Channels: Getting Your Target Audience to Your Website

Channels deliver your target audience to your website. Which channels do you currently use? Are they the right ones? Are they bringing new customers to your product and service information? Think about cable TV – there are 1000s of channels available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Turn on the TV, and you can spend all day channel surfing, hunting for something worth watching, finding nothing. Unless you take control. If you love watching movies and you trim the 1000s of channels down to a subset that only show movies, things start to become more manageable. If you go one step further and fine-tune your selection down to the top 3 channels that focus mostly on the types of movies you like to watch, you’ll end up spending more of your time watching movies, less of it surfing endlessly and hoping for the best. Online and offline ‘channels’ for promoting your website are very much like cable TV – there are thousands of possible places you can spend your time, effort and money promoting your products and services, but there are likely only a few that have the potential to deliver your target audience to your product and service information. Channels may include (but are not limited to):

  • Your Blog
  • Guest posts on other blogs and websites
  • Social Media
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • And more
  • Traditional Print and Billboard Advertising & Direct Mail
  • Online Advertising, Contests, Banners & Adwords
  • Sponsorships
  • Volunteering & Charity Work
  • Networking
  • Word of Mouth
  • Presentations & Workshops
  • Wikis
  • Search Engines
  • Email Mailing Lists
  • Testimonials
  • Comments, Reviews, Ratings
  • Online Directories
  • Niche Sites
  • Online Stores, Auctions, Deal Finders, Coupons and group buying sites
  • Partner Websites
  • Recommendations & Referrals

And many, many more. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options.

Focus on Where Your Target Audience Members Spend Their Time

No one is great at everything. There aren’t enough hours in a day to write, post and maintain a presence on every partner website and social media platform. There’s just too much going on. So, stop for a minute. Think about where your target audience members are most likely to spend their time. Are your potential customers more likely to:

  • Frequent Facebook or cruise Twitter feeds?
  • Post and follow on Instagram or Snapchat?
  • Read long posts on or short reviews and posts on directory sites?
  • Flip through local community flyers delivered to their door, or browse Groupon and online coupon websites?

What makes the most sense for your customer?

Where will she find the solution to her problem?

Where will you ‘gain the most significant exposure to the highest volume of the people who need your products and services most?

  • Pick the top three channels that your target audience is likely to use most

Will you choose Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Or YouTube, Email Lists, and a Blog?

  • Stick to 3 channels, no more!!

How will you determine the 3 channels to focus on? Start with a list:

  • What channels have you already used to bring traffic to your website? Include everything.
    • Which channels brought you the most new and repeat traffic? If you were to spend more time on them, and less on other activities, would that help?
    • Which channels haven’t delivered traffic growth? Could it be due to neglect? Would spending more time on one or two of these offer more growth than trying something new?
  • What channels have you NOT investigated that you may be willing to try? Why would you try them – have they been mentioned or recommended by members of your target audience?

Once you’ve trimmed your list of channels down to 3, spend three months getting to know:

  • How they work
  • How to use them efficiently
  • And most importantly, how your target audience benefits from them

Use this time to hone your message and cater to your target audience WHERE they spend their time. Be consistent, and persistent. Each channel demands attention and constant maintenance. If your audience senses a lull in activity, they won’t come back. After 3 months, then, and only then, consider making adjustments — drop a channel, try another one, or even try adding a fourth channel based on what you’ve learned through interactions with your target audience.

  • Where did they tell you they spend their time?
  • Should you drop one of the three channels you’ve been using so you can put that effort into a more worthwhile alternative?
  • Do you have time to invest in a fourth channel?

Need help deciding? Try our Lean Web Canvas Course:

Next Steps

Once completed, you can further enhance this basic description using checklists and tools included with the following related articles:

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