A marketing distribution channel is the medium used to get your message out to your target audience. You can have a broad channel such as Internet websites, and then break them down into more specific genres that would better fit your audience. There are three primary groups of distribution channels you can used; proprietary, third-party, and paid. In order to use each type efficiently, you need to understand how they each work.
Proprietary distribution channels are channels your company creates, owns, and maintains. The primary sub-categories of this channel are:
- Social media platform
While there are plenty of ways of promoting your proprietary distribution channels to people outside of your customer base, your primary audience with these channels will be your current customers and people already loyal to your brand. These are the channels you use to announce new products, offer support, and generate content meant to keep your clients excited about your company.
The third-party marketing distribution channels are the ones you use to reach your target audience and grow your web traffic with people interested in your products. A third-party distribution channel is made up of websites and print outlets that you submit content to and that content is published on the outlet’s network. Examples of third-party distribution channels include:
- Content websites
- News media websites and publications
- Industry publications
- Video sharing websites
These are the outlets you submit press releases to and publish corporate videos on. Your digital marketing expert will target outlets that your audience uses, and get your content published so that your audience can see it. When your company is seen in third-party information distribution outlets, it adds a level of credibility to your brand and your product.
In general, paid marketing distribution outlets are any form of advertising you use online or offline. This type of marketing can be done to do research on current customers, determine new target audiences, or to reach a current target audience. Digital marketing professionals love paid advertising because it is one of the most reliable ways to measure reactions to different types of marketing campaigns by different groups of people.
Paid marketing can be extremely focused, and the rise of big data in marketing means that you can now gauge emotional responses to various marketing tactics as well. Another benefit to paid marketing is that it can be updated in response to client feedback and made more effective. Many paid advertising outlets offer a comprehensive set of analytics that marketing experts can use to improve future marketing campaigns.
Developing a great marketing message is pointless if you don’t know how to get that message to your intended audience. Marketing distribution channels have changed significantly since the advent of the Internet, but there are still hard-and-fast rules you should follow when it comes to determining which channel works best for your marketing plan.
The type of distribution channel you choose depends on what type of audience you are trying to reach. If you are only using your proprietary channels to reach new customers, then you will not get the results you need. An experienced digital marketing expert will know exactly what types of distribution channels to use to reach your intended audience.