Reimagining Your Channel Strategies for 2018

What is far less obvious is how channels themselves have changed in both our expectations for them, and their potential for brands. With many clients deep into 2018 planning, this is a good time to avoid the cut-and-paste of last year’s choices and rethink what else your channels can do for growth next year.
Web: The New Awareness Channel
The conventional thinking is that TV, print, and display drive awareness, and the web catches and converts, right? The truth is your website can act as a powerful awareness and traffic driver at the top of the marketing funnel. It starts with an always-on content strategy pre-purposed for SEO, not just reactively optimized for search. This way your unrated web properties can work harder to help your brand be discovered and attract new customers who 24/7 is searching for needs that your products can solve.
Social: Selling Beyond Promoting
Social platforms are traditionally used by brands for promotion and customer service. But what if social could act as a revenue driver by directly selling products and services? Take KLM Airlines. Once flight details have been arranged, KLM will send a link to a flier in a private message on Facebook or Twitter.
PR: Very Public Relations
Public relations have been thought of more as a perception shaper than sales driver. We also now see that in the digital age, product announcements and company moves can drive product sales and share price.
Influencers: Your Next Best Ambassador Isn’t You
Indirect can also be as effective than direct, a jarring idea for those of us who spent years in direct marketing. With high marks for credibility and the power of inbound links on SEO, influencer marketing through blogs and social is growing.
Sales: From Feeding Sales, to Sales Feeding Your Marketing
Your sales team can act as a channel for content if tapped correctly. Rather than simply feeding them content to use in their business development efforts, why not leverage sale team knowledge and expertise in the field to create new content?
Unexpected Channels: Paradoxical Relevance
Sometimes it’s not about changing the way you use an existing channel, but rather trying a new one altogether. This can give you first-movers advantage or shake up your content strategy with a new audience or format.
Existing Channels: Shift Formats Within Your Mix
Another area of trial should be within the content types and formats. Too many clients still present their thought-leadership as downloadable PDFs, when we know that web-based thought leadership is more interactive, traceable, and video is far more persuasive.