Marketing is the heart of every business’ profits. Without marketing, a venture can’t generate leads, and without leads, there can’t be any customers. This is why businesses in North America spent $296 billion in 2021 on advertising in order to stay in the game.
However, when talking about creating a marketing strategy, it isn’t always easy or clear-cut to create one. There are many ways to market yourself and your product, and the internet makes this a lot easier.
That said, you still run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. Without the proper knowledge of marketing channels and how they operate, you can end up investing in something that might not bring you the desired results.
But, don’t worry, that’s why we’re here! In this article, we’ll teach you about some of the best marketing channels for eCommerce and what benefits they bring to your business.
Content marketing is, by far, the most effective way of driving organic traffic to one’s website. Organic traffic refers to traffic generated by unpaid sources, a.k.a. the content (blogs, vlogs, videos, posts on social media) you post on the internet.
Requiring very little investment, content marketing generates some of the highest ROI and is why 73% of companies that invest 10-70% of their marketing budget are very successful in their ventures.
With that being said, the greatest advantages of content marketing are its relatively low cost of implementation and the relevance they grant a business.
If you’ve got content that is relevant and useful in your target niche, you can, with certainty, expect people to flock to you and ask for more.
This means you’ve already got people in your funnel. From there, it’s all about working the leads and converting them to customers.
One aspect of content marketing, however, stands out the most, and that’s video. A staggering 86% of businesses in the US use video as a marketing tool. This is because video is much easier to digest by the masses, it creates a spectacle around your product/service, and it lets you create a personal bond with your customers.
That said, creating videos requires more effort than creating written content. This is why most companies that can afford it turn to trusted video production companies to create content for them that will best represent the quality of their product and the righteousness of their idea to the consumer online.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is also a powerhouse marketing channel and is very closely related to content marketing. With 3.6 billion users in 2020 and a projected 4.41 billion in 2025, social media is the ultimate platform when it comes to reaching a lot of people quickly.
Like content marketing, social media marketing strategies don’t require a lot of money to get going. However, social media marketing is the most powerful when combined with an already established brand.
The whole point of using social media is to garner followings. This enables a company to create a great number of returning customers but also generate and onboard new leads through a well-groomed community.
One of the biggest perks of social media marketing is that, in essence, it’s all one big word-of-mouth marketing scheme.
The leads you’ll be creating through social media won’t just come directly from you and your posts but also reposts of your content, posted by your followers. This means these people are, basically, vouching for you, which greatly increases your brand’s reputation among the consumers.
Email marketing is another very powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. Though it can be considered a form of digital cold calling, email marketing is still popular enough to be used by 87% of marketers, especially in the B2B sector, due to its exceptional ability to convert leads.
However, for email marketing to work, you need to first create an email list. You can do that by encouraging people to subscribe to your newsletters and the like. It also requires you to have content prepared beforehand, as people need to land on your page in order for you to ask for their email.
A common email marketing strategy is offering various discounts for customers who make a purchase after following the links in the email. These are usually one-time offers but very enticing, encouraging the consumer to act immediately when they receive the email.
However, the trick to email marketing is making the emails as personal as possible. Nobody likes getting spammed by bots, and such emails are likely to get flagged as spam.
Fortunately, advances in automation technology have enabled us to create more personalized email marketing strategies, making email as effective as ever.
Referral marketing is an extremely effective promotional strategy if done right. It is very popular among retailers, and it usually involves offering discounts if an existing customer refers a friend to your store.
The reason this type of marketing is very effective is that it’s, basically, another form of word-of-mouth marketing.
We all tend to trust the word of our friends and family that they won’t lead us astray, and this is what referral marketing hinges on.
However, for this scheme to work, you need to already have customers, meaning it’s a supplementary strategy to one of the more stand-alone marketing strategies like email or social media. Be that as it may, it’s still very good at creating new leads from old ones and creating votes of confidence for your business.
Affiliate marketing is another form of word-of-mouth marketing in the digital space. It is very similar to social media, as it involves people telling other people and promoting your brand. These two marketing strategies are supplementary, and they often go hand in hand, especially when bigger brands are involved.
So, how does it work? Well, it usually works on the premise of commission. Influential bloggers and other socially notable people are called upon to promote a brand, and, in turn, they earn a small commission for each item sold.
This strategy, basically, hinges on these prominent people vouching for your product. This is why this type of marketing is also called influencer marketing - influential people with communities of their own can promote your brand to their followers, which, in turn, creates interest and, hopefully, brings in leads to be converted into customers.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most popular, if not the most popular organic traffic generating marketing strategies. It is nearly inseparable from content marketing, as the one cannot operate without the other.
SEO is actually a set of practices intended for maximizing a website’s rank in Google’s search engine. The higher your rank, the better the chances people will visit your website and engage with your content, and the higher the chance some of them will offer you their patronage.
In fact, SEO is so important that 61% of B2B marketers credit it as the number one lead-generating strategy. With that in mind, it’s also important to say that 75% of people never scroll past the first page on Google.
All this points toward the necessity for a set of solid SEO practices and the importance of getting featured on the first page of Google’s browser. Without that, your content gets no exposure, and your website’s traffic will suffer, leading to you generating very few leads and converting even fewer customers.
However, there is a way to (somewhat) bypass SEO, and that’s through SEM (Paid Search Engine Marketing).
Sometimes referred to as PPC (Pay per Click) marketing, it involves Google hosting your content in the form of an ad above all organic searches. However, every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google a set amount in return.
With that said, if this strategy works, the amount you will be paying is likely to be insignificant as compared to the revenue you’ll be generating. However, if this strategy fails, you’ll be losing money faster than you can recoup it, and it will leave you hurting.
One caveat, though - you still need to apply some SEO practices in order for your ad to be featured. You will, in the least, need to write a short meta description of your ad containing the relevant keyword to a particular search query,
When optimizing your ad with keywords, it’s best to target a long-tail keyword (keyword containing more than two words) since about 70% of all traffic comes from them.
The reason behind this is that long-tail keywords are closer to the natural human speech and the way people search for things online. They’re also more specific, which lets you tie your ad to a specific search query.
And that’s it for now, 7 of the most popular and the most effective marketing strategies for eCommerce growth.
As we said in the beginning, the internet makes marketing that much easier, as most of these strategies rely on exploiting its ability to connect a large number of people.
However, we must note that there is no be-all, end-all marketing strategy, nor that you need to focus on only one.
Remember, the trick to a successful marketing campaign lies in knowing your target audience and where they usually hang out, then selecting strategies that reach them the quickest and as directly as possible.