So much has changed in marketing for ecommerce over the last few years. Not only are we spending more and more time on our devices; we’re also spending more money on them.
Smart companies aren’t waiting around for customers to notice them. Instead, they’re actively putting their names out where their customers are. Today, we’re diving into the top marketing channels you can’t afford to miss in this digital-first economy.
Content encompasses every piece of information on your website—so you could say content is a hundred marketing channels all in one. From product descriptions to blogs and even visual elements like video, content is critical. Imagine landing on a website only to find that there’s more blank space than there is content. How can you possibly make a sound buying decision when there’s hardly any information about the product?
When it comes to content, one rule prevails: educate first, sell second. Customers buy from companies they trust. And if you’re providing authentic, educational information that puts the customer first, then your chances of making the sale become instantly higher.
Also known as lightbox or modal pop-ups, these are marketing messages that let you capture email addresses when prospects are most engaged: when they’re browsing through your site. This type of marketing is free and easy to implement, making it a no-brainer channel you should be using.
Lightboxes are often used to offer coupon codes to first-time or repeat visitors. But most importantly, they can be a primary lead generator for your business. Customers no longer have to make a purchase on your site before you can capture their email addresses.
Through lightbox pop-ups, you can have prospects opt in to your mailing list and then offer something in return, like a free resource or a special coupon code. From there, you can re-market to those very leads later on.
3. Email Marketing
Emails—we either love them or hate them. But depending on the content you’re delivering, you can easily use email marketing as the best sales tool in your marketing arsenal. In fact, more marketers rate email marketing as the most effective channel than any other for content marketing. Once you’ve captured email addresses through your pop-ups, use email to move prospects through the sales funnel. Offer a one-time use coupon code or an invitation to join your social networks (followed by a giveaway you launch via email).
You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t have their phone a few feet away at any given moment. This is especially true for your ideal target audience of on-the-go, mobile shoppers who have the ability to make a purchase in just a few clicks from the palm of their hands.
Because of this, SMS or text message marketing is one channel you definitely should be using. Short messages offering discounts or pre-order announcements are just a couple of ideas for SMS marketing content.
But beware: be sure you’re asking for permission via an opt-in form or field prior to sending out texts to your prospects. Plus, include a way to unsubscribe from text messages, like by adding “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” after your promotional message.
5. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Last but not the least is a content category that deserves a section of its own. If you watch TV or use a cellphone, chances are you’ve encountered User-Generated Content (UGC) in some shape or form. So what is UGC? Simply put, it’s content created and shared by consumers themselves.
You may have seen a video review for a big-ticket robot vacuum cleaner on YouTube, or an Instagram post outlining the benefits of a moisturizer, as shared by a well-known influencer in the makeup or skincare space. Both tout the brands they’re reviewing and a call to action to either buy or take advantage of a unique discount code. Who better to rave about your products than your very own customers…or influencers who have far more reach across your prospective buyers?
To get started with UGC, prioritize gathering customer feedback, whether through testimonials, video reviews, or word-of-mouth. Once you’ve gathered a few, personally interact with those customers and ask if they’re willing to spread the word on your behalf. You can even incentivize customers or influencers with free products or discounts on future orders. If that’s the case, be sure those reviewers are including a disclaimer that products were sent to them for free or discounted for reviewing purposes.
These five marketing channels are here to stay. And if you’re not using them yet, you’re missing out on opportunities to make some serious cash. Our advice? Create a game plan of the channels you plan to tackle first. And if you’re already using some of these, assess your current strategy and figure out what you can do better.
If finetuning your marketing strategy is something you wish to delegate, our in-house agency, Studio, will be happy to help. Reach out to them today!