There’s never been more opportunity to market your brand and your services online, but with increased choice comes a potential for increased confusion. What channels suit your goals best? How should your budget be divided between those channels? Should the channel strategy be different for your different brands, products and services? How should you attribute sales across different channels?

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Having managed digital marketing budgets in the millions, and successfully manipulated spend in order to drive incremental sales, I’m well placed to help you these questions.


Choosing the right digital marketing channels to achieve your business goals can be a tricky decision and there’s often no right answer – success comes from testing and learning. With that in mind, you can make an informed choice about the channels you invest in by looking at the pros and cons of each one;


SEO is the process of optimising your website to gain the highest quantity of relevant traffic from Google possible. This involves ensuring the site is technically sound, is targeting the right keywords, and has enough good quality backlinks. Depending on how you view marketing spend, SEO is essentially a ‘free’ channel and therefore has a CPA of zero. Extremely favourable when you view it against other paid channels, however, depending on size and state of your website, SEO can require heavy resources in terms of time and labour in order to start driving improvements. Those improvements can also take some time to be realised.


PPC operates in the same area as SEO (search engine results pages) but is very different in terms of the processes required to manage it, and the kind of results it can drive. Once you’ve decided on your budget you can draw up a list of keywords you wish to ‘bid’ on. Each keyword has it’s own CPC (cost per click) based on how many other people are bidding on it. If you appear for the keywords you bid on, and a user clicks on your result, you will be charged by the search engine. Unlike PPC is very good at driving traffic immediately, and has many more targeting options (age, gender, location, device, etc) the downside is that PPC can be very expensive.


Sometimes also called ‘Performance Marketing’, Affiliate marketing involves partnering with other websites that have the potential to drive relevant traffic to you. Each time a user comes from one of these websites and converts on your site, you pay the referring site a commission. These commission rates can vary depending on the agreement you have in place. Affiliate sites can be anything from a travel search engine such as Kayak, to a money-saving/cashback site like Quidco. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you only pay when you make a sale.


Because many brands find it difficult to generate organic reach on social media; paid social has superseded organic as the prefered method for generating sales from social sites like Facebook and Instagram. When you set up Facebook ads, you can choose whether you are charged on how many clicks you get, or how many impressions you get. As with PPC, there is the opportunity to be highly targeted in Paid Social.


You likely already have a database of customer email addresses. The size of your email list will generally depend on the age and size of your business, as well as how diligently you capture data on your website. This list of existing customers can be leveraged to inform them of new products or offers or inform them of their renewal date for insurance or subscription-based products. Email can also be used to market to prospects that have given you their details (newsletter sign-ups or quotes) but not necessarily bought from you.


Display advertising relates to visual (or sometimes text-based) ads distributed across a network of sites that are relevant to your audience (either in terms of the subject of the site, or the audience profile that those sites attract). Although display ads are generally very good at generating impressions which aid brand awareness campaigns, they don’t tend to convert particularly well, which means a high CPA.

The channel(s) you chose to use should depend on your goal, length of time you have to achieve that goal, your budget, and the vertical you operate in. For example, if you have a small budget, and plenty of time you achieve your goal, SEO and Email marketing might be your best option. If you have a large budget and need to generate lots of traffic in a short amount of time, PPC would likely be your go-to channel. If you need help with your overall digital marketing strategy and planning, get in touch with me.


Digital Marketing Attribution is the method you chose to use to attribute credit for your sales to different channels. The most common and simplistic way of doing this is by using a ‘last click’ model, this attributes value to the last channel a user clicked on before buying from you. This, however, ignores all the previous channels they used, which doesn’t give an accurate or full picture of the customer journey.

Attribution modelling tools allow businesses to see the full path to conversion; and the most common occurrences of those paths, allowing them to make better decisions about how much the different channels really influence a sale. This data can be used to make decisions about redistributing spend based on the goals at the time, and potentially drive incremental sales.

Want to know more about attribution and how it can help your business? You know what to do.