Deciding which types of marketing are best for your company is never an easy task. The number of digital marketing channels has exploded over the past few years. Display, social, content, blogging, email marketing, paid search, the list goes on and on.

But the question really isn’t about what is the best; it’s about what is the best for your target buyer. On top of this, what’s right in the beginning when you need to build awareness is totally different from what’s needed later in the buyers’ cycle when you are trying to close the sale.

So how do you decide where to start?  Start by asking yourself a few simple questions about the different stages you need to influence your buyer.

Attract Stage:

What is it going to take to attract buyers to discover your company and see you as a viable option for the challenge they are trying to solve?

Q: Do you offer a product in a recognized category? Do you sell through an ecommerce site?

 A:  In this case attraction is all about getting in front of buyers who are already considering a purchase. SEO and Pay-Per-Click ads like Google’s Adwords program may be right for you.

Q: Do you typically sell to other businesses and have a relatively long sales cycle?

 A:  Many B2B buyers are very deliberate and will research well ahead of being willing to connect with a sales team. One of the most effective ways to attract these buyers is to draw them in is with an informative blogging effort that helps them understand there is a better way to solve their challenge.

Conversion Stage:

You have someone on your site but traffic alone won’t bring you sales. This is why focusing on conversion types of marketing tactics may just be the most important of all.

Q: Do you sell to consumers through retail channels or other avenues?

 A:  Digital display marketing coupled with a smart application of retargeting technology can keep you front and center with your buyer till they’re ready to make a purchase.

Q: Are you getting plenty of traffic to your website, but very few visitors fill out your contact us or request a demo forms?

 A:  Most of the visitors to your site are in research not purchasing mode when they visit. Trying to get them to commit to that sales call without offering any value first is doomed to failure. Instead look at ways to engage these early stage visitors by offering premium content like an eBook, checklist or how-to guide. Put these behind a landing page with a form and you will begin the conversion process.

Close Stage:

The last step of any deal is getting the final agreement. This may be getting your buyer to sign the agreement, or pull out their credit card.

Q: Is your customer base very socially engaged and your buyer very connected?

 A:  Look at how you can use social media and ratings to generate social proof and third party endorsement.

Q: Do you have a lot of leads, but following up with them is a slow and manual process?

 A:  Leveraging lead nurturing or drip marketing will help move your buyer through the funnel. You can also use the process to learn more about these buyers and help qualify them for connection and close.

Digital marketing has opened a wealth of channels for companies to reach their buyer. All of them are not right for every company, but some could be just right.