Companies are in no shortage of finding a channel to run their marketing campaigns. There’s social media–TikTok, Instagram Stories, etc. There’s also web marketing–email, chatbots, etc. But then there are also emerging channels such as connected television (CTV) and podcasting. For companies looking to acquire new customers across channels or reach more customers digitally, it can become overwhelming.
Emerging channels such as TikTok and CTV are effective platforms for businesses to leverage for growth if done properly. In particular, some of the more “buzz worthy” channels operate as the perfect connection to reach the coveted Generation Z and millennial markets that many traditional marketing tactics miss.
First, we’ll take a dive into today’s most buzzed about channels. Then, we’ll discuss why it’s important to leverage multiple (not all) channels. Finally, we’ll look at ways businesses can utilize a data partner to truly leverage these platforms to their full potential.
Essentially, a marketing channel–regardless of its form–is an opportunity for a brand to communicate with a potential customer. The purpose of that communication varies from increasing brand awareness to lead generation to sales conversion.
Traditional marketing channels include approaches such as direct selling, cold calling, or print marketing. For many companies, it is not realistic to rely solely on these approaches; however, there is still a time and place for them. Take direct selling for example. Despite its traditional roots, it’s an approach with low-overhead costs that can still be profitable. In 2020, direct selling generated $40.1 billion in retail sales, which is a 13.9 increase from the previous year.1
Emerging channels, on the other hand, give businesses a competitive edge. This is because they reflect the recent trends from consumers. Typically falling into the scope of digital marketing, these channels are alive and well with active participants. Properly leveraging these platforms requires brands to develop a strategic approach using the most up-to-date consumer data.
Before you can leverage these platforms with effective campaigns, it’s important to know the difference between them, what they have to offer, and what specific audience is using them.
Social media is an umbrella term which by itself isn’t new or emerging. For many people, social media is a part of their daily lives. In fact, Hootsuite’s Digital 2022 Global Overview Report found that people spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes per day on social media platforms, which accounts for the largest single share of people’s connected media time.2 This channel is full of potential for businesses to connect with their target audience.
However, remember that not all social media is created equal. Some are easier to leverage than others while some attract only certain audiences. Here is a look at two of the most noteworthy social media platforms right now.
Launched in 2016, this mobile app became more popular than anyone could have predicted. As of March 2022, TikTok is available in 150 countries with over 1 billion users.3 On it, users create original, short-form content that uses original or public-domain audio. If your business targets consumers in the age range of 13-60, TikTok needs to be considered as part of your marketing strategy.
If you’re in the B2B sector, you still should not discount the potential benefits of leveraging TikTok as a marketing channel. It boils down to finding the right angle for your brand and target audience. For example, look at Adobe, a computer software company, that has amassed over 76,000 followers. Their content uses trending soundbites while offering their audience practice tips and sharing stories from users.
The photo sharing app Instagram also launched in 2016 and rapidly grew in popularity. However, two new features in the past few years have caught the attention of consumers and marketers: reels and stories. Reels, similar to TikTok, allow users to create short form video content.
On the other hand, Instagram stories is a photo or short video available for 24 hours to a person’s followers before disappearing. Brands targeting millennials should definitely consider integrating Instagram reels and stories into their strategy since more than half of the app’s users are under the age of 34.4
Reels and stories are the perfect features to use to introduce your brand, giving your audience a “behind-the-scenes” look at your business, or product demonstration. These are meant to engage or inform your target audience about who you are and what service or product you provide. Again, Adobe does this well by actually using user-generated content to promote brand awareness.
Different from traditional commercials or television ads, CTV allows businesses to connect on a variety of streaming platforms available on an internet-enabled television (such as a SmartTV or streaming stick like Roku). With more and more people cutting the cable cord, CTV is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing platforms for digital advertising. It’s estimated that 213.7 million people per month watched content on CTV devices in 2021.5
This emerging platform is unique because it truly spans across generations and other demographics such as gender and education.
Like Instagram and TikTok this is not necessarily a “new” platform. In fact, many consider email marketing the digital form of the more traditional approach of direct-mailing. Despite being around for awhile, email continues to be a heavily populated platform that has only increased with the accessibility to it from smartphones.
Many marketers think of emails in today’s world as digital currency. This isn’t surprising given that the channel continues to deliver a strong ROI. According to the Digital Marketing Association, the average ROI for companies utilizing email marketing is $42 for every dollar spent.6
For example, restaurant chain, The Yard House, kept their email marketing fresh and current with their Valentine’s Day email campaign. Using imagery that set pictures of beer in dating app Tinder’s interface, they joked: “No valentine this year? No worries. We are playing matchmaker this year. Take home one of our beers tonight!”
Individually, these emerging channels (and more) can be excellent tools, but they are not meant to be siloed from each other. More and more, we see a multichannel approach as being the most effective in reaching and attracting customers digitally.
There are several reasons for this including:
In fact, with a multichannel approach, data is not only an added benefit but a necessity to get your campaigns running effectively in the first place.
Emerging digital platforms such as TikTok and email marketing offer opportunities for advanced targeting. Businesses need to be taking advantage of this in order to run successful campaigns across channels.
Here are three ways to do that:
This is no longer a luxury in the world of marketing, but an expectation. According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they will only engage with messaging if it is personalized.7 Working with a qualified data partner helps you identify not only what type of message to use and how to deliver the content best. For example, Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race, leveraged Data Axle’s proprietary customer acquisition solution to build their email list with a focus on what customers valued: a tight-knit, passionate and socially connected community. With this focused approach, they were able to drive a wealth of first-time orders with the acquisition campaign.
Without a doubt, the easiest way to create personalized content is to know your target audience inside and out. Great data not only allows you to better understand your target audience, but it also gives you insight into reaching untapped markets. This is exactly what Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit, did. With a comprehensive data analysis, they were able to identify the right audience to execute a compelling CTV ad campaign. With the help of Data Axle, Defenders of Wildlife was able to realize over 300% ROI.
In order for a multichannel approach to be successful, you’ll want to look at the data for it to tell you where to spend your time, money, and efforts. To do this, your data partner needs access to a clean, verified database. Data Axle’s platform gives businesses access to millions of consumer records and helps to analyze the data to determine which channels most align with your target audience and campaign goals.
The process of acquiring new customers digitally is within reach. It’s critical to make sure that your business stays on top of emerging channels like TikTok and CTV, but it doesn’t have to be a guessing game to know whether or not that platform is right for you. Working with a qualified data partner allows you to make smart decisions when it comes running campaigns across multiple channels.
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.