What Are Channels In Marketing? (Definition And 14 Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 November 2022

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Businesses often look for innovative ways to expand their audience and consumer base. Different marketing channels help them reach their current and potential customers in a variety of ways. Learning about various types of marketing channels can help you select a channel that is most suitable for your purpose or organisational goals. In this article, we examine what are channels in marketing and list a few examples of popular ones.

What Are Channels In Marketing?

The answer to the question, 'What are channels in marketing?' is that it is a set of people, organisations and activities that interact with each other to transfer goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption. lt is a tool that companies use to reach prospective customers and clients. The primary goal of a marketing channel is to increase brand exposure, improve product awareness and help drive traffic to company websites.

A marketing channel is an important tool for business growth and it is vital for the development of products and effective marketing strategies. Companies often choose to employ marketing channels that have a tried-and-tested performance record in a particular geography. They may also simultaneously employ multiple channels for a specific purpose, such as establishing a brand identity or disseminating information about a new product.

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14 Examples Of Popular Marketing Channels

Most marketing channels present both benefits and drawbacks. The type of marketing channel you employ can take inspiration from the nature of the business operation and the specific segment of customers you want to reach. Examples of popular marketing channels include:

1. Direct selling

Direct selling is a marketing channel in which a marketer directly communicates with potential customers. These interactions usually take place one at a time and work best for small business enterprises. Direct selling often involves marketing to people you know. This marketing channel may lower business expenses because you may not require paying for advertising space, distribution charges or other types of marketing resources. Because of the lower costs, you may attain a higher overall profit from a successful product sale.

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2. Podcast marketing

Using podcasts as a channel for marketing is quite effective as long-form media continues to gain popularity and subscribers. This marketing channel not only assists you in increasing demand but also helps you to develop a unique relationship with your target audience. Podcast episodes are conversational and often reveal details of the human experience behind a business operation. On a podcast, you can guide listeners to reach your website or store and make a purchase decision.

3. Cold calling

Cold calling is a sales approach that involves calling consumers who have not previously expressed an interest in the products or services that you provide. In this channel, you can make calls to prospective customers to evaluate the extent of their interest in your offerings. You can research leads to target prospective customers who are more likely to buy your products or services. To convince potential customers to make a purchase or engage with your business, you can start with a cold call and follow up with a more formal email.

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4. Guest posting

Consider guest posting if your company has a website or a blog. Using this marketing channel, you simply write for other notable sites in your industry or have other renowned writers produce a post for your website. Guest posting can help improve traffic on a retail website and enables a company to engage with the audience of the guest writer. For example, smartphone companies often give sample products and pay content creators on streaming platforms to promote user engagement and improve sales.

5. Loyalty programmes

A loyalty programme is a marketing channel through which a company provides free products or services in exchange for repeat consumer engagement. By providing discounts and free merchandise to customers who make recurring purchases, this marketing channel can help a brand retain its most loyal customers. Companies benefit from loyalty programmes not just because they generate client loyalty but also because they provide essential information on how customers spend their money and what product ranges or types of offers they find most enticing. Hotels, coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants often use this marketing channel.

6. Email marketing

You can use email marketing to your advantage if you have the email address of a present or potential customer. Email marketing is not only cost-effective, but it also provides you with access to a wide range of customers. You can send emails to persuade individuals to sign up for a service at a store location, create periodic newsletters to announce sale events and contact clients individually for referrals.

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7. Cold email marketing

Cold email marketing is a method of communicating with a list of prospects by using email as the primary medium of communication. A successful cold email campaign may receive a significant number of responses from new clients or consumers showing interest in products and services. You contact potential customers through email without them expressing interest ahead of time. You simply look up someone's email address and email them. This marketing channel can be beneficial for freelancers, agencies and consultants.

8. Websites

Your website can be an important aspect of your marketing strategy for establishing and maintaining customer relationships. It acts as a marketing tool and aids in the development of a continuing customer support system. When current or potential customers visit your website, they can get answers to their queries and learn more about your business and its products and services. It is critical to design a simple, effective website that accurately represents your brand, organisation, products and services.

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9. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO involves optimising a business website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to the business on search engines. The higher your pages' exposure is in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and bring new customers to your company. Through the effective use of SEO, you can generate organic traffic based on what your prospective customers search for on various search engines. You can also use analytics and tracking tools to monitor how well your SEO strategy works.

10. Content marketing

A content marketing strategy is a plan for expanding audience or user base by publishing and disseminating regular and consistent content that educates, entertains and inspires individuals to become fans and fans to become customers. You can exhibit both authority and expertise in your business by employing excellent content marketing strategies. These strategies help a business contact buyers at various phases of the sales cycle. Instead of limiting content marketing to one platform, you can try to incorporate your posts into every aspect of your business that has potential for reach, including social media platforms.

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11. Cross-promotion

Cross-promotion is a type of marketing strategy in which companies target buyers of one product or service with advertisements for a related product. It aids in promoting products and services, generating leads, increasing sales figures and establishing a brand identity. This marketing channel allows you to create relationships with interested customers who constitute a large consumer base outside of your current reach. You can use this channel in a variety of ways, such as cohosting an event with another company, trading guest posts and arranging webinars, conferences and industry events.

12. Paid social media advertisements

Paid social media advertising is a channel for targeting a specific subsection of an audience by displaying sponsored marketing messages on major social media platforms. You can pay to post a sponsored advertisement on a social media network through this marketing channel. The feasibility of this channel may depend on the platform's pricing and the type of ad you wish to publish online. You may find the investment worthwhile if you can successfully convert the advertisement into website traffic and sales growth.

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13. Print advertising

Print advertising refers to making advertisements that feature in print media, such as newspapers, magazines and journals. It is important to identify print media platforms with which your target audience is likely to engage. While it can be challenging to track the success of your efforts with this channel, print advertisements can be effective if you have an interesting idea to grab the attention and interest of readers.

14. Pay-per-click marketing

PPC ( pay-per-click) marketing is a digital advertising channel in which a marketer pays a publisher, usually a search engine, website owner or a network of websites every time a visitor on the website clicks on an ad. Your online advertisements appear in search engines when users search for a keyword related to the product or service that you are marketing. Companies that employ pay-per-click advertising models can perform research to identify keywords that are most relevant to their products or services. Investing in finding suitable keywords can lead to more clicks and eventually to sales conversion.

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