Making a decision on which marketing channels to invest your money in is an important assessment requiring research and a thorough understanding of what markets have been the most profitable for other organizations. In a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, it was determined that the top three channels e-commerce companies most often invest in are email marketingsocial media marketing and SEO. These are all platforms that have been proven to be effective for promoting your business.

Email marketing is the most commonly used platform by e-commerce companies. It’s effective because it’s hard for clients to ignore. While clients can choose the option to delete the email, regardless they’ll see it and have to make a decision one way or another. It’s a fast and affordable way to reach a targeted audience, thus ensuring your messages are delivered in a timely manner, especially if you’re running a ‘limited time’ special promotion or offer. The most difficult part is building a target audience, so this method is more effective if you’re an established business with a client base.

Social media marketing has been proven time and time again to be an effective marketing tool and continues to grow in popularity. The relatively low cost, and ability to reach an enormous audience makes it a resource businesses can’t afford to ignore. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus are among the leading social media platforms businesses are using.

SEO is widely used by e-commerce businesses because of the digital trend marketing has taken. It’s important to utilize this tool to have your business at the top of search engine result pages, and drive traffic to your site. It targets users who are looking for your products or services, ensuring that these are solid leads. Clients perceive sites at the top of search engine results pages as being more reliable and established, making them more likely to do business with you.

Content marketing is another highly used tactic. Content marketing through blogs on company sites can result in 55% more visitors, and 97% more inbound links. 37% of marketers say that blogs are the most valuable content for marketing, and 70% of consumers say they would rather read articles from a company than see an ad.

Other popular marketing platforms included paid search, print advertising, print advertising, online display ads, and content marketing. Paid search marketing campaigns involve paying a search engine by the click on your paid ad. Print is the top offline channel and, in an online market, it has still managed to hold onto a large share of e-commerce business marketing strategy.  Among the least used are radio and television ads due to the higher expense associated with them and difficulty to connect with the right audience.

It’s important to do your research, as each business’s needs and target audience vary, but these main marketing platforms have been proven to provide results across the board.