Strategy & Planning - Course

Digital Channels

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Social media considerations

Social media is an essential digital channel to engage an audience and distribute your content effectively. You just put it out there. It can be seen as an outbound channel where a brand pushes its message out there. However, it does become an inbound channel once a consumer starts engaging, and that's a key differentiator.

But let's look at some considerations when we're thinking about including social media a part of our media mix.

Cost

The first one is cost. Obviously, cost is top of mind. What can we do? What can we get?

  • Time: The main cost of engaging with consumers via social media includes time, from the length of time it takes to create and curate a community to actually producing the content and the assets required to nurture the community again, and again, and again. It takes a lot of time to do that stuff. It's our first cost.
  • Resources: So, social posting software, content production, media budgets, all of these are main resource costs. How can we get that into the mix and how can we deal with this?
  • Staff: Managing a social channel, managing the community, briefing designers, gathering content, reporting and demonstrating the value of the channel require specific skills and a dedicated person to do it effectively. They're all costs we have to consider but it's all achievable and it's all doable within the digital marketing context.

Consumer mindset

An important consideration now for any social media strategy is consumer mindset. So, it's essential to recognize that consumers are in different mindsets when they're on different social networks.

For example, the mindset of someone on LinkedIn is very professional. They're thinking about jobs and that kind of activity. Whereas the mindset of someone on Snapchat is lighter and fun-filled. Two very different mindsets we must consider when choosing our channels.

And, when deciding what channel to choose as part of our social media mix, you must take the type of the tone of the channel into account to determine if it aligns with our brand and our campaign messaging. It might not be the right fit or it might be the right fit. We have to figure that out ourselves, and we do this by stress-testing if a channel and the message encourage social media users to react to your campaign or content in a valuable manner to either engagement or conversion. So, just sense-check this. Sense-check your choice.

Simply ask a couple of questions.

  • Is this the right channel for my audience and my brand?
  • Is this the right consumer mindset for my objective?
  • Is the ad messaging and tone right for this audience?

Personas

Key to successfully engaging an audience is the ability actually to identify your audience's personas based on their value to the business. This is an important driver – their value to the business. Personas help you focus your efforts because they allow you to create the kind of content and online social media experience that will be most relevant to your high-value personas – again, the ones that are worth most to your business and your bottom line.

So, this streamlines your workload. It allows you to prioritize the activities that will most useful to the highest-value audiences.

Business outcomes

Again, focus on business outcomes. And, when creating personas, just consider how this translates into social media channel behaviors in terms of what content is likely to deliver on your KPIs or your objectives.

This is especially important really when creating content for awareness or conversion goals because they're very different. What goal is it? Always verify the appropriateness of your content and delivering your KPIs really just against those valuable personas.

That's your sense-check, that keeps you on track, and that keeps you focused on those core business goals and opportunities.

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Cathal Melinn

Digital Marketing Manager @ Digital Marketing Institute

  • 13 years’ experience in search and display
  • Worked at Yahoo! Search in 2005 as a Senior Search Strategist for the UK Financial Services vertical
  • Moved to the world of agency in 2010 as Head of Search and Online Media for five years 
  • Currently working at the Digital Marketing Institute as a Digital Marketing Manager
  • Previous clients include Apple, Vodafone, Expedia, Virgin, Universal Music Group, Amazon, Compare the Market, and HSBC
Cathal Melinn

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.

ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Digital Channels
Cathal Melinn Cathal Melinn
Skills Expert

This module opens with a comprehensive overview of channel planning including the challenges this presents to marketers. It covers inbound and outbound strategies, cross media planning, the digital channel mix, and mobile marketing. Next, the module dives deeper into key topics related to each of the channels, covering social media marketing and content marketing strategy, search engine marketing, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and paid search, email and affiliate marketing, and display and video advertising, including ad formats and creative.

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