Choosing your Digital Marketing Channels for Small Business

Updated: Jul 30

This blog is part of a content series helping small businesses to get set up for digital marketing best practice.


You’ll find a guide for each of the major channels that are consistently used amongst each of my clients.


I will be releasing a guide per week.


One key area of focus is how to choose the right channels to market your business. There’s a bunch of channels out there to choose from. You might have bought a shoe from a Facebook ad before or perhaps your second cousin’s aunty has a really strong email list. You’re probably being told where you should market your business based on other people’s success or your own thoughts of what could work. Neither of these suggestions are wrong - but neither of them are right.


So, where should you start?


What do you need to first consider?


What have you done before? What marketing have you done in the past? How did it perform and what lessons did you learn from it? Ensure to take these learnings to the next stage.


What have others in your industry done successfully and unsuccessfully? Canvas your industry and in particular your competitors. Have a look at what they did to grow. Some campaigns may have space for another player (i.e. you) and some may have become saturated and have no more space for entry.


Check your channel bias. Everyone tends to have a channel bias. That is, what do you think will work? We often get this from past experience or from what others are telling us. Even if Gary Vee has screaming at you on every social media platform to get on TikTok, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right for your business. Have a think about what you think may work and really question yourself.


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What channels should you use?

You know I can’t give you a magic answer here. And you should know that no one else can. But, I will give you a framework to work with.


Below is a screen grab from my traction workshop that I host to help small businesses to choose the right channels. I’ll give an abridged version of what we try to achieve in these workshops.





On the right is a list of various marketing channels: This is not an exhaustive list but contains many of the typical channels that a small business may employ. Your task is to run through this list and think of at least 1 (but ideally up to 5) ideas / tactics of how you could use that channel.


For example, let’s say we could use paid social media to run a campaign for direct sales AND we could use it to run a competition. This would be 2 ideas / tactics within the channel. You are not allowed to move to the next stage unless you have an idea for each channel.


The idea is for you to flesh out and consider various ways you could market your business. You should be overcoming your channel bias and opening your mind to new ideas.


On the left of the image is the marketing team: This is made up of your bench (orange), reserves (yellow) and starters (blue). Each of these ‘people/player’ icons represents a different marketing channel / tactic.


  • Reserves: Your reserves is the largest group of channels. This is where all of your ideas / tactics from above are first placed. Your reserves as what is possible.

  • Bench: Your bench is the middle ground. This is the place for the ideas that you would like to test. You should run through your reserves and ‘promote’ the 3-5 most probable ideas / tactics to your bench. Once these are in your bench it means one thing - you must test them! Run a 1+ month test of each channel that is on your bench.

  • Starters: Your starters are the channels that have proven themselves to be successful. They have been ‘promoted’ from your bench only after they have shown to drive a positive ROI. Once a channel is in your starters, it will stay there, active, until it is no longer profitable.

Once you’ve completed your tasks above you should have a relatively clear idea of what channels you should best thinking about, testing and running on an ongoing basis.


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Happy marketing!



About the author, Josh Berg