Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Channel Optimisation

This month we have a big focus on channel optimisation. We are reviewing the objectives of our own digital channels, reviewing success and integrating future developments of the channels into our wider Marketing Mix. This blog post seeks to share with you some ideas on how you can consider optimising your own channels for your online or offline business.

Definition of channel

A channel, could also be described as a platform, it is anywhere (billboard, website, mobile phone) in which you are advertising your business / service / product. It could be online or offline and links with activities such as: Direct and Indirect Sales; Branding; Customer Services; PR; Promotions; Viral; Campaign management; Local Targeting.

Rocktime can not only provide you with the skills in which to grow your channels, they can also encourage you to consider new ways to think about channel development. We advise all our clients when commencing a digital strategy, to start with an end in mind for each of their channel and to always consider an integrated approach.

Definition of channel optimisation

Channels should be an extension of your shop front or/& website, optimising your channels helps develop your brand and makes it easier for those not already socially connected with you to find your networks / websites via search.

Channels are a great place to hold conversations

It may be that you have already created starting channels in which to hold conversations around your brand / product / service and that you regularly have moments of “what to say next?” in these channels. The reason for this, is that you haven’t defined your strategy, and you have simply set a strategy for “being out there”!

Being out there, is a bonus as search engine are a discovery channel, and we know that most digital content can be indexed by search engines and they create additional entry points (for your site).
To win with channel optimisation, we would advise you to use channels as a tool / technology and look at them as supporting mechanisms to wider goals and campaigns.
Use the channels to: promote, build and network with customers and to Inspire, Inform and Interact with fans. The majority of channels include 2 way conversations, don’t forget this and look at scheduling in conversation resource.

Channel Management Optimisation

Channel management optimisation is very much a part of our own evolution, as we are soon going to be changing our campaign objectives worksheet to include: “Tactics/Social Networks" and “Tools and Technology” required.
For campaign planning, around your channel or to include your channel, Rocktime’s Flashlight Search marketing team would work with you to determine the below;
  • Audience / Target marketing
  • Objective:
  • Strategy:
  • Tactics/Social Networks:
  • Tools & Technology required:
  • Metrics / Tracking to be implemented:
  • Updates to website required:
  • Updates in house required:
  • Review the current environment:

Choosing Channels

Just because Facebook is the most popular network, doesn’t mean that you need to focus on just that. Facebook currently suits the current environment, with all evolution things can change.
Example: Johnny Cash’s album Live at San Quentin was a best seller when released in 1968. For decades it didn’t reach the top 50, but, in 2005, when a successful movie was released about Cash’s life, the environment changed. The album flew up the charts, as the environment changed.
Don’t just choose a channel because of its popularity; choose it because your audience reside there, or because you have seen conversions / page engagement from that channel (within web analytic reports). Listen to the audience within the networks first, would they welcome you?

Competitor Review

While you are creating new channels, or making steps to engaging in new channels, please note you won’t be alone. Your competitors have most probably noticed your new channels and are following suit. Keep an eye on them for collaboration opportunities, inspiration or to be tactical.

Just because a competitor is running a Groupon campaign i.e. 2 for 1 on meals, it doesn’t mean you need to. Look at the wider picture in creating campaigns, have a goal in mind i.e. Increase business over Winter months. Consider you channel strategy i.e. check that no other local events are on in the area, put a promotion plan in place. Schedule time tio measure campaign performance.

Managing internal fears of moving into new channels

Rocktime can also help you manage any internal fears of moving into new channels, by presenting the facts, the ideas associated with the channel, and the solutions that the channel can provide.

We would always encourage the process: Listen and Learn before Engaging.

Rocktime’s Channels

Our objectives for each digital channel (off website):

To visualize connections and conversations between our networks, we use a diagram similar to a mindmap. The main aims for our channels are to promote (Rocktime), build (Channel), network (with the like minded).

We will share our business objectives for each of our channels below:
  • Google Places: Increase local presence; Promote products; Log testimonials; Show expertise at local campaigns.
  • YouTube: Store Geek Videos; Showcase our Video Blogs; Investigate communication opportunities; Share introduction video, promote products.
  • LinkedIn: Inspire, Inform and Interact with the like minded. Share our stories. Encourage conversions. Promote products.
  • Facebook: Additional channel in which to distribute our News; Blogs; Images; Products. Network with local businesses (Like feature). For SEO benefits.
  • Twitter: Inspire, Inform and Interact with the like minded. Encourage clients and prospects on best practice. Increase brand awareness. Encourage conversions. Be an expert in our field.
  • Slideshare: Great place for storing presentations on latest products, innovations. Time saver after meetings. Cost avoidance strategy.
  • Business Forums: Great places to share our expertise, be an authority and increase awareness of our brand /products. Inspire, Interact, Inform.

Channel Development

The Flashlight Search Marketing team at Rocktime is so very passionate about channel development. They are always on the ball with the latest happenings with the Search Engine Updates and new guidelines facing the social networks. They love to hear of new innovations that will benefit their clients and regular test and trial networks before passing over recommendations for growth.

Channel management

Should you require assistance managing your channels, determining your next steps for each channel, evaluating success of your channels, please give the Flashlight Search Marketing team a call or talk to Sales about arranging a meeting.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Credit for the above image goes to Papermag Blog


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