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What Are Marketing Channels?

A marketing channel is the type of medium used to advertise your company. Learn how to choose the right marketing channel for your business here.

A marketing channel is the type of medium used to advertise your company. Learn how to choose the right marketing channel for your business here.

Digital marketing channels have been around since the earliest days of the Internet, but the marketing channel definition has changed with the times.

Back in October of 1994, if someone were to ask "What are marketing channels?" there would have been only one answer: Display ads.

AT&T sponsored a banner reading "Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? YOU WILL”. And, there being very few other sponsors of banner advertising, over 44% of people who had the Internet at the time clicked on that one ad.

Fast forward to 2022, and Smart Insights tells us that only 0.1% of Americans and 0.09% of Canadians will click on any given Internet display banner. Clearly, if you were to pose the question "What are marketing channels?" In 2022, the answer would not be "Oh, they are display ads."

But the variety and complexity of Internet marketing channels have tremendously increased in recent years. Digital marketing has evolved beyond paid advertising and other paid marketing channels. There are a variety of effective marketing channels that deliver content and promotion.

Types of marketing channels

In 2022, the answer to the question "What are marketing channels?" includes digital advertising, events, influencer marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, word-of-mouth, and traditional marketing through mass media and print.

No matter what your marketing channel's definition, your marketing goals probably include raising awareness of your brand, generating leads, improving your conversion, and boosting repeat business.

As you will see in our examples to answer the question of "What are channels in marketing?" there is a digital marketing channel for every online business.

Digital advertisements

Digital advertisements enable you to use images, audio, and video marketing to communicate your message, market products, and reinforce your brand presence online. Display ads appear on websites, email platforms, social media posts, and many other digital channels, usually in the form of a banner, like the digital advertisement for AT&T we mentioned earlier.

Digital display advertising doesn't target keywords. It isn't limited to search engine results. There are many more pages for digital advertising on websites than there are for search ads on search engine results.

For those reasons, the cost per click for digital advertising is usually a lot lower than the cost per click you would have to pay for Google ads. However, you have to do some research to make sure that you place your ads on pages that have content that attracts site visitors who are interested in what you have to sell.

One of the advantages of display advertising is its capacity for tracking. If someone clicks on your display ad to go to your website and then doesn't convert, you can track them with a cookie. You can use this information to target your market with a more effective ad later. When you achieve contextual relevance with your ads, digital advertising becomes extremely cost-effective.


Email marketing isn't exactly the most modern technology available to digital marketers, but it is familiar, measurable, and well-understood.

Email marketing also allows you to take advantage of some of the latest tools of content marketing, such as automation and personalization while staying within your marketing budget. And even in 2022, 63% of digital marketers say that email is their top tool for generating leads and 73% say email is their cost-effective driver of new revenues.

Here is a simple fact that can make the difference between failure and success for your email marketing campaign:

In 2022, SuperOffice tells us, 62 percent of emails are read on a phone. Another 28 percent are read on a pad. Only 10 percent of emails are read on a desktop or laptop computer.

If you want to attract potential customers with email marketing, your messages must be framed for reading on a phone. And if your site must be fast-loading and responsive, or potential customers will simply swipe to the next message.


If you want to set your brand apart, you can't spend all your time building a digital presence. You occasionally need to meet your target audience face-to-face. Product reveals, brand reveals, client conventions, trade shows, and expos are all opportunities to exercise your sales skills in person.

Event marketing is a strategy for promotion that involves in-person contact between the people behind the brands, their influencers, and their customers. Every event is a little different. It is always necessary to provide at least slightly different content for different audiences, taking into consideration local culture.

Why is Event Marketing Important?

Most digital marketing professionals are finding that as the tools of online marketing become increasingly sophisticated, maintaining a good return on investment on marketing dollars requires constant innovation. If you are frustrated with open rates and click-through rates, consider hosting an event.

A survey sponsored by Aventri reported that 31% of marketers believe that event marketing is their single most effective tool for increasing revenues. Perhaps more importantly, 87% of executives believe in the power of events, and 84% of customers attending events stated that they had a more positive view of the product, service, brand, or company being promoted after they attended an event.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has emerged as an alternative way of reaching consumers who have grown tired of other forms of advertising.

Backlink reports that 45 percent of consumers have ad blockers on their computers and 24 percent have ad blockers on their phones. But nearly everyone is on social media.

Social influencers blog about their lives and their experiences with the brands that sponsor them. The job of a social influencer is to establish online relationships. A byproduct of those social media relationships is interest in sponsored products.

Influencer marketing is relational, not transactional. You are building relationships with your brand, not sales of your products. But over time, you will get new customers who want to try out your products that social influencers mention online.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a fundamental tool of multichannel marketing. SEO is all about making sure that your content is recognized by the search engines, namely, Google.

Google insists that the most important element of good SEO is useful content. If you are providing the content searchers are looking for, Google will reward you with high rankings, at least in theory. There are no magic algorithms that guarantee that your pages will rank in the top of the search results. but Mailchimp offers online instruction in SEO that will show you how to use headers, meta descriptions, and other tools of on-page SEO to boost your rankings in Google search.

Content marketing

Digital marketers around the world rank content marketing as their most useful tool in the day to day marketing efforts. The research service Statista reports that marketers are four times to list content marketing as their most effective marketing tool as social media, and three times more likely to prefer content marketing to improved U/X.

Content marketing can keep customers coming back to your site to learn more. They will not necessarily make a purchase every time they visit your site, but every visit reinforces your brand and makes your products the first choice for consumer needs.

Social media

TikTok has become a tour de force of the digital marketing world in 2022. It has overtaken Google as the most popular site worldwide, largely because its algorithms give everyone an equal chance to go viral. With one billion subscribers, TikTok still doesn't have the reach of Facebook. Every social media marketing strategy must include Facebook, too. But for huge promotional potential, be sure that TikTok is part of your social media plan.


Word-of-mouth advertising is the natural outgrowth of great value and exceptional service. If you delight your customers, they will tell their friends. Word-of-mouth is free, and the benefit to your brand can be priceless.

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing channels include direct marketing like television, radio, billboards, signs, and print. Traditional marketing still works for reaching enormous numbers of people at the same time. But you need to consider the cost of traditional marketing versus its potential benefits to avoid overspending.

Benefits of using marketing channels

What are the benefits of using these marketing channels?

Having a clear plan for how you will use each marketing channel available to your business helps you achieve a higher rate of return on your promotional dollars. Finding the right pros to manage your marketing channels costs money, but gives you a greater return than doing all the work yourself.

Marketing channels save time. You don't have to do all the work of distributing your product by yourself. And pursuing several marketing channels helps you find far more customers than you ever could on your own.

The right marketing channel for your business is the channel that brings you the greatest number of customers who spend the most money. Determining which marketing channels work best for your business isn't something you should leave to guesswork. The best way to choose the right marketing channels is to be SMART, targeting specific goals with agreed-on metrics of success, keeping your goals achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Chances are you will test some marketing channels that you will later choose to drop. That's just part of the cost of business. Do A/B testing to find the marketing methods that work best for you, and use Mailchimp to keep up with the analytics that tell you that your marketing campaigns are still working.

Mailchimp has all the channels you will need to connect to your customers every day. You can create emails, ads, and landing pages all in one place, and test the tools Mailchimp makes available to you to find which marketing channels deserve the most of your time and your budget.

Mailchimp has discovered that marketing campaigns that involve different channels outperform single-channel campaigns by an average of 300%. Mailchimp can empower you to follow up on your digital campaign with a postcard campaign, automating the analytics so you can focus your attention on the things you do best.

Ready to get started? Set up your account with Mailchimp. Or call our sales department at (800) 315-5939. Mailchimp has all the tools you need for marketing success. You'll be in good company.

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