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Until just a few years ago, marketers and businesses were flocking to Facebook to grow their online presence. But due to oversaturation and terribly low organic reach, they are now compelled to find and rely on other digital marketing channels.

If you are one of them, here are some criminally underrated digital marketing channels that are helping marketers grow their business and reach their target audiences in 2021.

AI Assistant

The term AI gets thrown around quite a lot in the marketing industry. In fact, back in 2018, experts actually crowned it as one of the most overused marketing buzzwords.

But AI assistants can, as Frase says, “remove the friction” from your customers’ buying journeys. It is the modern way of communicating with your audience and reducing their wait time.

Frase AI assistant

AI assistants don’t just have to be used to tend to customer complaints anymore. Instead, your customers can use them to find products, content, and offers on your website.

It can scan your site and put all your offerings in the spotlight whenever a customer asks for them, without the need for any change in your algorithm.

You can even customize your AI to suit your brand’s voice and identity.

The only reason why AI is still so underrated is that more than 40% of companies are afraid to implement it due to the fear of the unknown.

Email Marketing

Email is affordable, visual, and has proven results in reaching potential customers. Against all odds, the email marketing industry has revived itself using automation technology with an average open rate of 22.15%.

Nearly 90% of marketers use emails as their primary channel for lead generation. But very few know the importance of contextual emails.

Polldaddy for marketing

Source: Hearst

HubSpot revealed that 96% of consumers unsubscribe from receiving emails, out of which many only do it when businesses flood their inboxes.

But here’s the thing – more than 70% of customers prefer email communication. So, if your email sequences are good enough, you can attract anywhere between 30% to 80% open rates.

How? Personal. Segment. Context.

Send Pulse email marketing
Source: SendPulse

To achieve great results, you should be working on sending out personalized emails with relevant context to the right segment.

Start by segmenting your leads into lifecycle stages. You can then personalize your messages for each group to improve your open and response rates.

Pinterest

Pinterest is such an effective channel that today, there is something called ‘Pinterest marketing.’

Most businesses don’t know this but Pinterest can actually be used as a search engine just like Google.

Since the website has such a high domain authority, your Pinterest content has a higher chance of getting seen in SERP than the ones posted on other sites.

Pinterest is especially great for businesses that target millennials and Gen-Z as 50% of its user base belongs to those groups. But you can get really specific with your demographics, too.

For example, if your brand targets moms in the U.S., Pinterest can help you reach out to 80% of them, as every 4 in 5 moms in the U.S. is active on Pinterest.

But wait! There is more.

Due to high trust among users, Pinners are 3x more likely to click on a brand if they see it on Pinterest than on any other site.

Reels for Marketing

Post the emergence of TikTok, marketers have realized the importance of video content, especially those videos that are short and easy to remember.

So, when India – the largest consumer market in the world – banned TikTok, it was the perfect opportunity for Instagram to roll out their new ‘Reels’ feature to quickly capture the orphaned market.

The result?

Hootsuite’s experiment with Reels showed that they can indeed improve your followers.

“We’ve seen significant spikes in our follower count one to three days after posting a Reel. My hypothesis is that these spikes in follower growth came from our Reels content,” explained Brayden Cohen, Social Marketing Strategist at Hootsuite.

Today, Reels generate more engagement (2.7%) than videos (2.2%). Marketers and businesses that make reels have acquired hundreds of followers overnight.

But because it is a relatively new tool, it is yet to be saturated. So, there is no better time than now to start using this digital marketing channel.

Google Posts for Marketing

Google My Business is the perfect digital marketing channel for local businesses. It allows you to improve your local SEO and get found in your neighborhood.

Every time somebody searches for a keyword related to your business + near me / [location], GMB connects them with your business and your information pops up on their screens. (You can learn more about Local SEO here).

It is quite an effective tool considering that 1.6 billion of all searches on Google are done with local intent.

But did you know that there is another marketing channel within GMB that lets you communicate with your audience and works just like a social media platform?

Google Posts lets you engage with your audience, share updates, and keep them in the loop of all your offers and programs.

Countless businesses used Google Posts to stay connected with their customers during COVID-19 because it proved to be the most effective channel for sharing the constantly changing office/store hours.

And you can do the same! All you have to do is get verified and start posting.

Why take the road less traveled

A platform like Facebook is popular because it is highly competitive. And although an award-winning digital marketing agency can help you crack the code to successful Facebook ad campaigns, these underrated marketing channels are worth the effort, too.

There are 2.1 million online retailers in the U.S. And the number is only set to grow in and after 2021.

If you choose to communicate using the already crowded platforms, you might not end up reaching your desired segment. Therefore, taking the road less traveled is among the only ways to break away from the competition.