

In fact if you type this question into Google, here is what you’ll see on just page one:

  • You should always be looking at anywhere between 6 and 12 marketing channels, depending on what kind of business you have.
  • Short-form videos and influencer marketing are top marketing channels that businesses plan to invest more time and resources into.
  • 19 Must-Have Marketing Channels to Try Now.
  • 14 marketing channels you should focus on in 2024.

Feeling exhausted yet? 😅

We have rather an unpopular opinion on this, but one we think you will like very much!

How Many Marketing Channels Should You Use?

In a world buzzing with countless platforms and marketing strategies, we often feel the pressure to be everywhere. But here’s a gentle reminder: it’s quality, not quantity, that truly matters. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just starting out, our heartfelt advice is to focus on just ONE marketing channel.

Here’s why we recommend only starting with one marketing channel:

  1. Depth Over Width: By honing in on one channel, you can offer a richer, more engaging experience for your audience. You’ll have the time and energy to really connect, understand, and cater to them.
  2. Consistency: It’s easier to maintain a consistent brand voice, story, and value proposition when you’re nurturing one platform. Consistency builds trust, and trust is the backbone of any successful business.
  3. Less Burnout, More Passion: Spreading yourself too thin can lead to burnout and a diluted brand message. By focusing on one platform, you can channel your energies, stay passionate, and offer your best to your audience.
  4. Adaptability: Remember, this one-channel strategy is just a starting point. It gives you the space to learn, adapt, and grow. As you evolve, so can your strategies.

So, with these insights in mind, let’s dive deeper into choosing that perfect platform for you, and making the most of it. Simplifying doesn’t mean compromising; it means being strategic and genuine.

In summary, if you take nothing else away from this episode, please remember these two things:

  1. You DON’T need to be everywhere to succeed.
  2. This isn’t forever. 

So let’s talk about how to choose that platform and how to do that platform right.

How to choose one platform to focus on (or rather choose what to give up since you’ve been everywhere)

It’s time to give up irrelevant channels to market your business. When we decided to focus our efforts on Instagram and blogging, these are the questions we asked ourselves;

  • Where is our audience?
  • Where do we genuinely like to be?
  • How much time do we have to dedicate to this?
  • Where are we seeing the most engagement / performance? Look at those analytics if you’ve already been playing on multiple marketing channels.
  • What is our objective with this platform? Spoiler alert: it shouldn’t always be sales.

Not all channels need to have an ROI (return on investment) in terms of revenue. Let’s dig into this, because we believe this is extremely important to understand, especially when you are ready to hire or outsource some of your platforms.

What Are The Different Types of Marketing Channels I Can Choose From?

Maybe you are just getting started in your business and unsure about what types of marketing channels are out there. Let’s use this list as inspiration— not a running to-do list! And remember new channels are popping up all the time— like the launch of Instagram Threads. Shiny objects can be fun, but before you dive in, check your time. Do you really have the time and energy to jump on the bandwagon?

Social Media Platforms:

  • Instagram: Ideal for visual narratives, building brand presence, and nurturing a community. Also, with “Threads,” there’s a more intimate space for closer friends or audience groups.
  • Facebook: Great for reaching a broad audience and fostering interactive communities in groups.
  • Twitter: The hub for live updates, brand announcements, and tapping into trending conversations.
  • LinkedIn: The prime platform for B2B marketing, building professional networks, and establishing expertise.
  • TikTok: A realm for short, catchy video content that appeals predominantly to a younger demographic.
  • YouTube: Beyond traditional videos, “YouTube Shorts” offers a bite-sized content avenue, perfect for quick tutorials or snippets.

Content Creation:

  • Blogs: Share in-depth insights, establish authority, and improve SEO.
  • Podcasts: Engage auditory learners and tap into the growing podcast listener base. Starting a podcast is easier than you think!
  • YouTube: Dabble in video marketing, tutorials, and establish a regular subscriber base.

Email Marketing:

Build a direct connection with your subscribers, share exclusive content, offers, and nurture leads. We love Flodesk, but if you aren’t ready for an email platform yet, have you heard of Substack?

Affiliate Marketing:

Collaborate with influencers or businesses to promote your products/services.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

This is obviously one of our favorites. 😉 Optimize your online content to rank higher on search engines, driving organic traffic. Take a peek at my SEO audit process.

Paid Advertising:

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Ads that appear in search results, charging you only when your ad is clicked.
  • Social Media Ads: Targeted advertisements on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Quick Caveat here: we would not recommend starting with paid advertising if you are a new entrepreneur. Paid ads are great, once you have a strong organic foundation. Without that you are just guessing at what content and keywords might work.

Influencer Collaborations:

Partner with influencers in your niche to tap into their audience.

Networking Events & Conferences:

Direct face-to-face interactions, building lasting relationships and potential collaborations. Not sure where to start, we have a list for you! You could also consider online opportunities like webinars.

Remember, while it’s tempting to dive into every platform, less can truly be more. Jot down what excites you the most, and choose ONE platform to pour your energy into now. As you grow, you can always explore and integrate more channels that align with your evolving business goals.

How to Identify Your Marketing Channels ROI

Don’t worry we aren’t going to go all corporate-y on you! ROI stands for return on investment and it’s an important metric to understand if you want to grow. When we think of ROI, the immediate instinct is to measure it in terms of dollars and cents. But in the diverse landscape of marketing, not every channel’s worth can (or should) be boiled down to mere revenue figures. So what other metrics can we use to measure the marketing channels we are playing in, better yet, outsourcing?

  1. Building Brand Awareness: Some channels are exceptional for simply getting your name out there. The goal isn’t immediate sales, but rather creating a familiarity with your brand, making it top-of-mind for potential customers. Over time, this awareness can translate into trust, which eventually leads to conversions.
  2. Engagement and Community Building: Platforms like Instagram or Twitter might not always directly drive sales, but they’re instrumental in creating a community around your brand. Engaging with your audience, answering their queries, or simply sharing your brand’s story and values can foster loyalty that’s invaluable in the long run.
  3. Authority and Thought Leadership: Channels like blogs or podcasts might not lead to immediate sales, but they position you as an expert in your field. This authority not only boosts trust but also ensures that when potential customers are ready to make a decision, your brand is the first they consider.

When you are ready to outsource and add new marketing channels, consider this

Now, if you’re considering bringing in experts to manage multiple marketing channels, it’s crucial to understand these nuanced ROIs. Instead of simply demanding revenue figures, you’ll be in a position to set more holistic goals for each channel, be it engagement, authority building, or feedback collection. This will set your team and contractors up for success and understand what they are truly responsible for.

While making money is obviously important, it’s not the only good thing certain marketing channels bring to the table. Each platform has its own special way of helping your business shine. By understanding and using these strengths, you can create a brand that’s not just about sales, but also about genuine connections, trust, and community.

Let’s Breakdown ‘The Duo’s’ Focus by Platform

Since there’s two of us, we can focus on multiple channels. Remember, if you are one person, two channels might feel like way too much to start. Over the last few years of business we’ve refined our strategies, outsourced and hired help. That is the only reason why we are now showing up on multiple marketing channels. We’ve definitely had seasons where we only did one and we were still growing and profitable.

  • Instagram: We’re active on Instagram for community and connection. We do not expect IG to bring us new clients. Podcast guests, partnerships, speaking engagements, and other collaborations are our true focus.
  • Pinterest: We expect Pinterest to drive website traffic and grow our email list. Again, the focus is not to sell our services.
  • Blog: The goal for our blog depends on the blog post. But usually the main goals are one of these three; website traffic, email subscribers or podcast downloads.
  • Podcast: Our podcast improves our brand authority. Did you know our podcast is actually our largest driver of new client inquiries? 😲 But the fact that we don’t put the sales pressure on this platform makes it that much easier to show up!
  • Email: The goal of our email list is to increase brand authority and drive sales. We finally got that focus of true ROI and sales here.

We know what platforms are the drivers in revenue for us and, more importantly, which ones aren’t. This takes the pressure off, making content creation fun and it creates a rewarding environment for our internal team.

Yes, we do realize that we shared 5 platforms when we told you to only focus on one. Here’s why:

  • There are two of us— we can help each other and each own a platform, which we do! Abbey typically drives our email list while Courtney drives our Instagram.
  • We have hired a lot of help when it comes to podcast editing, cross platform sharing, blog writing and completely outsourcing Pinterest.
  • We repurpose whenever possible to still sometimes show up on non-priority platforms like YouTube and TikTok, and our VA helps us do this.

Here’s the most important thing you need to remember with this one platform. 

Go all in and be yourself. 

Your audience wants to connect with you, so let them. And if you can’t show up and be unapologetically your authentic self, then you aren’t going to see the traction you hope for. 

Not everyone is going to agree with this take— remember that first page of Google! But it’s time to stop glorifying the hustle culture. Trying to be everywhere is exhausting. Let’s get back to loving our business and our lives beyond business. And if being on one platform gives you some life back to go take a nap… well that’s a win-win in our book!

how many channels to market your business

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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com. 

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And to submit a topic or a question for next week’s episode, send us a DM on Instagram! See you on Monday!

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Duo Collective is a boutique marketing agency specializing in organic growth through SEO and branding for passionate entrepreneurs.