- Promotional channels, sometimes referred to as marketing channels, are used by an organization to advertise its products and services and communicate with the target audience.
- News coverage is one of the most difficult promotional channels to secure, but it is also one of the most valuable. Editors are bombarded with pitches daily, so the brand needs a compelling and ideally topical story to tell.
- Other promotional channels include guest posting, influencer outreach, advertorial, and native LinkedIn feed advertising.
Understanding promotional channels
Promotional channels, sometimes referred to as marketing channels, are used by an organization to advertise its products and services and communicate with the target audience.
The expectation today is that most businesses employ an omnichannel strategy that results in a seamless and consistent product or brand experience. Gone are the days when a blog supported by pay-per-click advertising was sufficient.
So which promotional channels are effective today? Let’s find out.
News coverage is one of the most difficult promotional channels to establish, but it is also one of the most valuable. To receive coverage for their brand, companies must be able to pitch an idea to the media in the form of a real, authentic news story.
The best way to secure press coverage is to do something that will catch the media’s attention. With 44% of journalists pitched at least 20 times a day, an organization with a compelling story is more likely to be noticed. It’s also important to build rapport with media staff and learn how to successfully close a deal.
Guest posting is a more traditional promotional channel that is nearly as old as the internet itself and comes in many different forms. It can be as simple as writing a blog post on an industry website with a link back to a product or service.
However, guest posting is rather saturated these days and as a result, organizations need to do a little extra work in preparation. For best results, it is important to find a site with related content whose audience is more substantial. The content of each post should reflect an awareness of current trends or at least be useful to the target audience. Ideally, there should also be a link back to a targeted product or landing page.
Influencer outreach is another promotional channel that, to some extent, relies on the quality and size of an influencer’s social media following. But there is much more to this promotional channel than knowing who has the most captive audience.
Companies that want to use influencer outreach need to build authentic relationships with social media personalities based on reciprocity, content sharing, and common values.
Advertorial is a less common promotional channel that involves a publication promoting a product or service in the style of a journalistic or editorial piece. Within this form are two relevant sub-types. Image advertorials involve the publication painting a favorable view of the company or its products among readers. Journalism advertorials, on the other hand, are used when an organization wants to attract media attention to a chosen area of interest.
This is a controversial promotional channel and the merits of which are routinely debated by publishers, businesses, and governments alike. However, sites such as Forbes have had success in offering their vast audience to interested brands.
Native LinkedIn feed
A few years back, brands discovered that the less their advertisements looked like, well, advertisements, the more consumers would engage with them. Facebook was one of the first to offer cleverly disguised ads, with LinkedIn following suit thereafter.
LinkedIn’s sponsored content comes in the form of single image, video, carousel, and event ads. Each format is a way for a brand to promote itself by showcasing its products and services or establishing itself as a thought leader.