Marketing channels are the tools and platforms that marketers use to build a connection between the company and the potential customers. Growth marketing channels include social media platforms, SEO and paid search, and email marketing.
Effectively communicating with your target audience can be challenging, but it’s key to acquiring more customers and growing your business. And with so many marketing channels nowadays, it’s no surprise that a lot of marketers and business owners are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
The answer is understanding the trends of growth marketing channels, which is not an easy task, but we’ll help you get there. Knowing which growth channels to invest in saves you money and time, but also determines the success of your marketing strategy. With more than a dozen effective channels today, you need to choose the right ones to leverage your growth marketing goals and increase your revenue.
This is where we come in. To help you out, we’ll explain what marketing channels are and take a look at today’s most widely used ways to reach customers. Then, we’ll share the top five growth marketing channels in 2023 that can make a real difference for your brand.
Marketing channels are a system that ensures the distribution of your products or services to end-users and reflects the people, organizations, and activities needed to make your offer available to use. You can also think of marketing channels as tools and platforms that marketers use to build a connection between the company and the potential customers.
The term growth channels or growth marketing channels is a subset of all marketing channels used for bringing new customers into your business. All the ways that growth marketers can use to establish a relationship with their target audience is a communication channel for marketing purposes. Some examples are pretty straightforward, such as the use of social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram), while others are more subtle and indirect, such as SEO and paid search.
All growth channels have their strengths and weaknesses that vary depending on your business goals, the characteristics of your target audience, and the nature of your products or services.
Let’s look at the most popular channels that markets usually include in their growth strategy.
With so many different growth marketing channels, which are the right ones for your business?
Now that you have a better idea of what we mean when we talk about growth channels, let’s start to think of ways you can prioritize them.
After all, you can’t invest in all 10 channels and hope for the best - that's the opposite of what growth marketing stands for and overall a very bad business decision. What you need to do is find the right growth channels for your business considering your target audience and the nature of your products. It’s an intimidating process, but answering the following questions is a great start.
People love novelty and innovation. After all, overused marketing tactics can be off-putting and leave a negative impression on prospects. Just think of pop-ups, ads between content, or even flashy content. These were all good tactics when they first appeared, but once everyone started using them all the time, people became frustrated by them and began ignoring them.
It’s hard to do something that does not exist yet, and we’re not saying you need to invent the wheel again, but think about channels that can offer your business more uniqueness. Whether you’ll introduce a new tactic in the existing channel or try out a new channel, you should always think outside the box.
The second question that can point to an effective growth channel for your business is one that puts the funnel in focus. Growth marketers make decisions based on data from the funnel that helps them identify a problem before offering solutions. In other words, it’s not about the best growth channel out there, but the best growth channel for your specific issues.
Let’s say that your marketers fill the pipeline with high-quality leads, but they leave empty-handed and never come back. Would it help if you invest in paid search or SEO? Probably not much, because in this case, the issue is not with awareness or acquisition but further down the funnel.
In this case, an example of a more appropriate marketing action would be to focus on retention, establish partnerships with micro-influencers, and offer attractive referral programs that can help increase brand authority and trustworthiness.
Finally, think about channels that have worked to some degree for your business before, but you know there’s room for improvement. These are the channels with the most potential for growth.
To understand which channels show signs of growth, take a close look at your metrics. Where are the users coming from? Does anything stand out, especially compared to how much effort you’ve invested?
For instance, you might realize that after the free webinar you held the previous month you saw a threefold increase in traffic, followers, or social media mentions. If that’s the case, webinars are a growth channel with untapped potential that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy in a very creative way.
Opportunities like these come and go, so always keep your eyes on the metrics.
The above-mentioned questions offer a great start and can guide you in making a smarter decision, but ultimately, your choice should always be aligned with current or upcoming market trends. Think of it like finding the best of both worlds, a growth channel that’s related to your company’s culture, but also one that attracts a big crowd, and that’s exactly what we’ll discuss in the following paragraphs.
Most of the time, the most effective and suitable growth channels for your industry are also the most popular ones because everyone is after the same thing - increasing their customer base, ROI, and revenue quickly and efficiently.
So, even though your final decision should come from your audience insights, here are the highest valued growth channels for 2023.
Social media is an integral part of almost every business’s success. It’s the place where billions of people gather, consume information, make connections, engage with brands, and make consumer decisions. But, that’s old news, we already know the value of social media to businesses, right? Yes, but the true untapped potential lies in two strategies: using Tik Tok and social e-commerce.
Tik Tok took the world by storm and marketers are already beginning to use it for growth, especially small businesses. In 2021 alone, consumer spending on TikTok increased by a whopping 77%. Additionally, partnering with creators boosts view-through rates by 193%.
As the top app for consumer spending, you should find a way to use Tik Tok’s potential in your favor in 2023.
The second big thing on social media is social e-commerce, or the ability for users to shop directly from their social media apps, which becomes more and more popular each day. In 2020, global sales through social media were estimated at $560 billion, which is predicted to reach around $2.9 trillion by 2026. On top of that, 8 in 10 ten US businesses anticipate selling on social media within the next three years.
To conclude, if you ever had any doubt of whether to use social media in your growth strategy, here’s proof that just these two tools alone can make all the difference. Whether we like it or not, social media will only continue to play an even bigger part in people’s lives, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to use it to your advantage.
Content marketing is and will remain the biggest driver of growth in the years to come. However, the type of content and its value changes from year to year. For instance, video is the biggest winner as the top investment for B2B businesses in 2022, while we identified audio as a rising star with a lot of potential.
Video overtook traditional written blogs and is currently the most commonly used format in content marketing - a trend that’s expected to remain in 2023. The reason for this is that more than 80% of marketers believe that video has directly increased sales. Therefore, if you haven’t jumped on the video marketing train yet, do it fast because experts believe that video will make up 82% of IP traffic in 2022.
On the other hand, podcasts and other forms of audio content have also started to gain traction and are expected to get more attention from marketers in 2023 as they showed incredible resilience and adaptability in 2019 and 2020. And, while it’s still a new channel, inventions such as audio chat rooms (Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces) hint that audio marketing could blow up soon.
Even though video overtook traditional blogging when looking at numbers, blogs remain an incredibly powerful growth channel that you should not overlook. Here are a few statistics to keep in mind.
Blogs are still one of the best ways to increase credibility for your brand, with around 70% of marketers agreeing on this. After all, over 30% of websites on the internet are blog accounts. You can think of blogs as the backbone of SEO and an essential component of almost every marketing strategy. Predictions are that by 2025, the global content marketing industry will grow to $417.85 billion (a CAGR of almost 16%).
Nowadays, when we want an answer to a particular question, we usually google it. This generic phrase illustrates what our society thinks of search engines - they hold the answer to everything. And, businesses compete to convince the search engines that they’re the answer the users are looking for. So, it’s not surprising that more than 60% of all marketers believe that SEO is the key to online success.
However, just like content, SEO is a full-blown science by now, so what are the trends for 2023?
Predictions are that you should invest in an even better mobile-optimized website and content because user experience on mobile weighs heavily for your overall rankings. On top of that, just a couple of months ago, Google released Mobile-First Indexing (MFI), and pages that won’t switch to MFI will probably see their rankings tank in 2022.
Additionally, SEO experts predict that pages will have a heavier ranking index. The experience on each page is important so make it count.
Finally, individual passages of content on the website will be better analyzed, meaning that individual paragraphs (featured snippets) will have greater indexing power. Google becomes smarter, so write better-organized content with more elaborate answers to make it to the top.
Google’s NLP (natural language processing) technology becoming more and more advanced makes keyword targeting an even more complex task, which will naturally be affected by the upcoming trends. Instead of targeting individual keywords, you should aim for keyword clustering - an advanced strategy where experts identify multiple keywords with similar search intent and target those “clusters.”
Another old-school channel that remains impactful in 2023 is email marketing, especially for B2B relationships. Nevertheless, we should note that email marketing can be tricky as it’s always overused, leading to aversion and reservation among users.
At any time, 40% of users have at least 50 unopened messages in their inboxes. To avoid becoming part of these statistics, here’s what to focus on in 2023:
When it comes to growth channels, referral programs are an absolute goldmine. They remain to be powerful tools for retention and loyalty, which becomes more and more evident to marketers.
The top three advantages that referral programs bring are loyalty, increased lifetime value, and a higher spending rate. But, it seems like they’re also important for bringing in new customers as 84% of B2B decision-makers say that the B2B buying process starts with a referral.
According to some, referral marketing is beginning to exceed paid search and paid marketing because it helps businesses grow! A case study of a florist in the UK shows that the company grew by 800% and generated £17 m of sales through referral engineering.
Therefore, if you still haven’t incorporated referral programs in your growth strategy, you’re clearly missing out.
Growth marketing channels are diverse by nature, which makes it harder for marketers to find the right ones for their industry and target audience. On top of these challenges are the current market trends that wait for no one. To stay ahead of the curve, marketers need to anticipate user behavior instead of chasing and reproducing what’s already done. This imposes the need for quick adaptability, creativity, and a rigorous growth strategy.
Being familiar with the full scope of the topic is the bare minimum, and knowing the current and future trends for growth channels is essential. To help you out, we’ve shared our predictions for the upcoming period that involves social media, content, SEO, email, and referral programs.
If you’re interested, we can look at your specific situation and give you more personalized advice. Shoot us a message through our main website and the team back at Redwhale will be happy to continue this conversation.