Growth Marketing with CXL - Week 5: Channel Optimization

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Sophia Eng gives a deep dive into tracking key performance indicators and utilizing particular channel-specific strategies.

Distracted Learning

This was another really interesting topic for me as I went through Sophia Eng’s lessons on identifying and amplifying growth channels. Eng is a Digital Marketing Strategist at InVision App where she designs and delivers global content strategies, tactics, and channel distribution plans for billion-dollar brands, startups, small/midsized, and large enterprise businesses across various B2C and B2B spaces.

While going through her lessons, I found myself pausing and jumping over to my own website to immediately implement key strategies. In addition to writing as a hobby, I develop video games for mobile devices. When you have a moment, feel free to check us out at 8ight5ive Games LLC!

For anyone joining me for the first time with this article, feel free to jump over and read through my other articles that I’ve written while pursuing a minidegree from CXL Institute.

Channeling In

For anyone already working in the digital marketing space, you’ll be familiar with the channels that Sophia focuses on in her lesson: search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social and display ads, email marketing, and content marketing.

I’ve personally used or have had exposure to several of these over the course of my career. I’ll admit, I’m still pretty new to several of them and am continuously learning. Hence my time with CXL.

SEM is a pretty new one to me. I’ve had a hand in SEO, but have never done any work with search engine marketing or pay per click (PPC). Or, at least I don’t think I have, based on my understanding of it with Sophia. In fact, before this less, I have never heard of SEM before. It’ll definitely be something I’ll be doing more research into for my own personal gain.

SEO, however, is not particularly new to me. I’ve been working to improve my website’s SEO overtime and constantly try to implement new learnings that would work out for my business goals.

SEO is the process of improving your website’s ranking in the search engine results page in order to get more people on your site.

I’m sure as digital marketers yourselves, you’ve done it, but I occasionally Google my own keywords to see where my website ranks. In fact, while going through Sophia’s lessons, I went through and revised my SEO settings across my website. Doing so, I found that I was trying to rank for some pretty vague keywords such as “game” and “studio”. Of course, I removed these and quickly (read: took a few hours) modifying the list of keywords for my website. I also added keywords to the alt-text in my images, as suggested by Sophia. This particular strategy is new to me. I’d be curious to see if or how this has worked in the past for anyone else.

While I have yet to create display ads,I have seen and created a number of social ads in my professional career as well as for personal projects. Display ads are banners that you normally see across a website while social ads are those that appear in your Facebook timeline. I’ve found these to be the funnest to work on since I get to be more creative with my work.

With regards to email marketing, my exposure has been pretty small but I’m working on it. Working in CRM within my professional career has been pretty awesome. I’m finally getting more exposure to various metrics that I’ve only seen in presentations before. It’s been great to be on the other side and working towards optimizing KPIs such as open rates and click through rates.

Content marketing, that is blogs, forums, and the like, have been on the lower spectrum of focus for me. In my professional career, I’ve yet to fall into a role where I’d have more exposure to managing blogs or forums. In my personal career, I’m just spread too thin to have time to market myself beyond social posts and ads. Of course, I plan to do more of it soon.

As Sophia recommends, content marketing will extend the longevity of a company by securing more loyal customers and clients. The more you promote and market yourself and your brand, the more you become the influencer in that space. She also recommends not spreading yourself too thin and focusing on one to three channels that work. Currently, social and SEO works are my focus. Eventually, I’ll expand to email and content marketing soon.

Channel Surfing

Selecting a channel or channels wasn’t particularly difficult for me. I gravitated towards those that I was already familiar with, namely social and web. When I was creating my website, I studied a variety of competitors and similar company websites as Sophia recommends in her lessons. This really helped me to establish a general theme for my website as well as my social pages.

Sophia recommends avoiding channels that are too competitive. And I realize Facebook is incredibly competitive for not just videogames but also all sorts of other companies, organizations, and interests. However, it’s also low cost for my LLC and has been successful in garnering some interests so it’ll continue to be a main staple in my marketing portfolio, at least for my videogame studio. Low cost channels was also another one of her recommendations.

Focusing Your Energy

Measuring results for my marketing efforts have been pretty easy. Given the time I’ve spent on my social posts, I’d say the results have been pretty comparable. Sophia didn’t really have any specific rules for measuring success as it depends on your metrics to start off.

For my LLC, I’ve been focusing on engagement and interests in upcoming products or my LLC’s mission statement. Despite having an email list signup on my website, it has not had any success in converting any traffic so I haven’t put in a lot of effort to improve it. Identifying failing channels, as Sophia discusses in her lesson, means looking at your data and not at what your customers are doing. The current ROI of my email list is embarrassing so I’d rather focus my energies on other channels that have had better results.

Just Need Some Time

Of course, some channels just need more time than others. Sophia talked about her own experiences which took a wide range of time to succeed from weeks to months to years. Even on Medium, there are amazing writers who discuss growing email lists over years. As much as I’d love to have the time and energy to grow my own email list while working on my upcoming videogame, it’s just a channel that I cannot focus on just yet. For now, I think I’ll continue to stick to what Sophia has discussed and focus on energies on a few channels so as to not spread myself too thin and lose sight of my end goal.

Since this particular lesson is so close to home and relevant to my current tasks, I wrote my next article discussing my own journey as it pertains to my LLC in my CXL series. Check it out!

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